Character Animation Skills
The animation is being used as a powerful tool to creatively express and communicate the new ideas. The art of animation helps in propagating and channelizing interaction across the different sectors. Animator(How to Become Animator) brings characters to life and uses the basic principle of animation such as lear staging, follow-through, Squash and stretch, timing, secondary action, and anticipation to giving an identity and adding life to the characters they create.
15 Ways to Improve the Character Animation Skills
Be it film, TV, or cartoon, and we are surrounded by animations in one form or another. The animators need to be at best for staying ahead of the competition. So below are some top tips and tricks, which can help animators to improve their skills and add life in animated characters
1. Analyze the Psychology of Action
The best way to replicate a person is to understand the person movement, not just the actions thoroughly, but the intentions that provoked these actions. Therefore, animators can spend some time to research their animated characters. It helps them in understanding the actual thought process going on in their characters and helps them gain a clear picture of the character. This clarity gets reflected in the animation and helps in creating real characters.
2. Look Out for the Real-world References
Referring to a real-world example can be very effective while animating face of a character. An animator can even use a mirror to see the expression on one’s face while delivering the dialogues. Animators use videos of voiceover actors when they are recording the dialogues and then use the reference to animate their characters.
3. Study the Impact of Gravity
It is a well-known fact that the gravity affects everything unless you are in outer space. Animators need to understand that how gravity works and the way it affects the physical mass of the animated characters. An understanding of the gravitational impact on different mass, such as the difference in the footfall of lighter and heavier characters is essential, and every animator must be aware of this.
4. Time Character Movements
When it comes to time in an animated movie, it is entirely under the animator control. Improper use of time can result in the mistimed events and random shots. Happier and joyful movements are usually sharp and quick whereas sad moments are generally shown in slow motion(Stop Motion Mistake). All these aspects have to be considered while animating any of scene in a film.
5. Follow Body Movements
It is important for the animators to 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 neck, head and finally, the entire body moves in the direction. The eyes are what the audience are drawn to when they look at the character and in most cases, they are the first to move before the whole 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 the future use. Keeping basic animations standby will leave animators with the ample time to focus on other subtleties.
7. Acknowledge Action Reaction and Anticipation
Every movement of a character consists of three important areas, which are action, reaction, and anticipation. The animator should be well aware of that and carefully incorporated them into the animated characters.
8. Offset the Keys
Achieving a natural flow of the element which is following the character can be difficult at times. The root of the element may be attached to the base, but the whole motion needs to follow it like a wave. On the way to do this is to animate the base and apply the same to rest of the joints. It has to be followed by editing each frame to give a wave-like movement.
9. Observe Real Characters
It is important for animators to observe real-world characters to understand the way how they interact with others, how they express themselves, and how they move around. Apart from this, it is also important to study the timing and weight of the real-world characters. That will help in showcasing emotions better and make the animation look real
10. Record Yourself
To understand how a character should move, it is better to record yourself on a camera making the same moves. Acting out the whole scene on your own will leave you with clips that give a clear vision of where to begin your animation. An added benefit of doing this is, there will always be an option to rewind, pause, and play the actions in slow motion preventing the animators from missing out any critical expressions, which would have been missed otherwise.
11. Generate Key Poses First
Animators need to follow the layered process while animating the characters to save the time. The first layer must have quick poses at specific frames, as this gives a better sense of timing. Once this is performed, there is always time to go back and refine all the poses to perfect them.
12. Avoid Forming Each and Every Letter in Speech
While animating a character, it is not necessary to form every letter of the word that is being spoken. That can result in the mouth moving too immediately, 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 just dependent on the ability of the animator. Most of the effects depend on the rig being used. The rig should be customized as per the requirements of the animator. The most effective gears are the ones that allow the animators to stimulate the characters. However, it is essential to keep the animator rig to the simplest form possible.
14. Balance the Character
We learn to shift our centre of gravity. This aspect needs to be taken care of even during character animation, and it is one of the critical elements of animation. Shifting the center of gravity to maintain the balance is essential in real life and also holds true for the animated characters as well.
15. Make Use of a Basic Model
Working on high-resolution models in the viewport at all times can cause a huge strain on your system and may slow down the whole process. Therefore, it is better to work with a simpler proxy model when compared to the high-resolution model. This is one of the key tips to improve the quality of the character animation and 3D animation skills.
Watch the below video to Learn the Basic Step of Character Animation:
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