Here’s a collection of short animation tips that I’ve snatched from twitter. I’m sorry to say that I don’t have the names behind most of the quotes.

“A change of expression in the middle of a major move will go unnoticed, any value intended will be lost, make it before/after the move“
“A cool #animtip I picked up from Hans Dastrup a while back is to not have the eyes 100% track a single point(/locator/handle). About 80% gives a bit of natural slip during head movement that means less finessing of eye direction curves at the end of the shot.“ Kevan Shorey
“A moving body couldn’t be shifted in direction without encountering resistance from something in its present path of movement, causing it to turn“
“A walk is the first thing to learn. Learn walks of all kinds, cause walks are about the toughest thing to do right.“ Ken Harris
“A work of art is never a copy, for it to have meaning to people it must be the personal statement of an artist“
“Acting is all about reacting to context as given character” Mudasir Naqshbandi
“After posing your first pose in a shot, print out a picture of it and then grab a sharpie and draw over it, pushing the attitude.“ Jason Schleifer
“Aim to bring something unique to your animation endeavours. Even the smallest nuance that is yours alone will help a bunch!“
“All creatures move in curved paths, never in straight lines, most of the time the path of action is in a wavelike arc or in a figure8?
“Almost all real action has major or minor anticipation such as a pitcher’s wind-up or a golfers’ back swing.“
“Always ask yourself what is this character thinking and why is he thinking that way“
“An action without thought is impossible and an action without an objective is mechanical.“ Mudasir Naqshbandi
“An object in motion will tend to want to continue in motion along the same direction until it has a reason not to“
“Animation = Entertainment. Don’t get so caught up in the process that you forget!“
“Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive“
“Animation is very rough on one’s ego. Your current work is the barrometer of your quality all the time. You can’t hide behind anything. You have to show your animation and you are constantly reminded exactly where you are compared to other people. It is important to understand and be prepared for this.“ Rastko Stefanovic
“Animation means to invoke life, not to imitate it“ Chuck Jones
“Artists must learn to think and feel for themselves and find new forms. They must never be content with what someone else has done!“
“Ask interesting questions to make your work stronger – not “how do I make him heavy” but “how can i show him barely beating gravity?”“ Jason Schleifer
“Ask specific questions to improve your work, not “why isn’t this pose working”, but “what else can I do with his shoulders to convey joy?”“ Jason Schleifer
“At the end of each day, think about two things you did great today and one more thing you’ll do great tomorrow. Then do it.“ Jason Schleifer
“At times the best animation is no animation. Know how your scene relate to the previous and next scenes to help you with acting choices.“
“Being first at work, and last to leave isn’t a badge of honour. Dedication is great, but there’s a smarter way.“
“Despite all of your skills as an animator. Nothing, NOTHING, will protect your work from the heavy hand of the publisher.“
“Don’t animate just motions, animate ideas, thoughts and emotions“
“Don’t forget to add breathing. Listen to the dialogue, hear where air is being taken in & pauses where breathing can take place.“ Jamaal Bradley
“Don’t move anything unless it’s for a purpose.“ Ollie Johnston
“Don’t overthink things and get stressed out. If you just do it, chances are it’ll work itself out.“
“Don’t put the physics of a movement or gesture off when blocking a shot. It has to be in early to tie in and reinforce your acting.“
“Don’t start animating before the idea is worked out. Know exactly what you are going to do before you start.“
“Don’t underestimate simplicity. Sometimes the best performance is the simplest.“ Carlos Puertolas
“Don’t let a studio be your goal. Let the level of your work be your goal!“ Frank Abney
“Don’t make your scene look like a tennis match where action follows action. Let your characters react and think before taking action“
“Don’t rush to get into spline. Set the foundations first before worrying over the details.“
“Each pose should have the ability to work as a single frame illustration“
“Explore the options open to you. How will your character do what it needs to do? Even getting out of a chair will have a number of variations“
“Face expressions don’t have to all change at one time. Try having the eyes lead and then flush down the face.“
“Fill physical shots with all slips, falls, hitches, bumps and misses. Creating a little chaos is fun to watch.“ Kenny Roy
“Get as much feedback as possible. You need to get used to having your work analyzed. ESPECIALLY stuff you’re not happy with.“
“Give your characters flaws. It’s what makes them relatable!“ Animator Island
“Go for the feeling first, anatomy second.“ Eric Goldberg
“Go in and explore the physicality of your scene before filming reference. You don’t want to make the wrong choices for distances/sizes etc.“ Kevan Shorey
“How does the character feel about himself? What does he want? His hopes desires and goals. What’s he afraid of? His weaknesses?“ Glen Keane
“Humans act to survive. Find the survival mechanism in your character.“ Ed Hooks
“I recommend studying reference and real-life! Get off your butt and see real things!“ Will Grobe
“I’d rather see 15 seconds of amazing animation than 3 looooooooooong minutes of an unwatchable film. Those 3 minutes can feel like an eternity if everything isn’t perfect.“
“If possible, add a little inward twisting motion on the entire eye during the close position of a blink. It adds a bit of life.“
“If the key poses are what the character is doing, then the breakdowns are how the character does it.“ Eric Goldberg
“If you are trying to figure out timing and you are not out of your chair, you are screwed.” Keith Lango
“If you have two characters in one scene who think alike, you have a problem.“ Frank Thomas
“If you like your blocking, keep a movie of it on hand so that you can refer back and make sure your polished work retains that spark.“
“If you want to be a better animator, just go and do it. A lot. Application is everything!“ Mark Roennigke
“If your blocking doesn’t show everything that will happen in your shot, you’re not done blocking.“ Clay Kaytis
“If you’re too focused on quality of animation, and less on the workflow, you’re gonna have a baaaaad time. Develop a good workflow.”
“In analyzing video reference, you are looking for the forces that caused the movement not just where the body is at any given frame“
“It’s nice to hold a character still in a clear pose and get the performance out of the face, TRUST the pose!“ Jamal Bradley
“It’s really easy to get sucked in to animating in a bubble, but shot continuity and flow are more important than any single shot.“ Kevan Shorey
“Know your character construction and utilize every opportunity to show different angles, head tilts, shifts of weight and posture.“ Eric Goldberg
“Let your mouth shapes proceed and anticipate the next sound. Your mouth sort of knows what’s sound is going to come next, so as you are talking your mouth is preparing for the next word while you’re still on the first word.“ Jason Ryan
“Listen to the the breaths in your dialog, let that shape the phrasing.“ Lino DiSalvo
“Make sure to include some eyelid movement/shaping when moving the pupils. They help add unity and believability to pupil darts.“
“Make sure your camera is final before animating, so you can cheat to it if the situation calls for it“ J.K. Riki
“Much of the character and mood of a person is conveyed by the positions of the shoulders.“
“Never animate a shot unless you know the beginning, middle, and end.“
“Not sure how to fix your animation or what to do next? Play your animation on loop, sit back and take notes on a notepad. Watch it over and over and write down everything you need to fix. Fix that – all of it! Repeat. If stuck ask someone else.“ Elyse Gymer
“Observation of life is key. Reference is your greatest ally“ C. Rosas
“Put another camera behind your character and project yourself ‘through’ the figure to work out tricky full-body physics.“ John Kahrs
“Quicktime, Ctrl+J. Click “Video Track“ > Visual Settings > Flip/Rotate Horizontally and you’ll notice issues you never saw before.“
“Relaxed shoulders fall forward when the character leans down.“ Wayne Gilbert
“Remember that the character always motivate the camera, which means that the camera-movement comes as a reacton to the character“
“Remember: no one is looking at the background characters. Have them mouth curse words.“ Chris Bancroft
“Short term memory causes eyes to glance upward. Long term memory causes eyes to glance downward, into the soul.“ Ed Hooks
“Show your animation to a non-animator. Sometimes an outside eye sees what we don’t.”
“So much of character animation is breathing, subtle weight shifts, and small muscle firings in the face and body. Stay observant!“ Andrew Chesworth
“Spend as much time as you can on the earliest stages of your animation. Polish won’t fix what is inherently broken.“ Animator Island
“Step mode may seem more work/counterintuitive in CG, but it helps drive a mindset of poses, inbetweens, shape and importantly, design.“
“Stop planing and smoothing the life out of your animations, it creates visual boredom. It is Illusion of life, not of smoothness!“
“Take time to think about your animation, make a plan, and your work will go smoother.“
“The audience doesn’t process the first 6 frames of a shot, so don’t put any action there that isn’t a continuity from the previous shot.“ Keith Lango
“The character really comes to life when you believe it sees, thinks and reacts to the surroundings.“
“The character’s thoughts must be clear to the audience before the motion happens“
“The definition of “polish“ varies from company to company. Take the time to learn what your directors are looking for.“ David J. Pumpa
“The force of a kick/punch is directly related to its *speed*. don’t be afraid to experiment with a 2 or 3 frames for a kick.“ Eduardo Simioni
“The foundations of good weight: Balanced poses, solid arcs, controlled spacing and believable drag/overlap. Get ’em right & win.“ Keith Lango
“The readability of ideas depends on two factors: 1) Good staging and layout, 2) Good timing.“
“There is an exception, when you want to show power you can’t use arcs, straight lines give power“
“Think. Engage your brain. Many animators start a shot without doing this. Plan your shot. Animate with intent.“ Kenn McDonald
“Timing for animation tends to be quicker than real time.Time out your action 3 times taking the average but favoring the shorter length“
“Try to embrace criticism. It’s the one thing that will make your work better than it is now.“
“Try to get overlap build-in into your poses. It will be easier to tweak later on and it’s gonna support the intention of your character“ David Martinez
“Use the entire body to express what your character is feeling, don’t just concentrate on the face.“
“We anticipate expected events. eg. If a character prepares for an action, and an unexpecting event occurs. A character’s reaction will be based on his personality traits, and not on what he was anticipating for.“ Mudasir Naqshbandi
“We blink when we complete a thought and when we grasp the meaning of somebody else’s thought in conversation.“ Ed Hooks
“We don’t want to hear what we just saw, we want see what we just heard.“ Kenny Roy
“What you have to do in animation, is direct the audience’s eyes to where you want them to go, to not just soak in the environment, but feel it.“ Graham Walters
“When animating a difficult character, don’t fight the design. Use its limitations to your advantage.“ Cassidy Curtis
“When animating, think “If I could only do ONE thing, what would it be? What’s does this shot NEED?”.  Then do THAT & F*** the rest.“ Jason Schleifer
“When blinking, your lower lid does not come up to meet your upper lid. It only works that way if you squeeeeeeeeeze, or wince.“ Jason Schleifer
“When finessing your shot, take 5 minutes to write down everything that bugs you about it. Then take 20 minutes to knock ’em out!“ Jason Schleifer
“When given a note on a shot, don’t just DO the note! Understand the note and re-work the shot to make it right!“
“When you are talking to a loved one, your pupils will enlarge. If with a hostile person,they will contract. Pupils denote aggression“
“While using props, don’t make your characters hold them perpendicular to the hand.The right grip will sell the physics of your shot.“ Dhaval Soni
“Work in silhouette, don’t have a hand come over a face so that you can’t see what’s happening“
“Write down issues you are having. Keep referring to these notes every few weeks and make sure you’re not still making the same mistakes.“
“You are actors and action heroes, not a piece of office furniture! Get out of your seat once in a while and BE the character!“ Simon Unger
“Your animation is only as good as your poses. You can have good timing, good overlapping action, good follow through – but if your poses are not strong and to the point (telling the story) you do not have good animation.” Ham Luske
“Your timing should match the SCALE of a character’s muscle (ex. timing of a human’s eyelid is similar to that of a mouse’s arm).“ Scott Clark
“You’re applying for Animation? Well, show me good animation! Show me acting. Show me thinking. Show me a character that is alive. I don’t care about lighting, modeling, shading, particle effects, or how clever you are. Blow me away with something I’ve never seen. An original character with a distinct personality!“

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One comment

  1. krish says:

    great collection…

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