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All About Japanese Key Animation: Genga

2D Animator, Julien Cortey

Class Details

[Shortform]2DAnimator,JulienCortey Details

Coloso Julien Cortey All About Japanese Key Animation: Genga

Discover the animation pipeline
and storyboarding process utilized
in Japanese Animation Studios.

This class will teach you about
Key Animation, the fundamental element
of the animation process.
Learn how to overcome the fear
of the blank page and create
dynamic movements, animate hair & clothing,
and master timing with helpful tips.

By the end of this class,
you'll be able to clean up your animation,
create FX scenes, and establish
a solid foundation of the Key Animation
process using TVPaint.


Coloso Class Breakdown Details 1

Length: 23 videos
(14h 19m)
Difficulty: Basic
Unlimited views

Coloso Class Breakdown Details 2
Video Details

Audio: English

Coloso Class Breakdown Details 3
Software Required

TVPaint 11

Coloso Class Breakdown Details 4

- Shortcuts Image File
- Virgin board
(Blank board).tvpp

Expert 2D Animator
Julien Cortey's Profile & Portfolio

Why Take this Class?

This class is a must-take for anyone
interested in creating captivating animations
through key animation.

You'll learn essential skills such as
animation basics, the Japanese animation pipeline,
storyboarding, character sketching, and anatomy.
With these extra special tips and tricks,
you'll be able to create unique animations.

Whether you're a beginner
or an experienced animator
looking to improve your skills,
this class has something for everyone.

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12 Class Exercises


Julien Cortey
2D Animator

Hi, I'm Julien Cortey, a French 2D animator
with extensive experience in the industry.
I work full-time at Fost Studio Paris
and also take on freelance jobs from time to time.

My fascination for Japanese-style animation
started at a young age and led me to study
at Ecole Georges Méliès.
I've worked with studios such as,
Pierrot, Toei, Madhouse, and more.

My class will guide you through Japanese animation
using the insights I have gathered over the years,
from storyboarding to essential techniques
and detailed clean-up. We'll also cover
how to give proper indications
for the in-between department using
the workflow commonly used
in the Japanese animation industry.

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2D Animator Julien Cortey
2D Animator,
Julien Cortey

Full time Animator at Fost Studio

Freelance Animator
Key Animator at Toei, Madhouse, Pierrot, Titmouse, etc

Projects & Awards

[Key Animation]
One Piece
My Hero Academia - Season 5
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Takt op.Destiny (TV)
AREA21 - Pogo


Class Highlights

Storyboarding & the Japanese
Animation Pipeline

We will start by developing your understanding of the Japanese Animation Pipeline. Once you discover how the pipeline works, I'll guide you through all aspects of the storyboarding process they use in Japanese Animation Studios. I have prepared a complete storyboard for this class, and I will guide you through every step of bringing animation to life, starting from a Storyboard.

Coloso Julien Cortey Introduction

Key Animation and Timing

Build a strong foundation in Key Animation, the backbone of the animation process. I will guide you through overcoming the fear of the blank page and creating your first rough animation, also known as "Ichigen" in Japanese animation. We will then move on to the second rough, called "Nigen." Throughout this process, I will share numerous tips on creating dynamic movements, animating hair and clothing, and mastering timing.

Coloso Julien Cortey Introduction

Clean-up, Shadow, Light, and FX

In the latter part of the curriculum, we will focus on the cleaning process of the animation phase. Although the clean-up process can be tedious, it's a crucial step, just like Ichigen and Nigen are in Japanese animation. To make this phase as fun as possible, I have added a few great tips and put the Shadow and Light chapter toward the end of the curriculum. I have also incorporated a short FX scene so students can learn how FX are created in a nutshell.

Coloso Julien Cortey Introduction

Class Details
You'll Learn

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In-depth Look


01. Intro

  1. Introducing your instructor
  2. Overview of what we will learn
  3. The main stage of Japanese animation production
SECTION 02. TV Paint - Shortcuts & Basic Animation

02. Animation in a Nutshell

  1. How TVPaint works
  2. Frequently used keys
  3. What we will need: Animation basics
SECTION 03. Storyboard & Preparation

03. Storyboard, Pipeline & Preparation

  1. Filling out the Template
  2. How to read the Storyboard
  3. What are our freedoms
  4. Explaining the Japanese Animation Pipeline
SECTION 04. 1st Rough

04. Overcoming the Fear of the Blank Page

  1. Different ways to start and what to choose
  2. Building the foundation
  3. Fast and precise drawing

05. On with the 1st Rough

  1. On with roughing
  2. Animation tips
  3. Following the 2nd part of the storyboard

06. Rhythm is Key

  1. Manipulation of time
  2. Revising and adding frames
  3. Ball animation exercise
SECTION 05. 2nd Rough (Being Accurate)

07. Pathing Over: Getting Close to the Character

  1. 1st rough revision for improvement
  2. Pathing over & getting close to the character
  3. Tips for drawing a better body rough

08. Pathing Over: Dynamic Movement

  1. Pathing over the body movement
  2. Shaping dynamic action movements

09. Pathing Over: The Details

  1. Playing with the Z axis
  2. Drawing over hands and fingers

10. Drawing All Over: Defining Frames & Lines

  1. Keyframe, Break Frame, In-between Frame
  2. Drawing all over the animation

11. Drawing All Over: Body & FX

  1. Bodymechanic correction
  2. Adding eye direction and face acting
  3. Lining FX

12. Drawing All Over: Clothes & Hair 1

  1. Clothing and hair exercises
  2. Drawing over the rough
  3. Lining accurately

13. Drawing All Over: Clothes & Hair 2

  1. Clothing and hair application
  2. Tips for character movement and clothes
SECTION 06. Cleaning up All the Key Frames

14. Clean-up 1: Eyes & Hair

  1. Tips on clean lining
  2. Clean-up while considering the shadows

15. Clean-up 2: Hat & Clothes

  1. Clean-up tips for light color, perspective, and depth
  2. Continuing with the Clean-up

16. Clean-up 3: Dynamic Movement in a Scene

  1. Tips on drawing dynamic movement
  2. Continuing with the Clean-up

17. Clean-up 4: Continuation

  1. Continuing with the Clean-up

18. Clean-up 5: Finalization

  1. Finalizing Clean-up
  2. Tips when cleaning up
SECTION 07. FX & Clean-up

19. Focusing on the FX

  1. Reviewing where Special Effects are needed
  2. Adding Special Effects dedicated Layers
  3. Simple Special Effects Training

20. FX Clean-up 1

  1. Adding more texture
  2. Most effective FX clean-up method

21. FX Clean-up 2

  1. Revising special effects
  2. Working with details
  3. Adding shadows and considering the colors
SECTION 08. Wrapping Up for the Inbetween Department

22. Shadows & Light

  1. Light direction
  2. Tool basics
  3. What not to forget and where it's needed

23. Indications for the Inbetween Department

  1. How it works
  2. Key Animator writing procedures for next team
  3. How to leave our cut

*The release date of this class, curriculum images, and associated content can be changed without prior notice.

Interview with
Expert 2D Animator
Julien Cortey

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Is there a specific reason why you chose this specific topic/themes?

I have worked on many different types of animation, from Western style to Japanese anime. These experiences have given me a broad understanding of the animation industry as a whole. Among the different animation styles, I chose to teach the Japanese animation pipeline and use my own anime animation as an educational tool because I believe it is not well-known enough to the public. Many people watch anime but are not aware of the effort and techniques that go on behind the scenes. That's why in my class, I focus primarily on the main animation process, sharing tips and techniques for each step. I believe that showcasing the entire process of Japanese animation, from storyboarding to FX incorporation, sets my class apart from others.

Could you please share how you started your journey in the industry?

I grew up watching TV animations from around the globe and they have always fascinated me. So at 14, I decided to pursue it as a career, which led me to start an internship in France. There I was lucky to have a screenwriter as my teacher, and although it was only a two-week experience, it filled me with joy and inspired me to continue pursuing animation. I enrolled as an Animation student at Ecole Georges Méliès for 5 years. After graduating, I worked alongside a friend to create and upload anime-style animations to YouTube for fun. I've been fortunate to receive calls from big-name companies like Apple and Toei. I feel lucky to have found my passion at a young age and to have had the right people around me throughout my journey.

Please share your thoughts on the industry's job market and what you see in the industry's future.

The Japanese animation industry has grown significantly due to globalization. Now, anime-style animations are no longer limited to Japanese artists, and more diverse artists are joining the industry. Technological advancements in animation software, real-time rendering, and VR have also reduced manual labor, increased efficiency, and opened up new possibilities for people from different backgrounds to join. This has brought about great potential in the animation industry, particularly for Japanese anime.

Required Programs

This course will use TVPaint 11.
Please purchase and install the latest versions of the programs for an optimized lecture experience.

*These programs and/or materials will not be provided with the lecture.

Adobe Photoshop CC

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