So, you have a great idea for a cartoon. The problem is your artistic skills are a bit lacking. No problem! With a little practice and these tips, you'll be on your way to creating eye pleasing works of art!
- The Shape Tool Is Your Friend. Did you know that using the shape tool (circles, squares, etc.) keeps the file size of your flash files down? Furthermore, it creates a smoother look for the things you draw. The Pencil Tool is great and allows for a lot of freedom, but it can cause drawings to not look as good as they could. With a little practice and some manipulation, you can create anything with the shape tool.
- Use Filters! Let's say you have created an object and placed it in the background of your movie. The problem is it looks too dominate and clashes with the foreground. Want to add more depth to the scene? Apply the blur filter to the object! By doing this you can create a pseudo depth of field that can bring out your foreground objects, while keeping your background objects minimized (and vice-versa). On top of that you can take advantage of the shadow filters to create the effect of light sources and more!
- Play With The Framerate. The framerate of your cartoon can greatly have an impact on the visual style. The higher your framerate, the smoother things will look. Of course with high framerates you have toimate more frames to compensate. But that extra work may be worth it for a smoother looking movie. Of course the opposite is also true. Maybe you want a choppier look to your film which would require a lower framerate. Again, this is something you should play with to determine what looks best to you.
- Use After Effects Or Similar Software. After Effects is an incredibly powerful piece of software and with little effort you can add a completely new look to your cartoon. Of course using After Effects (or similar software) requires your cartoon to be a video file and not a Flash file. So, depending on how you plan to distribute your movie, this may not be an option. But if you are exporting your cartoon to be a video, I highly recommend you check out this option.
- Believe In Your Style. Look for ways to take advantage of your own style. It can take sometime for a Flash cartoonist to “come into his / her own”. Is there a limitation in your own style your aware of? Go ahead and play with that in the movie; turn a disadvantage into an advantage. More importantly, just have fun with it!