If you have an artist illustrating your book, and you want to make it into a cartoon, ask them to also save the characters and background art separately, as transparent png's, along with the jpeg's that you'll use to publish the book. It's not hard for them to do, the only difference pretty much is that you save the art as a png versus saving it as a jpeg in Photoshop or whatever image editor you're using. Photopea is a free image editor, so you don't even need Photoshop.
Here's an example of what a png looks like:
It's really easy to make a png, you just copy and paste. I copied and pasted Torrie the Tiny Sea Turtle from this illustration on the left and saved her as a transparent png on the right (as opposed to a jpeg, which is what people are mostly familiar with). You can see the background of her separate image appears as little white and grey squares, to indicate she's transparent. This lets me paste her onto different backgrounds to make her move.
That's how easy animation is, you just copy and paste whatever you want to move, her eyes, flippers, tail, etc., onto a separate png layer!
P.S. My husband, an illustrator of many books, just told me a png is the clearest image you can get for things like headers on fb, Youtube, etc., so if you're looking to replace your header, that's also a good thing to use, versus a jpeg.
Hi guys, my husband suggested I make a blog to answer questions. We're children's authors, and Kevin's an illustrator, and took the bull by the horns to learn animation in order to make our characters into cartoons. No more waiting for "the big break" when you can do it yourself pretty easily nowadays due to modern, inexpensive software. And you don't even have to learn animation software, as Kevin, an animation historian, is launching a pioneering cartoon using all child voice actors, in Adobe Premiere, a video editing software.
I use Cartoon Animator 4, which I totally love and you can get it for only $59, so it's a great, user-friendly software to have. We'll help as we're able, as we're new at this as well, but that's cool, because you won't get lost in tech lingo when chatting with us. And we live in small town, Michigan, which is pretty chill, so we're casual and friendly, and want to help other authors make their dreams come true. Because pretty much anyone can create a "Peppa Pig" type cartoon, really easily, using their own art and stories.
So, first steps:
1. Friend us on fb (Kristen and Kevin), so you can keep up with things we don't remember to post here.
2. Check out Adobe Premiere, or if you know video editing, you basically use transparent png's, which are like jpeg's (photos), but with a clear background. And you use transitions like Push, Zoom, and the crop tool, etc., to animate it. Kevin is launching a new cartoon, "Tiny Ocean Tails," this week, so will have more info as he progresses. We use Adobe Premiere Elements, the inexpensive version, and Amazon has a great deal, where you can get Premiere and Photoshop for only $99.
3. Check out the Cartoon Animator 4 official demo, and/or download the free trial version, you get one month free. So, for those who want to learn some simple animation, they have TONS of templates, especially humans, so you can just click and drag to make your character do just about anything.
4. And these are a couple of short demos I did a few months ago, but they're pretty short as I was on a new computer that was having software issues, so I will do more up the road as I'm able.
I'll try to update this blog as much as possible, but for any personalized help, don't be afraid to reach out, we're here to help encourage other authors to take the dream into their OWN hands. I learned animation during the lockdown, and made sure not to pressure myself, so I didn't get frustrated. I'm still a beginner, but want to encourage others, as it's SO MUCH FUN!!!
- Kristen Collier
Learning to be an animator.