How to Make Animated Cartoons: Steps and Ways

How to make animated cartoons: 4 steps how to write a scenario + 3 ways how to create animation + photo script + sound effects + selling the ready-made cartoon.


To create a cartoon on your own is a wonderful way to occupy your child, develop his hand-made skills and creative aptitudes.

One can make an animated cartoon in different ways – draw it on a PC, with pencils or make from clay.

Any option will definitely require much patience, taste, hard work, diligence and, surely, talent.

If you want to become an animated cartoon artist, you should read our article on how to make animated cartoons.

How to make a script for animated cartoons?

Think according to which plot you are going to make your cartoon.

The foundation of a good cartoon is always an exciting story which is very appealing to the audience.

People must be interested in watching it.

In order to make a script, you can take any fairy tale, parable, funny accident, or any story as the basis or come up with your own idea.

Be certain your story has all required elements of a narration: introduction, action (development), climax and resolution.

Do not make experiments with the form and stick to the classical structure.

This is especially important if you create an animated cartoon for children.

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4 steps of how to write a script for a future animated cartoon:

  1. Fit your story in 3-5 pages.

    Do not make it too long because you only require the general idea.

  2. You must be certain you know what kinds of cartoons are popular nowadays.

    Read some magazines, watch the news, visit some baby stores, ask the children of your friends and relatives.

  3. Do not make too many episodes because it will make the cartoon extremely fussy.

    In general, one half-hour episode contains 15-25 scenes and 10-20 pages.

    The scene lasts from 5 seconds to 3-4 minutes.

  4. Start writing your scenario and remember that this is a story which is one of a kind.

    Describe all locations of actions and dialogues.

    Moreover, you must describe in details everything about the characters – their voices, houses, appearances.

How to make animated cartoons: 3 ways

There are several approaches to the technical realization of an animated cartoon:

  1. The image of the character is created again and again in each animation frame – this is the classical hand-drawn plain animation which provides with the limitless possibilities for transformation of gestures and bodies of the characters.
  2. The separate parts of the body may be the entire objects which were hand-drawn or using other methods such as photographed real parts of the body.

    The animation of this character presupposes the mutual changes of the position of these parts (the so-called cutout animation).

  3. The characters can be also created and animated in the three-dimensional space.

    Their movements will depend on how the coordinates of the key measurement points are changed in the system of three dimensions in time.

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Every kind of animation has its own programs created especially for a certain technology.

The three-dimensional animation is made in the packs of 3D graphics.

Usually, different programs are used: some – to model the geometry of the characters, some – to make the textures and colors, some – to program the movements themselves, others – to predict and receive the final image.

The classical hand-drawn animation also has its own favorites in software – from the highly specialized professional systems to the relatively simple and widespread ones such as Flash, which we all adore.

The least picky to the level of preparation of an animated cartoon artist is the cutout animation.

Here one can use the already mentioned Flash or AE which proved itself by the presence of such essential options as the work with light, camera movements, sharpness, etc.

How to make a photo script for an animated cartoon?

  1. What is a photo script?

    A photo script is a consequence of pictures which are the auxiliary resources for making movies and cartoons.

    It helps to imagine visually how to shoot a film or a cartoon.

    At the stage of the script’s creation, you’ll already have the vague image of where the characters are in this or that scene and how they behave.

    In case there are many scenes and the film language is complicated, every episode of the script must be supplied at least with a schematic (but sometimes with a detailed) image which appears during set-up.

  2. Timeline.

    In the digital format, you can do the preliminary photo script setting the heroes schematically on the timeline.

    • The essence of a timeline is that in a program, you must open several pictures (which are logically connected), which will eventually show the action, and set the KeyFrame at the timeline beginning.
    • The time between the movements should be not less than a second so that the picture did not look silly.
    • You can change the location of the KeyFrames.

      You should try it in order to define which option you like more: the abrupt jumps of an animated character, the smooth walk, slow steps, etc.

    • When you save the result you like, you can enjoy the animation.

      Adobe Flash Player has to be in the list of the frequently used programs in your browser.

      Without its last version, you won’t be able to see the cartoon as a complete video or browse it to any website.

How to make animated cartoons and create sound effects for them?

You should agree that the mute modern cartoons are nonsense.

If you want, it’ll be very easy to add sound to your own animation.

  1. You can do it using Movie Maker.

    In this case, you’ll be able to add comments to a movie using a microphone or just install the background music.

  2. In order to leave a comment, you need to go to the “Service” and press on “Comment timeframe”.
  3. Then you press a button “Start” and provide a voice to your character.

    After you press on “Stop”, the program will offer you to save your comment.

    It’s added to the project and then on the soundtrack in the lower panel.

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If you have no possibility to record sound, you can use the captions.

Paint the character’s and author’s words in different colors, lest you got confused.

Use music in your cartoon.

Add it to the scenes where the characters are not talking and there are no author’s comments.

For example, when the characters go somewhere, dance, sleep, etc.

How to sell your animated cartoon?

5 steps on how to sell your animated cartoon:

  1. The sales campaign must begin with the search for a buyer.

    Many well-known studios, which produce content all over the world, have the page on their website which offers the cooperation.

  2. Announce to a studio or an online store of the visual goods that you have your video content and you are eager to sell it.

    Very often it’s quite enough to register there.

    Use all contacts you get.

  3. After you register or when they receive your message, the sales agent will contact you and offer the options of cooperation.

    Then your carton will be put on the website and you’ll receive your account and user profile.

  4. After the sale, you’ll pay the commission fee to a studio or a store.

    The money that belongs to you can be withdrawn from your account the way you want.

  5. Every similar store has the responsible manager.

    You’d better contact him beforehand and he’ll answer all your questions.

This article provided you with all possible ways how to make a cartoon and sell it.

Use them.

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