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thecore95 04-07-2011 07:39 AM

becoming a great animator.
I know this has probably been asked several times over but there is something that I've been flipping around in my head for a little while and I just want to get some responses. I've been wanting to get into a more focused study because I know how good you have to be to get into the industry. I've always heard two sayings work hard and work smart and I'd rather the latter of the two because I know I can get results a lot sooner if I do it that way. So I've now targeted the areas of animation that I need to discipline myself in and could use some direction cause I feel like there is so much content I honestly don't know where to start first. The first one being the 12 principles of animation which I started to try and focus on more as it is the foundation. The second being anatomy which of course helps you to learn how the body functions. I have a lot of books but I'm wondering what might be the best toward animation. The third is physics I know in regards to force,velocity,acceleration,weight this can really bring the animations to the next level especially with the 3D technology that has now become a staple for animation. So I just wanted to get some feed back about what direction to take. What should I master first? I'm aware of what needs to be done just not how to make everything work cohesively to my advantage.

EvilLlama 04-07-2011 07:53 AM

Even if you work smart you still have to work hard. Skills aren't the types of things you can check off as mastered and then move on, you need to keep working on improving them continually.

My suggestion would be to create different projects for yourself that combine the concepts you want to focus on. For example, create a short animation of someone tripping and falling over something. You'll practice anatomy by putting effort into creating the character model, physics to make the fall look believable, and the 12 principles of animation to make the short appealing. And you'll end up with a possible portfolio candidate to boot.

Also, check out Animation Mentor. You need to pay for the actual program, but they have a lot of helpful resources for free.

tsloper 04-07-2011 08:22 AM

Forget "work smart" until you learn more. Work hard. Start wherever your passions point you to.

thecore95 04-07-2011 10:32 AM

Thanks for the replies. I'm well aware of the "work hard" element I've been attending Full Sail University Online courses. It is the reason I know what my focus is. I've practically done everything you can think of modeling, animation ,etc. I want my focus to be animation at least right now that is what I desire most. There is a lot of information out there I know its a life long study that is why I ask these questions because there is a lot out there not only as far as teaching but also software wise I just want to make sure that I can make a significant impact before I finish at full sail. I've checked out anime mentor actually wanted to attend as they were more so what I had in mind so, I will make sure and see what free info they have to offer.

EvilLlama 04-07-2011 07:25 PM

Check out
They have a lot of great resources, including fully rigged characters. So all you'd have to do is download them into your software of choice and just get down and dirty with those keyframes.

EmperorCesar 04-09-2011 02:14 PM

My roommate is studying to be an animator, and the reason his work is so much better than his peer's is because he ignores everything except the animation itself. While his peers model the characters and the environments before they actually start animating, my roommate downloads free rigged models (as mentioned above) and focuses solely on the animation itself. Learns the basics of the other stuff, but focus solely on animation.

kadian43 10-10-2011 10:56 PM

I personally wanted to get into Japanese Animation for the longest time and I've read that many of the Japanese artist that do that type of animation are very disciplined and most of them start off drawing manga which if a Japanese type of comic book. Unfortunately I do not live in Japan so I don't have much opportunity to get into the field.

However, CGI computer animation is mainstream now a days and there are a lot of computer programs that will assists you on how objects move but the rest will have to be you. Like the person mentioned above about their roommate is that you should focus on the properties of animation more then anything. That's why in mainstream professional animation they have different teams, one team designs the characters and another team focuses on how the animation flows and moves.

branimirpopov 10-14-2011 01:13 PM

Re: becoming a great animator.
Practice really makes perfect and the results are well worth it.It really did take me a lot of time and hard work to do what I'm able to do today.But as with everything else if you want to become good at something you have to keep on doing the good work,learn and practice new stuff all the time.My biggest advice is to stick at it.Don't give up and results will show up.Every great animator was in certain point of his life where you are now.So becoming good at this is maybe hard but not impossible.Oh,one other thing to have in mind.Know that failure is part of success so try not to fell depressed or demoralized.

lennyj 10-18-2011 10:31 AM

Re: becoming a great animator.
In the past I've left so many projects unfinished simply because of information overload! I starting learning programming but ended up getting overwhelmed by all the different things, I then went into website design and again same thing, and finally I tried out graphics and animation and guess what ........ another unfinished project!

What I'd suggest is something I read by I believe Steve Pressfield (Just Do the Work). He approaches it from the point of view of writers. A lot of people end up suffering from 'analysis paralysis'. What my experience has taught me is to just choose one thing you want to focus on and work on just that till completion. So for example, if it's the physics aspect just focus on that alone until you understand it well enough then move on to the next.

Basically, what you need to do is simply chose something to start on (the sooner the better) then move on from there!

tar1cr3ow 10-18-2011 01:54 PM

Re: becoming a great animator.
I agree with sticking to one thing at a time. Don't move on to the next, until complete. It's better to master a skill set before moving on to learning another. Otherwise, the saying, "Jack of all trades; master of none" will be your destiny.:) Good luck!

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