There are some good reasons why your animation as a .gif might not be an option for you:
I personally love to add sound effects and music to my artworks. A few years ago I looked up a few available options and would like to present two that work great for me! Here are some facts that hopefully help you to choose the right software for you.
Both options are free! (One is really free free (open source) and the other one asks for your soul in return)
DaVinci Resolve 16
I started to use Opentoonz in 2019. It used to be a professional software which helped to create some famous anime movies. So I was pretty hooked that it became open source!
For now I will leave you the link to my Youtube video that helped many pixel artists so far to turn their animation into an .mp4 which is useful for Instagram.
Definitely my new favourite! In my opinion the user interface is easier to handle and so is the overall setup. Plug’n’Play! Since I haven’t find the time yet to do a video about it I will write it down here for you.
I will not cover the installation for now. If you want a guide through that I can recommend to watch this video.
1. Open DaVinci Resolve and open a new project
Double click on Untitled Project or click New Project to start a new project.
2. Import your animation
Drag the folder containing your animation’s frames into the media pool.
3. Change the frame speed of the clip
a. right click on the imported clip
b. click on Clip attributes…
c. click on Video Frame Rate
d. click on Custom
e. change value to 12* and click on OK to save
* Aseprite’s default value for the animation speed is 100milliseconds thus 10 frames per seconds. You can play around with this option and see what suits your needs! 12 frames per second is my personal default value and half of the “cartoon standard value” of 24 frames per seconds.
4. Create a new time line
Drag your clip into the time line row as shown below. From this moment on you can watch your animation when you press play. As you can see I toggled repeat which will play the animation in a loop.
5. Change the project size
a. check your animation’s dimensions
b. back in DaVince Resolve: click on File > Project Settings…
c. adjust the dimensions according to your frame size or what ever size you wish
6. The right gamma setting
Before you hit save there is an important setting we have to adjust. This part took me quite a while to figure out until it worked correctly. If you exported the the project with its current gamma settings and uploaded your animation on your Instagram account you would encounter a nasty surprise: The video gets way too bright! In order to solve this we can set up the right Timeline Color Space.
Please note: The setting I will present below will slightly brighten up your animation. I am still looking for a solution for this. If you happen to know anything about it please contact me. So far I only found a clunky workaround with QuickTimePlayer on Mac. Please contact me if you are interested.
a. Click on Color Management
b. Change the Time Color Space to Rec.709-A
c. click Save
You will notice that the preview changed to the values you entered in the project setting dimensions. You will not be able to see the result of the gamma setting until you export the video.
7. Exporting the animation
a. click on the Deliver Tab at the bottom of the application
b. on the left under Render Settings set a name for your animation
c. browse for the location where the export should be saved
d. change the video format to .mp4 (necessary for Instagram)
e. click on Add to Render Queue
f. on the right of the window click on Start Render
8. Check the export
You should now have the exported .mp4 file in the folder you provided as export location. Finally we have to make sure that the Colour Profile looks like in the image below: HD(1-1-1)
As you can see working with DaVinci Resolve is pretty straight forward. There is a lot more to show you like transitions for the end and start of each video, inserting music and sound effects, adding solid colors to get rid of black bars and so on. I will cover all of the tricks I use in the next post. I would love to hear from you in the comments! So stay safe and stay tuned ;]