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Animation tips for lazy people like me

Are you just like me and can not imagine even trying to do a longer animation, say 30 minutes, 10 minutes or even a minute? Welcome to the club!

When I was younger, I worked with illustration i thought that real illustrators drew like Sven Nordqvist, it took quite a few years for me to realize and accept that I draw in my way, as I am good at doing.

When it was time to start with animation, it was the same thing- Disney, CartoonNetwork and Cartoon Saloon became my measure of what good animation actually looks like.

Even today, I can have complexes regarding my simple animations and my inner voice says “pft … that would Cartoon Network roll their eyes for..!” But HEY, I do not have any ambition to work at CartoonNetwork. And that does not mean I do not take animation seriously or that i am not good enough.

This might be a inflammatory speech only directed to myself and my negative inner self. I apologize for that. Here are some tips instead.

1. Have a clear picture of what you want to do

Almost all of my animations have a sketch, with an emphasis on one. That sketch I often paste into the animation program and used as a guide when I’m going to make my animation.

I go straight to make the action points of that event, if someone, for example, picking up a flower, I start with when they look at the flower, the next picture will be when just pulling the flower off ground, picture three will be when they have the flower in their arms. After that I make the pictures between to create an animation.

This to see if it works and if the idea is as good as it have to be.

2. Plan your work before starting.

The last point was also about a certain type of planning, but now I intend to take on the importance of learning what needs to move and when, what can not be repeated in animating over and over again. Structure your layers to avoid unnecessary work.

Here’s an example of how I usually split my layers:

  • flower
  • left arm
  • body
  • right arm
  • head
  • face

This is just an example, and depends entirely on what needs to be animated and not, something that you learn to see when you have a clear picture of what to animate. But layers are your best friend in the work of animation.

3. Realize that no one will see all the misses as you see

When you make an animation you look at it THOUSAND times. Your followers / viewers will look at it … once? five times tops? They will not see the small things. And in some cases, they will not even see the little quirks you want them to notice that are so clear to you.

And even if they probably see your little misses, what different does it make? Either you embrace the flaws, or you will learn from the mistake next time, right?

4. Work with loops

When doing loops, it becomes incredible easy to make the animation seen longer than it actually is. My animations? maximum two seconds. Sometimes only 0.5 seconds.