Learning a skill can be hard. Really small projects can make it easier.


Do you just pickup your Wacom tablet, open up some program and just go make a masterpiece or do you spend a bit of time planing your project out?


It doesn’t matter if the project is an epic 2 hour movie or a 3 seconds animation.  You need a plan.  The plans will just be either very complex and detailed or be just a quick sketch.


I decided to animate a very small sample for a client.

He wanted a cartoon for pre-school children. I thought a monkey would be perfect. I like to think monkeys are in the top 5 of funny animals. Chickens are in top 3.

I wanted this sample to be as simple as possible. Simple background, simple design and limited animation.

I went trough my old illustrations for inspiration. I chose one with a kid in the rain, and another one with some plant designs.  For a reference, I found a cute monkey picture on the web.

My first idea was two gray clouds going out of the screen, uncovering the sun, then a monkey would jump out of some bushes.

It wasn’t simple enough, so I dropped the idea of the clouds. A smiley sun, some plants and a monkey was enough for this sample.  After playing around a bit, realized it was missing something.  I added two trees behind the monkey to balance the composition.

I wanted this sample to take no more than 2-3 hours.  I used limited animation for everything: Monkey’s head coming out, plants moving a little and the sun rays, moving a little.   This is what it look like in Adobe Animate’s timeline. Again, super simple with only a few keyframes and some tweening.

For the colors, I made a quick search on this website http://www.colourlovers.com/palettes. I wanted soft greens and some orange for the color palette. I love colors. Used well, colors are a very powerful language. I hate saturated primary colors we see in many cartoons and books for children. It’s like eating sugar from the bag itself. :/

I used the smallest of music sample as he’s popping out of the bushes. With no narration or dialogue, I figured it would be a nice touch.





DOWNLOAD the free guide “Is my drawing OK?” to find where to focus your next drawing practice.

PS: If you can’t think of how to simplify a project or aren’t sure exactly how to plan one, leave a comment below and I’ll help you out!

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