Are you looking for a way to revamp your marketing videos? Or are your inter-office communications a little dry? If so, try using animation to liven things up.
Animation can add all sorts of fun and interest to any type of communication, whether you’re inviting someone to a meeting or showing off your new product. And it doesn’t have to be hard, either.
Not sure where to begin? Keep reading if you’d like to get your feet wet. Here are ten animation tips that will start you on the road to success.
1. Think in Shots
In film, you’ll have multiple different shots during a scene. You’ve got to think of animation in the same way. Divide each scene up into shorts as you animate.
For example, in one scene you may have someone shopping for groceries. Shot one would show the person entering the store. Shot two shows them walking down an aisle.
Animate each shot on its own before putting them together. This will make things easier than trying to figure out how to do each part and connect them together. You can worry about transitions later.
2. Devote Some Time to Practice
You want your animations to look at natural as possible, not like you were trying too hard. To get this look into your animations you’re going to have to practice.
Envision the character you’re animating. Practice drawing that character. They don’t always have to be doing the same thing.
Essentially, you and your character need to become one. The more your subject is a part of you, the easier it will be to draw them.
3. Work in Your Own Space
If you work in an office, that’s not the place to come up with great animation. There are way too many distractions there. Instead, work in your own space.
If your boss will allow, working remotely can really unleash your creative side. When you’re not worried about office meetings and lunches and who just walked by, you’re free to focus on your animation skills.
4. Start Simple
Whether you’re sending an inter-office communication or creating animation for an ad, it doesn’t have to be huge. Start with a simple idea and work until it looks good.
Some animations are purposely left in a rough or basic state. That’s fine. Sometimes it’s funnier or more entertaining to watch an ad with stick figures instead of real people.
5. Focus on Movement
How your subjects move will really determine how real your animation feels. A simple movement tells viewers what they’re supposed to be seeing.
Take a bouncing ball, for example. If the ball’s shape doesn’t change at all when it hits something, that’s not very convincing. Instead, the edge that’s hitting the floor should dent in when it hits.
If you need inspiration, use a model or prop. Try bouncing a ball up and down and see what movement you need to incorporate to make your animation more realistic.
6. Listen to Feedback
If you aren’t the one in charge of the animation, always make sure you listen to feedback. Your boss may want the main subject of the animation to be female, not male. If you come back with a second version and the subject is still male, they’ll know you weren’t paying attention.
Takes notes when you receive feedback. Or refer back to written feedback if that’s the form you received it in. Doing what’s asked for will likely save you some time and frustration.
7. Start by Grabbing Attention
Animation is everywhere. From commercials to movies to billboards, we see animation every day. That means your animation could be pretty uninteresting.
Unless you do something to grab your audience’s attention right away. This should always be the aim when you’re creating a new animation.
This doesn’t have to be something huge. But make sure it gets the attention of whoever will be watching it. Keeping your target audience and your goal of the animation in mind will help with this.
8. Start with Your Character
You’ll likely have a lot going on in your animation. You may have a main character, minor characters, animals, props, furniture, a background, and more. Don’t try to perfect all these things at once.
Instead, start with your character. Once you’ve got the character’s movements down, you can build the scene around them. If you need to save time or effort (or both) keep your props and scenes simple.
As you develop your character, the story will come. And do make sure there’s a story! Stories are great marketing tools, whatever platform you plan to use.
9. Take Criticism Well
Hopefully any criticism you receive will be given in a kind way, but however it comes, take it well. Criticism can really help you build your animation skills.
Particularly listen to those who are already experienced in animation. They may just have some extremely helpful things to tell you. You may miss them, though, if you’re too busy grumbling about what they had to say.
10. Add Little Details
The little details are what really bring your animation to life. It’s pretty easy to make a stick figure look angry or surprised. That’s done by adding a few minor details.
The same concept applies to animation. The way a finger moves or an eyebrow raises can totally change the mood of a scene. Pay attention to these details in real life and translate them into your animations.
Get Started With These Animation Tips
Learning to use animation may feel intimidating, but it’s really simple as long as you know where to start. These animation tips will help you get going quickly, whatever your project may be.
You likely won’t ace each one of these the first time you try them. That’s okay. The more you work on each concept, the better you’ll become. Give it a whirl and you’ll be creating winning animations in no time!
Don’t have the time to create your own animations? We can do it for you! Check out our previous work to get an idea of what we can do.