Smith Micro Graphics Software Blog

How to Organize Your Animation More Efficiently Using Colored Bones

Posted by Victor Paredes on Jun 8, 2016 12:16:57 PM

Time is precious, so if we can save some of it by finishing a job quicker, we'll do it! Same rule applies for animating, cue Colored Bones. The Colored Bones feature included in 2D animation program, Anime Studio Pro 11, makes animating a breeze! It allows you to organize and control your bone animation in the most efficient way possible. Plus with the ability to create automatic Smart Bone Dials making Smart Bones is even easier! 

The concept is simple: Using the Select Bone tool, you can select one or more bones and assign a color to them:

Using the Select Bone ToolFor instance, I have these four characters moving together in one single rig.

I could separate them into four different characters rigs, but the animation I was looking for was so simple, that I preferred to rig everything in one bone layer.

All 4 characters moving together in one rig.

To simplify the animation process, I assigned one color for each of the characters:

one color for each characterAs you can see the first character is Purple, the second Green, the third Yellow and the fourth Blue.

In the Timeline, the animation will look like this:

the colored bones timelineI still have the normal channels for bones, but if I want to edit or erase the animation of only one of the characters, I just edit or remove the keyframes of that character’s color.

Another good use for Colored Bones is to separate the character's parts. For instance, all the Smart Bones that control the eyes can be colored in Green and the Headturn bone can be yellow:

separating the character's parts using colored bones

That way, when you check the keyframes in the Timeline you will know exactly when your character is making a head turn or moving its eyes.

As you can see, Colored Bones can be used for several tasks. Some people use it to separate legs and arms, others, for Smart Bones or face expressions. There are many ways you can use this feature to animate more efficiently!

Get Anime Studio 11!

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

Subscribe To Blog

Recent Posts