1. Technology

Other Useful Tutorials for Animation

These tutorials, some put together by other About.com guides, will give you a start on a few other useful programs to help out with your animation endeavors.
  1. Macromedia Dreamweaver
  2. Photoshop Tutorials

Adobe Premiere Tutorials
Guide Carl Plumer's tutorials on Adobe Premiere Elements will help you get an idea of digital video editing. Premiere is a great tool for assembling your animations, editing them to fit a time frame, cutting unnecessary frames, sequencing to music, or many other applications.

Installing Toon Boom Animate on a Windows PC
The first step in learning to use Toon Boom Animate? Walking through the installation process, which is fairly simple and should only take you a few minutes.

Creating "Animated" Drawings with SnagIt
Use SnagIt and your favorite graphics program to create a recorded "animation" of your brush strokes as you draw.

Animation Character Sheet/Character Breakdown Basics
Before you start animating, it's a good idea to draw up a character sheet/character breakdown of the subject of your animation, both for reference and to familiarize you with drawing different views. Let's take a look at the basics for a character sheet.

Animating from Pencil to PC I: Rough Motion Sketches
The first step in starting off your animation is to get your basic motion down. For that you don't need perfect drawings; you can use stick figures, as long as they capture your basic proportions and get your motion down. Grab your light desks and get ready to go.

Animating from Pencil to PC II: Rough Detail Sketches
With the rough animated motion out of the way, let's get started on the detailed art by sketching it on top of the stick-figure roughs.

Animating from Pencil to PC III: Retracing & Line Weight
Once your detailed in-betweens are done, you can start retracing with clean black lines. Believe it or not, you can start adding depth to your animation even in this step, without color, highlight, or shadow - just by using varying line weights to create the illusion of depth.

Helpful Hints from Other Guides
This is a helpful list of tutorials by other About.com guides on Photoshop, HTML editors, and video editing that will help you as peripheral resources when publishing your Flash work.

Making an Animated ScreenSaver Using Visual Basic
This is just a quick dip at the trot, a basic checklist of things to do for those comfortable with Visual Basic; this isn't intended to be a full step-by-step, but more a basic overview as to the steps inherent in creating an easy 2D animated screen saver using the language.

Animation Tip: In-Between Trick
Animation Tip: In-Between Trick

Animation Tip: Layering
There are times when you may have a long stretch of animation in which only one part of a character or object moves, but find yourself stuck redrawing the static parts over and over and over again. You can avoid that by layering cels, and animating parts of your character atop a single cel containing the static parts

Animation Tip: Walk vs. Run
One of the most basic principles of animation is the walk cycle; it's often the first thing beginning animators will tackle, and mastering the walk cycle - which is a breakdown of the basic stages of a single step - is one of the first hurdles in mastering the art of animation. But what about the run cycle?

7 Life Lessons I've Learned from Animation
Have you learned valuable things as an animator that served you well in your personal life? Why not share your stories?

5 Things To Do Before You Ever Start Animating
Animating without planning can lead to a mess, and a lot of wasted effort. There are just a few things you need to consider before you dive in - but once you get that down, you're ready to go.

How To Create An Animation Flip Book
Flip books are a fun excercise for beginner and veteran animations, and don't require a light table, a camera, or a computer to show off your animation skills.

How to Use a Light Table for Animation
Using a light table can be useful, but if you don't know how to use it properly and to its fullest extent, it basically becomes a glorified tracing pad. Here's a few tips on getting the most out of your light table.

Animating With Purpose
Storytelling isn't just about telling a linear sequence of events. It's about achieving a goal, and giving the characters involved in the story a sense of purpose. That sense of purpose is what gives the characters life, and turns them into realistic entities that viewers can understand and empathize with.

Storytelling For Animation
While telling any story requires mastery of the craft of plotting and pacing, that mastery escalates to an entirely new level in the audiovisual medium of animation. Animation takes away many limits and introduces many more, to create a unique storytelling medium with the potential for greatness.

Animation Tip: Line Weight
Animators use numerous tricks to help convey depth, light intensity, and light direction; one such trick involves line weight.

Animation Tip: Anticipation
Using anticipation can engage the viewer more, making them lean forward in the chair in (wait for it) anticipation of what's about to happen; it can also be used to surprise them, when the moment of anticipation tells them one action is about to happen only for the animation to take a completely different direction.

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