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New York, NY 10010
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3 Animation Suggestions for Beginners

This may be something to keep in mind before you getting into animation:”Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit.

Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this.And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions.And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

Ira Glass

The only things you pack in your bag when you wanna go learn Animation is your ideas, willpower, some strength & definitely a book and pen.

The best advice I can give is to pay attention to what you already instinctively know. You already know how to move elements because you’ve seen things with your eyes thousands of times. You already know whether something moves realistically because your brain has catalogued it every time it sees that action. Draw from that and open your eyes and study things more. How does that woman move? How does that guy walk? How long does it take to open a fridge? Pour a cup of coffee? Sneeze? All these everyday things will help you learn how to replicate it with either drawing ?

Know the animation

Timing is key in animation and the earlier you start to move stuff around in animation the quicker you’ll understand how long an action takes and it’s instantly obvious when something is too slow because it takes to long to replicate what your mind already knows from seeing it thousands of times. Similarly you can also see when you’re moving something too fast because you can’t see what just happened.

Count out “One one thousand…”, “Two one thousand…” as you try to do everyday chores and motions and you’ll start to see how long it takes to move stuff. If you only get to “One…” it’s like 8–10 frames. if you can get to “One one..” it’s like 12 to 14 frames… if you can get the whole thing out it’s about a second. Of course that’s not set in stone but it will help you to start to pay attention to how long things take to move.

It’s very important to understand fundamentals of movement, visually AND anatomically. I would suggest taking times of your week warming-up or setting up sessions in which you study the human figure, this can be quick gestures or blocking out the body into simple shapes like ovals and cubes. If they’re in motion, the better!  Learn to draw the human body and study anatomy from as many angles as you can. Also learn how muscles fit together so you understand how things bend and why they bend only that one or two ways. A cheap way to study the human body is ty get fashion magazines or muscle mags and learn how to muscles knit together. Of course a simple Google search will turn up thousands of pictures of people as well so it’s easier in many respects to study the human form today.

Make your animation

Another one of the most important things is to actually animate. Many people say they want to be animators but then don’t ever even animate. Animate as much as you can. As often as you can. Who cares if you think it’s crap to start with, you’ll get better each and every time you attempt it. We call that Pencil Mileage in animation and it alone is more valuable than any lesson you’ll ever be taught. Simply DRAWING all the time will make it far easier for you to be able to start drawing characters and people from different angles which is one of the primary disciplines you need to be an animator. Even if your goal is to be a 3d animator it can help you tremendously to be able to draw at least somewhat and understand how to move a character.

Share your animation

Connect and share your work with others online. It’s great to use as source of inspiration but use with caution as you don’t want to get into unhealthy habits. Make yourself known! Comment or talk to other aspiring animators. You’d be surprised how many animators will find jobs this way as well but of course, keep in mind that this is not a solid guarantee. See it as a practice world for when you start to connect to professions as you gradually get more into the industry.

Be accepting of new advice and criticism but only if you find it valuable for you. Learn how to critique and accept critique appropriately. Let it guide you into improving instead of putting you down. Understand that people are critiquing YOUR work and your work only. If they happen to make it personal or only bring you down, they are not worth your time. Good critique will cover your strengths AND suggestions on what to improve on. You’d be surprised how many of my classmates turndown critique and as a consequence, do not improve.

Finally,  practice! I can give you all the  great animation advice but it only works if you use it! Start small, take apart bigger projects if you have to. Allow yourself to fall on your face and make mistakes and appreciate the progress you’ve made. Step out of your comfort zone, even if its itty bitty. If its small it still counts

If you want to know more about animation, feel free to join our Discord server and subscribe to us on social media to get more information, and have fun with your peers! 

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