Have you ever thought of animating a face in Doodly? Or maybe create silly facial expressions for one of your videos? Adding some movement to your Doodly characters will surely make your explainer video a hit. If you are creating a short video for kids, or maybe just some random video with a funny theme, this article is for you. Today, we will show you how you can add a little bit of animation to your Doodly character’s face. We start by choosing the right assets for our video.

Choosing Your Image

To create our video, we need two images: a head without a face and several facial expressions. To get those images, we need to use a website that provides royalty-free photos such as freepik.com or pixabay.com. There are also other similar websites on the web, so feel free to use your preferred website.

Here’s how we locate our image:

Go to your preferred site and look for the image you like. If you are not happy with your search results, you can always search again using a different keyword. As you see below, we have several images to choose from. Let’s select the second image with the faces and heads.

The next step is to download the image to your computer. Once it’s already saved on your computer, you have to use another software that can remove the background color of your image. This is done so the image can have a transparent background. If your downloaded image is already transparent like a PNG file, you can skip this step.

Next is to cut each facial expressions into individual photos. You can use a software like Pixelmator ProAdobe Photoshop, or other programs that you have access to. You can also just duplicate, crop and paste each faces then download them individually as a PNG file with a transparent background. Once you’re done editing, export the images and save them to your Downloads folder.

Import Images To Doodly

To import the images:

1. Select Props from the assets menu.

 2. Click the blue “+” sign at the bottom of the Assets panel.

3. The “add new prop” screen will appear. Select Browse files and hit Continue.

4. Locate the images from your Downloads folder, then hit Continue.

Tip: It is best to rename each image before you upload them. Renaming your assets will make it easier for you to locate them in Doodly in case you need to use them again.

Creating the Animated Facial Expression

Now that we have the assets imported in Doodly, it’s time to work on our scenes. Here are the steps:

1. Choose an image.

The first thing we do is to choose one of the head without a face and add it to our blank scene.

2. Add a facial expression.

Next is to add a facial expression. You can choose a particular pattern, like sad to happy emotions, alternate facial expressions, or other ways. For our sample, let’s have a random, funny facial expression, starting with a smile. When adding the facial expression, make sure that it’s not too small or too big for the bare face. The size of it should be proportional to the face. Otherwise, your image will look awkward. You can adjust the facial expression by dragging its double-sided arrow, as shown below.

3. Change the scene transition and erase mode.

Now we go to Video settings, then change the scene transition to None or “X” and turn OFF the erase mode. Don’t forget to SAVE the changes made.

4. Change the animation duration.

Next, we will go to the Layers menu and set the animation duration of the face to zero. We want the facial expression drawn by hand, so let’s set it to 3 seconds.

5. Duplicate scene.

The next step is to duplicate the scene. From the timeline, choose the previous scene, make a right-click, then Duplicate after.

6. Add a new facial expression.

We now have our second scene. The next step is to add another facial expression. Locate it from the assets menu and drag it to your scene.

7. Overlap the new facial expressions.

We will place the new facial expression on top of the existing one. We do this so that the placement of the mouth, eyes, and nose are in the same position as the previous facial expression. The spaces between the eyes, mouth, brows, and nose may vary between facial expressions, and that’s fine. Just make sure that you are not making the next facial expression too big or too small from the previous. If you are happy with your placement, you can delete the last facial expression. You can do this by clicking the asset from the layers menu and hitting delete on your keyboard.

Note: Ensure that the “bare face” is placed in the exact location for each scene. They should be 100% identical. Do not make any movement, even just a little. This is important so we can properly execute our animation effect.

8. Set animation duration to zero.

The next step is to change the animation duration of our recently added facial expression to zero.

9. Repeat steps 5-8.

Repeat steps 5–8 until all your preferred facial expressions have been added. The idea is to duplicate the previous scene, add the new facial expression, and change the animation duration to zero. If you want to keep the animation longer, you can repeatedly duplicate your scenes and place them at the end of your scenes within the timeline.

Adding Draw Path

By default, all assets imported are scribbled diagonally. Since we want our facial expression to be accurately drawn, we will add our own draw path to it. We will only do this for the first scene. To do that, we will select the facial expression and click the pencil icon. This will launch the Edit Asset screen.

Start adding the draw path by clicking “New Path” and plot the dots to follow the draw lines in your image. You can zoom in to get a better view of your image before you plot your draw path.

The drawing animation is usually just set for as short as 3 seconds so it’s okay if your paths are not that precise. Don’t forget to SAVE the changes made after.

With Drawing Path vs Without Drawing Path

Let’s take a look at our video:

If you want to add some movements to the head, you can try to select both images in your scene, then rotate them just a little bit, then do it in an alternate direction for each scene. Check out our sample video.

And that wraps up our topic for today. We hope this inspires you to create your own version of animations in Doodly. Don’t forget to tag us on your videos when you upload it on Facebook. Until next time!