There’s a LOT of things that go into animation and I definitely can’t cover everything all at once (im sure you dont want me to either) so I’ll try to keep it simple!
But for forewarning, I take animation very seriously and can’t help but info dump.
1. Your animation isnt going to work immediately. it’s going to be awful. accept that and move on.
2. Don’t give up when your animation doesn’t work!!! i swear ive seen people try to animate for their very first time with like a walk cycle and immediately after the first test shoot they played they just dropped it and i was like honey!! honey no you made half of a single step and didnt in-between it. You aren’t done, thats why it looks bad! You don’t say a drawing sucks and throw it out halfway through drawing a single eye, you draw the rest of the face and see how it looks in the end. that’s how you have to look at making animation.
3. It’s a lot more work than you think it’s going to be. animation runs at 24 frames per second, that’s 24 drawings a second. some people do it 12 drawings or even 8 drawings a second, but no matter what it’s a lot of dang drawings.
4. Rough drawing rough drawing ROUGH DRAWING! when you start animating things, don’t even THINK about detail! for example, if you want to animate someone walking, animate a circle for the head and a rectangle for their body, that’s all the detail you need to start with. once that is COMPLETELY and i mean completely entirely animated to a point where you are satisfied, THEN you can start to add detail.
5. References!!!! they’re everywhere! and you need to use them! if you want to animate a bird flying, you either look out your window, find a video on youtube, or get a diagram but don’t just try to guess or it won’t work, i promise you
6. Try as many different methods as you can! everyone animates differently. maybe my advice won’t apply to you at all, these things are just what works for me! I have friends who animate from the roughest of rough drawings and others who start every drawing completely detailed. some friends animate from major pose to major pose and others animate frame by frame.
7. HAVE FUN! if you aren’t having a fun time animating, then what are you doing? Ask yourself this question and then figure out what you need to do to MAKE it fun! It makes the work better for everyone in the end!
Now get ready for a link dump!
other animation advice from yours truly! which will be somewhat repetitive
really good animation books (links to amazon)
- animators survival kit
- the illusion of life: disney animation
- cartoon animation
- elemental magic: the art of special effects animation
- tv paint (indefinite free trial, does not allow saving or exports)
- toon boom has 21 day free trials
- pencil 2d is free to use
- adobe photoshop and flash also work
if you have any other questions, feel free to ask! some things here might sound like nonsense to someone with no prior animation knowledge and I will GLADLY explain in better detail