We have picked up few guidelines that will prove to be of real help for those into cartoon animation or in any other segment of animation industry. Out of many, we have condensed down some very important animation tips and tricks that every animator should be aware of.
With the rise in technological development, the animation production companies in the industry are very keen that their animators and graphic designers work with upgraded digital tools and applications. While many still bank on the traditional animation formats and style, it is always better to make use of the advanced technology to be in the race. In this highly creative field, it is very essential to work within a time constraint and to give excellent results.
These days, the market is flooded with a lot of companies offering animation services using a myriad of animation software; however, they might make a hole into one’s pocket and also turn out of to be time consuming. As mentioned earlier, there are really some easy yet effective character animation tips that one needs to keep in mind while handling character animation projects.
One at a time
Never overdo stuff. It is always better to work with one phase at a time. Concentrating on one shot will improve the output and the animator can focus on every tiny detail to enhance the shot. Create gradually and develop frame by frame animation portions to achieve satisfactory results.
Work less on the contact
While working on action sequences, for instance, one should be more focused on the whole picture rather than stressing too much on the points of contact. One must seamlessly concentrate on the actions as a whole and rework later on those areas when the body parts come into contact with each other. This applies in case of both 2D animation and 3D animation.
Playblasts are time consuming
Most animators would agree that enough time is lost while waiting to have a glance about their creations. Playblasts or preview shows are not always feasible if one has deadlines to keep; nevertheless they would be keen to get an idea of their render quality before the animation hits the stands. This issue can be solved by adding a layer in the working frame and having a preview of the main character alone by switching off the layers with other elements around it. However, for some full length film rigs, this option won’t work. So in such cases it is better to avoid repeated rendering and instead, do quality check when playblasts are going on.
It’s not about poses but motion
While dealing with facial expressions animation, one can notice that it is the outcome of the emotions that face gives out through certain feelings and moods. Hence there is no need to fret on focusing on the body poses in order to sync with the facial gestures. Without limbs or facial features, one can make their characters emote and give apt emotions through movements of the face. Computer facial animation could be tricky but one need to concentrate on subtle points to get the right emotions through right gestures.
Cut the dialogue
Believe it or not, to get best results, professionals in a typical animation company in India work with scenes without using dialogues. When working with a dialogue shot, always mute the speech part and perfect your character’s traits and body languages. Once you feel it is done, take feedback by showing the output, without dialogues. If the viewer cannot relate the situation and actions, you need to rework on the emotions and improve the body language further to get the desired effect. Your character’s feel should completely match with that of the dialogue and this can be achieved only by muting the dialogues while working.
Beware of Mirror
While doing a lip sync using a mirror one needs to be very cautious since small miscalculation can mar the character as a whole. In this process, divide and follow. Have separate passes and work on each lip sync using a mirror. That is, it will be easier to focus either on lips or jaws at a time.
Flaws are fun
Too much of perfection is not good. To break the monotony you have to infuse some flaws in the character or create some hurdles so that the story is engaging and keeps the viewers hooked till the end.
Learning is a lifelong exercise. It is never too late to learn something new, especially if it is something related to one’s professional field. It is essential to keep oneself updated about latest computer animation software and digital applications. And one of them is the Mocap Data. Motion Capture is an animation process used to record human movements or actions digitally and then, this data is mapped in 3D over a character. In this age, an animation concept artist must be aware of this tool and needs to have a brush of it. For, you may never know when it might come handy.
Mark problem areas
Try as much as you can; but there will be some flaws in certain portions which might not be avoidable. For this, mark this portion using bookend. Select all the controls as well as setting keys around that spot and delete the offending keys. This way you can secure the other areas from getting affected.
Smaller the better
With practice comes perfection. Similarly take small steps rather than big ones to avoid confusion and frustration. While preparing oneself for professional front, always use short length shots for personal learning exercise. It is easy to manage, easier to perfect your skills in detail and quicker to evaluate and improvise.