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Drawing Backgrounds

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Drawing Backgrounds

Hey ya'lls, I've been working on an animated web series and this is my first real stab at animation since college Flash projects. I'm using mostly the Adobe suite. Illustrator, After Effects, anyway, my main issue is dealing with backgrounds. I've spent so much time drawing and re-drawing or throwing out background designs because they just look dumb. I've been watching a lot of old Simpson episodes recently, and I noticed everything is mostly filled in with a solid color, and yet it looks so good to me. Here is a clip for example:  Is there a way to make my background not look so computer-y other than drawing it by hand and using a scanned color copy as the background? I don't know why I keep letting the backgrounds hold me back. I'm just never satisfied. Here's a clip of what I'm working with now: . If anyone has any useful tips on background art, I'd love to hear it. Feel like it's hardly ever a part of the animation conversation.

I'd like to try using .jpg

I'd like to try using .jpg oil paintings as backgrounds and subjects.  Haven't tried it yet.  I'm thinking about getting Moho Pro 12.  First I have to find out if this can be done in the software.  The company that makes Moho does not have a way to ask pre-purchase questions.  That is what brought me here.

I think I answer you in

I think I answer you in another post, but also If you like you could search for Moho or Anime Studio at Youtube and you will find a lot of tutorials, look for the ones about back grounds if you like.

The short answer is yes you can use raterized images as bg a if you like or vectorized art, you could use .psd directly asn import your character or bg as separated layers itself, what you want to achive with you bg can be do it, how easy, thats what depend on you

A philosophy of backgrounds

A philosophy of backgrounds and characters is that the background/layout are there to play second fiddle to the character and emphaszie the character. I like characters with flat colors and darker tone outlines, even good old black outlines to make them stand out. The back ground should be different in texture, painterly, if you will, to help the flat colored character stand out. A problem I have seen since the advent of digital is that there is candy dish of millions of color and artists use all of them, so you get soft characters on soft backgrounds and I personally have trouble seeing what's going on, so there must be some kind of contrast to pronounce the animation. I don't know why Simpsons work so well...maybe becasue everthing has a dark outline so at least bg and character are not competing. A bad example of characters getting lost in bg and competing with the bg would be the last Tom & Jerry series they did in Harmony without outlines in anything.

Have you seen this new app

Have you seen this new app for creating background art?

Try illustrator to create

Try illustrator to create backgrounds as far as real-time background use  video makers to add scan images as background

Animator at