How illustrator Noel Yu turned her web comics into animations using Cartoon Animator 5

Want to transform your illustrations into cartoons without needing to learn complex animation software? As Hong Kong artist Noel Yu recently discovered, Cartoon Animator 5 from Reallusion makes it easy as pie.

For Hong Kong-based illustrator Noel Yu, bringing her original cartoon characters to life through animation was a dream that seemed out of reach – until she discovered Cartoon Animator 5 from Reallusion. Within just a week of using the user-friendly software, Yu was crafting successful animations and seamlessly translating her comics into animated scenes.

Yu's journey into 2D animation started from humble beginnings as a complete novice. She never imagined she could single-handedly complete an animation project.

But Cartoon Animator 5 changed all that, providing Yu with the tools and intuitive interface to realise her animation dreams at her own pace without having to invest a huge amount of time into manual, frame-by-frame animation.

We chatted with Noel to learn more about her creative journey and how Cartoon Animator 5 helped her take it to the next level.

From novels to comics

Noel has been posting her comic on Line Webtoon since around July 2022, she tells us. "The reason I started webcomics was that I wanted more people to know about my original IP characters," she explains. "At the time, I was writing a web novel based on them. I soon realised that comics seemed more attractive to readers and could reach a wider audience, so I drew the comics in the form of a side story."

She was a big fan of the art form herself. "Since I was a little kid, I've always enjoyed watching comics," she recalls. "I prefer funny and humorous themes to serious ones. That's why I like to include a lot of light and funny scenes in both my novel and comics."

Although she can draw a variety of styles, she ultimately chose to focus on panel manga and Chibi characters for reasons of time and efficiency. "Before I started drawing, I also looked at the presentation styles of other Line Webtoon authors to see if readers would accept this type of ultra-short storytelling," she adds.

From stills to animations

Once she'd established her web comics, Noel then thought about turning them to animations. "It's every author's dream to make their characters move," she notes. "Plus it meant I'd be able to share it on my YouTube channel and further expand my audience."

Her early attempts, though, proved challenging, to say the least. "I used the animation function of Clip Studio Paint EX, but it took too much time to draw frame-by-frame animation," she explains. "I only managed to finish the first few seconds of the one-minute animation before I gave up."

But while she'd given up on the software, she didn't give up on the idea itself. She continued to look for other animation tools on the internet and eventually discovered Cartoon Animator in a 'best of' web article.

Caption: Easily import PSD characters into Cartoon Animator

Caption: Easily import PSD characters into Cartoon Animator

Quick start

At that time, Cartoon Animator 5 had just been launched in the market, and a bundle of tutorials were included with the purchase. She quickly got to grips with its features, and within a week, she'd started making her first animations. "My computer skills are not particularly good, and I've never been involved in creating animation before," she says. "I just took my time, with a passion to learn, and eventually I got there."

In making her animations, Noel made good use of Motion Pilot, a new addition in CTA 5.2 which speeds up keyframe management significantly. This feature streamlines the motion setup process by simplifying tasks such as amplification, reduction and rotation, thus saving considerable time and effort in designing minor motions for scene elements.

For full details of how Noel seamlessly translated her webtoon comics into dynamic motion, watch the video above, or read this in-depth walkthrough.

Great for newbies

Overall, Yu gives immense credit to Cartoon Animator 5 for simplifying what had once been an intimidating process.

"I highly recommend CT5 to beginners who are new to animation," she enthuses. "In fact, I am now sharing the benefits and tutorials of Cartoon Animator on my Instagram and YouTube channels, hoping to spread the word to as many people as possible.

"The software is very reasonably priced, and there's a 30 day free trial, so you don't have to commit until you know you like it," she adds. "Then, with a one-time payment, you can have it forever, which is much more cost-effective than subscription software in the long run."

For creators looking to bring their own 2D visions to life, Yu wholeheartedly recommends giving Cartoon Animator 5 a try. With this easy-to-use software, realising the dream of animating your own characters is more achievable than ever.

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