How to get started with animation

 

Learning how to animate is an amazing way to take your video-making skills in a new and interesting direction. You can animate in 2D or 3D, with various software platforms available to help you practice and improve. If you’re just starting out and looking for inspiration, these helpful tips will ensure you get to grips with the basics and learn how to become a better animator.

Understand different kinds of animation

Before starting out, it’s important to learn about the different kinds of animation there are, so you can decide which one is right for you.

Traditional animation

Traditional, or classic, animation involves the process of hand drawing images onto translucent paper, with a soundtrack used to help ensure a story is told in the correct order. Images are then photographed or scanned, before being turned into a moving image.

You can also use a pen tablet to do all of this digitally which can be more efficient in many ways.

2D

2D animation is likely to be the first port of call for novice animators, with lots of software options available. This is a relatively straightforward method, with no need for perfect drawings skills. Plus, you can use software that enables you to move body parts independently, so you don’t have to constantly redraw characters.

3D

3D, computer generated animation is harder to grasp, as it requires mastering 3D modeling techniques. These include box (or subdivision) modeling, and contour (or edge) modeling. Grasping these will allow you to create models that can move within software, with a computer doing the hard work of moving characters between key frames.

Stop motion

Stop motion animation, the use of objects such as puppets or clay models that are moved frame-by-frame, is rewarding but time consuming. Think of the work of Aardman, such as the Wallace and Gromit films.

Pick a medium to work in

It helps to pick a medium to work in once you’ve read up and researched all the different kinds of animation out there. 2D is perhaps the most obvious to start with, as it is relatively easy to understand, with a plethora of good software and hardware out there to help get you started.

Wacom’s Cintiq range is a brilliant entry point, giving you the ability to draw characters on screen and animate them.

Play around and practice

As with any creative endeavor, it’s essential to spend time practicing animation. That means time spent drawing on a pen tablet or pen display, or learning the intricacies of software. As well as time on a computer, it’s also worth taking a sketch pad and pencil out with you, observing how people and animals move and drawing them when you get the chance. This will help you refine your animation skills and make characters move more realistically.

Take an online course

Once you’ve spent some time playing around and learning the basics of your software, it’s well worth looking at different online courses. Many are available as free video tutorials, but you can also pay for courses which specialize in particular software platforms. Both will help you develop your skills, whether you want to learn how to make simple 2D animations or craft 3D masterpieces.

Animation made easy. Get started with Wacom Cintiq.

Animation is easier with the right tools. Wacom Cintiq sets you up for success with an optimized feature set for creative starters. A large, high-clarity HD screen and ergonomic design together with the super-responsive Pro Pen 2, offer more precision and control. So your animation project gets off to a great start.

Recommended product

 

Wacom Cintiq 22
Draw, design and create directly on a high resolution screen with a precise pen.

Shop Wacom Cintiq 22

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