Animation has increasingly become an impeccable tool to inventively express and communicate even the most complex of ideas with ease and poise. It has an innate ability to help propagate and channelize effective interactions across diverse audiences. The animators play a crucial role in bringing characters to life and once it’s done, the artists strive hard to effectively leverage the possibilities of basic animation principles of clear staging, squash and stretch, follow-through, timing and secondary action along with anticipation to give unique identity and endow life to the characters they craft.
It is important that a professional 3D animator must always be at the best of his game to stay ahead of the competition. This brings us the most important question of the hour; how can one improve his/her 3D character animation skills?
Well, here are some character animation tips that can help you to improve visuals and offer maximum value for your clients' investments in terms of time, efforts and money.
Tip #01: Explore the disposition of movements
If you need to mimic the movement of a person perfectly, the best way to do so is not just understand the actions but also the emotions that triggered such actions in the first place. As such, animators that want to gain exceptional work quality can dig a little deeper into the character's thought processes to create distinct and befitting movement patterns that will go along with it. This will undoubtedly help the animator create realistic movement patterns which is one of the most important animation tips for beginners.
Tip #02: The magic of real-world inspiration
Placing the inspiration on real-world examples is one of the best ways to improve character animation especially when animating faces using Computer facial animation for best results. There are several techniques to do it. Animators can use their own face as references to know the way face moves while delivering dialogs. There are also some animators who use the facial expressions of voiceover artists as a reference to animate the characters.
Tip #03: Learn the effect of gravity
Except when you are in space, gravity always has an effect on you. As such it is really important that the company offering 3D animation services always understands how gravity affects the animated characters. It will help them animators understand how characters of different masses will have different footfalls.
Tip #04: Time the character movements
If there is one element fully under the control of animator, it is time. Inappropriate utilization of time can lead to irregular shots and ill-timed events that can take away the emotional impact of the scene. Most of the times, happier moments are typically quick and sharp while moments of sorrow and mourning are illustrated using slow motion. Understanding the same will help the animators to create better moments that audiences can relate to.
Tip #05: Body movements
The body movements of a character can define its personality and it is imperative that the animator understands this from the initial moment itself. There are certain elements that have to be kept in mind, such as the movement to an element that catches its attention starts at the eyes then it is followed by the movement of the head, neck and other parts of the body.
Tip #06: Basic animations need to be saved for future
As the character's chief movements, poses, and diverse key frames are applied, they may be saved for various future uses. Having basic animations as standby will certainly provide the animators with the flexibility to bring more characterization and subtleties to the character.
Tip #07: Acknowledging elements of actions, reactions and anticipation
There are three major elements such as action, reaction, and anticipation to all major character movements. These elements must be clearly understood by the animators and integrated carefully into the movements.
Tip #08: Offsetting the Keys
At times, attaining the natural flow of an element that is a part of the character is often tougher than anticipated. As the movement of the same needs to feel natural, an animator must create the base and implement the same to all other joints. In order to create the desired movement emulative of a wave, each frame has to be edited later.
Tip #09: Observing real characters
In order to create the best and most effective animated characters by using advanced 3D animation software, the animators must always try to understand how the characters intermingle with others, express themselves, and the ways they move, as well.
Tip #10: Record yourself
If you would like to have the most comprehensive understanding of how a character moves, then one of the best ways is to record yourself performing the same movements. It will give you plenty of inspirations to make your character more lively and realistic. This will provide you with the opportunity to rewind and pause the recording to understand the much-needed details.
Tip #11: Key poses needs to be created in the beginning
As the animators need to comply with a layered animation workflow process to save time, the very first layer of the animation should have swift poses at required frames. This will help to have an effective sense of time and progression. Once the process is completed, the animator can always go back and begin perfecting them as much as required.
Tip #12: Avoid forming each letter to depict the speech
There is no need to animate each letter for portraying a character’s speaking patterns. It is best to animate minimal lip movements to provide a more natural and realistic feel to the animated character.
Tip #13: Make the rig simple
One of the most important aspects of the 3D animation workflow process is the effective utilization of the rig. In order to make the entire process simple and effective, the animator must customize the rig to meet the style and affinities.
Tip #14: Character balance
Another important aspect that must be kept in mind during the process is to ensure that the balance of the character is always maintained naturally. The center of gravity must be shifted naturally to balance the weight as required just like people do in real life.
Tip #15: Use a basic model
Working on full-resolution models can be tougher and time-consuming Therefore, it is always important that you have a basic 3D character model to work on and it will certainly improve one's 3D animation skills, when it comes to developing impeccable character animations.
Utilizing these tips will help you to develop the best and the most reliable 3D character designs. It will save you hours of time while making your animated characters stand out from the crowd. Overall, it can help you deliver high quality work and get better for the industry.