In today’s exclusive digital world be it the animated videos on youtube, or animated TV advertisements, or cartoon banners, animation has become one of the most effective ways of conveying an idea, expressing oneself in a clear and funky manner. The language of animation makes it easy to express even the most complex ideas in an innovative and simple way, a way everyone can relate to. In this world of the Internet we target a diverse range of audience at the same time, animation provides a way that helps us stimulate effective interactions between them in a common way. But this effective communication requires high-quality animation that can bring the characters involved to life, improve their playfulness, and give it a touch of reality. Thus animators need to constantly keep brushing up their skill set so that they can optimize their animation so much so, that the largest audiences can relate to it, and he/she can stay one step ahead of the competition. Now the next question that arises is how can one improve his/her 3D character animation skills?
Well good for you, this is what we will be discussing today!
Here is a guide that provides you with the most important tips that not only help you with improving the visuals but will also help you optimize your product to deliver the best for your client’s investment be it in the form of time, efforts or money.
1. Observe and understand the psychology involved in the bodily movements
If you want to make your animation as realistic as possible, you better have the taste of the real world. One should understand the basic human emotions that trigger a certain kind of physical movements. Animators need to have a good understanding of the thought process of their character. Studying these factors provides one with important lessons to design more realistic movements and thus helps us mimic the human movements perfectly.
2. Draw inspiration from the real world
Attesting various facial expressions to your character is a great way of making it look more real. Observing the everyday people and using their faces as references when animating your characters dialog delivery can bring the entire communication to life. Some animators even draw observations from the expressions of their character’s voiceover artist for animation. Similar to this several real-life examples can serve as a prototype for adding depth to your character.
3. Keep in mind the Natural laws of the world, especially the effect of gravity
To make things seem more logical, keeping in mind the basic laws of physics can come in handy. Animators offering 3D animation must keep in mind the effect of gravity. It can help them judge the footfalls of characters of varying masses. Keeping in mind these small details can help you make the stunt and adventurous scenes more realistic.
4. Time the character movements
One of the key components of making the best animations is animator’s ability to synchronize the events with appropriate timings. Irregularly synced scenes not only take away the actual impact of the scenes but also account for dropping interest of the audiences. Small tips like- the moments of happiness are generally quick and sad scenes are better shown in slow motion can come in handy. Thus inappropriate utilization can cost a hell lot to the animator, hence being profound in timing the events is one of the most important things an animator can work upon.
5. Build your character’s personality
Multiple things ranging from the movements of the body to one’s facial expressions heavily contribute to shaping the character’s personality. Thus, the animator’s sense and understanding of these concepts can help him/her build an iterative and influential personality, by controlled motion animation. Certain elements like rolling of eyes, head turn followed by slight movement of neck and body parts can help in creating a character of impact.
6. Keep re-usability in mind, save the basic animations for future use
You can include some of the poses, and bodily movements as defining characteristics of your character. These chief movements provide your character with the elegance and subtleties. Since the basic animation (the keyframes involved in these movements) form an integral part of defining your character, they will be reused in future. Thus as an animator saving these diverse keyframes can come handy for future use.
7. Keep in mind the basics of motion- Action, Reaction & Anticipation.
Once you have undoubted knowledge of the three basic elements of motion – the action, reaction, and anticipation, you can master any motion of desire. Tasks like attaining a natural flow in a movement are easier said than done. Generating a loose wave like natural looking motion is tougher than you might anticipate. For creating such motion the animator must create a simple base and then apply it to all the joints of character, later editing all the fey frames involved. However, knowing the basic you can easily integrate various motions to get your desired movements.
8. Make the basic poses first use references for detailing
While working in layered 3d model animation, one is advised to make the basic poses first and then begin perfecting you animation with detailing later. Our recording and can serve as a prototype for detailing. You can record yourself to provide a practical reference of motion for your character. Seeing the shift in the center of gravity during certain motions, knowing where to dip or where to lift certain body parts, multiple insights like these can be provided by your recording and can serve as a prototype for detailing
9. Use minimal lip movement for speech
T make the conversation look more natural, one should focus on the minimal amount of required lip movement instead of trying to simulate every letter of your speech. Animating every spoken word might create a mess.
10. Use a simple rig and basic models, keep your character balanced
Use a simple rig that meets your demands and provides you with the style and class you which to achieve. Using a basic model can give a much better animating experience than the full resolution models as working on this much more time-consuming. Using a basic 3d model can help you I polishing your basic skills. Last but not the least always keep your character naturally balanced.