Our fascination with art and motion goes back to when we first learnt how to draw many millennia ago. Now, with an abundance of resources at our disposal, it is easy to create and animate. For the aspiring cartoonist, animation is more than just a means of expression- it is a fulfilling journey that can be very rewarding, both mentally and financially. However, coming up with new ideas, or perfecting old ones presents a challenge. Whether it’s mental block or simply a lack of inspiration, there are some unique ways you can bring more to your animated show.
Refine your skills
It’s easier to generate new ideas when you have the skill set to execute whatever comes to mind. Increase your knowhow by watching other shows, or enrolling for a class. Practice your drawing or sketching skills until you can draw with ease as you will make a lot of sketches. Try to develop your own unique way of drawing your characters.
With animation, the idea is to produce something that comes close to real life. Studying people in real life will clue you in on how they act, respond, and move. This last one is especially important, as understanding the psychology of movement will be very crucial in making your characters believable. Use your own facial expressions to be able to learn the subtle changes that communicate emotion. Remember, emotion starts with the eyes, so focus on that as you create your sequences.
Your show needs to tell a story. This means having a script. Before you develop your characters, you need to have a script. It will be map that guides you throughout the whole creation process. There should be a beginning, a middle where the story unfolds, and a finish. Having the end in sight serves to compress down your narrative so that it doesn’t stretch out longer than it needs to be.
It’s also recommended that you create your dialogue. Unless the show you are creating needs no voiceover work, creating the conversations will prove essential when it comes to timing and emoting.
Animation is a sequential process, so do not try to achieve everything at once.
- The key things you need to get right, besides the character movements, is the timing. Using a layering format will help you capture all the details in a step-by-step fashion.
- Keeping your characters balanced is difficult, unless you know how to maintain the right center of gravity. This is where the importance of studying how people act and move in real life is underlined.
- When creating complex motions, there are three things you need to keep in mind- the build-up, the action, and the reaction. While the animation can be exaggerated a bit, these three steps have to be involved.
Investing in good animation applications and software can make a world of difference as it reduces the amount of work you have to do. Remember to keep practicing, and always get feedback on your creations to know how or when to improve them.