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Thread: Got Questions?

  1. #1
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    Got Questions?

    Hey folks!
    This part of the forum is a bit vacant, but I just wanted to throw this out there. I've been in the animation industry for 7 years, (and 3 years of college before that). I'm happy to answer questions for people!
    *Note, I'm a 2D animator so my 3D knowledge is limited, but I will do my best in that department.
    *Second note, I live in Ontario, Canada, so consider that if you're in another country popularity of various software and pipelines may be quite different.
    Most common questions I see:

    Software - There are lots of great options out there. Keep in mind that big studios often have heavily moded versions of software or they have their own program. It's not 100% necessary to know the specific program in a studio, for example Flash animators do get hired on Harmony shows, but they are GOOD animators, so studios consider it reasonable to swallow a few weeks of training them. Learning the fundamentals is more important than what product you start with.

    2D - Personally I like Toonboom's Harmony and it's what I use at work. I've also worked on other Toonboom products over the years so I can answer lots of questions that are specifically for their animation products.
    Flash is still quite popular in the TV animation biz, I have friends who animate in Photoshop, and After Effects at work and I've heard good things about Anime Studio Pro, though I don't know anyone who is currently working with this software in my area.
    3D - Maya, 3D studio max and Blender pop into my head.
    Compositing - Nuke and After Effects

    Books - Animator's survival kit - always mentioned for a reason.
    Cartoon Animation, Preston Blair - You'll find these on a lot of desks in the studio.
    Elemental magic, Gilland - if you're interested in special effects at all, this is the best book ever.
    Drawn to Life, Volume 1 &2 - These are text books, so not as many visual references but incredible lessons! Volume 1 is more for beginners, talking about the basics of animation. Every animator should read these.
    Honourable mention: All about Techniques in Drawing for Animation Production - An overview of the entire animation pipeline. Great beginner book for someone who has no idea what I mean when I say pipeline


    Classes / what should I study / how do I learn - If you have the opportunity to take a few classes, or study particular things go for life drawing and perspective. The hardest part about beginning the animation process is you're fighting your own drawing skills. Being able to draw the figure in different poses, rotate and manipulate objects -everything in animation - will be covered in these two classes.
    Once you get to the animation bit start with the bouncing ball. Do a ping pong ball, a basket ball, a medicine ball. How do they differ? Animate a piece of paper falling, or a feather. Choose a simple object and a simple action. DON'T start with a samurai riding a dinosaur with a laser sword fighting a monkey on a motorcycle! Yeah that's awesome but you will spend sooooo much time drawing one drawing you won't be spending any time animating. Don't even start with a person. Even if you're super-duper good at drawing people. Just don't. Start with a ball.
    There are two main 'styles' of animation, Pose to pose - this is where you draw your extremes and then draw the ones in between (They are called inbetweens ) and straight- ahead - this is where you start at frame 1 and then just keep drawing the consecutive drawings, 2,3,4,5 etc.
    I find Pose to pose best for characters and solid objects, especially rotating stuff. Straight ahead I use for liquids, cloth, fire, goop, and other FX stuff, Sometimes I do a bit of both. Look both up and get to know them!
    Just like learning to draw you want to pick simple subjects and focus on basics so here is a list of the basics:
    Squash and stretch
    Anticipation
    Follow through and Overlap
    Slow in Slow out aka Ease in Ease out
    Arcs
    Secondary action
    Timing


    Okay, that's all I've got for now.
    Happy sketching


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  3. #2
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    Hi Rhubix. I'm looking into a program called TVPaint. Have you tried that one? I finally finally got some time off and would like to try animating ( I have been dreaming about that for a long time) along with drawing (I'm a terrible beginner though). Note sure where to start but I believe I will have plenty of questions soon, haha. Would starting exercises from Animator's survival kit would be a good choice?
    My sketchbook.

    There is no secret ingredient. (Po)

  4. #3
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    The Animator's Survival Guide is pretty advanced. I suggest you work your way through http://www.animatorisland.com/51-gre...ses-to-master/, which begins with the mother of all animation exercises: the bouncing ball.
    Grinnikend door het leven...

    Sketchbook Blog

  5. #4
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    I have never used TVPaint myself, but I've heard good things about it.
    All you need to animate is a timeline and some decent drawing tools, so it will definitely get the job done.
    I agree with eezacque- the ball is the best place to start. Just play around with making it bounce, making nice arcs and timing. Once you get a bit more comfortable with the basics you can add a tail, or think of how different materials would bounce. A ping-pong ball is very different than a bowling ball. Add a stripe. Make sure your ball doesn't shrink or grow. Just a ball can keep you busy for quite a while

  6. #5
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    Thanks, I will start with the bouncing ball then.
    My sketchbook.

    There is no secret ingredient. (Po)

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