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Flip Boom: blip splashes

10 Step Water Cell Animation By Ko Maruyama
It really only takes a few frames for a quick splash.  Of course, if your splash occurs over a long period of time, something like a "slow motion" shot, you'll need to use more frames in order to make the shot appear longer and make the action appear to happen more slowly.  But for a quick burst in Flip Boom, you'll only need a couple of frames.

To start out with - - you'll probably want to use a tablet to take full advantage of the Flip Boom software.  It's not necessary, because you can certainly control the tools with a mouse, but you won't get the same amount of control.

Probably the easiest way to see this SPLASH technique is with a simple rain drop.  To create our  rain drop and splash, open a new Flip Boom project and choose the color of your rain and a brush size (keep it small).

1. Turn ONION SKIN ON  (click image to see bigger version)

2. Paint a single drop of water, then press "S" on the keyboard to advance to the next frame.

3. Because you have Onion Skin enabled, you should be able to see the previous drop (probably in a brownish tone).  You should also note that the next (blank) frame in your timeline is selected with a yellow border.

Draw your next drop.

4. Draw 3 - 4 droplets in this falling animation - using the "S" key to advance one frame for each droplet image. (you could duplicate and move the drop down, but drawing each frame will give your animation a less "robotic" look).

5. THE SPLASH.  The number of frames you'll need to create the splash animation will depend on the type of liquid you're trying to animate, the speed of the splash, and the amount of gravity you want to show (among other factors).

We'll start with a simple splash.

Drawing the droplet coming into contact with the ground is the first part of this splash.

6. Deform (aka squash and stretch) the water into a shape which might indicate it's "just before breaking point" tension.

7. Break the droplet apart.  Keep using that "S" key to advance to the next frame in the animation.  The first parts of this "splash" could be large, single pen strokes (before the water evaporates away).  You could use  the BRUSH SIZE option to change the value of the brush tool. (if you have a tablet - I'm using a WACOM tablet - you'll have more control over the size of your brush based on the stylus pressure).

8. Gravity!  There might be an additional frame or two for the drops to splash up (versus the number of frames it takes for them to return to the ground).  Continue to use that "S" key to advance forward to a new frame and draw the spray breaking from the droplet.

9. What goes up, must come down.... well...  sure if there's gravity in the scene.  After you've completed a couple of frames of your splash going up, start drawing the splashes coming down.  

10. PLAY!  You probably know by now -  there are a couple of different ways to control the playback of your animation before you publish it. 

You can also use similar techniques for hand drawn bug splatters or magic wand dust!


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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
Related Keywords:tutorial, flip boom, flipboom, toon boom, cel animation, water animation


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