The making of Tabatha Veazie – Animated 2D portrait – part 2

March 10th, 2015

First of all, thanks for all the positive reactions so far! I hope you enjoy the rest of the series. I must warn you though, things are going to get a bit weird.

Other parts: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Today I prepared Tabatha’s texture map, which looks like an assembly box for a freaky paper doll of some kind, which is pretty much exactly what it is!

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With the previous portrait I did, I was able to copy a large amount of animations I had already created, so I tried to do that again this time, unfortunately that didn’t really turn out as planned.

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Just take my word for it, it was the stuff of nightmares, especially with all the animations of the previous portrait still intact.

It would take more time to fix this up then to just start from scratch, so I started with a clean slate!

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After loading the texture in Live2D, the next step is to draw these elaborate webs over every single piece of your image. The way the web is placed is very important as it determines how well you will be able to manipulate the pieces later on. The more elaborate the web, the more control you have over it.

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After that is all done, it’s time to put Tabatha back together. Using a guide image as reference, I again placed every part of the portrait back on the canvas, basically re-creating what I had in my original painting program.

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Almost to the fun stuff, but not quite there yet. In order to manipulate the webs I drew over the parts in more detail, you add deformers to the mix. These are grids that work much like the Transform > Distort function in Photoshop. Again, going over every part you want to animate, adding deformers, linking the texture parts to them and placing them in the right hierarchy.

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Just pull at a point in the deformer and.. tadaa! Angry Tabatha! Sort of. Now, after all this preparation, the real fun can finally start! 

Stay tuned for more!

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