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DIY Animation Film

Steve Cavalier | Thursday September 22, 2011

Categories: Genres & Case Studies, Animation, DIY Animation, Production Zone, Moving Image Production

Animation - Making Your Own Film

Anyone aspiring to be taken seriously as an animator would be well advised to first learn how to draw and then to learn the animation basics.

No matter if you are interested in doing 3d computer animation or stylised 2d drawings if you can’t draw you are at a disadvantage. Drawing is best learned from doing life drawing lessons, from studying other people’s work who can draw and from just practising.

Leaning to draw will teach you things like anatomy, character, design and composition, all very important as an animator, and also how to communicate simply and elegantly information that makes an audience believe that they are looking at a real 3d dimensional living character, not at something that’s just a flat symbol representing a character, like a child’s drawing.

The basics of animation are again pretty essential no matter what style or technique of animation you decide to use. They are best learned and practised in 2d drawings, the purest form of animation and where these principles were discovered and refined.

It is best to first do some exercises like the bouncing ball, which will teach you about giving objects weight, the most basic skill of animation and one area where most beginners fail before they’ve started. Also through the bouncing ball you can begin to learn a few of the basic principles like ‘squash and stretch’. The next stage is to create or copy a simple character and begin to try and learn the basics of movement. The twelve basic principles of animation as defined by ‘The Nine Old Men of Disney’, the masters of the art, were as follows:

Squash and Stretch
Anticipation
Staging
Straight Ahead Action and Pose to Pose
Follow Through and Overlapping Action
Slow In and Slow Out
Arcs
Secondary Action
Timing
Exaggeration
Solid Drawing
Appeal

Animation is a great example of an area where a bit of time spent properly planning can save expensive hours, days and weeks...


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