I'm wondering if there is a tool or simple method that will allow me to turn a simple pencil/pen sketch into something like the two images below.

I received these in a newsletter from a Kickstarter project and wondering how someone would go about making them.

Simple wobble Wobble with some animation


Here is the full Tutorial

It's easier to see when you take the frames apart and then it becomes apparent that the line tickness and placement are randomized. There are a range of filters you could use, especially in Illustrator.

  1. Wobble One

  2. Wobble TWO

  3. Wobble THREE

There are in fact ten frames, I've only uploaded three...Then, slowing down the animation, to one frame per second, so you can see the differences....


1. Create the illustration as Vector art (in Illustrator)
2. Duplicate the Art to ten separate layers (just copy the content through the layers)
3. Use Pucker and Bloat and other filters in Illustrator on each layer- move elements
4. Turn Transparency Grid on (in View) if you want a transparent GIF
5. Use EXPORT as PSD feature (FILE> EXPORT> Photoshop PSD)
6. Specify that you want layers exported
7. Open in Photoshop
8. In the animation panel, switch to FRAMES and set each of the ten frames to 0.3 secs
9. Export as "Save for Web And devices" Select GIF and make sure to select if you want it to play continuously (yes)
10. You could use this as an element in a JavaScript animation.

Special note to self Should take about an hour and a half per segment. Remember to get the storyboard approved first, or you will have to redo all this tedious S*hit@ to change just one word.

Finally, sit back and wait for your Webby Award/ Animation OSCAR nomination and the invevitable moment when Cameron Diaz asks for your cell number... don't worry about the patent mentioned above - an illustration style can not be patented, only the software.

  • 1
    I wonder if you could speed up production significantly by having a few ready-made distorting Illustrator layer styles on hand, and applying them one by one to the whole drawing? – e100 Jan 23 '14 at 10:10
  • Sounds like a very clever idea especially if you have a lot of segments to do, and want them all looking cohesive. – WildOutWest Jan 23 '14 at 10:36
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    Selecting this one because of the detailed instructions. Thanks for putting in the effort on this. – Carl Jan 24 '14 at 4:23
  • Cheers - could use the points, Man – WildOutWest Jan 24 '14 at 8:08
  • Instead of messing with bloat, pucker etc. you can do it by changing the brush stroke to something very similar. – Cai Oct 27 '15 at 18:07

This could be done by creating a GIF in Adobe Fireworks.

  1. Add the first image.
  2. Add the same image to the second frame, but take some of the anchor points and move them.

The more anchor points you move and the further you move them - the more the animation will wobble.

  • Assuming the original sketch is a vector sketch and so has anchor points. – user56reinstatemonica8 Jan 22 '14 at 13:13
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    If there are no vector points to move, select parts of the image and move them by using warp (Edit menu/Warp) in Photoshop. – Henrik Ekblom Jan 22 '14 at 16:19

Henrik's answer is a good method of actually achieving this, but for pure interest, I thought I would put a little information regarding Squigglevision which is, believ it or not, patented by the people who did the "Home Movies" tv show.

Squigglevision Patent

As best as I can tell, they make a drawing, then they trace the drawing with something that records cursor position, and then they run that recording through a program that creates a set of further tracings which "dither" the position of the cursor.

Then they composite them however they like and run some {magic} to blend or smooth the frames together.

  • This is fascinating too. Nice find. – Carl Jan 24 '14 at 4:23

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