• 6 Steps of Video Animation

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    In this article we are going to take you through six essential steps of animation in detail.

    These are the general steps an animator usually goes through while working on a project. Every animator has their own way of working but for a beginner, this is definitely a fool proof system.

    STEP ONE – FINDING A REFERENCE VIDEO

    This step is very important but often overlooked. Normally, people assume that they know how a certain action will appear on the screen and how much screen time it might take but they are often wrong. Physical action needs to be analyzed and broken down into frames before you start animating, especially, if you are a beginner.

    If you need to animate a guy throwing a baseball,it is better to use YouTube for reference videos of guys throwing balls. Don’t assume how it would appear on the screen just because you have seen it before or did it yourself. As far as animation is concerned, observing an action helps you create a perspective.

    STEP TWO – KEY POSES

    After looking at all the reference videos, you proceed to create your own key poses. Key poses are the essence of a video because if viewed in isolation, they’ll make complete sense to the viewer.

    Referring to my previous example of a baseball shot, a focused shot of the player throwing the ball, is a key pose. As an animator,you have to get these right.

    Image Credits: www.animagazin.com

    STEP THREE – BLOCKING

    Once we are happy with all the key poses; we start creating the movements from each pose to the next by adding in-between or breakdown poses and we keep doing that until the whole shot looks as smooth as possible. This process is called Blocking.

    This is done while staying in Step Mode i.e. when you do not allow animation glitches between poses as this will help you achieve a smooth and lag free animation.

    Image Credits: www.animagazin.com

    STEP FOUR – SPLINING

    Splining is a 3D animation jargon. In simple terms; it’s a process in which you guide the computer to connect all the movements between each of your pose, in order to make the animation appear flawless.

    Splining is a tedious process which requires a keen eye. If splining is not done right, your animation will look like a series of unconnected shots.

    Image Credits: www.i.ytimg.com

    STEP FIVE – SMOOTHING AND OFFSET

    Once you are through with splining, you need to clean up all the curves and make sure that the transition looks smooth. It is also a good idea to balance some of the actions, otherwise, you’ll end up with a sloppy animation.

    Image Credits: www.ronald-fong.com

    STEP SIX – ADDING LIFE

    At this point, most of your animation is done and now you just need to add the final touches. This step is usually fun since it’s the final step.

    If you ask me; I usually add small imperfections that add life to the character,maybe an extra blink or a mouth twitch. At this point, it all boils down to individual preferences.

     

    If you are a beginner in the field of animation, use these steps to guide you through all of your projects. This step by step guide will make the whole process much easier for you while liberating you to use your creativity.

     

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