If you had to describe an animator’s job, I bet your imagination will run wild enough to throw in a computer, lots of illustrations, a bag of chips, and a room full of Disney character posters. You could go further to describe it as a fun job that is easy to do.
The truth is that this analogy is wrong. Animation comes with its hurdles, as do all skills and jobs. In a bid to shed more light and get a professional perspective on the mistakes animators make, we spoke with our animators doing great work at the DisruptDNA studio in Lagos, Nigeria. Here is what they had to say:
Biting more than you can chew
“Animators want to learn everything at the same time. They should learn to chew each bone at a time” — Chukwudi Okoro
At the initial stage of learning, budding animators start with a fiery zeal that pushes them to want to learn everything; 2D and 3D animation at the same time. Sometimes, they start with Character Animation and suddenly get enthralled by Architecture. Honestly, doing this is like a losing battle, and they may end up burning out with the same gusto they started with. The obvious way to avoid this mistake is to pick a struggle.
Having ants in your pants
“Animators lack patience; many of them jump from the blocking stage to the polishing stage” — Tochukwu Okeke
Many Animators do not take their time when working. In a bid to churn out as much content as possible, they skip so many processes, looking for a way to avoid the hair-tearing and teeth-gnashing stages. They forget that these phases give animations the “wow” factor, and this is why we have half-baked renderings everywhere.
Spur of the moment approach
“A lot of animators fail to plan before animating and put a lot of details that confuse the audience” — Ifunanya Obika
Lack of planning is a common mistake that animators make. They just want to go straight to work; skipping the base work to get to the storyboard immediately. Because of this, we see animations where everything is done, but no message is passed. Sometimes, even when these animations look top-notch, the excess details leave the audience interpreting it differently.
“Many animators don’t follow the 12 principles of animation; hence, the substandard quality” — Chukwudi Okoro, Tochukwu Okeke.
The 12 principles of animation, as cliche as it may sound, serves as the ultimate guide to animators; especially to those new in the industry; also a great rule of thumb to the experienced. Animators, along the line, tend to forget the importance of these principles; thus, making mistakes that they can ordinarily avoid.
There! You have it.
As an animator, these are a few reasons why your work doesn’t get past the second review. Therefore, take a hint or two from here, apply it, and see the quality of your animations improve.