You are here: / en / tutorials / five-tips-for-better-2d-animations

5 TIPS FOR BETTER 2D ANIMATIONS

This article deals with 2D animation workflows. It shows ways to improve them and how to reduce disruptions due to problems.

1 - THE PREPARATION OF THE ANIMATION

Before animating can begin, the figure or object to be animated must first be created. For a 2D animation, care must be taken to create layers of the drawing cleanly and in the correct order. Equally important is the correct naming of the individual layers. This has the advantage that less time is needed for sorting or editing afterwards. For 3D animation, it is also important to work cleanly during modeling and to name individual objects correctly. This way, fewer, or in the best case, no complications can occur later that disturb the workflow. The better the source material is prepared, the easier the next steps will be.

2 - REFERENCES FOR BETTER ANIMATION

To get a feeling for the animation, it is advisable to look at a suitable reference before starting to animate. It is important that the reference matches the character. The reference must match both the movement and the general style of the planned animation. This is to create a coherent image in the end. Pro-tip: Since the basic animations of characters are quite similar, it is important to give the character its own matching "touch".

3 - THE RIGHT KEYFRAMES FOR THE RIGHT TIMING

Before details of an animation are treated, first the rough animation is "marked out" with the correct Key Poses. The "Key Poses" help not to lose the overview within the animation. Furthermore, you can see if the timing is right or if something needs to be changed. Single, well-placed keyframes are clearer at this point than many, randomly distributed keyframes. As a rule of thumb, a keyframe should be set every time the character changes direction. For example, when jumping, the character gets one keyframe at the beginning, one at the highest point of the jump, and one at the end. Using keyframe interpolation, which is included in most animation programs, this creates a rough animation. In the best case, the first and the last keyframe are identical. This allows the animation to be "looped", played repeatedly.

4 - MORE VIVID ANIMATIONS BY ADDING DETAILS

When the timing of the rough animation is right, the details can be worked out. For more dynamics, you can experiment with offsets of the individual keyframes, for example, or adjust the dopesheet curve to make the animation more lively. This step is by far the most time-consuming, as many small details are worked out here. At this point, you should consider whether the time involved is justified.

5 - THE FINAL TOUCH FOR THE ANIMATION

At the end of the animation process, the animation should still be viewed at different speeds. This makes it easier to find and improve any inconsistencies within the animation. With keyframe animations, tunnel vision often occurs, which makes it difficult to find small errors within the animation. This step helps to get out of this tunnel vision and maintain the workflow.

CONCLUSION

Good preparation is essential for better 2D animation. Additionally, it helps to reduce the time needed. Before starting the animation, suitable references should be viewed. This will give you an idea and a feeling for the final animation. Then the key poses are determined and a keyframe is set at the respective position. With the help of keyframe interpolation, a rough animation is created to determine the timing. Then the details are worked out and the dynamics within the animation are changed with the help of keyframe offsets or dopesheet curves. Finally, the animation is played back at different speeds to get out of tunnel vision and spot any mistakes. These tips make the workflow run much more smoothly by making all steps as efficient as possible. Interruptions caused by changes to assets (or keyframes) are kept to a minimum. With as few interruptions as possible, the workflow is improved, and so is the quality of the work.

An article from written on .

Address

Studio Merkas
Game Development and Entertainment Software e.U

Pischekstraße 19
D-70184 Stuttgart
Germany


Opening hours
Monday - Friday, 9 am to 5 pm