V2.1   All images & videos from this documentation have been developped using PhotoAnim

Please Read First!!!

If you just want to transform an image to 3D, here is the place to go!

If you are new to animation, please read the following simple step by step instructions:

Getting Started with Animation - Warping and Skeletal animations

PhotoAnim allows following types of animation:

Warping (a kind of morphing) which operates on full images or image portions.

Typical applications:

  • Video transitions
  • "Plastic surgery"
  • Caricature


Video transitions

"Plastic surgery"
Skeletal animation, also called "puppet animation", which operates on image regions.

Typical applications:

  • Animation movies
  • Commercials
  • Animated titles and logos
  • ...

Puppet animation

Animated titles

Animation of library objects.
See Library tutorials

3D Animation:

  • 3D model creation from 2D images
  • Skeletal animation of 3D regions
  • Skeletal animation of a full image

See 3D tutorials


Animation Basics: Warping Needs PhotoAnim installed on your computer

Warping is selected automatically if the 4 corners of your image are not fully transparent. This is the case for all JPEG images.

- Use "File" "Import Image" to load a JPEG image.
- Select "Mode"  "Animation"


Warping initial image
Now drag one or several green dots on the Current Frame and hit  Play to play your first animation!

You may change the canvas color using these switches:
 Select Canvas Color



Running a first animation
Drawing a custom trajectory

On the Current Frame, drag one of the small red dots and draw a curve to the corresponding green dot.

You created a dot trajectory.

Trajectories are initially linear, you may define independent trajectories for all dots.

By clicking again the small red dot, you revert to linear trajectory (watch the cursor shape).

You may now reset the animation by right clicking on the image screen and selecting "Reset Object Animation".

Defining a dot trajectory
Place various dots by clicking on the Start Image or on the Current Frame.

Then drag the green dots to warp the image (make sure the preview cursor is on the last frame, you may use Set best edit frame for that)

Warping the image by placing and moving several dots
Right click on the image screen and select "Time curve..." "Alternate".

Check Auto loop On/Off and hit  Play

You now see your image going smoothly back and forth from the start image to the last frame.

PhotoAnim has several built-in time curves and you may create and save your own curves.

Selecting a time curve



Animation Basics: Skeletal Animation

Needs PhotoAnim installed on your computer
To get started with skeletal animation, you need an image where the subject is cleanly extracted from the background.
You may do this with your favourite photo editor and save as PNG format, or you can do it directly with PhotoAnim under "Mode" "Image Edit".
We are convinced that PhotoAnim will soon become your favourite photo editor...

Only portions of the image not covering others can be animated correctly. This is the case for our rabbit, where ears, arms and legs are not above any other part of the image.

Skeletal animation is selected automatically, because image corners are fully transparent.

Note the little dots around the image: These are floating contour dots and they will follow the bones and joints that we are going to create now.

Skeletal animation: initial image
Place one dot on the current frame and move it. All contour dots follow and the full image moves.

This defines the first animation rule:
"One user dot makes the whole region move"

One user dot: Full region move
Now let's reset the animation (right click on current frame) and add another dot (make sure Auto Add Bone is selected).

Note the yellow line with an arrow between your two dots: It's a bone.

If you drag the arrow side, the rabbit will rotate around the other side.

If you drag the other side from the arrow, the rabbit will both rotate and shift.

This defines the second animation rule:
"One solid bone makes the whole region rotate and translate"

One solid bone: Full region rotate and translate
Select Add/Remove Bone and place the cursor over the bone. The bone color changes to red. Right click and select "Elastic Bone". The bone will change to a dotted line.
Now if you select Add/Remove Dot or Mode Dot and drag one of your dots, the whole rabbit will zoom in or out.

This defines the third and last animation rule:
"One elastic bone makes the whole region rotate, translate and scale"

One elastic bone: full region rotate, translate and scale
Reset the animation and restore a solid bone
(Add/Remove Bone, cursor over bone, right click, uncheck elastic)

Place a few dots as shown in the image (it's very intuitive). Bones will be added automatically and between two bones you see a yellow circle: This is a joint.

Now you are ready to really animate the rabbit, by moving the green dots...


Where do we go from here?
Please have look at the Tutorials
Copyright © 2015 Chris Deforeit

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