Most common mistakes in animation.

Animation is usually misunderstood as a simple tool used to narrate a story. However, this craft is far from being simple, as there are a lot of steps and rules that need to be followed in order for an animation to successfully portray the vision and tone of a particular story.

Although there are countless mistakes that rookie animators or even professionals make whenever animating, there are three specific ones that an animator will most likely run into multiple times during their career.

Blocking: in animation, blocking refers to a technique in which different poses of the characters being animated are established so as to create a scene composed of a specific timing and placement of the characters. This technique is widely underestimated, as many believe this to simply be used as a rough cut of the animation, almost like a storyboard. However, with animation blocking should be taken seriously, because not only does it help the viewer understand the actions that will be taken in that particular scene, but it also focuses on the mood of the same. For this, the blocking should be executed with the effort to make both of these principals show clearly in the cut.

Ease Ins and Outs: it is quite normal to come across animations where the characters seem to move almost robotic. This is a common mistake that animators do when they do not pay attention to the keying of the character in specific movements or parts of the body. An example could be an animated person walking. If all of the steps occur at the same exact rhythm, it will not look natural. Instead, the movement of the walk should have differently timed keyframes so as to enable that natural smooth feeling of walking.

Arcs: this one is usually overlooked as it does not necessarily apply to every single animated object. Once in a while, an animator will want their subject to purposefully have very rigid movements, and that is completely okay. However, when the idea isn’t to create this look, it is extremely important to identify the arcs in the animation, and polish them accordingly. Now, arcs are essentially what gives motion a more realistic and smooth result in animation. Essentially every movement we make as humans posses some type of arc in it, and it is an animator’s job to identify it and to follow it.

As an extremely poor animator, I can vouch for the importance of these three steps. Not only are they typically overlooked, but also hard to master. Personally, I have concluded that in order to ace the art of animation, there needs to be a loooot of practice, a loooot of failing and a loooot of trying over and over again.

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