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15 Tips to Bring Your Character Animation to Life

Tips to Improve Character Animation

Animation is being used as a powerful tool to creatively express and communicate new ideas. The art of animation helps in propagating and channelizing interaction across different sectors. Animators bring characters to life and artists use the basic principles of animation such as clear staging, timing, follow-through, squash and stretch, secondary action, and anticipation to give an identity and add life to the characters they create.

Animation is being used as a powerful tool to creatively express and communicate new ideas. The art of animation helps in propagating and channelizing interaction across different sectors. Animators bring characters to life and artists use the basic principles of animation such as clear staging, timing, follow-through, squash and stretch, secondary action, and anticipation to give an identity and add life to the characters they create.

15 Ways to Improve Your Character Animation Skills

Be it film, television, or cartoon, we are surrounded by animations in one form or another. The animators need to be at their best for staying ahead of the competition. So how can one improve animation skills? We have put together some top tips and tricks, which can help animators to improve their skills and add life to their animated characters -

  1. Analyze the Psychology of Movement

    The best way to replicate or mimic a person is to thoroughly understand that person's movements, not just the actions, but the intentions that provoked these actions. Therefore, animators can spend some time to do a little research on their animated characters. This helps them in understanding the actual thought process going on in their characters and helps them gain a clear picture about the character. This clarity gets reflected in the animation and helps in creating realistic characters

  2. Look Out for Real-world References

    Referring to a real-world example can be very helpful while animating the face of a character. An animator can even use a mirror to see the expression on ones own face while delivering the dialogues. Animators also use videos of voiceover artists when they are recording the dialogues and then use this as a reference to animate their characters

  3. Study the Impact of Gravity

    It is a well-known fact that gravity affects everything unless you are in the outer space. Animators need to understand how gravity works and the manner in which it affects the physical mass of the animated characters. An understanding of the gravitational impact on different masses, such as the difference in the footfall of lighter and heavier characters is crucial and every animator must be aware of this

  4. Time Character Movements

    When it comes to time in an animated movie, it is totally under the animator's control. Improper use of time can result in mistimed events and irregular shots. Happier and joyful movements are usually sharp and quick whereas sad moments are usually showed in slow motion. All these aspects have to be considered while animating any scene of a film

  5. Follow Body Movements

    It is important that animators understand how the character's body works. Usually, the movement of an animated character towards anything that draws its attention begins with the eyes, followed by the head, neck, and finally the entire body moves in that direction. The eyes are what the audience are drawn to when they look at a character and in most cases, they are the first to move before the entire body moves

  6. Save Basic Animations

    Once the main movements, poses, and key frames have been applied to the animated character, these basic animations can be saved for future use. Keeping basic animations standby will leave animators with ample time to focus on other subtleties.

  7. Acknowledge Action Reaction and Anticipation

    Every major movement of a character basically consists of three main areas, which are action, reaction, and anticipation. The animator should be well aware of this and carefully incorporated them into the animated characters

  8. Offset the Keys

    Achieving a natural flow of any element which is following the character (for example, a tail) can be difficult at times. The root of the element may be attached to the base but the entire motion needs to follow like a wave. One way to do this is to animate the base and apply the same to the rest of the joints. This has to be followed by the editing of each frame to give a wave-like movement

  9. Observe Real Characters

    It is important that animators observe the real-world characters to understand the way they interact with others, how they express themselves, and how they move around. Apart from this, it is also crucial to study the timing and weight of real-world characters. This will help in showcasing emotions better and make the animation look real

  10. Record Yourself

    To deeply understand how a character should move, it is better to record yourself on a camera doing the same moves. Acting out the entire scene on your own will leave you with clips that give a clear vision on where to begin your animation. An added benefit of doing this is, there will always be an option to pause, rewind, and play the actions in slow motion preventing the animators from missing out on any of the critical expressions, which would have been missed otherwise

  11. Generate Key Poses First

    Animators need to follow a layered process while animating the characters to save time. The first layer must have quick poses at specific frames, as this gives a better sense of timing. Once this is completed there is always time to go back and refine all the poses to perfect them

  12. Avoid Forming Every Letter in Speech

    While animating a character it is not necessary to form each and every letter of the word that is being spoken. This can result in the mouth moving too quickly, giving an erratic appearance. Normal speech of any character consists of a more organic and general movement flowing through the sentence

  13. Keep the Rig Simple

    Animating a simple 3D scene is not merely dependent on the ability of the animator. Most of the effects majorly depend on the rig being used. The rig should be customized as per the requirements of the animator. Some of the most effective gears are the ones that allow the animators to stimulate the characters. However, it is important to keep the animator's rig to the simplest form possible

  14. Balance the Character

    Right from our childhood, we understand that balancing ourselves takes a great deal of strength. With every step we take, we learn to shift our center of gravity. This aspect needs to be taken care of even during character animation and it is one of the key elements of animation. Shifting the center of gravity to maintain one's balance is essential in real life and also holds true for animated characters as well

  15. Make Use of a Basic Model

    Working on high-resolution models in viewport at all times can cause a huge strain on your system and may slow down the entire process. Therefore, it is better to work with a simpler proxy model when compared to a high-resolution model. This is one of the key tips to improve the quality of character animation and 3D animation skills

Choose Flatworld Solutions for High-quality Animation Services

Flatworld Solutions is a leading animation service provider based in India and has been serving global clients for over a decade now. Our team of experienced animators has the required skills and resources to provide our clients with professional, high-quality animation services. We use latest tools and have access to state-of-the-art infrastructure, which help us provide a variety of animation services including 2D animation services, 3D animation services, flash animation services, animatics services, storyboarding, scribe animations, etc. Some of the latest animation tools and technologies we use include Anime Studio, Draw Plus, Adobe After Effects, Autodesk Maya, etc.

So if you have made up your mind to harness our reliable and affordable animation services, then just get in touch with us today!

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