Smith Micro Graphics Software Blog

4 Steps to Animating Your Toys in Moho - Updated

Posted by Smith Micro Blogger on Apr 18, 2018 7:46:00 AM

Originally published in May 2016, we felt it was important to bring this to the surface. As you will see, this can have broad appeal to not only the professional animator, but also to the hobbyist just looking to get started. Happy Animating!  

With Moho you can animate just about any object you'd like! Just take a photo of it and go from there! In this post we will show you how to animate your Teddy bear as an example (because we know you still have one)!


1. Take a Picture of Your Teddy


2. Edit the Image

You need to edit the image to separate each part of the body.

You can use photo editing software like Photoshop, Corel PHOTO-PAINT or the Open Source Gimp.


Every part of the body must be in a separated layer. You can also use more than one picture for each part. For instance, in this exercise we will use two heads to simulate a head turn.

Once you are done, save your image as a PSD file.

3. Import the PSD File to Moho and Add the Bones

The software automatically will put all the layers inside of a group. If the character doesn’t fit in the screen, select the Group layer and scale it down.

Since we need to add bones, right click over the Group layer and transform it to a Bone layer.

Now we will start adding bones. Select the Add Bones tool and start dragging the mouse or pen to add the bones you want. Bones have a hierarchy and by default every new bone you create will be the child of the previous one. To control this hierarchy, before adding a new bone, use the Select Bone tool to select the bone you want to be the parent of the bone you will create.


A quicker way to do that is to use the Add Bone tool and before adding a new bone, Alt+Click the bone you want to be the parent (the parent bone will become red).

4. Select Which Bones You Want to Use for Each Part

If you try the bones you just added, you will notice that all the bones are bending all the parts of your character.

To fix that, we must use the “Use Selected Bones For Flexi-Binding” feature. Using it, you isolate each layer so it will only move the bones you define.


The process is very simple: Select an image layer, select the bones you want for that layer and now go to the Bone menu - Use Selected Bones For Flexi-Binding (or simply press Ctrl+Shift+F or Cmd+shift+F).

Repeat these steps for each layer.

Now you need to use the Bone Strength tool to adjust how your character will bend and put the head layers into a Switch layer, so you can choose which one will be visible during your animation.

Now you can animate anything you take a photo of…imagine the possibilities!

To see other photo animations using Moho check out these two videos:


We'd like to again thank Victor Paredes for his original post! Follow Victor on Twitter and Vimeo  


Topics: Insider, Moho (Anime Studio), Featured Artists, News, Education, Digital Artists

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