#1 05-14-2018 6:14 pm

Sydney3711
Registered: 03-15-2014
Posts: 21

I don't think I'm animating fast enough

Hi all! I've been doing hand drawn 2D animation (using photoshop) and some traditional animation for a few years now. I've been continually producing when I have the time out of school (I'm a Fine Arts major). The problem is, I'm just so dang slow. The animations usually end up coming out nice and smooth, but it just takes me forever. For example, I've been continuously working on animation but I produced probably 3 or 4 few-second-long animations last year. Granted I did have school and work, but I used mostly all summer to work on animation.

I'm trying to prepare myself for an animation job in a few years, and I just don't think I'll be physically capable of meeting the deadlines. Another example: I'm currently working on an animation where I'm animating a person (which I don't do much but I thought I needed to start trying). It's around a 6 second long animation. Each keyframe took me probably 2 hours total (4 keys). I started working on the extreme frames last night, or the next "pose" of the animation after the first key, and that took me around an hour. Past Disney animator Glen Keane is my inspiration, and I know he is very very very skilled and experienced, but watching him do a frame in less than 5 minutes just kills me! I feel like I'm being way too perfectionist about this.

Any advice? (I use both "straight ahead" and "pose-to-pose" methods when I animate, if that helps; also I usually animate at 12 fps and use 24 fps for fast actions)

Here's a link to a walk cycle I did last year, which took me about 30 hours total (sounds absolutely ridiculous now):

https://youtu.be/o5tRIfsmi5o

(Also sorry, I have no idea how to embed videos on here!)

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#2 05-15-2018 5:10 am

jay-ay
Registered: 03-29-2012
Posts: 90

Re: I don't think I'm animating fast enough

Disclaimer: I'm not a 2D animator so take what I'm saying with a pinch of salt.

It sounds like you'll need to train yourself to capture the essence of your animation with less effort. I would highly recommend you to do speed drawings and gesture drawings with time limitations, so that you don't fall into the habit of fussing around with one single drawing. Imo, drawings where you nitpick at every line tend to turn out too stiff and loses the energy that you start out with. Practise lots at drawing quickly and capture the emotion/energy with just a few strong lines. Could it be that your Fine Arts major has trained you to put effort into making one oerfect single drawing? Of course, the keyframes are of utmost importance to get it right, but spending too many hours on them will be  counterproductive. It's mostly a matter of training both your ability to assess when you've drawn the keyframe well enough, and also training your hand to be able to capture the essence in fewer strokes.

In my experience, unless you're working on feature films or short films that have the luxury of budget and time, you just need to be able to get the work "good enough" to meet the deadline and quality constraints. However this applies to when you start working. As a student now, you have the time to keep polishing your work till it shines, so keep at it. But know when to just let it be done! Heed the advice that "Finished is better than perfect".

I would recommend watching Toniko Pantoja's tutorials if you haven't; his channel is a treasure trove of 2D animation goodness. And you can see that his animations have a sketchy feeling to it, yet there is strong consistency of volume and energy throughout. Start out with rough sketchy blocking, then once you feel like you have the timing, motion, etc, then you can begin to tie down the drawings more solidly. Here is the link:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRTRqk … hJJcLVUeRQ

https://www.youtube.com/user/jakeparker44
Jake Parker has some drawing exercises that trains you to draw quicker, and his channel is very informative as well. He's a strong advocate of "Finished, not perfect".

https://truicamblr.tumblr.com/tagged/count-olaf
This guy is one of the rare few who excel in both 2D and 3D animation, his skills are incredible. His process of his Count Olaf animation may give you some insight.

https://line-of-action.com/
This website is great to practice quick gesture drawings if you have no access to live drawing classes.

All the best, you have a long journey ahead of you so don't give up. Comparing yourself to Glen Keane is a bit too much; after all, he's had decades of experience. The more you practice, the closer you'll get to where you aspire to be smile


ETA: I personally hate using Photoshop to animate because it's just not very intuitive to use for 2D animation, and I spent more time just trying to get the layers and timing to work correctly than actually animating. I heard there's an animation plug-in for PS but haven't tried it myself. But could this be one of the reasons why you're animating slowly? Struggling with the software just bogs me down. I tried Krita and really enjoyed it, because I can just draw and not think about the layers. It is more similar to the old Adobe Flash and is easy to use.

Last edited by jay-ay (05-15-2018 5:17 am)

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#3 05-15-2018 11:26 pm

Sydney3711
Registered: 03-15-2014
Posts: 21

Re: I don't think I'm animating fast enough

Thank you so much for the reply and the really helpful advice! I know it's definitely probably my major, as well as myself that demands so much perfection. I think you're definitely right that I need to loosen up. Thank you for all the links, looking those up right now!

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