How to Animate in Krita: A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started

Krita is known for many things in the world of art—namely, how awesome it is for digital painting. As one of the best free digital painting programs out there, some might forget everything else that it's capable of. Today, we're going to put its functionality as a free, 2D animation software to the ultimate test.

This Krita animation tutorial was written with the beginner in mind, even if they've never opened up Krita before in their life. By the end of this guide, you'll know exactly how to use Krita for animation.

How to Animate in Krita

Before we get started, make sure to download Krita. Once that's done, open it and create a new project. You can do so by pressing Ctrl + N. The document size should be 1280 x 1024​​​​​​, and your DPI should be set to 72ppi.

Under the Content tab, set the background color to Canvas Color. You should be working with two transparent layers. Click Create to begin.

Once you're finally in, you'll find the Animation Workspace under the Window > Workspace dropdown. This workspace gives you easy access to the Krita Animation Timeline Docker.

We're going to do a simple animation of a character waving. Here is the first key pose.

To add a second frame, right-click the frame in the Animation Timeline Docker, and select Create Duplicate Frame. You can also select Create Blank Frame to draw the next frame from scratch. Make sure that you have your second frame selected before you make any changes.

To create your second pose, erase the parts of the previous pose that you would like to animate—just the arm, in this case. You can see that the first keyframe pose is still visible in red thanks to Krita's onion skins.

Previous frames will be shown in red, while future frames are displayed in green. You can adjust them to your preference by clicking on the onion icon just above the timeline.

This is the new arm for the second key pose.

Here, you can see that we've added a third keyframe. To put it before the first two, we selected both frames in the timeline docker.

We then grabbed them again after highlighting them and pulled them back by one unit. You can continue from here, pulling these three poses apart and adding in-betweens to create a smoother sequence of action.

Playback is as easy as using Krita's playback controls as you would normally; to loop your animation, you can copy your frames and lay them out in the reverse order afterward, making sure to delete any duplicates in the middle.

Copy and paste the sequence to watch it on repeat to see what needs to be improved. As you can see, Krita isn't just for creating graphic designs or digital art, it's also a great software for 2D animation.

Related: Pose-to-Pose Animation: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Krita: A Free and Easy-to-Use Tool for Animation

This article only covers the absolute baseline of what you need to know if you want to learn how to use Krita for animation. If you're already an avid digital painter, you know just how powerful this program is in the right hands.

Extending your own work and tiptoeing into the world of animation might be the next big step for you. If you can draw something sitting still, you're more than capable of making it move.

Author: Emma Garofalo

Source: Emma Garofalo.” How to Animate in Krita: A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started”. Retrieved From

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