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Not everyone has the possibility to use graphics tablets. I myself have one, but is in no way comparable to the precision that I have when drawing on paper (and even fewer are those who can afford professional graphic tablets like the Cintiq).

The question: how is it possible to illustrate and animate on paper without having to spend too much?

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Anything is possible...

"The poor man's version":

  1. Print yourself a ream of paper with registration marks on it. (Or buy some, though I'm not sure if such paper exists)
  2. Draw your frame images.
  3. Scan your frames.
  4. Import into Photoshop or whatever other program you use to touch-up the images.
  5. Proceed with the rest of your workflow as if you had created it digitally with a tablet.

If you have the budget, Horatio suggests a much better workflow using a camera and an armature rather than a scanner. He advises that a consumer-level DSLR camera with suitable lighting produces far superior results over a scanner, and the workflow is an order of magnitude faster. Photograph RAW if possible.

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    If I were to do this, I would probably use a camera and an armature rather than a scanner. I routinely photograph paintings and drawings for illustration in books and a consumer-level DSLR camera with suitable lighting produces far superior results over a scanner, and the workflow is an order of magnitude faster. Photograph RAW if possible.
    – horatio
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 16:32
  • Was thinking about that when typing the original answer but have never set up that sort of apparatus so didn't feel confident including it on my own. If you ever end up in San Francisco, check out the Walt Disney museum. They have some of his original camera builds from his old animation studios. Cool stuff.
    – Farray
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 16:51
  • I don't have the camera stand either: I use a tripod, but we used a camera stand in the into animation classes I took. The camera was a B&W with a manually-actuated RGB color filter wheel attached! Yes, we had to manually composite the three color channels.
    – horatio
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 18:03
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    Note that for low budgets, a cell phone camera might be acceptable. The key is to have a consistent set-up for every frame you shoot, and consistent lighting. If your lighting is too low, try and use a longer exposure, but a manual setting is probably better, because auto-exposure might over or under expose different frames, depending on the amount of content drawn on the page.
    – horatio
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 18:06
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    And RAW or tiff is better on a digital, because JPEG might introduce artifacts. If you want to post-process something later, the jpeg compression artifacts might become more noticeable
    – horatio
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 18:08

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