2D Animation Effects: Volcanoes, Hails, And Rain

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Sometimes your animation scenes may be set up in special environments like in the rain or snow. Or your story may take your characters to interesting or dangerous places like near a volcano or into the deep oceans with underwater steam vents. Toon Boom Studio lets you easily create these scenes through the program’s Forces Of Nature Effects.

In this post, I’ll show you how to use the Forces Of Nature Effects such as the Hail Effect, Rain Effect, and the Volcano Effect.

The Hail, Snow, And Rain Effects

The Hail, Snow, and Rain Effects work very similarly, and can be used for creating weather conditions like snow, rain, and hail. Watch this demo video to see how it’s done:

Be sure to view the usage example for the Hail and Rain Effects that I put together near the end of the video (spoiler alert: it rains money!). You can see in that example that the coins fall on the ground as well as on the character’s arm. That is accomplished by creating two separate Hail Effects with different parameters. If you have the software, you can try recreating something similar for practice.

The Volcano Effect

The next demo shows you how to use the Volcano Effect. As the name implies, this effect lets you simulate lava spewing out of an erupting volcano. However, in the video example, I use the effect to create underwater steam vents. Here’s the demo video (watch till the end for examples):

Tips For Using The Forces Of Nature Effects

From my experience, using the Forces Of Nature Effects can be a little confusing at first. One important concept is the difference between the effects’ Static Parameters and Dynamic Parameters (in the Properties Tab). Generally speaking, the Static Parameters allow you to program an effect’s common settings that apply to all frames. The Dynamic Parameters, however, can change from frame to frame. You can create variations in the Dynamic Parameters by creating key-frames (CTRL-I) and programming the desired values in the parameter entry fields. Remember to go to the correct frame where you created the key-frame for setting the Dynamic Parameters. The following figures should help to clarify these key points.

First, the Nature Effect element will appear in brown in the Timeline View by default. Add key-frames to create changes in the effect’s behavior as time progresses in your scene.

Toon Boom Studio Timeline View - Nature Effect 1

The figure below shows the Static Parameters pane for the Hail Effect (one of the Forces Nature Effects).

Toon Boom Studio Hail Effect STATIC Settings

The figure below shows the Dynamic Parameters pane for the Hail Effect. In the figure, the values are disabled (greyed out) because the selected frame is NOT a key-frame. You need to go to the desired key-frame to make changes to the values in the Dynamic Parameters pane.

Toon Boom Studio Hail Effect Dynamic Settings

Happy creating!

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