I’m so thrilled to hear that, we can’t have enough animation in the world!!!
Thing is: don’t be afraid of animating! You say you have been wanting to animate for a year. I know where you’re coming from, when started practicing drawing years ago my biggest motivation was to be an animator one day. I practiced drawing so that I could use it for animation in some distant future. I wanted to start animating once I learned how to draw. But let me tell you something: I STILL don’t feel like I really know how to draw today. There will always be room for improvement, and what you have to do if you want to animate is to overcome your fear of failure, stop delaying it!
You want to be an animator? Today is the day your dream can come true. Just sit down and try to animate something. I already mentioned the 12 principles of animation before. Look them up. Look the bouncing ball up(you can find references in google pictures), and animate it. Have fun! You don’t have to be a great drawer to animate a ball. Animating is extremely difficult and takes lots of efforts and practice. It took me months to get used to my tablet alone! If it doesn’t look very good at the beginning, that’s the most normal thing in the world. Try, try, try again! I promise you you will get better. Read about animation. The internet is a wonderful resource. Buy the Richard Williams Animator’s Survival Kit and try it out yourself. Watch animated movies. Sketch from gifs. Observe.
Of course, ther ARE drawing rules that can and should be practiced too.
1. Carry a sketchbook with you. It is so so so so important to draw from life. First of all, it is an endless source of inspiration that can be a foundation for realistic acting in animation. Secondly, it helps you to learn how to draw quickly and capture the essence of a pose, the gesture, instead of a number of details put together. Make a clear statement of what you saw and get used not to use too many lines. I HIGHLY recommend the Walt Stanchfield Drawn to Life books.
2. This is also about having a foundation in reality: you should have an idea of anatomy before you can make a caricature(cartoon version) of it. I must say I totally hate studies of muscle structure etc and don’t do it enough but it definitely helps to know as much about it as possible. Drawing the body of a living creature is more interesting to me, and also very important for anatomy, seeing how it works together, again, body language and weight shifts etc. If you don’t have a chance to attend life drawing classes, there are online resources like pixelovely that can help you out(attention: features nude pictures). Drawing statues can be fun too :D
3. tip for drawing in general: be inspired by everything. Be aware of all kinds of things and art you love and find out what you like about it; it is a lot of fun to search for inspiration and helps you to form your own taste which leads to your own style and sense of aesthetics. The more you are open for all kinds of beauty in the world, the more you can mature artistically.
Coming back to my beginning point: there are some things in animation that have to be tried out. You can’t get a sense for timing and spacing by simply drawing; adding another dimension to your art, you will have to practice those aspects by simply animating. That’s why it is always good to practice animating AND drawing at the same time. After all, an animation is just many drawings showing a progressing action. So, if you feel like animating, do it! You will definitely learn things that are useful for drawing, too. I personally always found it difficult to draw things in perspective, foreshortening etc. By animating, I have been learning about space, which helps me with drawing in general, now. But the other way around, it is impossible to animate traditionally without learning how to draw.
Your drawings will get better if you animate, your animation will get better if you draw. If you practice both, you will benefit in any case! Just get started and try it!
You see I’m no expert at all in and there is still a lot of things I have to figure out myself, but this is just stuff that I noticed when I tried to approach animation. I hope it helps you a bit :)
animal band :P
Heeeey Lilay! It’s so nice to hear from you again! How are you? It’s been some time :)
I’m so happy to hear you want to animate things too! I would so love to see them if you want to post them here :) As for the animations, I highly recommend the Richard Williams Animator’s Survival Kit, it’s absolutely perfect to get started! When I animate, I usually start with the frames that are most important for the action, the key positions. then I think about how to fill the inbetweens up, making more drawings where the action should be slow and less where it should be faster. The squishy stuff is a lot of fun, and although it sounds boring, I recommmend animating a bouncing ball for practice, flattening its shape as is pushes on the ground and stretching it as it flies quickly up/down. Trying out what happens when you put frames in/take them out, change the positions and shapes. How does a bowling ball fall and hit the ground, how a tennis ball etc.
The 12 principles of animation are also VERY important. You can easily find them when you google them. Try to understand and learn every single one of them and try it out with a ball.
There are many more things to learn and I’m still at the very beginning myself, but I hope this helped a bit. I still recommend the Richard Williams book, I would have no idea what to do without it :D
OH one last thing: when I animate more complicated things I don’t do everything at the same time. I do the most important thing first. Runs and walks are still difficult for me. I often do the body with legs first, then the arms swinging on the second run. With hair and clothing(often even face expression) I often do straight ahead runs over the main animation, meaning I don’t draw the important frames first and fill them up, but do it all frame by frame until I reach the end. In this way I can be more spontaneous and I get a better feeling for when the hair is supposed to swing back etc.
Hope this helps a bit!
All the Best!