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    May 2007

    Big Tutorial - BTC

    Welcome to the Darkdemon.org "super duper tutorial for everything".
    In this tutorial, I will explain everything you need to know about this forum, along with several other helpful bonuses.

    -Table of Contents-


    1. The Rules
    2. User rankings
    3. The forum sections
    4. Developing a reputation
    5. Download Links
    6. Helpful Threads


    1. Static and Dynamic lines
    2. The size editor and detailed sticks
    3. The fills guide
    4. transparent sticks
    5. Transparent windows - the stickmaker's best friend
    6. Droidz.org standards


    1. Easing, Smoothness, and Physics.
    2. General movements
    3. Effects and beams
    4. Blood
    5. Backgrounds and no onion skin
    6. Developing a style
    7. Animating Ranks




    This section will explain to everyone, all of the main things you need to know to become an active and positive darkdemon member.

    1. The Rules:

    Before you go off posting whatever you feel like, it would be wise to read the rules before you end up moving to banville.

    You can get to the rules by following the link located here.

    Of course, disobeying or not complying with the rules will result in a warning/ban.

    2. User rankings:

    Darkdemon.org consists of several rankings, each with different; or expanded, capabilities.

    i. Members:

    Most of the users on darkdemon.org consist of members. This rank contains the ability to post, and basically just be apart of the site. Members have no ownership rights and do not have the ability to do any moderator options. They do, however, have the right to report someone who they see disobeying the rules. The report thread is located here.

    ii. V.I.P.s (very important persons): colour - light blue

    This group consists of members who have earned or bought the rank. Many members of darkdemon, old or new, have purchased or earned this position. It can be purchased (although occasionally closed) through paypal for a fee of $10.00.
    Contests have been made in the past that give members the VIP rank for a prize. VIP's have the right to change their user ranking picture (located under their avatar), and access the VIP section (not visable to members).

    Members in this group: memberlist.php?mode=group&g=4623

    iii. Forum Helpers: colour - blue

    Forum helpers are special members who had the privaledge to be picked by admins to have this position. Forum helpers have some moderator capabilities and are basically here to (obviously) help out the forum. If you ever have a problem, these guys are a wise choice to go to. This position is earned by being a helpful member, and positive ro-model to the other DD citizens. Darkdemon occasionally opens up a small contest where members can have the chance to become a forum helper (they submit their information and why they should be picked in the topic), members usually need to have a minimum of 600 posts before they can become a forum helper.

    Members in this group: memberlist.php?mode=group&g=3615

    iv. Moderators: colour - green

    Moderators have the ability to do nearly anything on the forum. They can lock, open, and post in closed topics. They can ban members, and do nearly anything you can think of. One thing they cannot do, however, is use the Admin CP; which allows admins to change anything about the site, from new forum sections- to new skins. This position is usually decided by the admins because of the members excellent display of inforcing the rules, and having a positive attitude.

    Members in this group: memberlist.php?mode=group&g=4627

    v. Admins: colour - red

    This position is the as high up as someone can be. On rare occasions, top moderators who are trustful and know how to run a forum may be chosen for this position. They can literally do anything. These members will be able to answer any question you need, however, they may be busy so questions should be kept for moderators. The leader or this group, and the whole site, is Darkdemon.

    Members in this group: memberlist.php?mode=group&g=4628

    3. The forum sections:


    Forum Updates: viewforum.php?f=32

    All the news and updates go here. Be sure to look here regulary to keep up to date with the forum.

    -General Chat-

    Music: viewforum.php?f=5

    Anything music related can go here, this goes from the instruments you play to your favorite music. An awesome place for all of you music lovers =P.

    Entrance Hall: viewforum.php?f=11

    New to the forum? You should go here to introduce yourself to the other members.

    General Talk: viewforum.php?f=23

    Topics that you find important can go here, a great place for users interested in intillectual talk.

    Films/TV/Radio - Whats On: viewforum.php?f=20

    It's in the name . Post topics related to films/tv/ or radio here.

    Spam Pit: viewforum.php?f=56

    Topics that will probably just end up as spam in the general talk should go here, basically post whatever you want here, if it gets locked; it gets locked. <.<

    -Pivot Animation-

    Freestyle Animation: viewforum.php?f=61

    Stuff that you feel isn't worthy for your thread/ made for fun, or if you simply don't like the ranking system; put it here.

    Beginners Hall: viewforum.php?f=2

    If you are of a beginners rank, please post your animation thread here.

    Beginners Hall 2: viewforum.php?f=59

    Beginners hall 1 too cluddered? Put your thread here to get more noticed.

    Intermediate Area: viewforum.php?f=34

    If you are of an intermediate rank, a moderator should move you into this section.

    Pivot Veterans: viewforum.php?f=3

    Members who are of veteran quality, will get moved to this section.

    Elite Zone: viewforum.php?f=53

    The best pivot animators are moved to this section, animators here have mastered nearly all the aspects of pivot animation.

    Pivot Tutorials: viewforum.php?f=36

    Where are you now? =P.
    Come here to learn more about pivot animation.

    Pivot organization: viewforum.php?f=48

    Organise collabs and joints here.

    Competitions: viewforum.php?f=4

    Enter pivot animation competitions here, winners may get prizes .

    Pivot Chat: viewforum.php?f=19

    Talk about anything pivot related, you may also post your .stks here.

    Requests: viewforum.php?f=33

    Request anything pivot related here, you may just get what you need.

    -Flash/ Art Gallery/ Other-

    Flash Showcase: viewforum.php?f=22

    Display your flash animations here.

    Flash Chat: viewforum.php?f=51

    Talk about anything flash related here.

    Art Chat: viewforum.php?f=57

    Discuss about art here.

    Other Program section: viewforum.php?f=21

    Who says you are a pivot animator >:\...
    Post any other animating program animations here.

    Photoshop/ Rendering: viewforum.php?f=13

    Signitures and other photoshop related things should be posted here.

    Artwork/ Photography: viewforum.php?f=62

    Drawings and photo's can be posted here.


    Web Dev/ Programming: viewforum.php?f=55

    Everything about programming and web development can be posted in this section.

    Help Center: viewforum.php?f=24

    Any questions or things you need help with can be asked in this section.

    Debate Area: viewforum.php?f=28

    Fell that you know everything? Prove your understandings here.

    Humor/ Show off: viewforum.php?f=50

    Post funny stuff here.

    Gaming and Computers: viewforum.php?f=10

    Talk about games and computer related topics right here.

    -Trash/ Rubbish-

    Binned: viewforum.php?f=43

    Deleted topics are here.

    4. Developing a Reputation:

    A great reputation is something that everyone wants.. here are a few tips on how to get popular - in positive, or negative ways.


    Be helpful. The newer members look up to people that help them; try to answer every question to the best of your knowledge. Posting is also a huge part in getting a rep, the general chat and spam pit are great places to get to know the other members, and show them who you are as well. Giving people animating CC is one of the best ways to become popular, especially if you give them good comments. If they give you courtesy, chances are they will remember who you are - and even see some of those great animations that you make ;D. Being a good animator is definitely a large role in becoming popular, but if it isn't your thing; the chat sections can still be just as useful.
    Of course, being a rank higher than a member can raise your rep, since you will stand out over the regular members; and also have a coloured name in the "who is online?" section. >.<


    Hey, i'm gonna be honest. You can definitely build up a reputation being a complete ***hole, or simply spamming up the place. This is probably not the best path to follow, as it will most likely result in a ban. And when you are gone, i doubt anyone will remember you.

    5. Download Links:

    Here is a list of some downloads that will help you with this guide, or are simply necessary on Darkdemon.org:

    - Pivot v.2.2.5
    - Pivot v.3 BETA
    - Chaos Crystal

    6. Helpful Threads:

    - The pivot tutorial master list: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=7164

    This thread has links to many of the best pivot tutorials. If you need to learn something specific, this is the place to go.

    - Baha's Pivot Tutorial: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=22662

    Probably the best pivot tutorial there is. Constructed by Baha, this tutorial has everything you will ever need to know about pivot.

    - Fraz and Nev's mini tutorials: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=22459

    These great tutorials contain flashed versions of a lot of common pivot movements/ effects. I definitely recommend this for new users.

    - Forum Updates: viewforum.php?f=32

    Again, this is where all of the updates on the forum occur. Be sure to check here regularily to keep up to date with the forum.

    - Forum Rules: viewtopic.php?f=33&t=27746

    Although mentioned previously, i'll still put this link up; since it is completely manditory to read this before posting on the site.


    1. Static and Dynamic lines:

    The first step to stickmaking is knowing about static and dynamic line segments.

    The button that switches a stick between static and dynamic are here:

    You can also see at the very bottom, it tells you if the stick highlighted (blue stick), is static or dynamic.
    Dynamic sticks are coloured in black, and static are grey.

    Now, what exactly ARE dynamic and static sticks?

    Dynamic sticks:

    These are the sticks which are moveable. The ones with the little red dot on the end..

    These sticks are moveable by moving the red dots located at the end of each dynamic stick.

    Static sticks:

    Static sticks are actually not moveable. When attatched to a stick (dynamic or static), they will not move by themselves. In fact, they stay attatched to the dynamic stick; and only move with the one stick they are attatched to.

    Here are some examples of static sticks:

    This grey sticks highlighted in a red circle, are all static sticks. They themselves are not moveable, but when you move the dynamic stick that they are attatched to, they will move as well.


    That is basically everything about static are dynamic segments.

    2. The size editor, and detailed sticks:

    A great part of the stickmaker is the size editor, you can make the stick size large for filling it sticks and dynamic amr/leg/body joints, or make them small for detailed static sticks.

    The size editor is highlight in red. Up makes size larger, while down makes the size smaller.

    Here's a legend of the other tools:

    Blue - Add line:

    This adds a line segment.

    Grey - Add circle:

    This adds a circle, it is filled in with white.

    Purple - lol, line - circle switcher:

    This switches your lines into circles, or opposite.

    Red - Size editor:
    "" (already explain ^^^^)

    Black - line duplicator:

    This duplicates the highlight segment, you can then add it onto another segment.

    Green - Static/ Dynamic:

    Scroll up to static/ dynamic section for more details.

    Cyan (light blue =P) - Delete:

    This removes the highlight stick.
    ~note: Does not removed the stick if another stick is attatched to it.

    Now that you know the basics of stickmaking, you should try to make a detailed stick.

    First, make you base out of dynamic sticks. Now.. add on static segments onto the joints you wish, you can make horns, clothing, basically anything you want.
    Just try your best, while following these steps, and i promise you'll make an awesome stick.

    3. The fills guide:

    This part of the tutorial will teach you how to colour in your sticks.

    Firstly, make an outline of a stick; it is recommended that you make only one dynamic stick (the one that has the orange dot - the one which you move the whole stick with).


    Now, click edit on this outline.. and fill the inside with static sticks (thick lines are recommended for a faster fill).

    Then add it to the animation, and click the "back" button; located on the left side of the pivot window.
    You can change the colour with the "colour" option which is located near the "back" button.

    ex of finished product:

    EXTRA TIP: To re-edit stick size, go up to options; and then "edit mode" in the stickfigure editor.. be sure to uncheck it if you want to keep your figures the same size.

    4. Transparent Sticks:

    Ever wondered how people make windows/glass in pivot?
    Well, here's the secret.

    First, start off with a line that is dynamic and with a size of "1". Now, make a static line segment with the size of "0" and move it one pixel over, then make another static one with the size of "1", and repeat (without making anymore dynamic, unless you REALLY know what you are doing).

    Here is an example of how the finished product should look like:

    Now, if we put a stick figure behind it.. this outcome will look like this:

    5. Transparent Windows - the stickmakers best friend:

    A transparent window allows you to trace over things that would normally be very difficult to do with the stickfigure creator.

    You can use it to make your window transparent, therefore giving the ability to trace over objects.

    Another great reason for it, is making effects. You can see where the old effect was, and continue it because you can see the window behind the stick maker.

    Transparent windows are absolutely necessary to be a great pivot animator/ stickmaker.

    The best program, in my opinion, for transparent windows is "Chaos Crystal".
    It is a completely free download, and has a small file size.
    To download "Chaos Crystal" go here.

    6. The Droidz.org standards:

    Many people are nice enough to let others use their sticks, the best place to download .stks is http://www.droidz.org.
    One problem is, Jon (the site owner and person who accepts the sticks), has certain standards.

    Here is a link to his standards:



    Note: Before reading this tutorial, i'd suggest going over to Baha's tutorial located in this link: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=22662
    It shows nearly everything you need to know about pivot animation, but if you need further help; you can read the tutorial located below.

    1. Easing, Smoothness, and Physics:

    Some important parts of making a good pivot animation are easing and smoothness. To make an animation look realistic and appeal to others, you will need these aspects. In this section, i will explain what they are; and how to make the best out of them.


    Easing is basically just making sure that your movements appear realistic and exciting, opposed to strange and boring.

    Here is an example of an animation without easing:

    This is completely wrong. It just doesn't look good. In this animation, i spaced all of the movements the same length apart per frame. To make a good animation, you need to change the spacing.

    Here is an example of an animation that uses easing:

    In this animation, this spacing is proper. It should speed up as it's going, heavier spacing makes it seem as though it is going faster; while smaller spacing makes it seem as though it's going slower. You should make the spacing smaller as the object goes to a stop, that is what easing is.
    Oh, and both of those animations were made using the same amount of frames; so easing doesn't take any more time, it just makes the animation look a lot better. Well eased movements make the animation look realistic.


    All beginners want their animations to be smooth, but for some reason; it's always choppy. Why is that?
    Well.. it is because they havn't discored onion skin trailing.
    Onion skin trailing is basically just moving the joints of your stick man towards the last onion skin (onion skins are the grey part shown in the animation after you add a frame, it is just a preview of the last frame).
    Here is what happens when you do NOT use onion skin trailing.


    As you can see, this animation is choppy and to be honest, it looks horrible.

    When you trail the old frame (onion skin), this movements will look noticably (hugely noticable, btw ;D) better.


    To make this, all i did was onion skin trailing. If you download the pivot file; look at ALL of the frames. You may notice that his joints always follow the old frame. This is the "secret" to making smooth animations.

    The pivot file is located here:

    -PIV: http://uploaded.pivothost.org/phantomto ... rmoo49.piv


    Well, i personally don't have a master's degree in physics, but most of this is just common knowledge.
    Look back at the easing part of the tutorial, notice how the steady animation looked bad.. and the one containing "easing" looked good.
    Physics are the exact same thing.

    When a ball bounces, it doesn't do the same movements over and over again. Technically, that would make it bounce forever.
    But when it bounces, it should follow the easing pattern shown further above. Each time the ball bounces, it should go about half as high as the last bounce. It should also start to slow down, or "ease" at the climax of each bounce.

    I feel that the physics section is pretty basic, so if you really need any further help with it; just PM me.

    2. General Movements:

    In this section, i will show you how to animate the basic movements needed to make a great pivot animation.

    Firstly, i will be showing how to walk.

    Walking is one of the most needed parts of an animation, because most of the time someone is doing something; walking is involved.

    Here is a basic walk:

    Yes, this, along with every other movement in pivot; involves onion skin trailing.

    Protip: Always keep the dominent foot (the one he is balancing himself with), in the same spot; to avoid shakyness and sliding. Real people keep that foot still as well, while they are walking.

    Frame 1:

    Well.. Most movements need a good starting pose. I'd suggest making your stickfigure relaxed for a walk. Try to make it so he isn't tense, and doesn't seem to want to fight.

    Frame 2:

    In this frame, i have only slightly changed the stickfigures position.. but it still makes a huge difference in the overall animation. Since he is just starting to walk, it is a small movements. Remember.. every movement starts of and ends slow, and the less spacing there is, the slower it will appear. You can also noticed that his joints on his backleg have moved to trail the onion skin (download piv. file to see that ), as said before, this makes the movements smooth.

    Frame 3:

    In this frame, he is moving a lot further. His back leg is still following the onion skin, but you may have noticed that his arms are not. This is because when you walk, your arms move about the same distance as your legs. If you look closely, i always make his arms parallel to the leg that goes with that arm. His body and head are also moving a little with the onion skin.

    Frame 4:

    He has now moved drastically. His leg i also starting the go down a bit, he is about halfway through the step. His arms are almost as far as necissary. Notice how they are still in line with his lines. The body and head are also still slightly doing onion skin trailing, but not too much, to avoid making him look retarded/ keeping him off balance.

    Frame 5:

    His balancing leg is now coming too a hault, as he will soon be ready to move his next leg; and use it as the balancing leg instead. His arms are now at their climax, they will not go any further back, as it is almost time to move the next leg. His head and body are still slightly following the onion skin, they will always be doing this. His front leg is now coming down nearly all the way, try to keep it a little bent at this frame to keep the movements consistent and not too heavily spaced (too much spacing looks bad and unrealistic).

    Frame 6:

    The first step is nearly complete. His back leg will not really be moving any further, and his arms are starting to come down for a switch (notice that the front arm is bent towards the old onion skin <.<).

    Frame 7:

    I do not really feel the need to explain this frame, as it is just a little ease. Slightly move the joints and straighten out his leg a bit more for this frame, as well as making the arms fall down a bit more.

    For the rest of the walk, just repeat these steps exactly.

    Here is the pivot file so you can see extra details:

    -PIV: http://uploaded.pivothost.org/phantomto ... lkdvob.piv

    Alot of people like doing a walk loop, so it appears as if the stickfigure is walking an infitite amount of times.

    A hint to do this, is just to follow the steps listed above, and when you are done; edit the frames and move the origin (orange dot) in the same spot every frame. This will make his body stay still, and make it appear as if he is walking forever.


    piv file: http://uploaded.pivothost.org/phantomto ... opu9mm.piv

    Now. If a stickfigure wants to catch another stickfigure, or gather up speed.. they would probably start running, instead of walking.

    Here is a small tut on how to do a run loop:

    That will be the style of running that i am teaching. If you need another style, sorry.. this is my personal fav.

    (I will not put the pictures, so for this one; just open up the piv and go along with what i say.)

    Frame 1:

    For the starting frame, you can (technically) use any position of the run you want. But i find it easier to start off the the highest point of his jump first.
    In this position, he will not be going any higher, in the next frame he will start to drop. As you can see, his Knee is up very high, and his leg is straight and far back - along with his arms being straight. His body is also a bit curved.

    Frame 2:

    I chose to double frame the climax of the jump, just to add a bit more easing. If you wish; you can make him go up about one pixel higher, and follow the movements to make it a bit smoother; but this is the easy way out, and shows the basic concept.

    Frame 3:

    In this frame, the stick is about to drop. His leg bends, and his body straightens. His front arm slightly bends into the onion skin, while his back arm bends the same amount as the front. His front leg is starting to straighten out for the landing.

    Note: For loops, always try to keep the head following the onion skin, so the last frame flows with the first frame. Use a transparent window if absolutely necessary.

    Frame 4:

    In this frame, you really can notice his arms starting to bend. His front arm bends into the onion skin, while his back arm lowers and bends the same amount as the front arm. His back leg is really starting to bend now (onion skin trailing), and his front leg is almost completely straight.

    Frame 5:

    His leg has now touched the ground, and is perfectly straight. His back leg has bent dramatically, and is starting to move forward. His arms are also bending a lot more.

    Frame 6:

    His front leg moves back to show that he is moving forward. His back leg has started to pass through the front leg to become the new front leg, and is following the old onion skin precisely. His arms are now met at the same spot, and bent at about a 90 degree angle.

    Frame 7:

    He has now jumped. His front leg has now becomed his back leg, and opposite. His newly gained back leg is now straight while his new front leg is bent infront of him. His arms have now switched and are moving upwards and starting to unbend.
    His body is also starting to curve a bit (a LITTLE bit).

    Frame 8:

    He is now up into the air quite a bit. Both of his arms have straightened out and his back leg moves about a pixel backwards. His front leg has moved up slightly, and his body has curved a little bit.

    TIP: Try not to curve his body in this frame, as much as in the first frame.

    And that is a basic run.

    Here is the pivot file:


    Now that you have actually moving the stick down, it's time to learn another common movement.


    Jumping, in my opinion, is used more often than any other movement in most animations.
    A lot of people tend to over-do the jump, though. For example, right now.. i want you to jump up in to the air. I bet you didn't even go a foot off the ground. A lot of animators actually make their sticks go 10 feet, sometimes hundreds (lol) of feet into the air.

    I'm going to teach you how to do a realistic jump.

    Your final outcome should look something like this:

    Here we go..

    Frame 1:

    In this frame, you should just get a nice standing pose. Somewhat like this:

    Frame 2:

    This stick is now starting to bend his legs. The movements on the second frame should not be overly stressed. his arms and body should also bend, and be sure to use onion skin trailing.

    tip: keep his feet in the same position the whole time before jumping.

    Frame 3:

    You should now bend his legs a lot. His body should also bend quite a bit, as well as his arms (all the while using onion skin trailing).

    Frame 4:

    Now, his movements are starting to ease. Basically just follow the same movement patterns, but don't space them as much.

    Frame 5:

    This is the last frame of easing that i made (you may make one more if you wish, as people state that i do not ease enough =P). Just follow the same pattern, but only move him very slightly.

    Frame 6:

    He is now moving up, and getting ready to jump into the air. Make his legs straighter and make his arms follow the onion skin. Make his body a bit straighter as well.

    Reminder: You better still have his feet in the same spot >:O.

    Frame 7:

    Make him on his tippy toes (try to keep the tip of his toes on the same place where they were in the last frame), and straighten out his legs. Move him a bit forward, and straighten out his body. Remember to keep following the onion skin with his arms.

    Frame 8:

    Move him more forward and straighten out his toes. He should be a significant distance off the ground right now. Keep everything in line with the old onion skin (but move the legs a bit more forward than the onion skin, for landing purposes).

    - I dont feel a pic is necessary for the rest of the frames, just read; and follow along with the piv. file located below the jump tut.

    Frame 9:

    Make him move a bit higher and a bit forward, and trail all of the onion skin movements (except for the legs, again; move them a little bit forward).

    Frame 10:

    You should now start the drop. Lower him a bit, and follow all of the onion skin trails. bend his arms and knees a bit.

    Frame 11:

    Make him land. Bend his legs a little bit, appropriate to the height of the jump (the higher the jump, the more his legs should bend on landing).

    The rest of the frames is just easing the land and making him get back up, just watch the beginning where he charges for the jump for details on that.

    Here is the pivot for the people who need it:

    -PIV: http://uploaded.pivothost.org/phantomto ... mpwe8z.piv

    K. Now that you know some of the basics, you probably want to start fighting, amirite? Yes, i am right ;D.

    I personally find kicking a lot easier than punching, so i'm going to start with that.

    Here is what the kick should look like after you are finished:


    Frame 1:

    You should start off with a nice, relaxed, basic pose. For kicking, i'd suggest spacing the legs out a bit.

    Frame 2:

    In this frame, start to move the arms back; this is just to add more movement and make the animation seem a bit less dull - if you watched the outcome, you'll see why. Bend his back leg back a tiny bit, this is the leg that is going to execute the kick. Move his front leg a bit back and bend it a TINY bit, move the whole stick forward and make sure that his front foot always stays in the same place. You should also start to move the body a little bit back into the onion skin.


    Frame 3:

    Start to bend his front leg (this is so he can have some power for his "jump" kick) and move it a bit further back (remember to keep his foot in the same spot!), bend his back leg more (while trailing the onion skin). Bend his body further back into the onion skin and move his arms a bit back.

    Frame 4:

    Repeat the bending of the front leg, and bend his back leg while still following the onion skin. You should really be noticing his body bending back by now, and start to bend his arms forward and bring them forward a tiny bit.

    Frame 5:

    Slightly continue to bend his front leg again, this is just a small ease as he is getting ready to spring up. Bend his back leg and move it forward a bit more, it should now be a little past the old front leg. Continue to move his body back, and move his arms forward (they should be meeting his body) and bend them a little forward as well.

    Frame 6:

    The action is about to start. Start to straighten out the balancing leg and remember to keep his foot placement steady. Move his kicking leg up a lot and bend it so that it follows the old onion trail. His arms should be moved forwards and bent a bit, as well as his body bending back a little.

    Frame 7:

    Now the kick has happened. Make his kicking leg fully straight, as well as his balancing leg. The balancing leg should now be off the ground, while still following the onion trail. His body should be bent back substantially and his arms should be greatly bent and moved forward.

    Frame 8:

    Not much is really happening for the rest of the kick. But every little bit matters, right?
    Right. He should be moved up a bit higher, and his back leg should be moved towards the old onion skin. His back should also be bending back more still, and his arms should be almost (if not, then, WILL BE.) touching his head, and bent more. His actual kicking leg should be moved up a tiny bit more - and try to make sure it's straight.

    Frame 9:

    This is the final ease of the kick, he will not be going any higher up in this frame. Move the leg a bit higher (about 1-2 pixels), and keep his back leg in the onion trail. His back should also be bending a LITTLE bit back, and his arms should go up to the point that they are definitely touching his head.

    Frame 10:

    In this frame, he should start to go down; very slightly. Make his arms start to go down, as well as starting to straighten his body. Slightly bend his kicking leg (and follow the onion skin for foot/ leg placement, etc.), and start to bend his back leg whilst still trailing the onion skin.

    Frame 11:

    The rest is just simple, so i will explain rather than put pics (use the piv. file for more details).
    kk.. so. Straighten out his kicking leg and move it a bit down, and move his whole body down. Make his arms start to go away from the head and straighten out a bit, and straighten out his body almost completely. Make his foot touch the ground, and bend his new balancing leg a bit. Do all of this while trailing the onion skin.

    Frame 12:

    Actually start to bend his body a slight bit, again, and make his arms go down and straighten out more. bend back his balancing leg quite a bit (make sure his foot stays in the same spot), and make his front leg almost touch the ground (while still being straight).

    Frame 13:

    Now make his kicking leg touch the ground fully, it should be completely straight. Make his back leg bend downwards more, and bend his body. His arms should be a be more down and straightened out.

    Frame 14:

    The final frame.
    He should now be easing his front and back leg (only move them into the onion skin a little bit), and make sure you bend his body a little bit. His arms should be lowered and straightened, as well.

    YAY. Now you know one of the first steps to fighting, a generic kick.

    Here is the piv. file for more studying:

    -PIV: http://uploaded.pivothost.org/phantomto ... ick3dn.piv

    Fighting shouldn't always consist of kicking, though. In fact, punching is a lot more common in an actual fight (partially due to lack of kicking experience in the fighters, haha.).

    So, i present you.. a punching tutorial!

    Well, punching comes in many different ways. I am going to show you how to do the following:

    -A weak punch
    -A strong punch
    -And a strong punch with details.

    We'll start with the weak punch.

    Weak Punch:

    The ending result should look like this:

    Here is this PIV. file for more detail:

    http://uploaded.pivothost.org/phantomto ... chtb60.piv

    I will not show images for this one, just follow along with the piv file.

    Frame 1:

    Firstly, you should get a nice starting pose. This is essential for every move in pivot, because you want to have a nice template to work with.

    Frame 2:

    In this frame, you should start to slide the back foot back, and slightly move the front arm back (bend it into the onion skin),
    You should also move his front foot back, and move his whole body back into the onion skin (basically just keep the front foot placement steady). Move his right arm the opposite way as the front arm was moved, and bend his body a bit down.

    Frame 3:

    Just continue doing what you did in frame 2, except with heavier spacing.

    Frame 4:

    Keep doing what you are already doing, but now the spacing has jumped rapidly.

    Frame 5:

    Now keep his back foot place ment steady, as well as the front foot, and bend it down a bit instead of moving it back. This frame should only be moved a bit as it is just easing.

    Frame 6:

    Repeat frame 5, except ease it even more. Most of these movements will only be moved 1-3 pixels.

    Frame 7:

    Ease it even more, the movements should really only be 1-2 pixels now (just make sure it's equal to, or less than frame 6's spacing).

    Frame 8:

    Start to move him forward slightly. Make his front leg bend a bit and his back leg start to straighten, make sure all of the foot placement is still steady. Move his front arm down a bit (just keep following the onion skin for smoothness), and drastically move his back arm forward, he's about to punch. You should also start to straighten out his body.

    Frame 9:

    His body and back leg should be completely straight, and his front leg should be bent quite a bit. Make his ex-right arm completly straight on the left side, and make his other arm almost straight down (give it a small curve, and remember to follow the onion trail).

    Frame 10:

    Move his toe joint on the right leg up, so that he is standing on his heel, and bend his front leg a bit more. His Punching arm should go a little bit higher, and his body should be curving a bit on the other side. His other arm should now be on the right side, and bent in the appropriate direction of the onion skin.

    Frame 11:

    Repeat the last frame, this is just an easing frame. Ease all of the movements in the same way you did for frame 10 except with smaller spacing, and make his punching arm fit into the onion skin.

    Frame 12:

    This is the final frame. Just ease the body, legs, and head appropriatly and make his punching arm start to follow (bend it into the onion skin). His right arm should start to drop (while still following the onion skin).

    And that is a weak punch. As you can notice, it doesn't have much force put into it. In the next part, you will see how to put more force into your punching.

    Strong Punch:

    Well, not too much to say about this. It's pretty much the same as the weak punch, except with heavier spacing, and more easing. I also added a part after the punch to make it come to a hault. You could do this, OR you could continue with a combo, with i will show you later in the tutorial.

    For those of you who still need help with the hard punch.. here's the piv:

    http://uploaded.pivothost.org/phantomto ... ch82bs.piv

    This next part of the tutorial is actually just help with adding even more force with the punch. For example.. watch what happens with i add a tremor onto the punch:

    It adds a bit more force to the punch, don't you think? All you do, is (preferably after you're finished) make the stick and background go up a little bit for the frame where the attack is executed. It definitely adds some power to the hits.

    Another effect that adds power is a screen flash. Just make frame completely black for the hit where the stick executes the attack, and it will add some power to the attack. Here's an example:

    Hmm, now that you know how to punch and kick, you should be able to put them into a combo. Here is an example of a combo:

    As you can see, i edited the "weak"punch animation. I edited the foot placement a bit, and actually turn it into a behind kick, then after that, i made another kick (similar to the one shown in the kick tut).

    Chaining combo's is basically all about making the last frame of your move, suit the first frame for the next. For example, i turned the backwards kick into a frame that could easily of been a kick on it's own. That's what the basic posing is for. You need to learn some poses, that can easily go into a new move. Combos are essential for making a nice fight, and i hope you try to chain most of your movements.

    -PIV for the combo: http://uploaded.pivothost.org/phantomto ... botaqp.piv

    Well, you know how to execute punches, and kicking.. and even turning them into a nice chain. But wouldn't they look silly just using moves on nothing? The answer is "yes", by the way.

    The next part of my "basic movements" section is Reactions.

    What are "Reactions"? Well, they are simply the movement that another stickfigure makes when being attacked. You do not want them to be stiff and weird, while the attackers moves are amazing. It really just takes away from the whole animation. So, i'll show you how to do a couple reactions.

    Here is a weak reaction:

    Well, the rock is small, and probably isn't TOO heavy. So it wouldn't have a huge effect on the stickfigures body.
    However, even a small reaction takes time. In fact, it probably takes longer than a strong reaction.

    Firstly, as always, find a nice basic pose.

    When the rock hit's our little friend, he moves just a little.
    On the next frame, the rest of the reaction continues. Move his body back and his arms forward, along with his leg.
    The next frame is a bit more complicated. Now, the leg should start to bend up (this isn't really necessary, but it adds more movement to the stickfigure). Just keep following the same pattern for the upper body.
    The next couple frames are basically just repeating that, but easing it a little further each frame.
    Afterwards, he needs to come back. Make the leg start to slowely go down, and make his body start to come back to it's normal position.
    The arms should start to go behind him, it just adds a little bit more force and excitement. The body should eventually go a bit forward, to further exagerate the reaction, and the leg should go back to it's original state. But, after all of this, our little friend seems to be okay; and everything is back to normal.. in a nice basic pose. =P.

    If that was difficult to follow, you can also use the PIV. file.. located here:

    http://uploaded.pivothost.org/phantomto ... ondrqp.piv

    Next we have a strong reaction. I personally find these easier than the small reactions because you can put some style and sloppyness into these, and get away with it. The force should be astounding, leaving your stickfigure in no shape to fight D:.

    Here it is:

    Now that looks painful.

    Note: I double framed the first few frames so you could actually get a glimpse of the object going towards him.

    Frame 1: As always, get a nice basic pose.

    Frame 2: Show the object that is about this hit the stickfigure.

    -Recommendation for higher quality: Move the stickfigure slightly on frames where he would normally be doing nothing shows more realism, as people are never standing perfectly still.

    Frame 3: The object should be hitting him. But remember, since this is a heavy object, the stickfigure will not stop much of the force. Do not slow down the heavy object much. Move the stick figure's body and head back to the point of where the heavy object is. The stickfigures whole body should be having an effect on this frame.. his legs and arms should be starting to come out; and you could maybe lift him a bit off the ground.


    Frame 4:

    As i stated before, the object should only be slightly slowed down, so keep moving it further.. just not quite as much as before. In this reaction, the hit was so powerful that it has knocked the stickman off balance; his body is going to do a backflip. Move all of his joints towards the onion skin trail.
    Oh, and for an added effect.. i put another stickfigure (light grey) over the old onion skin, to show more speed.

    tip: a great speed effect is putting a new stick over the old onion skin.


    Frame 5:

    The rock (or other heavy object) should be slowing down now; but- enough of that, we need to concentrate on the reaction.
    In this frame, i've made the stick figure's head touch the ground, while the rest of his body is trailing the onion skin.
    - No grey stick over the onion skin is needed now, as the stickfigure is starting to slow down.


    Frame 6:

    The legs should now be starting to come down, and the force was so intense; that they will soon propel the body back up into the air. As you can see, his body/ head is starting to come off the ground; his hands are also tocuhing the ground in this frame.

    Frame 7:

    The body is now coming off the ground; the force was actually so strong that he is starting to go for another backflip.. unfortunately the hit wasn't THAT powerful.. he will stop going up in later frames. His legs are also (whilst still following the onion skin) coming to a stop.

    Frame 8:

    This frame is a bit more difficult to understand. At this moment, his legs are getting ready to hold the stick up on his knees, but they still aren't quite there. His body is also going up further, and seem to be getting push by his arms.


    Frame 9:

    His knees are now fully on the ground, and you can see that his body is getting ready to flip over. But common knowledge shows that the force of his body going up is too slow, therefore he will eventually start to come back down.


    Frame 10:

    His knees are now completely on the ground, and his body is starting to ease. As you can see, the rock is put behind his legs, instead of infront of them. Being infront of the stick would complicate it, making it seem as if they are squishing his legs (which would only complicate the animation), while putting it behind.. kind of simulates a 3-d effect in a 2-d environment.


    Frame 11:

    In this frame, his legs are starting to go down.. and his body is on the final ease.
    Just follow the onion skin for this frame, it's kind of just an easing frame.

    Frame 12:

    In this frame, i actually just double framed the previous frame. This can further show easing, as not much movement is going on anyway; but if you want smoother results.. you can just make a slight ease in the same direction as it is going in the previous frame. The ease should only be about 1-2 pixels, though.

    Frame 13:

    His whole body is really starting to fall down now, his arms are bending towards the onion skin. His legs are also starting to pop out because of the force.


    Frame 14 - End:

    These final frames are just the stickfigure coming down to an end. He is out now, pretty much not getting up.
    Just use your imagination for these frames, as they are just bouncing and small movements.
    However, the piv. is located below if you still need help.

    -PIV: http://uploaded.pivothost.org/phantomto ... ion45g.piv

    Note: If you're still having problems with reactions, i'd suggest going to the following link:
    It's a flashed reaction tutorial by Fraz and Nev, and it's an amazing tut that has always helped me.

    Now you know most of the basic movements necessary for making a fight. But sometimes, you may want more than just a fight. This next section will show some helpful tips on how to make any movement you wish, and even how to prevent a failed animation.

    K. Well, to get the most realistic movements.. it would probably be best to use movements that are taken out of a reall life scenario, right? So.

    Whenever you are stuck on a movement in pivot, the best thing to do would be actually doing the movement yourself, in real life.
    For example, say you are stuck on how to make your stick figure get up from being back straight on the ground. The best solution would be to do it yourself, and study those movements.. just tyr to re-create it onto pivot. Now.. i know most of you can't do a kick up to your nose, or do a double front flip.. but you get the point =P.

    Note: Most bases aren't "realistically" sized, in this case, just try to estimate the movements.. i'm sure you can do it.

    The movement you have made on pivot may not look too great, problem? Real life isn't perfectly smooth either. To make it look even better, just try to follow the onion skin trailing, while still maintaining the general movement.

    This next animation is showing how you can make a movement on pivot, with the knowledge that you have by reading the tutorial so far.

    You may be thinking, carthweels and front flips are difficult. But try them out! All the cartwheel is, is moving the stick figure forward, and following the onion skin trail the whole time. You'd be surprised at how many new things you can animate with the onion skin trailing technique.
    And the front flip? Just bend down like i showed you in the jump animation, except a lot more. The jumping force should be equivalent to the length that the stick has bent his legs. Now go for the jump, exactly like i said in the jump tutorial, but at the top of the ease, curve his body. And basically just trail the onion skin from there.
    I also made the stickfigure fall, why is this? I messed up. That's why.

    If you ever find yourself in a situation, where you put a lot of effort into the movement, and then you cannot end it; because of the position the stick is in... Just wing it.
    In my example, i didn't make the stickfigure go up high enough. Therefore, he couldn't land in time. What happens in real life if someone doesn't land on their feet after a flip? They get hurt. There's nothing wrong with owning you stick.. and if he is the main character; you can always make him come back up. No one is perfect, so i'm sure your "hero" stickfigure should have his ups, and his downs =P.

    I hope that cleared up a bit on making your own movements, here's the pivot file for more details on a cartwheel, front flip, and fall:

    -PIV: http://uploaded.pivothost.org/phantomto ... on8jqp.piv

    3. Effects and Beams:

    Another huge part of pivot, are effects.

    The first effect i'd like to go over are motion blurs. It sort of gives a matrix-type feel to the animation. They're really great to add a slow-mo effect.

    That is an example of a motion blur.

    All it is, is going over the old frame with a colour one shade behind it (i used the 3 shades of grey that can be displayed on gifs, in the example).

    So basically, put the shade behind each colour - on the onion skin of the next frame.
    For example.. If you are on frame 4, there will be 4 shades displayed..

    black - the main stick
    dark grey - the onion skin behind black
    grey - the onion skin behind dark grey
    light grey- the onion skin behind grey

    After that, you can make the final onion skin disapear.

    If this is hard to follow, use the pivot file located below as an extra example.

    -PIV: http://uploaded.pivothost.org/phantomto ... rszfj9.piv

    You can also use this effect on stickfigure movements. If the stick is moving constantly, the effect turns out quite nicely.


    -PIV: http://uploaded.pivothost.org/phantomto ... _e67e2.piv

    The next effect i will go over, is double framing.

    This effect is used for making a simple slo-mo effect. Some people would rather watch smaller spaced frames for slo-mo, but i personally prefer double framing.. and it's a lot less complicated.

    Double framing is just making two of each frame, this makes the animation display 2x slower.

    example of kick without double framing:


    example of kick with double framing:


    The next effect i will be teaching is fading.

    There are several different types of fading, and i will teach you how to do a few.

    i.Colour fading:

    This example will involve turning a black stick into white smoothly, within a series of frames.


    Frame 1: make a black stick
    Frame 2: I chose to keep it black to show the initial colour
    Frame 3: Make the stick dark grey
    Frame 4: Make the stick grey
    Frame 5: make the stick light grey
    Frame 6: Make the stick white/delete the stick.

    And that is how you create a black to white fade.

    -PIV: http://uploaded.pivothost.org/phantomto ... dez1vi.piv

    This fade is not limited only from black to white, but can consist of any colour.


    Frame 1: Make a very dark blue stick
    Frame 2: Make a dark blue stick
    Frame 3: Make a blue stick
    Frame 4: Make a light blue stick
    Frame 5: Make a white stick/ delete the stick.

    This fade is very useful, and probably the best of all the fades.

    ii. Transparent stick fading:

    This type of fade can be used to turn any frame from it's original state, to pure black.

    Materials needed:

    You will need a giant black stick, to fill the entire screen..
    I'm sure you can make that on your own.

    You will need a transparent stick. The download is located here:

    [url=http://www.droidz.org/resources/grab.php?file=transparency_super.stk]Transparent Stick DL[/urk]

    -Credits to Jon for the stick.-

    Here is an example of what the fade will look like:

    Frame 1: Make the screen completely black using the giant black fill stick.
    Frame 2: Use the transparent sticks to cover the screen vertically entirely (delete the giant black stick).
    Frame 3: Delete all of the transparent sticks.
    Frame 4 to Whatever: You animation, animate your heart out ;D.
    2nd last Frame: Transparent sticks should cover the screen vertically, again.
    Last Frame: Giant black stick should cover the screen.

    I do not feel the need to post the piv. file for this one.

    iii. Longer Transparent fading:

    Materials needed:

    Same as in the transparent fade.


    See a difference? ...
    Well. You should.
    This time, the fade has been stretched to a longer period of time. This fade is probably more effective and should be used for a more slow and serious animation.


    well, i'll show you.

    Frame 1: Make the screen completely black.
    Frame 2: Make the transparent sticks cover the screen vertically, as before. But this time.. Make them cover horizontally as well.
    Frame 3: Delete the horizontal transparent sticks.
    Frame 4: Delete all transparent sticks.
    Frame 5 to Whatever: *insert animation here*
    3rd last frame: Cover the screen with vertically transparent sticks.
    2nd last frame: Keep the vertical transparent sticks, and add horizontal transparent sticks as well.
    Last frame: Make the screen completely black.

    Here is the piv. file for more details:

    -PIV: http://uploaded.pivothost.org/phantomto ... deakgu.piv

    The next effect i will demonstrate is an explosion. Well, explosions can be done in countless ways, but the one i am included has numerous styles built into one.
    It's actually pretty complicated, but try to follow along to the best of your abilities.

    Here is the final product:

    The PIV is located right here:
    http://uploaded.pivothost.org/phantomto ... nsmcct.piv

    Please use it to follow along.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Re: Big Tutorial - BTC

    this should get sticky'd and master list
    ActionBastard's thread of action

  3. #3
    Veteran Enthusiast Nour's Avatar

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    Mar 2008
    Orlando, FL

    Re: Big Tutorial - BTC

    damn what a tut.
    STICKY THIS NOW.helped on the combos and reactions alot.


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  4. #4
    Japanologist Wilio's Avatar

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    Dec 2005
    Somewhere in time

    Re: Big Tutorial - BTC

    Holy shit, massive content!
    Good work and well structured.

  5. #5

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    Jul 2007
    Corby, England.

    Re: Big Tutorial - BTC

    Well, I can see why this won the competition. The amount of effort put into this is amazing, and it is all laid out correctly. Good job on this, you've went into the depths of everything here. Also, congrats on the VIP prize, you deserved it.

  6. #6
    Nev is offline
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    Re: Big Tutorial - BTC

    Gratz on winning the competition.

    Added to master list

  7. #7
    Insanity Skype's Avatar

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    Apr 2007

    Re: Big Tutorial - BTC

    that was fucking insane, it even helped me with my exploshuns <3

  8. #8
    Fanatic Enthusiast

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    Re: Big Tutorial - BTC

    My personal opinion, I love this tut, I think that all the new starters to the forum should be massively advised to come and read this, so that theye understand hwo the forum works.

    A massive congrats to you for make such an epic tutorial.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Canada :D

    Re: Big Tutorial - BTC

    I Think the first part about the forum should be maybe added to the forum Guidebook in the Entrance Hall. This would be great for new members.
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  10. #10

    Re: Big Tutorial - BTC

    This is so good!
    Im new to DD and this is the first help ive looked at...
    Ive added it to my favorites

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