In this weeks video tutorial I explain how to Double your Character Animation output by structuring your approach and focusing.

I know that it’s been a while since my last update, but I had an Emergency Contract pop up. The client needed 45 Seconds of character animation produced in only 8 days. With less than 24 hours notice, I was on a plane heading for Valencia, Spain to work tirelessly with the animation director (who only speaks Spanish) to meet this deadline!

Well, we did it! Then I took a much needed vacation in Spain, which happened to coincide with a massive yearly festival called Fallas.

So Lets get started!

Here is the video where I explain the techniques I used to work so fast. I’ve also included a little bonus footage of some of the celebrations:

A lot of planning and preparation went into this, and I genuinely hope you enjoy it! But make sure you watch it all the way to the end. I’d hate for you to miss any secrets.

Now let me step you through this technique.

  • Foundation: The basis for all of our work. This Phase of our animation is made up of 4 stages.
  • 1. Orientation & Pre-Planning
  • 2. Imagineering (sorry, my Disney past has had an effect)
  • 3. Inspiration
  • 4. Plan
  • Structure: This is where we block in our character animation to provide the structure on which to hang our details.
  • 5. Blocking
  • Details: Now its time to put the details onto our structure.
  • 6. Second Pass
  • Polish: We’ve done all of the building work, now its time to have fun and get really creative!
  • 7. Polish!

I have also written a pdf detailing this process a bit more. This can be downloaded and freely distributed here.

If you really want to take your character animation to the next level, then check out the Guardian Animation Program!

2 replies
  1. Joyce
    Joyce says:

    That is useful and very thorough! I just have one question, have you had a time that the shots are not very appeal to you so you don’t have so much passion to animate them. How to deal with those shots to make the process more interesting and efficient?

    • DJ Nicke
      DJ Nicke says:

      That is a tough situation. I try to reframe such situation into personal challenges: what can I learn from this scene? Is there any way I could make it better?
      But, if all else fails, then maybe try doing a joke animation of the scene for your own entertainment and in your spare time – that way, you’ve had fun making fun of the scene and now at least you’re more familiar with it.

      I’ll have to think more about this and get back to you.


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