Build a Friend: From Pencil to Movement

A course by Carlos "Zenzuke" Albarrán
Motiongrapher. Madrid, Spain.
On Domestika since 01/26/2009
, Motiongrapher

Animation of characters from a sketch

  • Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 100% Positive reviews (199)
  • 2982 students
Build a Friend: From Pencil to Movement

Animation of characters from a sketch

Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 100% Positive reviews (199)
  • 2982 students
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Audio: Spanish
  • Level: Beginner
  • 16 Lessons (2h 55m)
  • Available from the app
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese
  • Unlimited access forever

The characters you draw are missing something, they do not get along with you. You greet them and they do not answer you. You have thought many times about giving them life but ... you are not an animator and you do not know how to start.

Do not despair With this course you will learn very simple techniques to move from a simple doodle on a paper to an animated friend who can walk, jump or return the greeting at last.

The final result of the course will be a kind of "digital puppet" that you can pose in a thousand ways and animate in an extremely comfortable way.

About this course

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. From pencil to After Effects
  • U2
    U2. Be Dr. Frankenstein
  • U3
    U3. Get up and go!
  • U4
    U4. It is not the end, it is the beginning
  • FP
    FP Final Project
View details

In this course you will learn how to develop an animated character from the sketch to the "rig" or set of controls that will allow you to pose our digital puppet, using a series of free extras and tricks of After Effects.

The first thing that Zenzuke will teach you will be to do the character's sketch and the different postures you can use to animate it later more easily. Then you will finish designing your character in Photoshop and you will take it to After Effects.

It will be time to turn your cutout doll into a 3D drawing with limbs, spine to stretch, shrink and bend and a head with which you can look at the world around you. Then you will learn how to make this whole collection of scattered parts work together and you will know how to make your creature walk without looking like a robot.

To finish you will put your character in a background and, if you have left wanting more, you will also discover how to prepare other expressions extra as smile or anger, to open your eyes with surprise or blink.

A very complete course in which you will feel Dr. Frankenstein giving life to your work.

Who is it for?

This course is aimed at all people who like to draw and are curious about character animation. For those who already draw characters and want to present them in a more striking way. Or for those who, even knowing After Effects, want to learn new tricks to get more juice out of the program.

What you need

Pencil, digital camera, mobile camera or scanner (if you're going to start the character on paper) Wacom tablet (if you're going to color the character in Photoshop) and a license of Photoshop and Adobe After Effects to draw and animate. Zenzuke will show you the finished project so you can analyze it in version 5.5 of After Effects.

As for the necessary experience, it is advisable to know a bit about Photoshop (select layers, group, cut) and obviously, if you know how to draw, the final result will be much better.

New to Adobe After Effects? In that case, we recommend taking Domestika Basics courses to learn how to use the software: Introduction to After Effects.


2982 Students
199 Reviews
100% Positive ratings

Carlos "Zenzuke" Albarrán


Carlos Albarrán (Zenzuke) has worked as a creative director, 2D and 3D animator and motion grapher for more than a decade. From the Maaambo studio of which he is one of the founders, he regularly collaborates with some of the most prestigious producers and agencies in Spain. In addition, he combines his professional activity with teaching; For more than six years, he has been teaching motion graphics and 3D animation at some of Madrid's best-known schools and workshops, and online at Domestika.


  • U1

    From pencil to After Effects

    • Introduction
    • The sketch
    • Give color and prepare the photoshop
    • Duik
    • After Effects is your friend too
  • U2

    Be Dr. Frankenstein

    • The puppet pin
    • The extremities
    • Spinal column
    • Head
    • All together now
  • U3

    Get up and go!

    • Animate in After Effects
    • Encouraging our friend
    • The way is made by walking
    • Share our friend with the world
  • U4

    It is not the end, it is the beginning

    • Put our friend in a background
    • More advanced extras
  • FP

    Final Project

    • Build a friend: from pencil to movement

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need for completing a specific final project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the instructor and other users, thus creating a dynamic course community.

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Build a Friend: From Pencil to Movement. A 3D, and Animation course by Carlos "Zenzuke" Albarrán

Build a Friend: From Pencil to Movement

A course by Carlos "Zenzuke" Albarrán
Motiongrapher. Madrid, Spain.
On Domestika since 01/26/2009
  • 100% Positive reviews (199)
  • 2982 students