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5 Steps to Creating 3D Backgrounds in Moho (Anime Studio)

Posted by Victor Paredes on Apr 29, 2016 2:32:54 PM

Victor Paredes, product manager for our 2D animation software, Moho explains how to create a 3D background for your animation!

A great way to make your backgrounds more interesting in Moho is to create a parallax effect.

Before we go through the process, let me show you the difference between flat and parallax backgrounds:

no_parallax.gifCamera moving in a simple flat background


The same Camera movement applied to the same background ordered in 3D for parallax.

Only 3-4 minutes work is required to create this effect.

Step 1: Separate your background in layers.


Your background can be created directly in Moho or with another illustration software such as CLIP STUDIO PAINT. Just be sure to keep everything separated in layers (and groups, if you want to).

Step 2: Use the Orbit tool to navigate the 3D workspace.


Yes, Moho even has a 3D workspace! Using the Orbit tool lm_orbit_workspace.png, you can see how your scene is arranged in 3D. That blue arrow you see at the left of the image is the Camera pointing to the background.

Step 3: Arrange your layers in 3D, maintaining the Visual Size.

In Moho, you can move the layers (or groups) in the Z axis. That means you can move them to be further or closer to the Camera.

Other programs, offer you this option, but not without complications. In these programs if you move a layer closer to the camera, that layer will look bigger than the rest. If you move it further away, it will look smaller. So, after ordering your layers in 3D, you will be forced to re-scale every single element to make it fit again with your art real proportions. And that adds to your work time and complicates your worflow.


Fortunately, Moho introduced the “Maintain Visual Size” feature. So when you move the layers in Z, the program will automatically scale and reposition them to fit with your artwork.

To use this feature, simply select the Transform Layer Tool lm_transform_layer.png. Select the layer you want to move and press Alt+Shift while dragging the mouse or pen. You will see the layer moving in Z and, once you release the mouse, it will automatically be scaled and repositioned.

Step 4: Use the side-by-side view to see the Camera and the 3D view at the same time.


Using the Side-by-side view you can easily adjust any layer position and know exactly how it will look in the final video. It is a good way to check and work over the Camera movement too.

Step 5: Don't forget that the Camera can also move in Z!


The Camera tool can also be moved in Z. To do it, just use the Track Camera tool lm_track_camera.png and drag the mouse Up or Down while pressing Alt in the keyboard.

Take a look at Disney video showing how they created this effect in the past:

Hope this step-by-step tutorial has been helpful!

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Topics: Insider, Moho (Anime Studio), Other Graphics Software, Featured Artists, News, Education, Digital Artists, Back to Basics for Animation

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