Animation, is Animation, is Animation.

There was a comment in the last post about Walt Stanchfield’s amazing drawing notes, which you can get at, about how some students or even non-students dismiss these because they feel it only relates to 2d animation and doesn’t relate to 3d computer animation. I guess this might be why people are always looking for books on computer animation which is silly. Animation is Animation. Animation as and art form or craft exists outside of the medium your using. It really doesn’t matter if your working in clay, sand, pencil, computer, paper cut out, or any medium the principles of animation exist in all of these. The principles of animation exist outside of these mediums. So anything that would help in one medium would also help in the others. As far as drawing goes, and learning to draw or understanding the principles of design and composition these are some of the most important things we can have as animator to help tell our stories. So to dismiss these ideas and concepts because, you are not a graphic designer, a cinematographer or a 2d animator is really just hurting you as an animator. The best animators I’ve come across are really talented at all of these things, Design, Composition, Acting, Music, Dance, Film history, Observation, Drawing, Story Telling, Attention to detail, Physics, and Passionate. I’ve always believed that what makes animation so hard to master, is that you have to have an understanding of so many things. Like being able to understand body mechanics and human emotion to having the ability to draw like Rembrandt. And then having some concept of almost everything in between. It’s hard trust me, and I myself am no where near knowing all of it. The only thing I do know is the people that tend to be better at all of these things tend to be better animators.

The catch in all of this is that in your quest to become a better animator it takes a tremendous amount of time and focus. Thus potentially limiting your time to explore other areas of art and life. In a field that really needs you to be an extrovert and observe life, animation really makes you an introvert and locked down to learning the craft at a computer or drawing board. I guess that’s the rub.

So remember the more you can learn about anything especially drawing, because it incorporates things such as design, weight, balance, emotion, story telling, physics, the better off you’ll be. Just because you work on a computer doesn’t mean you don’t need to draw. Now let me clarify a bit I’m not saying you have to be an amazing draftsman you just need to be exposed to drawing and constantly trying to become a better draftsman because through that process you’ll become better at all things you can learn from drawing.

How could notes like these not help you in any form of animation?

Or Understanding great Design ar appreciating Art like this Mattise not be helpful?

The nine old men did and even refer to fine art and learning from it in the “Illusion of Life”. It’s kinda funny that it’s at the begining of Chapteer 16 my favorite chapter.

–Dr. Stephen G.