The animation is considered one of the most powerful tools to express and communicate new ideas and information. Artists add life to the animated characters with the help of basic principles such as timing, stretch, anticipation, precise staging, and many more.

It is challenging to master the skill of character animation, and it involves years of practice and continuous learning to get where you want to be.

As an animator, you must know the latest industry trends to be your best and stay ahead of your competitors. So, how do you strengthen your character animation videos?

We have compiled a list of essential tips that will help you strengthen and add life to the animated cartoon characters.

According to the legendary philosopher Aristotle, every action has primarily two natural causes, “Thoughts” and “Character.”

Similarly, the renowned animator Walt Disney once said that there is at least one or all the mentioned driving forces behind every action: attitude, mood, and personality.  

Hence, we need to understand how the characters think. What do they need? What are their intentions?

Know about the 5 Best Tips to create Character Animation Videos

1. Facial Expressions

Facial Expressions are an important part of any character animation video. However, it can be tricky as most expressions occur very fast, and we capture them naturally without being aware.

When facial expressions are added, the character becomes much more realistic, improving its overall appeal to the audience.

For example, most of the production companies record their actors doing voice-overs. While creating the characters, the animators watch them back, which helps them add the appropriate expressions to the cartoon character.

If you are a young start-up or a small business and can’t afford actors, ask a friend to perform the part and capture the character animation video using a smartphone. This will make your work easier while doing animation work.

2. Basic Model and Rhythm in animation

When you use a high-resolution model, the power and memory consumed by the system are too much, which can slow down the animation process. Therefore, you can use a basic proxy model while working on a character.

After the completion of the movement of the character, return to the complex model to process it later.

character-movement

You must have a good sense of natural movement, flow and rhythm. Most amateur animators are either too fast or slow. Have proper timing and spacing between the frames to create movement in the animation.

spacing-between-the-frames

With experience, you would better understand the number of frames required for moving an object from one place to the other. You can show the character animation templates as a reference to your director or producer and let them know what you are thinking and planning. It allows them to give you notes on how you can improve the video further.

3. Blocking and Exaggeration

With the help of blocking, you can visually represent your animation. Lay down your breakdowns and key processes in a stepped mode to visualise the final product.

blocking-of-character-movement

It will help your customers and clients review the animation and show something which can easily be modified without spending more time on making the animation as smooth as possible.

Another important animation principle is “exaggeration.” It helps much more than just duplicating reality.

For example, copying a simple human walk can seem dull, but a little exaggeration will give the character a certain style and life.

Various tools are available online, like the character animation software and others, which can help you to design 2D as well as 3D character animations.

An animator can imitate life by allowing what and how to show. They can exaggerate the characters' personalities to make them perform according to the audience's wants.

4. Solid Drawing and Appeal

Solid drawing makes sure that the characters are in a three-dimensional form and not in 2D character animation. For example, look at the designs created by Robert Kopecky for Proscenium.

He created a character that lives through different times of history. In the beginning, he defines the character; later, he adds clothes and other accessories at different times in history.

The audience only remembers the characters that are interesting and real. The characters should be charismatic, which makes them different from others.

Make the characters attractive enough, as measuring or quantifying appeal is difficult. Use different portions or shapes and maintain the balance between simplicity and exaggeration.

5. Ease in, Ease Out & Secondary Action

While riding a bike, you don’t directly get to 70 km/h. It takes some time to accelerate and reach that number. In animation, this process is known as Ease Out.

Similarly, the bike does not stop immediately when you apply the brakes. It decelerates for a few seconds before it halts completely. In animation, this process is known as Ease In.

When you control the speed of the objects, it creates an animation which is more likely to be believed by the audience.

For example, take a look at the animation by Tworkz. You can see a girl raising her hand slowly, but the speed increases after reaching a certain height.

This ease in and out method makes the animation more realistic and believable. Also, while working with the motion of a 2D animation, you can use a simple proxy model to adjust the settings instead of a high-resolution model to make the process easy.

Similarly, secondary actions add dimension to character animation and support the main action. It enhances the character's personality and provides insight into what it is thinking.

In the above example of DeerPro, you can see that a deer eats a leaf. When it realizes the leaf is not good, the deer spits out which is its primary action.

If you observe, you can see the secondary action where the deer lifts his tail, which shows that he doesn’t like the leave’s taste.

Many character animation free online courses are available to help you learn about animation in the comfort of your home.

Ready to follow the Tips to create Effective Character Animation Videos?

Admiring animation is very easy, but become a skilled animator is very difficult.

You might have to spend countless hours, days or even months forming the ideas and creating the characters for the animation videos.

Throughout the process, you must be motivated and willing to do the required hard work.

Therefore, follow the tips mentioned above, which will not only help you strengthen but will also add life to the characters of the animation videos. The tricks I’ve mentioned in this article will help you get started with character animation immediately.

After strengthening your character animation videos, you can also use After Effects tools for bringing your characters to life.

Also if you need some professional help to create result-driven character animation videos, feel free to contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Character animation refers to the process of bringing animated characters to life by making them move, emote, and interact in a way that conveys their personality and enhances storytelling. It involves creating the illusion of character movement through a sequence of frames or computer-generated images, whether in 2D or 3D animation, and is commonly used in films, video games, television shows, and advertisements.

  1. 3D animation is a broader category that encompasses the creation of three-dimensional objects and environments, including characters, while character animation specifically focuses on the movement and performance of animated characters. Character animation can be a subset of 3D animation, as it involves animating 3D characters to make them appear lifelike and expressive.

Creating an animated character involves several steps, starting with concept design and character modeling. After that, you rig the character, which involves setting up its skeletal structure and controls for animation. Animation itself includes posing, timing, and creating movement sequences to bring the character to life. You can use software like Blender, Maya, or Adobe Character Animator for this process. Finally, adding textures, shading, and rendering will enhance the character's visual appeal.

Adobe Character Animator is not entirely free; it's part of Adobe's Creative Cloud software suite, which requires a subscription. However, Adobe offers a free trial period for Character Animator, allowing users to explore and use the software for a limited time. After the trial period ends, a subscription is required to continue using the software with full functionality.