how to export your animation with opentoonz or davinci resolve title

How to turn your pixel art animation into a video file – for free!​


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)

 

Opentoonz

DaVinci Resolve 16

Opentoonz

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.

DaVince Resolve

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.

davinciresolve project overview screen instructions

2. Import your animation

Drag the folder containing your animation’s frames into the media pool.

davinciresolve insert media by dragging

3. Change the frame speed of the clip

a. right click on the imported clip
b. click on Clip attributes…

davinciresolve clicking on the clips attribute

c. click on Video Frame Rate
d. click on Custom

davinciresolve changing the video frame rate by clicking on custom

e. change value to 12* and click on OK to save

davinciresolve changing the clips video frame rate to twelve

* 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.

davinciresolve dragging clip into time line row

5. Change the project size

a. check your animation’s dimensions

davinciresolve checking the frames dimensions

b. back in DaVince Resolve: click on File > Project Settings…

davinciresolve clicking on project settings

c. adjust the dimensions according to your frame size or what ever size you wish

davinciresolve changing the projects dimensions

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

davinciresolve changing the timeline color space

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.

davinciresolve the adjusted video in the preview

7. Exporting the animation

a. click on the Deliver Tab at the bottom of the application

davinciresolve click on deliver tab

b. on the left under Render Settings set a name for your animation
c. browse for the location where the export should be saved

davinciresolve changing the export name and location

d. change the video format to .mp4 (necessary for Instagram)

davinciresolve changing the export format

e. click on Add to Render Queue

davinciresolve clicking on add to render que

f. on the right of the window click on Start Render

davinciresolve clicking 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)

davinciresolve checking the colour profile of export

Conclusion

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 ;]

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