You may have a college degree in animation, and perhaps many years of experience in the industry. That’s amazing no doubt, but animation is an art that can only be mastered with constant effort and practice due to the fact that the animation industry is always evolving.
That being said, here are 5 awesome tips to help you master the art of animation:
1. Improve your drawing skills
Although 3D animation may not require excellent drawing skills, it is still beneficial to sharpen that skill of yours.
Why, you may ask?
Drawing people and animals will increase your understanding of basic anatomy, movements and poses. This will come in handy when you’re animating a character. For example, gesture drawing helps you familiarize yourself with basic human or animal movements.
Check out these tips to get your drawing skills geared up.
- Step out of your comfort zone, and start exploring different drawing styles. Draw real-life people; capture their different movements and poses. Your drawings may not look like the Mona Lisa at the start but in the long run, your drawing skills will definitely improve.
- Get inspiration and lessons from other artists. Artists have their own unique styles when it comes to drawing. Learning from them will help you discover new drawing styles and strengthen your drawing skills in the process.
2. Keep up-to-date
Practicing animation is one thing but updating your knowledge on animation is another thing altogether. Animation, like technology, is constantly evolving. The only way to stay up-to-date is by reading or watching (if you dislike reading) the latest materials on animation.
It could be a book about animation or a tutorial video teaching viewers a certain technique. Believe it or not, there are some really good animation books that you might want to own if you are planning on taking your skills a step further such as The Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams and The Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston.
In The Animator’s Survival Kit, the author – who also happens to be an Academy Award-winning director – includes the basic essentials of animating such as, timing, walks, dialogue, and animal animation among others. The latter on the other hand is written by two of the greatest animators Disney has ever had, giving you insights into how famous characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck were created.
Pick up these books and you’re well on your way to mastering the best animation tips and skills as told by the experts of the animation industry.
Not much of a reader? Then take a look at our list of great motion graphics tutorial websites and watch the countless number of tutorial videos offered by these websites, free of charge!
3. Embrace criticism and improve
You’re going to be constantly learning throughout your working life. Some of your work may be appreciated or celebrated even, whereas some of it may be criticized.
If you’re not a fan of constructive criticism, it’s time to change your perspective. Understand that nobody is perfect. Even idols like Walt Disney made mistakes or did less than perfect work. What matters is taking the necessary steps to improve based on the feedback or criticism you receive.
If no one is giving you feedback or criticism, don’t be afraid to ask for it. A friend, a family member or anyone you feel comfortable with will do. It may sting at first but somewhere down the road, you’ll be glad you did.
So swallow your pride and embrace criticism with an open mind. Remember, what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger.
4. Practice your skills
Practice makes perfect
You’ve got all the skills at your fingertips. You know how to rig, you have got a great eye for texturing and lighting and your animation skills are simply out of this world.
However, no matter how brilliant your skills are they need to be constantly sharpened. Animation is a competitive and fast-growing industry which means you need to always be a few steps ahead of the competition in order to succeed.
Start off by practicing basic animations and slowly advance from there. This allows you to strengthen your fundamentals while learning new techniques and styles.
If you prefer something a little more exciting, try producing a short animation film as your personal project or take up advanced animating classes if you have the budget to do so.
5. Create your own animated scene
Pick a scene from your favourite animated movie and try animating it using your own style. But before beginning, focus on the movements or poses that stand out and study how they were animated. Learn how a certain style was done and work towards applying it in your animations.
Although it is easy to be discouraged after looking at a work that’s better than yours, keep in mind that with enough practice and knowledge, you too can create amazing animations.
Remember that, and do not stray from your goal.
So go ahead, pick your favourite animation and get started now! 🙂