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8 Animating Techniques to Save You Time!

ben marvazi 2020

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The animation industry is constantly changing, new software and hardware are released every year, and there's always something new to learn. But with all of these changes, one thing stays the same: animators are still expected to output a high volume of work in relatively short periods of time. 

That means we have to find ways to make our work more efficient while still maintaining high-quality results that don't waste time or money on unnecessary steps along the way. In this blog, we're going to explore animating techniques that can save you time while animating your next project!

Attention animators! Follow our blog for insider tips, tricks, and free resources to level up your animation career. Check out our free masterclass, Animation Business Accelerator Program, and download our free marketing handbook. Studio owners can learn how to start their own animation studio with our informative blog on "How to Start an Animation Studio." Don't miss out on this opportunity to take your animation career to new heights!

1. Animate Only What's Important

character working at their desk on their computer

GIF by cait robinson via GIPHY

As you know, animation is a lot of work! While it may look simple and easy to create, animation is actually very time-consuming and not to mention, expensive. If you want your animation to look good and not cost too much money (which could mean losing profits), then you need some good animating techniques and tricks up your sleeve!

One way that animators save time is by only animating what's important in their video. This means focusing on one specific action or event happening at any given moment rather than trying to cram everything into one scene at once.

2. Use Textures To Make Your Animation Stand Out

clouds and water showing great animation textures with fish swimming

GIF by Illustrator via GIPHY

Adding textures is a quick way to enhance your animation work. For example, if you have clouds in your animation, adding a simple soft cloud texture will make it look more detailed and polished than if you had not added anything at all!

Another quick way to add texture is by creating depth and dimension by adding shadow textures on top of elements such as characters' faces or backgrounds (i.e., trees). This gives viewers an impression they're looking at something real rather than just flat images displayed on their screens.

3. Implement The Right Interpolation Animating Techniques 

balls moving in different ways showing the interpolation animating techniques 

GIF by Wink Animation Studio via GIPHY

When animating, you need to use the right interpolation for your animation. Linear interpolation will give you a straight line between two points, while ease-out or ease-in will produce smooth curves. It’s good for simple animations where you don’t want the viewer to notice the transition.

Start by choosing the right interpolation animating techniques for your animation, especially if you're using more than one layer. For example, if you're animating a character walking and want to create a bouncing effect in their legs, use a bounce interpolation on both layers (one for each leg). 

If you want to make something look like it's flying through space or falling through water, use springy animation on the object itself and then set its speed property in code so that it travels slowly enough for viewers' eyes to follow its movement accurately. 

4. Keep Your Animations Consistent

Animator painting a character on paper

GIF by La Guarimba Film Festival via GIPHY

It's also important to make sure that the animation is consistent with the artwork. This means using the same colors, shapes, and textures as you did in your illustration. It also means keeping the same style of animation. For example: if you used hand-drawn animating techniques for your characters, then stick with them. 

Finally, if you added lighting effects in Photoshop or Illustrator then use those same settings when animating so that your scene has consistent lighting throughout every part of it!

Believe it or not, this may sound time-consuming but it actually is not! When your animations are all consistent you can keep repeating the same styles right the way through.

5. Pay Attention To Timing, Especially When Using Sound

Blog on The Key to Perfecting Your Animation Timing Chart

Read our blog on The Key to Perfecting Your Animation Timing Chart!

Timing is important for the flow of your animation, but it's also crucial for sound effects and messages. If you're using music or sound effects in your video, pay attention to how long each piece plays out before moving on to the next one. 

The same goes for any dialogue or spoken words in your animation: make sure that everything happens at just the right moment so that viewers don't miss anything important! This editing skill will become faster with time and also once you master the animation software that you are using!

6. Keep Things Simple For Maximum Efficiency

simple cat like character walking

GIF by Zezaz via GIPHY

Another one of the important animating techniques to save time is when you're animating it's crucial to keep things simple. The more simple the visual elements of your animation are, the easier it will be for your audience to understand what's happening.

Here are some animating techniques for keeping things as simple as possible

  • Using simple shapes and minimal colors
  • Using simple animations (e.g., linear or bouncing) instead of complex ones (e.g., springy things)
  • Keeping backgrounds simple rather than adding in lots of detail that might distract viewers from the main action in front of them.
  • Not using too much text - less text is also easier on the eyes. Don’t forget to use simple and clear typography too!

7. Use The Right Animation Tools

hand holding a spanner and tightening a bolt

GIF by Cuco via GIPHY

To increase the speed of your animation projects - using the right tools for the job is crucial. There are a lot of different animation software programs out there, but if you're not sure which one is best for your projects or what features it has (such as keyframes), then it may be worth looking into all the options from reviews on Google or Youtube.

These are great places to start before making your final decision on the one you will purchase. Also, make use of tutorials that are available online - this is another method for saving you time!

8. Use The Right Animating Techniques To Save Time

Blog on 21 Techniques of Animation Freelancers Must Master

Read our blog on 21 Techniques of Animation Freelancers Must Master!

Choose the right technique for your project. If you're working with an existing character design that already has some movement in place, use those assets instead of designing new ones from scratch! 

This will help keep things consistent across scenes so that viewers don't get confused when watching them back-to-back at quick speed like they would if there were too many differences between frames within any given scene/sequence.

Have Fun With Your Animating Techniques!

girl character wearing a pink tracksuit and dancing and sliding her head accross her arm

GIF by agathebb via GIPHY

We've explored some fantastic animation techniques that can save you time and effort in your projects. From using textures to keeping things simple, these tips can help you streamline your workflow and bring your ideas to life with ease.

But let's not forget the most important lesson of all: animation should be fun! It's an opportunity to express your creativity and bring joy to your audience. So don't let the technical details bog you down - experiment, play, and enjoy the process.

Whether you're a seasoned animator or just starting out, there's always something new to learn. So keep exploring, keep growing, and keep having fun with your animating techniques!

For more information about animating techniques to save you time, as well as answers to any other questions you might have about working as a freelance animator, be sure to follow our blogs, check out our free masterclass, and our Animation Business Accelerator Program, download a copy of our free marketing handbook, and check out our blog on “How to Start an Animation Studio”!

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