Basic Digital Animation – Beginners Guideline

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If you want to be an animator, the first and important thing is to know and understand everything needed to be known about the animation industry. This means you need to identify the best animation software that works very well for you and also learn the video making basics.

From the classic animation films of our childhood to the cutting edge CGI we see in blockbusters today, animation has been the centre in turning dreams into reality since the 1600s. Today, they have become more prevalent in our society prevailing from web applications to cartoon films, marketing tool and even when it comes to architectural designs.

Types Of Animation

There are two types of animation, which are:

• 2D Animation – 2D Animation is a type of animation which only offers 2 dimension context

• 3D Animation – 3D Animation is a type of animation that offers 3 dimension context

Therefore, before you begin, this are two different animation fields and it is important to familiarise yourself with each one of them. Many modern animation studios use 3D animation tools to create the characters and environment for their movies. As a beginner, it is important to start with 2D animation and moving your way up. With time, you will get to learn many things through experience and ways to go about the whole procedure.

Tools Of The Trade

Every animator depends on several specialized tools to do what they do best. Back sixty or fifty years ago, the tools animator relied on were nothing more than just a paper, pen and pencil. However, today there are many applications they use, which are dedicated to animation. These software are straightforward compared to what animators used to do earlier.

The tools help animators to achieve complex and detailed styles without an entire team of experts coming up with a single style to achieve a single scene.

The 12 Laws Of Animation

Just like anything in this world, animation has its own set of laws, which help guide animators to come up with a more realistic animation (character behaviour and environmental factors). These laws were first outlined by Ollie Johnston, who was the directing animator of “Pinocchio” and Frank Thomas of the “Snow White and The Seven Dwarves”. In Disney Animation book; “The Illusion Of Life” they mention these great 12 animation principals, which ensured
that Disney classic animations were more realistic from the 1930s.

Initially, these 12 principals were originally intended for the hand-drawn animation style. However, over time, they became the basic 12 laws of animation. Today, animators all over the world still apply these principals to guarantee success in their work.

Below is a summarized form of the 12 laws of animation:

1. Stretch and Squash: This Law basically describes flexibility and weight.
2. Anticipation: This law shows the importance of movement and action of a character
3. Staging: this law describes how important staging is important and how important it is to stage a scene.
4. Pose-to-pose and Straight Ahead: These are two different animation approaches to animation. It shows action and human character behaviour.
5. Overlapping Action: This law describes the importance of motion and overlapping character’s actions.
6. Slow In and Out: The law describes the importance of character frame smoothness and action transition.
7. The Arcs: The law describes the natural movement of a character that is basically based on how you place the arcs.
8. Timing: The Timing or the number of frames used in a given scene or action. Overall, it describes the speed of an action to make it real.
9. Secondary Action: Detail is important when it comes to animation and this law mentions how important secondary actions are to make a character feel more real to audiences.
10. Exaggeration: the law state how important it is to exaggerate to create and interesting scene.
11. The Appeal: This law describes the importance of giving a character life. Give it real colours and make it as more real as possible.
12. Solid Drawing: this principal is all about object dimensions and 3D space. Now are you ready to start your first animation?

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