How to Animate in Procreate: Create a Cute GIF of a Tea Cup

procreate Mar 19, 2020

How to Animate in Procreate

In today’s tutorial, we’re going to create this animating tea cup.

You can download this demo file for this exercise on my Skillshare class, ‘Animation for Illustrator: Create Easy GIFs in Procreate 5’. Or alternatively, you can draw your own cup of tea!

Step 1: The Set Up

You’ll want to have your teacup, background, and lemons in a group together. In a group above them, you’ll have your spoon and steam on their own layers.

First let’s turn on the animation assist. Hit the Wrench icon > Canvas tab > and toggle on Animation Assist. 

That will bring up this timeline on the bottom. If we tap the first frame on the timeline, our frame options will appear. I want the tea cup to appear on all frames of this animation, so I’m going to make it background layer. This will make these art layers stay on screen through the entire animation. 


Step 2: Animate the Spoon

First, we’ll animate the spoon stirring in the tea stirring in the tea (or coffee, whatever your thing is!). I'm going to tap on the spoon layer and it will bring up a side menu.

From here, I want to choose mask.

Masking is basically an eraser but waaaaay better! Because you can change your mind at any time and bring back the parts you erased. Think of masks like windows: if you want it dark in a room you put black curtains on. And if you want light to filter and you use sheer white curtains. Likewise, with masking black paint will hide things and white paint will reveal it. 

Make sure that you are painting on the mask layer and not on your art layer. I can tell the layer mask is selected when it’s a darker blue.

Back to the action: Once I have my spoon where it looks good, I’ll paint black (on the MASK LAYER) where I want the spoon to be dipped into the tea. Pro Tip: Where the spoon meets the tea, try drawing a curved line for a more realistic effect. 

Let’s move on to the next frame of animation. We’ll go back to the timeline, tap the spoon frame and duplicate it. 

And I’ll move the spoon over to the right. You might be wondering, what is that shadow a spoon in the background? That’s called an onion skin. Onion skins are the tracing paper of animation. You can control how see through or transparent the onion skins are by tapping on the Settings button in the timeline.

Here’s a comparison of how the onion skin opacity looks with a low vs full opacity. Depending on the animation, sometimes its useful to very clearly see the frames that came before… and sometimes it’s distracting. 

Let’s duplicate that last frame and move the spoon once more. If I play my animation, it looks super cool! But definitely missing something. We should animate that steam.

Step 3: Animate the Steam

Instead of redrawing each frame of the steam, I’m gonna use a really fun tool called ‘Liquify’. Tap on the middle frame of animation in the timeline and select the layer with the steam.

Now tap the wand icon and choose liquify. 

Hit the button on the lower left, and there’s lots of fun options to play with. For this animation, we’re going to use expand and pinch. 

First, we’ll use expand. Trace along the steam (you may need to increase the size slider), and watch liquify in action! Liquify pushes the steam outwards from wherever you run your pencil! Super cool, right?

Now we'll go to the last frame. Make sure you're selecting the steam layer and not the whole group. Otherwise, it will liquify the entire group (including the spoon). This time let’s try pinch. Trace the steam, making it smaller. 

Now when I play my animation. I have both the steam and the spoon moving. Tada!

More Tips

To learn more about Procreate 5, easy animation tips and tricks, exporting and sharing your animation, check out my new Skillshare class ‘Animation for Illustrators: Create Easy GIFs in Procreate 5’. Thanks for following along and I hope you found it helpful! 

Brooke Glaser is an illustrator and art teacher. Take a peek at her art and daily updates on Instagram or learn more from her on Skillshare.




Powered by Creative Market