My interest in 2d animation started in November 2015, so I’m not that experienced in it, yet. I am currently looking for some practice tutorials for animation. I tried looking for it, but haven’t found anything good yet.
When I mean tutorials, I don’t mean regarding the software. I am already getting a hang of it. But my request is that if anyone has any set of practice that I should go through so that I get to understand the fundamentals of 2d animation.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any local classes for animation too. Sad. So I’m relying mostly on the internet.
So my request is, if anyone can give me a simple list of tasks to do so that I can start learning animation. As far as my “professional” talents go, I can do the bouncing ball. Now what are the next steps I need to take?
Firstly, I have some knowledge about the 12 principles of animation, but cant seem to find any good examples to start working on them. Secondly, I know some of you may tell me to do something from live examples, I will get to that later I suppose, but not yet.
Indeed it’s sometimes difficult to find out proper animation theory on the web, but it’s just that they are undercover. I’ll post a list of online resources for you to begin exploring.
But let me say this in advance, as the legendary Richard Williams put it, animation is “…the sophisticated use of the basics”. And just what are the basics? the fundamentals of animation are the rules and concepts that allow you to understand how the laws of nature work in a representation of itself.
That means that you HAVE to understand how nature works, in order to distill those observations into your animation.
First I suggest to learn about physics, particularly classic (newtonian) physics work, no need for formulas, but just how the concepts apply to our daily life, so you have:
Newton’s Laws of Movement / Motion
Mass / Weight / Gravity
Energy Transformation / Transference / Degradation
Then when you look at the principles of animation you can quickly see how much they resemble not only the same concepts from physics observation but from life observation as well. As a side note the 12 principles of animation came from a book called “The Illusion of Life” written by Ollie Johnston & Frank Thomas, Disney Veteran Animators, but please look for the Walt Stanchfield Notes on Principles of Animation, he outlines roughly 47 “principles” which will give you more insight.
Now learning about the principles go hand in hand with animation excercises, DON’T JUST READ, BUT DO. Create one excercise for every principle of animation.
Anyway, youtube is filled with animation learning goodies, you just have to look for it.
I’ll give you a boost recommending some channels, but please try to look for yourself after getting some confidence
AMB Animation Academy: This is a Great channel to learn hand-drawn animation by Arshad Mirza Baig
Alan Becker Tutorials: Alan Becker does mostly flash animation and he’s the mastermind behind the hugely popular “animator vs. animation” short films. He’s got a series explaining the 12 principles of animation here:
The Art of Aaron Blaise: One of my favorites, This is the channels of Aaron Blaise, Walt Disney Veteran Animator, and Director of Brother Bear. Look out for his series “Aaron’s Art Tips”
Angry Animator: This is the website of Dermot O’Connor a great animator who has made a lot of Flash animation tutorials for Lynda.com (and they are quite good as well) his website has some tutorials on animation. You don’t need flash for most
Aniamtor’s Island: A hub for animators, although some of their articles are quite insightful some others are not to my liking. They have a great article on animation excercises to try out:
Last but not least, some recommended books to learn about animation. (they are organized in terms of novice to advanced learning, but if you can only afford one, go for the animated survival kit)
All About Techniques in Drawing for Animation Production by Sergí Cámara (this one is really good for beginners, but mostly known for it’s spanish version) Cartoon Animation by Preston Blair (A classic animation book, also teach drawing through structure, which is an absolute must for any animator)
Tezuka School of Animation, 1: Learning the Basics by Tezuka Productions (Great book that has a different take on the concepts of animation, the principles of animation are explained ina more matter-of-fact approach) Tezuka School of Animation, 2: Animals In Motion by Tezuka Productions (A lof of different animals walking and running cycles from a limited animation perspective )
Animator’s Workbook by Tony White (Beginner Excercises to use with pencil and paper, some of the intro comment is good as history but useless nowadays in the digital age) From Pencil’s to Pixel by Tony White (Great all-in-one animation breakdown of his own short film, teaches how to animate, cinematography concepts and the bussiness side as well) How to Make animated Films by Tony White (Sort of a course-in-a-book kind of manual, it comes with a dvd that has videos so you can look how he animates stuff)
Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams (Must have, explanation of an animation method for the animator, walks, runs, and applied principles)
Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas y Ollie Johnston (The so called bible of animation, history of Disney animation, explanation of the process of animation (and description of the 12 principles) plus insight on how to be an artist) Character Animation Crash Course by Eric Goldberg (no-nonsense character animation tips and methods)
Timing for Animation by Harold Whitaker y John Halas (motion analysis for actions)
Fundamentals of Animation by Paul Wells (A designer-y book, more eye candy than not, has some good exampels of animation by well known animation historian Paul Wells) The Animator’s Book by Kit Laybourne (An overview of different techniques of animation, form stop motion to flash animation)
Ohh… very insightful… seriously though, thanks. I have so many ideas to work on, but I just cant animate well enough. Thank you so much, will go through each of it, even the books if I get a hands on them.