Animation

Want to be an animator, but you don’t know from where to start?

I will share with you my Top 3 resources that I’ve found over the years, which got me up in running in no time!


This is a must have book for absolutely every animator that is just starting, really, it helped me a lot!
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The Animator’s survival kit

The author of the book is Richard Williams.

About 

These DVD’s are for professionals and students and cover the knowledge of the underlying principles of sophisticated animation which apply to any style or approach to the medium, including computer, classical, games, stop motion and internet animation.

The Animator’s Survival Kit – Animated is about how things move, and specific work methods used to make characters live, breathe, think and give a sustained commanding performance. Williams demonstrates his points with drawing, performance and over 400 specially animated examples – many from his best-selling book. (Source)

You can buy the book from various sources, I would recommend Amazon’s market place for the hardcover (link). However if you want to have a portable version of the book (digital copy) you can buy it for your iPad on iTunes here.


In my opinion the best website with video tutorials.

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About

Animation Tutorials to Bring Characters and Scenes to Life Learn powerful 3D animation software and how to create seamless animations from today’s creative professionals. Watch tutorials and training to learn proven 3D animation skills, techniques and workflows

Link for their Animation related tutorials can be found here

Yes, they are not free, but are totally worth it if you want to hit the industry as an animator (and not only). I know that there are a lot of video tutorials on YouTube, but from my personal experience I would go 10 out of 10 times with these guys. There, I’ve never heard the tutor telling his wife/girlfriend that he will pick up the kids later because now he’s doing some “tutoring” (for instance), every project is completed from start to finish, where as on YouTube I have watched tutorials that are only halfway done and if you don’t know how to finish it, you are basically stuck + you have wasted your time. In addition their customer support is brilliant.


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About

CGSociety is managed by Ballistic Media and maintained by a group of 15 staff working from around the world. We are based in Australia with representatives in the USA and the UK. Our forums are guided by dedicated team of volunteer Forum Leaders spread around the globe. Our Forum Leaders are all industry professionals who generously share years of experience and wisdom with the CG Community. Ballistic Media also produces amazing Digital Art Books in partnership with the best digital artists in the world. Our company is a reflection of the community we maintain and we are proud of both. We value signal over noise, quality over quantity and people over product. We believe great places to work in are full of great people to work with.

We all have these days when inspiration is just nowhere to be found. Whenever I feel that way I simply go to their community and in no more than 30 minutes ideas are flying in my head and I am off to work.


That’s it, these are my Top 3 resources that helped me when I was just starting with animating. I really hope that this blog post will help someone who is currently in the same position that I was couple of years ago.

Just a random list of the basic concepts an animator should know how to do.

Walking, running, crouching, jumping, posing, moving objects with different weights and the good old pendulum movement are just some of the things a good animator should know how to do perfectly. Basically if you are applying somewhere for a position as an animator, the company that you are applying for will most likely ask you to do one of those exercises as part of your interview even if you have already submitted your portfolio. From these exercises an animator can be judged whether he understands the basic concepts of animation or not.

Here is a list of the the basic concepts that an animator should know how to do:

  1. Squash and stretch 
  2. Anticipation 
  3. Staging 
  4. Straight Ahead Action and Pose to Pose 
  5. Follow Through and Overlapping Action 
  6. Slow In and Slow Out 
  7. Arc 
  8. Secondary Action 
  9. Timing 
  10. Exaggeration 
  11. Solid drawing 
  12. Appeal 

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Cartoonish walk cycle I did a while ago. I’m just using it as an example to show you how you can combine multiple concepts in one action.

Why I like to make animations

Like every job in the world, animating is not an easy thing. Sometimes you can get so angry that you will want to throw your laptop/desktop out of the window…

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… but it can be very rewarding as well. Just think about it. Creating something that does not exists, something that in the beginning is just an square object like the one illustrated in the next picture …

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… to a highly detailed 3D model, which can be animated and do things that a real human being can not do.

Captain Sparrow 3D model

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A good example of a full length CG animated sequence made by 

Just like music, animations are an excellent way of expressing yourself. Your feelings, your believes, your imagination.