Tuesday, September 3, 2013

How To Make A Story App - Step 4

Step 4 - Work on character sketches, Interior sketches, and animations.

If you're new to my blog you might want to scroll down to see my first steps...and keep in mind that I'm making this up as I go - I really don't know what I'm doing but I'm going about this as systematically as possible. I'm using my experience from illustrating children's books to guide my process but apps are a whole new beast so we'll see if this works out. Right now I have the entire app sketched out and am now checking all of my animations to make sure they work and communicate.

The hard part was figuring out what to animate but more importantly what NOT to animate. I really want this app to be able to do more than a book but I don't want to get into full blown animation. I like the idea of page breaks to let the reader fill in the missing visuals with their mind - so not getting caught up in time consuming non-important animation is key to making my self imposed deadline and keeping my sanity.

PLUS! I'm NO animator - This is the first time I'm taking a serious crack at it so I don't want to bite off more than I can chew. The little guy above is my main character and I'll be able to re-use this animation over and over in my story. Of course I still have to paint him so my work isn't finished but you can see that even an old illustrator can learn new tricks - I made a video tutorial on how to prepare this kind of artwork for a story app here.

Alex Sousa is going to show us how to make these kinds of animations work in Kwik in our upcoming class that begins in a few weeks. We still have a handful of slots left for the live class but many are opting for the LITE video recordings of our class.

Check out my first 3 steps:

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Step 5
Step 5.5
Step 6
Step 7
Steps 8 & 9


  1. Hi Will,
    Just wondering, for the full Kwik class, what are the dates & times its being offered? I don't see on your site where its listed. http://schoolofvisualstorytelling.bigcartel.com/product/learn-kwiksher-class-complete


    1. DUH! Sorry, just saw the red 'view course description' button. My bad! I see the details now. Cheers

    2. Ha! - I was just about to share the link - when we get our own site we'll make it easier to use :)

  2. You are off to a great start with animation! It's a lot of fun, right? I'm really excited to try out the programs you suggested and am going to sign up for your Lite version of the Kwik class. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us!

    1. You're welcome Autumn - if you go to the Kwiksher website you can start using the program for free - just go to the buy page and there will be options for the free trial. Good luck!

  3. Hello there! I found your blog via your youtube videos (I was searching for some motivational speeches at the time) and I must say your talent, dedication and advice is a huge inspiration to me. I graduated with a BA in animation about 3 years ago, and have only had one industry job since then, which lasted 6 months. I now just try to improve and get commissions where I can around my full-time job.

    The good thing is, I have never lost my love for creating. I never will either, it would be like losing a part of myself.

    Thanks for inspiring me to continue. :)

    1. Than you Laura! I love sharing what I do and helping with advice - I'm having such a good time with all of this!


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