Basic Anime Expressions

Hacks

Probably you have already noticed that anime stories have a specific language of emotions. It is amazing how manga can create so much empathy using just a few simple graphic techniques. Generally speaking, manga is a combination of specific graphic styles that have been elaborated through thousands of years and managed to come up with a range of graphic symbols for expressing facial emotions of manga or anime characters. We have gathered the most basic graphic devices that show character’s emotions. It will help young animators to create better manga animations.

Beads of sweat — embarrassment, nerves, discomfort
Bubbles above head — drunk
Mushroom cloud — sigh of relief
Vertical lines — shocked
Bubble from nose — sleeping
Ghost leaving nose — dead
Pounding vein — angry
Pounding vein — angry
Sparkles — extreme happiness in romantic situations
Scribble cloud — very angry
Chick on head — innocence
Spiral/helix — dizzy
Hair bristling — annoyance, irritation
Hearts — romance, in love

It is quite easy to use these graphic elements to make a character in your animation more emotional. In order to apply this emotions in the CLILK animation, you may prepare your own unique stickers with emotion symbols and then apply them to faces of your characters. On the other hand you can use the ready made facial emotions from CLILK albums. You can also learn about some other techniques of creating a character in CLILK from our previous article.

How to make a comic animation

The comedy focus goes to the very roots of manga, so it has evolved to allow for ever more outrageous ways to present humour. One of the ways to do this is through exaggerating the style and understanding manga’s visual grammar. Here are some tools and techniques that could be helpful in illustrating funny situations and characters without relying on dialogue.

Zombie Gaze

This exaggerated gaze emphasizes the character’s emotional state. Showing the mouth extending beyond the bottom of the face gives the impression of the mouth being open much wider than it ought to be. This is the manga equivalent of the technique used in American cartoons where someone’s jaw stretches downwards to and impossible extent. In the case of manga the visual portrayal is far less literal and plays on the two-dimensional nature of the artwork.

Wobbling Limbs

This technique is to give characters’ arms and legs an almost jelly like quality. This is often used to create the impression of a character dancing or moving in a stupid manner — usually with a blank and blissful expression — suggesting the character is oblivious to what others think of him or her.

Happy Floating Cheeks

Using a similar technique to the mouth dropping off the face, this character has cheeks drawn so that they appear to hover away from the skin – an exaggeration or hyperstylization, indicating a moment of extreme happiness. In CLILK you can animate these cheeks and make them move by manipulating the time of the shot. More information about time manipulation in CLILK you can find in our tutorial article (see step seven).

We hope that this information was helpful and now you will come up with new ideas about how to make your CLILK animations more dynamic and cool. Don’t wait to make a new wonderful animation. Open the editor right now.


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