Smith Micro Graphics Software Blog

4 Steps to Animating in CLIP STUDIO PAINT with Liz Staley

Posted by Emmy Rey on May 6, 2016 2:05:11 PM

When Smith Micro sent out the announcement that the new CLIP STUDIO PAINT update would have animation features, I was thrilled. Finally, frame-by-frame animation in my favorite of all programs! The new features for animation in CLIP STUDIO PAINT are exactly what I've been yearning for from an animation program. This feature is straight-forward, easy to use and you can create an animated video or GIF in no time at all!

I've laid out 4 easy steps to start animating with CLIP STUDIO PAINT!

STEP 1: Prepare your File.

You can either start a new file just for animation, or add animation to an existing piece of artwork. CLIP STUDIO PAINT has several presets for standard video sizes already programmed into the software.

To create a new animation file, go to File-New. Click on the Animation icon in the "Use Of Work" section of the New Dialog box. Select a size from the Preset drop-down or set a custom size. On the right hand side of the New Dialog box you can set the Frame Rate, Playback Time (the number of frames in the timeline), the scene number, and more.


To add animation to an existing drawing, open the drawing in CLIP STUDIO PAINT. 

Next, open the Timeline palette (Window-Timeline if it's not open on your screen already). In the Timeline palette, click on the “New Timeline” icon (it's to the left of the Zoom Out magnifying glass!).

Set the Timeline settings.

Once the Timeline is created, click on the “New Animation Folder” icon. This will create a new folder in your Layers palette specifically for your animation cells.

Now you can click on the “New Animation Cell” icon directly to the right of the New Animation Folder icon. Once we have an animation cell in the animation folder, we can start making our drawings move!


STEP 2: Rough Out your Animation.

Draw your beginning frame in the animation cell we just created. To add a new frame, simply use the New Animation Cell icon in the Timeline palette.

In order to see your previous frame and check where your shapes should be moving to, you'll need to turn on the Onion Skin feature. This allows you to see a ghosted image of the previous frames in your timeline. To use this feature, click on the Enable Onion Skin icon in the Timeline palette. (It's to the right in the top menu bar!)


Continue adding cells until you've roughed out your entire animation!

STEP 3: Refine the Rough Animation.

Once you're happy with your motion, it's time to add ink and color and finish up your cartoon. Go back through your frames and clean them up, tweaking motion as needed. Use your favorite inking and coloring methods to make your art really shine!


STEP 4: Export your Completed Animation!

Once your cartoon is complete, it's time to share it with the world. Go to File-Export Animation and choose how you would like to export your animation.


The Image Sequence option exports each frame as a still image in sequence. These images can then be imported in to another editing software.

The Animated GIF option exports the animation as a GIF, ready to be uploaded to the web!

The Movie option exports as an .avi file, which can then be uploaded to YouTube or imported in to other editing software to add sound or other effects.

You're done! Go forth and animate! And don't forget to share your animations by submitting to the CLIP STUDIO PAINT gallery or sharing it via the CLIP STUDIO PAINT twitter or facebook pages.


Topics: Insider, Featured Artists, News, Education, CLIP STUDIO PAINT (Manga Studio), Digital Artists

Subscribe To Blog

Recent Posts