Using Morphing to Grow a Plant

Toon Boom Animate Pro is a multi-tasking software allowing you to animate, draw, create special effects and even... grow plants! This month, using the Morphing feature, you will learn how to create an animation of a growing flower from germination to full bloom.

Getting the Sample Material Required

To perform this exercise, you will need to download the following sample material provided with this article.

Downloads: Sample Material (ZIP)

The sample material package is composed of two Digital Pro scenes:

  • growing_plants_undone
  • growing_plants_completed

Use the growing_plants_undone scene to practice placing the hint points and creating the morphing sequences.
Use the growing_plants_completed scene as a reference to complete the undone sample scene or to create your own growing plant.

Creating the Artwork

The first step in this exercise is to create your artwork. If you are using the undone sample scene, your artwork is already created and you can move on to the following step.

The plant will be created in several layers because it is easier to morph simpler shapes.

  1. Before creating the layers, you must decide how many pieces you need to create your morphing. Some parts, such as the flower itself, can be divided as two or three pieces to keep it simpler and also allow different timing and velocity.
  2. Each part will be drawn on a different layer that you will create in the Timeline view.
  3. Once your layers are created, you will draw your fully grown plant.
  4. Extend each drawing until the last frame.

Preparing the Artwork for the Morphing Sequences

Most of the parts of the plant will be animated using several morphing sequence. This animation is too advanced to be created only by a single source and destination drawing. You will need to create one or two in-betweens to indicate to the system how you want to animate the growth. It will also allow you to play with the velocity more efficiently.

  1. To create the in-between, you will need to create extra drawings using the Duplicate Drawings option on the frame where you want to add an in-between.
  2. In the newly created drawing, erase a part of the drawing making sure that the last drawing in the sequence contains the fully grown plant. The first drawing will be empty or contains a very small plant and the last one will be a full bloom.

Creating the Morphing Sequences

You are now ready to create your morphing sequence, set your hint points and adjust the velocity. You must create a morphing sequence between each key drawing on each layer.

  1. First, create your morphing sequences in the Timeline view.
    Make sure you only select the in-betweens, not the key drawings
  2. In the Camera/ Drawing view, set your hint points using mainly the Contour
    and the Appearing hint points. Refer to the growing_plant_completed scene
    to see where the hint points are placed.
  3. Once the hints are in place, in the Morphing view, adjust the velocity for each morphing sequence to avoid the animation to be mechanic.

You should now have a beautiful blooming flower!
Click to view demo