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Animate Stickman

Animate Stickman


Animate Stickman

How to make a stick figure running man:

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 6.42.36 PM Create a basic stick figure.

Make the head, upper/lower arms, hands, body, upper/lower legs, and the feet. Select the whole character and make it into a symbol.

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Double click on the image to go into the symbol to edit. Break the character up into layers. To make each body part a symbol, select all the layers, double click and select “CLASSIC MOTION TWEEN.”

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When you click on a symbol, you will see a center point. Move the pivot points over to where the joint movement would be.

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Once the character is ready to move correctly, you can make your running man. Make sure the layers are MOTION TWEENS. Create keyframes and then move the character’s body in a running motion. Make the major keyframes first (every 5-10 frames), then go in between those frames to tweak and add needed frames to smooth out the motion. It is best to make the character run on a loop.

Make the major keyframes first (every 5-10 frames), create in between frames to tweak and smooth out the motion.


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To loop an action, make sure the last keyframe is the same as the first keyframe. When the animation is done, create a keyframe before the last one. Delete the last keyframe (that is the same as the first frame), this will make the last frame be a smooth transition to the first frame when playing the animation. If you do not delete the last frame, the loop will look like there is a pause between the end and beginning of the animation.

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Go through each body part to move in a running motion.

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Test the running loop by pushing COMMAND+ENTER at the same time.

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On the main timeline, make sure the frame is a “MOTION TWEEN”. Extend the frames to the preferred length.Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 6.45.52 PM

In this animation, he runs in one layer, and then there is a layer of him standing. I made the character run from off screen on the left, and then moved him on the last keyframe to the same position he is standing. The animation looks as if he is running from off stage and then stands in the middle of the screen. Now your running man is complete!

If you are considering becoming an Animator, it’s a great practice to make up random 5-10 second long animations. When I was in school, the teachers asked the students to constantly create short stories. Some students found it difficult to keep their stories short and simple, receiving failing grades in some cases because they got too lost in their stories.

Tips on creating short stories:

Starting the story as close to the end as you can.
Including at last one character the viewer can strongly identify with – either negatively or positively.
Reveal character motivation or traits essential to the story.
Ensuring that each character included needs something to do – even if the action was simply deliver a newspaper.
Metaphors are a great tool – but keep the related to everyday life – or you will lose your audience. In animation, you can be very creative in how you express your point of view in the story. You can be very literal or “trippy” depending on who your audience is.
Know your basic audience and avoid alienating them. Appealing to what people can relate to is an important foundation if you want people to watch your videos.
Keep a notebook at all times! A quick note now can be a great story tomorrow.
Have fun with it! If you are not having fun, take a nap. Ideas have to marinate and evolve within you, so relax, have fun and let them flow.



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