How to Create Your Anime

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Anime is a term for the Japanese style of animation. Creating an anime is a difficult challenge and requires skill in drawing and animation. It also requires an imaginative mind that can create characters and a story in which to use those characters. It can take a very long time, even months or years, to fully create your own anime. There is a great deal of money involved, too. You need drawing supplies, animation software, and a computer to run the software. All of this combined can cost several hundred dollars, but if you are willing to work to create this art, you can make your own anime.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencils
  • Paper
  • Computer
  • Digital drawing tablet
  • Animation software

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Off the Computer

Invent your characters and background story. Your characters will need names and background stories of their own. Get a mental image of what your main characters will look like, then design a world for those characters to live in. Pick a genre you want to stick with, and develop your story to fit that genre. There are western, science fiction, romance, and many more genre to choose from.

Design your characters and world. Draw the characters and design their clothes, hair, faces and bodies. After you've drawn and colored in the designs for your characters, draw a little of the world they live in. Different time periods or worlds will have different backgrounds, so draw some samples and place your characters in them.

Storyboard your anime. Anime are often divided into 26-episode seasons, but the numbers can range depending on how long or short your anime is. It could also be a movie, but you'll need to storyboard it so you know how everything flows. Purchase or make your own storyboard pages and draw what happens panel by panel while filling in details (in words) on lines below each scene. When you have your anime mapped out on paper, you're ready to start animating it on the computer.

On the Computer

Pull out your digital drawing tablet (Anime cannot be created by drawing with just a mouse. The mouse isn't accurate enough) and launch an illustration program of your choice. "Adobe illustrator" is a good drawing program, but there are others, including open source (free) illustration programs like "Inkster" that you can download.

Practice drawing your characters on the computer and get comfortable with how a graphics tablet feels, as opposed to a regular pencil and paper. Once you are confident, and have drawn all your characters on the computer, you can move on to recording lines for your anime.

Record all the lines from the script you've created for your anime. You can have a few or many different of voices, but you must have some--an animation without sound is not anime.

Launch your animation program. There are plenty to choose from, a good example being "Adobe Flash," but there are free ones, too, like "Pencil." When you've got your animation program set up, start your work drawing your animation (as planned out previously by your storyboard) frame by frame. This is the longest part of the process, and could take months or years to complete, depending on your anime's length.

Apply the finishing touches to your anime, then save the animation as a movie. Rendering your final product with all the aspects of your animation and audio can take the computer several hours to complete, but when all is said and done you'll have created your own anime.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take art classes before you get too serious with your anime. Drawing is a must-have skill in order to make the anime, and even if you have talent, the art classes will help focus that talent.

References

  • Edwin Cuenco; Professor of Graphic Design; Russellville, Arkansas
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