Animation, the art of bringing static images to life, takes years of training and practice to hone the necessary skills to be successful in the industry. You may have looked into animation courses but had no formal training yet and you’re wondering whether you have what it takes?
If so, this article will help you to figure that out. Generally the most important attributes include patience, imagination, passion and an innate drive to learn. But here’s a few practical tips to guide you in the right direction.
Watch the masters at work
The simplest way to picture yourself in the role of an animator is to watch one at work. There are plenty of documentaries, interviews and showreels online that show the process in all its detailed glory. Here’s a few to get you started:
- For those interested in 3D animation, Chris Cordingley offers a fantastic walkthrough of the production pipeline from start to finish.
- For 2D animation, here’s a nice speed-run to give an idea of basic workflow techniques.
- 3D animation as it applies to the games industry can be seen here.
- And last but not least, check out this beginner’s guide to using After Effects for stop motion.
Take a few online tutorials
There’s nothing better than diving right in and trying to make your own animations. However, the initial learning curve can be off-putting, particularly if you’re trying to get to grips with digital animation packages such as Toon Boom or Maya. Luckily there are plenty of great online tutorials to help you understand the fundamentals of animation. There are plenty of free tutorials on Youtube and if you’re willing to go the premium route, Lynda.com and Animation Mentor are hard to fault.
Hone your traditional art skills
Even with the advent of digital animation workflows, traditional principles of perspective, anatomy and composition remain staples of the craft. Be sure to keep your skills sharp by keeping a sketch pad with you wherever you go. Getting into the habit of jotting down quick sketches of passers-by in motion is a great way of injecting a sense of movement into your drawings. Equally important is gaining an appreciation of the static human form.
Thanks to sites like meetup.com, it’s easy to find anatomy drawing sessions and they’re usually cheap and great value. They’re generally not instructed, but at the end you’ll get the chance to critique each other’s and this can provide invaluable insights to help your development – it’s also good for networking and like all media work; good networking is almost essential to forge a great career.
Animation courses at Pulse College
Much like any craft, it helps to practice under the guidance of an expert. Here at Pulse College, we offer a number of industry-renowned animation courses staffed by seasoned veterans of the animation industry. Through practical tutorials, access to the latest software tools, hands-on project work and one-to-one guidance, we equip our students with the skills that are in demand in the creative industries right now.
If you think you have what it takes and would like to find out more, why not register for one of our nextopen event and get the opportunity to talk to some of our instructors.[openday]