10 Tips For Producing Animations

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Creating the perfect animation is about more than just execution or ideas. It's a combination of skills and preparation that will set your work apart and take it to the next level.

1. Sound effects

This is a double-edged sword because, while great sound effects enhance, bad use of sound effects can ruin animations. Think carefully about sound effects and score – do they bring something to the action and do they make sense?

2. Audience engagement is crucial

You need to get into the minds of your audience to get your message across. Too complex or wrongly pitched and your animation could miss the mark. Identify who your audience is and then tailor your animations to best engage.

3. Create a synopsis

What is the story you're trying to tell and how does the arc of it progress? Even the simplest animations need a synopsis to keep them on message and reduce over complexity or confusing storylines.

4. Create characters and make use of them, make them personable

There are no limits to the type of character you choose, whether it's a person or a car. Just make sure it has life and will enable viewers to emotionally engage and give them a way to enter the story.

5. Use humour where appropriate

Humour is an icebreaker and bond creator so it can work to make your animations easier to engage with and enjoy. Steer clear of anything too offensive to avoid shutting people off. Remember that, even if you don't manage to reach your audience emotionally, if you can make them laugh then you've created that essential link.

6. Block the scenes

This is basically breaking the story down into scenes and analysing exactly what's happening in each one. Explore what happens to each of the characters in each scene, where they are at the start and where they end up. How does that particular scene add to the overall narrative, does it advance it and make sense?

7. Reference points

When you're blocking scenes, look at reference points you've gathered for the animations, from other footage on character movement, to references on the way you want to scene to flow.

8. Consider the transitions

How do you get from one scene to the next? How does one element become another? What parts of a scene will disappear in a transition and which ones need to be newly introduced?

9. Timing is everything

Look out for "timing traps." Overly snappy character movement or lip synch will make the animations feel off. Spend some time focusing on lip synch, especially mouth shaping – one pro tip is to animate words and phrases, not each individual letter.

10. Mute your dialogue

It's important to avoid relying too heavily on dialogue when the performance should be in the body.

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About the MAXON Blog

Welcome to the official MAXON UK Blog. This blog provides the most up-to-date official information about MAXON, its products – in particular its flagship product Cinema 4D – and the Cinema 4D community. You can expect to see posts from a wide variety of MAXON UK employees.