Category: Arts & Animations


5 Reasons Why Product Design Requires 3D Modeling

March 19, 2018

Arts & Animations

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Product designing is an integral phase of any industry. In this phase, designers get to represent their spectacular ideas to the prospective clients and manufacturers. Helping designers in this phase is state-of-the-art method popularly known as 3D modeling. Thanks to the proliferation of animation industry, designers now have multifunctional tools at their disposal that help them to present their designs in a vivid way. Showcasing your products in 3D forms can turn out to be absolutely stunning.

However, if this reason is not good enough for you, then here are five strong reasons that clarify why product designing is in dire need of 3D modeling.

#1 Create Rapid Prototypes

Creating rapid prototypes of products becomes easy with 3D modeling. Often 3D models prove to be beneficial to evaluate certain crucial factors including product details, its manufacturing costs, and designing concept. 3D models of product prototypes can be created either from a handmade drawing or even from a 2D sketch. However, leverage of 3D modeling lies in its ability in allowing designers to create and refine their designs without much hassle.

#2 Get 360-Degree View

The convenience of demonstrating a model from different angles is a huge leverage for designers. This is another perk of 3D modeling. Viewing the product from different angles not only allows people to notice the smallest details but also gives them a fair idea about its production and packaging. The three dimensional 360-degree view turns out to be pretty useful in all stages of production. Users can zoom in on the product and can get better visual expressions of the same; an advantage clearly not found in 2D sketches.

#3 Gripping Animation

A well-animated product will not only ensure success for your marketing campaign but will also help to give your customers a clear-cut idea about its working. Attention-grabbing animation can actually help you to go a long way and with 3D modeling, you can get to show your clients how your product functions.

#4 Perfect Marketing Material

3D models act as perfect marketing materials. Since they are photo-realistic, they can be easily fitted into presentations and commercials. Effective promotion of products can help companies to gain credibility from their customers and with production-ready models that would come easy. Most real-estate companies have already taken advantage of 3D content for promoting their sales.

#5 Precise Specifications

With the help of modern 3D modeling software, designers can now demonstrate the size, shape and other specifications in context to the real product. This almost real scaling of the products allows companies to give nearly-perfect overview of how the finished goods will be to the prospective customers.

4 Tips That Would Prevent You From Having A Compromised Animated Explainer Video Quality

March 19, 2018

Arts & Animations

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Animated Explainer Videos are extremely effective in putting across your message in a comprehensible manner. The real challenge, however, lies in making sure that the quality of your Explainer Video is just perfect. Here are four insightful tips that could prevent you from getting a low quality Animated Explainer Video produced.

1. Finalize your script before the animation process starts

In the video production process, animation is done on the basis of the script. Once the animation is completed and the final video produced, altering the script would only deteriorate the video quality. This is because, correspondingly, animation would also have to be altered, requiring that part to be made from the scratch. The altered part may then appear like a patch and break the flow of the video, thereby reducing its overall quality. Therefore, it is important to finalize the script before giving it for animation.

2. Specify the minutest of details, right at the beginning

It is advised that even the minutest of details, like color specifications, logo details (where and when to place in the video) etc., are given right at the beginning of the production process. Any redoing / revision is strictly ill-advised, as the new specifications may not fit-in as well, and may in fact, decrease the visual appeal of the video.

3. Final Voiceover v/s Dummy Voiceover

Voiceovers form the foundation of Explainer Videos. For a video to look professional, perfect synchronization between the voiceover and the animation is a must! Sometimes, during the video production process, animation is done first on the basis of a dummy voiceover which is then replaced by the final voiceover. This is a No-No! The final voiceover could have some variations from the dummy voiceover, in terms of the speed of voiceover narration, emphasis made on particular words, pause placements etc. This creates a mismatch between the animation and the voiceover, thus deteriorating the video quality. Even a minutely desynchronized video could confuse the viewers and make them feel annoyed by the low quality. Thus, it is better to animate the video based on the final voiceover instead of on a dummy voiceover.

4. Finalize step-by-step

Typically, the video production process involves the following steps in the given sequential order:

  • Research
  • Scripting
  • Storyboard Creation
  • Voiceover Recording
  • Animation
  • Delivery

Since the video is built gradually, based on the output of the previous step, therefore, going back to a previous step during the production process should be avoided. Since it is extremely important to have the perfect synchronization between the script (voiceover) and the animation, altering anything in these elements, often disrupts the flow of the message, making it ambiguous.

These precautionary tips could help in eliminating the unwanted elements that could put off your viewers. Follow these and pull off an amazing animated Explainer Video for your brand promotion.

5 Common Character Archetypes in Cartoons

March 19, 2018

Arts & Animations

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Whether we’re looking at Shakespeare or SpongeBob, there are common character archetypes that appear in stories across time and cultures. Archetypes are characterized or classified by the role they serve or their purpose in a story. The classical archetypes of a good story include the protagonist and antagonist, the mentor, the sidekick, and the love interest. Let’s take a closer look at these five archetypes and how animation studios bring them to life.

The Protagonist

This protagonist is the main character in a story, show or movie. In many cases, this character turns out to be the hero. It is usually easy to identify the protagonist because the storyline revolves around them and their lives, problems and internal conflicts. Roughly, in Greek, the word protagonist translates to “player of the first part” or “chief actor.”

Why is a protagonist so important? They aren’t always the heroes; sometimes they are just the focal point in a show or even in an advertisement. A protagonist is typically on the “good side,” and follows a moral compass that many deem good. The protagonist is likely to change throughout a story and that action expresses the theme of a story an animation studio is trying to put out. A protagonist serves as a doorway into an emotional story or an emotional heart. They tend to draw a viewer or reader into the story. The best protagonists are characters that people can relate to. As a viewer, you may have shared hopes, fears or goals with a protagonist.

When we look to animation and some of the most well known protagonists we see characters like Buzz and Woody or Superman. Though heroes in our eyes, protagonists are far from perfect. They hold some type of flaw, whether it be internal or within their environment. The conflict they face then causes them to fight back or fall back from the big obstacle, and the way they choose to react to a situation is how we choose to interpret the character’s qualities.

The Antagonist

Classical forms of storytelling feature a main character known as the protagonist, which we discussed. This character will typically enter the story first. Then enters the antagonist. This character is typically depicted as the “bad guy” or the “villain.” Antagonists are without a doubt entertaining and bring a moral conflict to light, which as a result puts our hero at a fork in a moral road.

These characters serve to teach viewers wrong from right. These characters are an essential component to any story for many reasons. They are the primary opposition for a protagonist. They elicit the protagonist in the story to change their perception and try to live in a less flawed world, no matter who or what they must hurt to attain it.

When an antagonist or a villain in any story is personifying a central conflict, it brings a different element to a story that will benefit it. The pressure an antagonist puts on the protagonist eventually brings forth inner conflicts. These characters typically test their counterpart’s moral compass and commitment to being morally just.

The Sidekick

The role of a sidekick was once referred to as the “close companion.” This role dates back more than a century. Specifically, we have our first literary glimpse at a sidekick in The Epic of Gilgamesh, which features a protagonist-sidekick. The main character seeks not only friendship, but also advice from Enkidu. This character has defined many of the consistent and quality characteristics we seek in a great sidekick in regards to a production of a film, book or television series and more.

Gilgamesh was unarguably the main character. However, the epic reveals that the secondary character, Enkidu, played a smaller but still meaningful role in the story. When Enkidu is killed, Gilgamesh responds aggressively because he has grown close to his friend and confidant. The depth of the reaction Gilgamesh has not only adds depth to him as a character, but also lets the audience know how significant the bond was between the protagonist and sidekick.

Another common trope of the sidekick is to infuse the story with humor. This is especially true of animated characters. Where would Bugs Bunny be without Daffy Duck to set him off? Some may see Daffy as more of an antagonist, but he’s not really out to get Bugs. The two characters play off of each other and add lots of laughs along the way.

Other great sidekicks in time include Dr. Watson and Sancho Panza. These sidekicks perform different roles and functions in support of the main character they assist throughout a storyline. They serve a grander purpose than simply being a companion or assistant. They humanize the characteristics of a protagonist. They are also the character that moves the story.

The Mentor

The mentor is usually a great help for the protagonist in any story. They guard or protect them during a big quest or journey that involves both physically harmful obstacles as well as emotionally harmful obstacles. They can take many forms. Typically we imagine a grey-haired and aged man, but sometimes the mentor can take the most unsuspecting form.

These characters usually provide support and guide their “student” toward the right path. Mentors are known for having high morals and standards that can often challenge the student they are looking after. They always find a way to inspire them and push them to aspire for something good.

The Love Interest

This character might often be over-looked, but also plays a very important role in many stories. They are the person with whom the main character falls in love with. They serve, as a catalyst in the journey a protagonist must go through. Depending on the ultimate goal of the protagonist, the person who is their love interest can be of great assistance and motivation, much like a mentor can be.

So the next time you’re watching your favorite cartoons, pay close attention to more than the character design quality. Look into the roles you believe each character plays and their significant contribution to a story line. You’ll find it is hard to have a compelling story without these staple archetypes.

Powerhouse Animation is a traditional 2D animation studio based in Austin, Texas with offices in Burbank, California. Since 2001, Powerhouse has been making ideas come to life through animation, illustration, and motion graphics. With a staff of 35 in-house artists, animators, videographers and designers, Powerhouse works on a wide variety of projects and has created animation for companies including Disney, Sony, Marvel, DC, Old Spice, Miramax, the USO and more.

The Need For Animation Character Modelling

March 19, 2018

Arts & Animations

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3D animation is the latest trend in the market with every one trying to get the best and dazzling effect to give their final product that “wow” feel- which viewers like to see. But the art of 3D animation is an all-encompassing one which is determined by many factors.

One of those factors is character modelling. Simply put, it is the process of creating your character in a 3D space using software. It may seem like a simple and meaningless task but involves a lot of technical knowledge and detailing. A sound understanding of human anatomy is required apart from the knowledge of the software that you use to make it. Arms, legs and head should be made to proper proportion to each other to make the character look believable.

After this step, the character modelling artist adds texture or color to his model to give it a finished look. The textures and color should look real or as prescribed by the designated look for the character by the client. This is a crucial step, the artist needs to understand the effects of different textures and lighting and their effect on the overall composition of things. There are several methods that he can use involving different brush types and the access to bump maps, which add the final feel to his model.

The character modelling is an important aspect because they are the “actors” in your 3D animated film and actors must always look appealing to engage the audience. Well executed Character modelling is necessary for the 3D animated film to look classy and have the “wow” feel. It is essential to make the star of your animated film the most captivation and engaging element of the film.

The most common tools used for Character modelling are Z-brush, blender and Mud box, to name a few. But all these tools do not make a great 3D film, it is the responsibility of the Modelling artist to create a believable character out of his tools. The character is considered complete when it is properly sculpted with proper proportions followed by correct texture and mapping applied, and if this step is properly executed only then can proper rigging and animation be done to the model. So, a lot of the later parts of the production pipeline depend on the Proper execution of Character modeling.

It is never a bad thing to invest time and effort in this area. Especially in the realm of 3D animation all parts and phases of the pipeline are important. Character Modelling is just one of the phases which is often sidelined and greatly underestimated.

Animation – It Has Life In It

March 19, 2018

Arts & Animations

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‘Animation’ the word itself bespeaks loud that it has life in it. It is all about putting life into characters and models and making them look real and life-like. The story goes, to a couple of years back when becoming an animator was like a dream come true. But going down twenty years, the dream was practically impossible, for many to achieve. Then becoming an animator meant going to college, studying an illustrative graduation degree or probably if you are lucky enough you might get yourself an apprenticeship from a professional animator. It was earlier a mere diploma degree. But these days the path to becoming an animator is easier as many of the colleges are offering a certified degree course in animation.

Disney Dreams are no longer intangible. With the advent of Pixar, Toy Story 3D, aspirations soared high in dreamy eyes and the animation industry got changed forever. Consequently, the demand for animators, both traditional and 3D including visual effects got increased with the success of each 3D movie. However during the economic recession that had hit worldwide, the booming industry saw a setback. Yet the spirits of the true animators could not be canned down and they fought their way out. Adversaries should never be allowed to dominate your spirit. Your goal is to put life into every non-living character and bring them closer to the human heart and life. The challenge is to make them appear so real that people are able to relate to them and yearn to see them even after the movie gets over. They become such real super heroes, that the fans go crazy about them. Films like Madagascar, Ice Age and Despicable Me got made into several sequels because there was a great furor amongst the public for the animated characters.

You might have dreamt to become an animator all your life, but have always discouraged yourself, only because you are not very skilful when it comes to drawing. You might have heard that the very foundation to animation is drawing. He who is good at sketching or drawing sees his future as a good animator. Then let me tell you, that drawing is a crucial part of animation, but not the only thing about animation. Do not feel intimidated if you turn out to be bad in drawing? Not all are naturally gifted. But it is through practise that one can acquire expertise in his skills. Drawing is like a muscle that requires to be flexed everyday, making your will and skill stronger with every passing day.It takes a lot to become an animator. Every shot is like a new challenge even to an experienced animator. Being able to produce a good quality animation, is not an easy task. Learning of animation does not end with the animation school course. It is just the beginning. Animation of every new character is a new chapter that requires thorough learning. One has to be meticulous and observant in his work. It is like your baby to whom you put in life and allow it to breathe.

3 Mistakes to Avoid in Animation

March 19, 2018

Arts & Animations

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There are three mistakes that amateur animators do, and if you spot them in videos from YouTube, then you know the animator is a beginner, so don’t be so hard on them. But be warned, people who make mistakes don’t know they are doing them, and nobody is telling them, so, how would you know if you are doing things correctly?

Only Action with no Anticipation or Aftermath

Taking the example of the amateurish animators posting videos on YouTube, have you noticed the problem has to do with the unnatural movement of the characters? That happens because there is no anticipation or aftermath

For example, a martial artist throwing a punch while training. You can think of three key poses: clenched fists in guard position, then the “punching arm” extended, then back to the original position. That’s what the amateur has in mind. A veteran imagines the guard position, then the elbow going back to prepare the punch (anticipation), then the arm extended (action), then the arm going back with the elbow up (aftermath), and finally the character returns to the guard position, breathing slowly. Do you see the natural flow happening all around?

Approach every action by thinking of its anticipation and aftermath. How do you prepare for that action and what do you do after it?

Cluttered Timeline

Let’s face it, when you see the timeline full of keyframes you feel proud of yourself, because right in front of you is all the hard work with millions of keyframes. Well, guess what? A timeline cluttered with a lot of keyframes can harm your animation.

The problem is not the cluttered timeline itself, think about it, if you need to make adjustments, you are going to go through hell and back, making little adjustments to every keyframe. A bigger problem would be that cluttered timelines usually lead to unnatural movement: Jerky knees, trembling elbows or weird vibrations of the head, to name a few.

The unnatural movement is generated when you make an adjustment to the movement of the character by adding keyframes to change the rhythm. For example, if you have a character picking up a box, maybe you need the character to take a little longer to extend the arm, then move a little faster to pick up the box. You can either use more keyframes (easy, but risky), or adjust the interpolation curves (harder but safer and more natural).

Interpolation curves are the answer to the natural flow of movement. The best timelines are the ones that have fewer keyframes and a lot of movement of the character. It takes time but it pays off, especially when you go back to make adjustments. For example, instead of trying to alter 5 keyframes, you only have to change one pose (one keyframe) and you are done.

Have this in mind at all times: A good curve can defeat an army of keyframes.

Impulsive Animation, No References

Amateurs are the best practitioners of impulsive animation. “Yeah! Finally, after all the preparation I can just go for it and bring my character to life!” Sounds familiar? I know how tempting it is to just go head and start animating, but the best way to approach it, is by having references.

What references do professional animators use when working on big projects? Short answer: Anything that moves. It can be a leaf floating in the air, a facial expression, a walk style, anything, even tiny details.

If you check any behind the scenes of any animation you will see that animators often do field work, like getting a camera to record nature, people walking or just record themselves doing silly actions.

The trick is that if you are willing to do it, references are the secret ingredient to get the perfect number of frames needed for the anticipation, the action and aftermath.

Try it out, if you have an action in mind, record a reference first, and try to imitate it with your animation. Do you want a tip? Search on YouTube for “Animation References for <action>” and you will get what you need. Trust me, it will be worth it.

Why Animated Videos Should Be Professionally Designed

March 19, 2018

Arts & Animations

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An interesting way to spread education, to explain some key concept or to make abstract theories easy is to explain through a video. One of the most popular ways to do it is to make animated videos. These videos are not only fun to watch but are more engrossing than a book or paper would be. Besides, they can encapsulate a lot within a few minutes. For this reason, the top video sites are full of such creative content which is not just amazing for its audio-visual quality but also tends to make the most difficult things appear extremely simple.

But it is not easy to create such a video which needs to be short and crisp without keeping vital information out. This is really difficult to achieve as most people find it nearly impossible to keep it short without leaving out information. So, corporate houses as well as academic institutes are hiring services from an explainer video company. The task of such a company is to create videos which are both appealing to watch and easy to comprehend. At the same time, such a company makes sure that it is not making it too lengthy. Lengthy files are often bypassed by surfers who prefer short videos to save time and energy. Patience is wanting in most people these days.

In this age of technology, an explainer video has become a tool which is being used successfully by businesses to put across their ideas, plans and strategies. It is also used by marketing experts to market their products. Advertising in this format has proved to be more fruitful since the product gets more eyeballs. It is to be noted that a video is catchier than a written content. A lot of people will not care to read through a five hundred-word article but will not mind watching a five-minute video.

Besides, if the video is made in a funky way, it can get surprisingly high number of hits. So, how can this be achieved? Just because you are making animated videos does not mean that you will succeed in pulling in the crowd. It is to be remembered that there are plethoric numbers of businesses making videos day in and day out. Most of the high-end businesses put resources into use and hire professionals for getting the job done. There are technical matters to be considered as well.

Even if a video made by a non-professional is engaging and creative, it may suffer from some technical inadequacies. Such an inadequacy can prevent search engines to show the link in the search bar. Just like a written content has to target keywords, likewise a video needs to involve some technical requirements and desist from prohibited strategies.

For this reason, it becomes imperative to opt for professional services by an explainer video company. They are wise in more ways than one. They recruit creative-minded people who can sit over your project for hours and come up with the most striking and even thought-provoking videos. Plus, their technical inputs will help you to build a larger audience base and hopefully make your video go viral.

4 Ways to Speed Up Your Animation Working Time

March 19, 2018

Arts & Animations

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One of the most important things ever in any project is the ability to save time. Perfectionists need to save time, so they can improve their work. Directors need to have the project ahead of time to review the work again and again and handle any changes before the deadline. Big studios need to be ahead of schedule.

So, here comes the bummer. Who is the one with the responsibility to deliver an animation on time? Well. Bad news. You. Yes, you, the Animator. The fate of humanity rests on your shoulders, think of yourself of a Hero on a journey that needs a couple of tips to make the adventure more enjoyable and short.

I. HAVE A HIGH APM (Actions Per Minute)

To be faster at anything, you need to have a way to measure Actions Per Minute. There are two ways to copy and paste anything in the virtual world. Navigating to the EDIT Menu, and select COPY, then move your mouse again all the way to the EDIT menu, and then click on PASTE. Or! You can press and hold the CTRL key on your keyboard (CMD on Mac), and rapidly press “C” then “V”. Right? Using your keyboard can get a higher APM than navigating through menus.

Use Shortcuts! I’ve seen some professionals navigate through menus to get things done, it’s embarrassing. Believe it or not, just by using shortcuts, I’m 20% faster than other animators. So what? Well, when I do freelance projects, clients hire me because they know I deliver ahead of time, because, even though we do the same things sharing the same process, I do it faster (using shortcuts).

Customize Shortcuts. Some software like After Effects doesn’t allow you to customize your shortcuts, but if you can, DO IT! The best Keyboard Profile is the one that handles your most used shortcuts near your right hand. The less your right hand has to move from left to right on the keyboard, the better. That’s why you should try to have all the major functions close in your keyboard “mapping”. Examples could be: CTRL+F, CTRL+G, CTRL+TAB, CTRL+SHIFT+W, SHIFT+3, ALT+SHIFT+3, etc. They are all close together.

Consider using a Gaming Keyboard, Gaming Mouse or Gaming Keypad. The one I recommend the most is the Gaming Keypad (like Razer Orbweaver or Logitech G13) because when the software doesn’t support shortcut customization, you can customize your Keypad to have all the major functions next to each other, and better yet, instead of pressing 3 keys (like CTRL+SHFT+P), you only press one single key on your keypad.

Automate using Macros. You can do this if you have a Gaming Mouse, Gaming Keyboard or Gaming Keypad. A macro is a sequence of key presses that can be automated into a single press of a dedicated key on your keypad. For example. In after effects

II. OPTIMIZE YOUR ANIMATION PROCESS

Optimizing means to make the best use of the resources at your disposal for your project. So the best way to approach your animation process is by handling the 2 most important things in any project. Your Pipeline and your starting Keyframes

Optimized Pipeline. The folder structure of all your files is vital to handling the project with ease. Have folders separately for your sounds, music, pictures, video references, characters and project files (toon boom, after effects, etc.). In our studio, if we do a bit of motion graphics, we have them in a folder named AFTER EFFECTS, and the main project in a folder named TOON BOOM, then the edited animation on PREMIERE. So if any changes have to be made, we know what folder to look, and if we need an audio file, we know exactly where to find it. Every Animation school is teaching the importance of this, and is not just because it looks cleaner and more beautiful, but because it works.

Set Up Key Poses first, handle details later. Yes, yes, you want to impress your boss or your friends, with how expressive your characters can be. It’s better if you block (pose your character) the important keyframes first, the starting position, the middle of the action and the aftermath. And then add additional animation later on.

III. USE A GOOD RIG (Avoid unreliable ones)

Using a good quality rig is essential, having to modify keyframes and poses only means that the rig is not good and is making you waste time. A good rig allows you to be free and more creative, because you can make your character change it’s posing with ease, so your animation process is more dynamic. If you are unable to come up with a good rig, then outsource (have someone else do it for you) or use the rig only to get the key poses, then, forget about the rig and handle additional animation (like hands, tail, hair) manually.

One quick way to know if the Rig is good, is by understanding Inverse Kinematics, and having them in your rig. If you don’t know what inverse kinematics means,

IV. RECYCLE WHAT YOU CAN

Recycle Keyframes. Don’t waste time blocking the character again, when the pose is very similar to one previously blocked, you can copy and paste keyframes and tweak them. For example, if you have a fighter giving a low punch, and you later need a high punch, copy and paste the pose, and then modify it. You will have the correct hip rotation, foot position, and will only need to modify the height position of the fist and maybe the torso. That’s faster than having to block everything.

Recycle Animations. I’m referring to a sequence of keyframes here. The most common example is eye blinking. Instead of manually opening and closing the eyes in the timeline, you copy and paste keyframes across it. Another example would be a walk cycle: if you need to have the character walking and doing something with the hands, like giving orders to other characters, you can recycle the animation, but delete the keyframes for the torso, hands and head, and animate them. This way, half of the work is already done.

Use Older Animations as Reference. Sometimes the timing is perfect and the animation curves (for the interpolation) give you the smoothness you were looking for, but now, you are working on another project and are having problems, you just can’t figure out what you did. This is when a previous animation can help as a reference. All you do is check the number of frames between keyframes, to get the timing right, and check the animation curves.

Instead of wasting time trying to achieve the same result, you can save time by getting the correct calculations checking a previous project. Like the timing and interpolation for the keyframes of the legs in an Angry Walk Cycle, in which every step was so energetic that made kids burst into laughter.

4 Nifty Tips to Choose the Right Animation Studio

March 19, 2018

Arts & Animations

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Businesses nowadays use animated videos to grab customers. Gradually but surely, animation has surfaced as a crucial marketing tool. However, the task of bringing sketched characters to life is one that requires hard work and of course, skilled hands. This is the reason why people seeking for 3D character animation services need to be careful and choosy while selecting animation studio. However, with so many studios claiming to be the best in the market, it is not easy to pick one. So, how are you going to find one? Here are few tips that will help you to get the right one.

#1 Ask for the Work

It is easy to get lured by the show that studios put up on their website. Hence, you should not take that as a complete, relying factor. Ask the prospective studio to show some of their work. You can watch a few animated videos, if they have made any, or you can also ask them to show few characters that have been animated by them. By looking at the work, you will be able to at least make out whether the concerned company will be able to comprehend your needs and can work accordingly or not. Do check on quality of the work too.

#2 Check Testimonials

Testimonials are good ways of cross-checking genuineness of any company’s work. You can check out LinkedIn profile of the company. Check its reviews, ratings and recommendations along with testimonials on its website. Reviews and ratings will help you to get credibility of your prospective studio. Verifying testimonials will help you to decide whether to go for it or not. Any good company wouldn’t be hesitating to provide you information about the studio.

#3 Get to Know the Process

3D character animation is not a child’s play. It takes skilled hands and extensive knowledge, not to mention mastery of the complex process. A good animation studio won’t mind the pain of explanation they need to give to their prospective clients. The problem is that most prospective clients do not bother to go into the process, which is a blunder. 3D character animation process involves several techniques namely character modeling, rigging, texturing, etc. You don’t have to cram yourself with all knowledge of 3D character development. But if the company is able to explain the basics, at least you can be assured that they know their thing.

#4 Check Your Wallet

At last but not the least, do not forget to settle down with the money. After all, you will be the one paying so you have every right to get all information you can about the company’s development price tags. The notion is that 3D character animation often comes at a huge cost. But, do not take anyone’s word until you find it out yourself. Comparing the tariffs would be a good way to find a good deal. However, do not go for any company simply because it is cheap. If you get quality work at a bit higher cost, then the price is worth it.

Animator Reveals Complete Process of 2D Animation

March 19, 2018

Arts & Animations

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The complete process of animating cartoon characters for a feature film, or just a quick 2D animation for YouTube is a process that, depending on the project, needs a lot of time and effort. A 5 min animation can take from 1 day to 2 months. Really? How do I know if my project is going to be 1 day long or 2 months long? Well, you have to answer, how good do you want your cartoon animation to look? Simple = 1 day, Amazing = 2 months.

Either one needs to go through the complete process.

1. Conception

2. Audio

3. Visualization

4. Preparation

5. Animation

CONCEPTION

It all starts with an idea. An idea turned into a script that can later be transformed into cartoon characters affecting each other in a 2D animation story. That idea is visualized in the head of the producer or director (usually the same person in NO BUDGET projects) who then decides what style is the project going to have.

The style can be cut out characters like Cartoon Network, more Classical like Disney, or maybe you want Anime style. Then you have to design the main characters and decide what best suits your project. How are your cartoon characters going to look like? How do they look from behind? Front? Above? below? How do they look in different poses?

After that, according to the budget and the style, the producer decides the software where all the animation is going to take place. If the style needs a cut out feeling, with lots of 3D and traveling cameras, maybe After Effects or Flash will be the choice, or if the series are more classical, or anime, in which cut out is not what is wanted, but a more organic look, like anime or Disney, then Toon Boom or Anime Studio can be the choice.

AUDIO

Then you bring in the voice actors to record all the dialogs, and, basically produce your story for a radio show, in which you listen to steps and sound effects. This will give the animators the correct timing to perform actions with their cartoon characters in an organic way.

VISUALIZATION

After all the necessary decisions are made, then it’s time to visualize the cartoon animation story into a series of drawings. Storyboard. In there the animator and director put their knowledge of cinematography in practice, they decide the shots and from where the cartoon characters are best depicted for what moment of the story.

Then after the storyboard is complete, then you make an animatic of the storyboard, in which you put together the storyboard and the audio together with correct timings and then, you take important decisions like, maybe change a few lines, or see the character from another angle and so on, remember, the most important thing about your 2D animation story is to make people feel something. So these decisions are KEY.

PREPARATION

After that important milestone you begin preparations. In a big studio, one team handles the cartoon character rigging and the other draws the different backgrounds and sets for the story. But in a very low-budget project, it’s usually the same person who does the character rigging and sets.

ANIMATION

Finally, after all of that, which is almost 70% of the work, comes the fun part. The animation. In which you bring the story to life, you make your cartoon characters be affected by each other, they get mad, they cry, they laugh, they fall in love, whatever your story is about, this is where you breathe life into it.

In this step, all the hard work pays back. And, of course, when the project is low-budget (less than $10,000 bucks) or even NO BUDGET, the writer, producer, director, storyboard artist, character designer, background artist and animator, is a team that consists of 3 people, or sometimes it’s the same person, one author. But even then, when your cartoon animation has your heart in it, the hard work is worth it.