• Plussing is too a word, auto spell check!

Animation Lessons from doing NaNoWriMo

Animation tips from NaNoWriMo

November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. I had the opportunity to participate this year, and complete the goal of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. What common themes can we learn from the challenge to apply to our animation work? Read on to find out!


Directing Animation – Interview with Kyle Balda

How does the career path of an animation director looks like? What is the director’s perspective on a production and the story? How to stay inspired? (Co-Director of “The Lorax” and “Minions”) answers these questions and more..

7 Tips For Drawing Realistic Humans


There are mistakes we repeat again and again while drawing characters with realistic proportions. Here are 7 pointers that will help you to stay on track – without actually knowing complicated anatomy facts.


Principles of Animation Physics: Part 4

Principles of Animation Physics - Gravity and Balance

You’re probably familiar with the twelve Principles of Animation from The Illusion of Life by Johnston and Thomas. In this series of articles on Animator Island I’ve been telling you about the six Principles of Animation Physics:

Giveaway: How to Train Your Dragon 2

Dragons 2

It’s giveaway time again, and we’ve got a copy of Dreamwork’s How To Train Your Dragon 2 Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD combo pack!


Stretch Your Creativity

15 Day Creativity Boot Camp by JK Riki

Full disclosure, this post is a shameless self-promotion. Not going to lie. But it’s also (hopefully) useful as well! Today I had the joy of launching my first book, and it just so happens to be on creativity. Though creativity isn’t one of the official 12 Principles of Animation, it should definitely be the honorary 13th.

Creativity is, unfortunately, something our industry is missing a lot of much of the time. We get a unique new film now and then, but it’s quickly followed with sequel after sequel. Hey, I get it, animation is a business. But it should be a creative business.

Having been written by an animator, there are a lot of animation-related stories and quips. It’s a book suited to any style of creativity, though, and if you’d like to hear more about it you can do so right here! It’s currently on a pay-what-you-want model as well, so check it out. Thanks for letting me share. :)

Practice or Die

Animation requires practice or you fail.

If you leave a bicycle out in the rain and never ride it, it’s going to rust and become near unusable. Guess what? Animation is the same way. While you may not leave your skill set “out in the rain,” the truth is if you don’t use it, you’re going to lose it. So what can be done?

Film Creation Analysis You Don’t Want to Miss

Film analysis you don't want to miss!
If you’ve not seen it before, absolutely check out the YouTube channel “Every Frame a Painting.” Tony Zhou breaks down scenes, films, and styles in a way that is extremely approachable and helpful to everyone who works in film and animation.


Intention Cues

Intention Cues header

Humans are terrible liars. Our body language constantly gives away what we are thinking and what we are about to do next. These are called intention cues and have landed countless criminals behind bars. For animators they are a treasure trove of gestures to sprinkle on your animation for extra believability. Learn how and when to use them here.


What Animation Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?

Animation Advice

Great animation comes from experience. The more you animate, the better you’ll get. Still, there are a lot of helpful things you learn along the way, some of which you discover and immediately think “Why didn’t someone tell me this a long time ago?!”

Today we’re putting out a call for those sorts of lessons! What are the things you know now that you would love to hop in a time machine and hand deliver to your younger self back when you were new to animation? What would you sit yourself down and impart? It can be one tip or a whole book’s worth of knowledge, up to you!