Fireball Character Flipbook Animation Tutorial

3 stages flipbook animation tutorialDrawing a flipbook animation that involves human movement requires several steps. This fireball character flipbook animation tutorial shows you how to start drawing the skeleton poses, followed by the volume and eventually the flesh.

You can be skip the volume of a human stage provided when you are familiar with human muscle drawing.


Character Flipbook Animation Tutorial - Skeleton Pose

The rationale behind drawing the skeleton first is to serve as a preview of the action.

Take for example a 5 seconds animation which will be played at 25 frames per second (fps). The artist will need to draw 125 frames of drawing.


Without the skeleton animation to act as a preview, any changes along the production will requires a lot of time to redraw. This definitely reduces in production efficiency.

Once the animation is drawn in skeleton, it should be reviewed by the artist and the director.  The checking ensures the animation and motion looks close to the end results.

In this video, I’m going to animate this bovine casting a fireball, similar to the game called Street Fighter.

The bovine will store his energy by his waist and eventually releasing the power in front of him, shooting a fireball outward.

Begin the animation with a neutral pose. This serves as a proportion guide for the character. When in doubt during the animation process, do refer back to the neutral pose to check if the character’s proportion is consistent.

Consistency is very important in human animation. I do not want my character to grow taller or shrink in size unintentionally.


There are two types of animation approach during production. They are the straight ahead method and the pose to pose method.

Straight ahead method, which I’ve applied in my video, is suitable for animation with no planning. The artist draws one frame after another base on their own imagination. However, this method can be very creative. It allows the artist to draw anything that comes to straight into their mind. The results can be surprising and unexpected.


Pose to pose method is suitable for animation that has actions planned or a storyboard to follow. With pose to pose, animation is firstly drawn at all the critical poses.

What pose is considered critical?

That is when actions changes in directions or when inbetween poses are ambiguous.

Pose to pose lowers the risk of re-drawing in production. These key poses serve as another confirmation step before continuing the rest of the inbetween frames of the animation.

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Animation that involves human should include more details in force and gravity. This improves the animation to look realistic or semi-realistic.

Even if the character or cartoon is not meant to be realistic, adding in elements of realism would make the animation more interesting.

The center of gravity (CG) is usually a must-have for a human animation. Make sure that when the character is moving, it stays and looks balance on the ground.

Small details such as pushing and pulling could make use of character’s weight to add a force in these action.


For this video, the bovine shifts his CG backward to look as if he is storing power. He then pushes forward his CG forward while punching a fireball out.


Character Flipbook Animation Tutorial - Volume & Proportion


Character Flipbook Animation Tutorial - Inking & Finishing


You can also consider other types of animation such as using 3D software to create realistic videos!

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