Making a human character in Creatoon is easy when you know what you’re doing. This article covers the basics for cartoon making beginners.
What body parts will I have to make?
The most common human setup will require the following parts:
- upper arms
- lower arms
- hands (either a wrist and palm with multiple joints per finger or several complete wrist and hand combos in different poses)
- upper legs
- lower legs with ankles
- eyelids closing from top
- eyelids closing from top and bottom
- eyelids fully closed
- mouths for the different phonemes (Sounds the human mouth makes will cause the mouth to make different shapes, such as the tongue going to the back of the upper teeth for the “L” sound. There are 10 basic phonemes.)
The more body parts you create, the more your computer will have to process, but the more emotion you can give your character. Eyebrows and eyelids are almost a must because they give a character so much emotion, but glasses and a mustache could be drawn as part of the head to save you computing power, if you don’t need them to move.
What software do I need to make the characters?
Every body part on the list will need to be created as a “.png” file. Not all art programs will let you do this, but there are great FREE programs that will, and they’re even comparable to Adobe ® Photoshop ® (which can, of course create .png) in most aspects. Inkscape (does transparent pdf’s, but not png’s) and Paint.NET are two programs I used before I switched to Adobe ® Photoshop ®.
How do I make the Body parts?
A .png file is a picture file with a transparent background, where most other pictures you create will have a white background, preventing you from overlapping body parts.
Here are some samples from a character I created.
Head with eyebrows:
Blue shirt upper arm
Blue shirt lower arm
Pants (this character didn’t need to walk with detail, bending at the knees)
Wrist with palm of hand
Finger (The finger gets repeated for each of the 8 fingers and 2 thumbs. You don’t need to draw all 10. You can resize them in your cartoon with the translational tool.)
In the next lesson I’ll show you how to do the mouth and blinking eyes.