An animated cartoon uses drawings to create a moving film that features a story, plot and characters. Even men from the Paleolithic era attempted to capture motion into a drawing by adding more than four legs to animals. There are many types of cartoons, but they are all included into the traditional animation category.
The silent era started with the first animation created by science teacher Charles-Émile Reynaud, the Praxinoscope in 1877. In 1892 his film Pauvre Pierrot, the first one to use perforations, was projected at The Grevin Museum. Charles drew his cartoons on a transparent strip, instead of photographing them. The screening became very popular by 1900 and many artists emerged, like Winsor McCay with the first animated cartoon, Gertie the Dinosaur (1914).
The first cartoon with a soundtrack was Max Fleischer’s My Old Kentucky Home in 1926, but the sound was not completely synchronized with the image. The first to use a click track was Walt Disney’s Steamboat Willie with Mickey Mouse as the main character. Because of the perfect synchronization, “Mickey Mousing” became the term to describe cartoons accompanied by sound.
Movie cartoons are appreciated by everyone, from children to grown ups. If you want to learn how to make a cartoon starring your favorite character follow these 5 easy steps:
Step 1 – Get inspired
Gather ideas and plan the script of your animated film. If you want to make a cartoon movie that is more basic, have your character walk or jump. You can even draw a moving object like a car of a plane.
Step 2 – Gather materials
You will need a dry erase board or two so you can do multiple scenes without erasing it all the time, a USB camera, a computer and a software like Movie Maker or MonkeyJam to make the cartoon and Video Edit Magic to add music and sound effects.
Step 3 – Set up the workplace
Tape the whiteboard on your working desk so it won’t move and mount the camera in a stable position that you can keep the whole time you make a cartoon animation. If the camera and whiteboard shift you will have a ‘jump’ in your animation. Place the camera one foot above the whiteboard and use a tripod if you have one.
Step 4 – Draw your cartoon
Draw the background and the starting position. Each position must be slightly different than the previous one and the closer they are the more real the cartoon will seem. The drawing doesn’t have to be very detailed and complicate, a simple outline is perfect for your first cartoon. Take pictures of each pose.
Step 5 -Work with a software
Plus the camera into the computer and save all the images in a folder. Import them into the software you are using and bring your cartoon to life. Share it with your friends!