The Wacky, Wacky World of a Freelance Animator

So. The animation business. Full of ups and downs and a lot of colorful little characters. (Even the ones that are actually real people.)

A lot of people seem to want to know how animation is created. Well, this is my first blog post, so I thought I’d dive into that a little bit.

What is Animation?
There are various types of animation: 3D (think Pixar), 2D (think Bugs Bunny of old), Whiteboard Videos (those videos where you see a hand drawing out the pictures on a white background – usually explaining a business or concept), and more. But today we’ll focus on 3D animation in my business.

3D Animation
A lot of businesses today will have a logo character. This could be anything from the Geico lizard to my own little Pencilman character. If a certain business wanted to create a TV commercial – it makes sense for their logo character to do the talking – since its already associated with the company. So it needs a voice, physical movement characteristics.. and to be animated!

What’s the Process?
The first thing to be done is get as many still images of the logo character as possible. When you create the character in 3D its very much like “sculpting” it out of clay. So you want to get the look right before you begin this arduous process.

Character Created for InternetPest
A character I created for InternetPest.

 

 

 

 

 

When the character looks exactly right, its now time to add a “bone structure” – also called a “rig” to the character’s mesh so it can be moved and animated.

Character Bone Structure
Bone Structurehandbones

The “rig” actually looks and acts very much like a skeleton. Bones are added one at a time and then controls so the bones can be moved in the correct positions. Sound like a lot of work? It can be.

But in the end the bones are “binded” to the character’s mesh and you can now animate that character in to any position that rig allows. The animation itself is a series of “keyframes” in which you create a recording point for every segment of motion. I’ll cover this more in future posts. Stay tuned!

So that’s a quick, simplified primer on how 3D animation is created. Leave any comments or questions below and check back for more!

Visit www.sanczel.com to see lots of samples of my work.

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