Loop subtly moving character

FROMNOW Website User Posts: 8
edited June 2019 in Practical Filmmaking


I would want to know how a loop of a short animated character is called ?

Here is an example: http://www.filedropper.com/warrior

Is this character animation, plotagraph, cinemagraph, motion design, animated gif, parallax,.. ?

Can this be done from one still image ? How hard is this ?

I would LOVE to create these kind of short animated loopable characters. Or if I can find people to do this for me (not for free).

Let me know any thing you know that I don't in regards to this topic :)



  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,984 Ambassador

     First we'll discuss terminology. 

    Doesn't matter, if it's moving, it's animation. Period. The second definition of the word animation is "to give something the appearance of movement." So... Motion Graphic? A moving graphic? That's animation. Cinemagraph or Plotgraph? The names of two software tools that create animation. Their companies are trying to "verb" their product names as if they mean something. Nope. It's animation. An animated GIF? Hey, it's animation. Parallax isn't animation, it's the technical term for how object appear to shift between eyes, and has, in the last few years become a widely used term for what was originally called "2.5D Animation." "Parallax" in this context means placing 2D images to face a camera in a 3D space to set up an animation. 

    So,the correct term for a looping animation is "looping animation."

    There's a lesson here: in visual design there's a lot of "Same thing, different name" and even more "these four tools do the same thing using the same principle with slightly different controls."

    The example you show was most likely built off a single image. The right hand would have been sliced from the image so it could be animated separately. It's the technique shown here.

    The breathing is trickier  It's some kind of liquify/bezier warp/morph/puppet animation. All four of those terms basically do the same thing - an image is mapped to a tight grid of squares or triangles, the grid moved in some way, and the image is redrawn to fill the altered grid. "These four tools do the same thing using the same principle with slightly different controls."

    In Hitfilm Express your best (free) option is Bezier Warp as shown here.

    Your other Hitfilm option is the Puppet tool. This tutorial is mostly accurate, but the tool changed a bit after this was made.

    This tutorial was made after Puppet changed, so it may be more accurate  but I haven't watched it  

    How hard is it? Depends on one's skill and experience level. The wiggling hand is basic. You can learn how to do it in 10 minutes. You can build your first try in 30. The breathing is trickier. The tools involved in Hitfilm? You'll learn those in 20 minutes, but it'll take you a few hours the first time you try because you'll need to learn how to adjust/anticipate the grid.

    You might combine methods and slice the image into pieces to warp each individually. 

    Yes, this can be done in Hitfilm, and, yes you could do this with "one picture," but you won't. The character should be a separate image from the background or you'll have to animate it to "stay still" while the character moves. 

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