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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!


Our Most Popular Posts

Popular Best Animation Articles

We’ve added a new way-station below the site logo in the upper right corner! You’ll now see “Popular Posts” next to the About Us link. There you’ll find a hand-picked selection of some of the greatest hits of Animator Island from over the years. Check it out by clicking here, and feel free to share it with other animators you think may find it useful!

Physics in Animation: Force and Momentum

Continuing in the series on Physics in Animation, today we take a closer look at Force and Momentum. How can these principals help you to take your work to the next level?


Why Should 2D Animation be Abandoned? (Part 2 – Plus Why Not)

Should 2D animation go away?
Last time
we looked at reasoning animators might consider giving up on 2D/Hand-drawn completely and moving on to the future that is 3D/CGI animation. Today we take a look at a few more of these ideas and conclude with a possible justification for keeping the old “dead” art form around a little longer (aka, forever).


Why Should 2D Animation Be Abandoned? (Part 1)

2D animation dead? No, but SHOULD it be?
“2D Animation is dead.”
You hear the phrase all the time, in spite of recent 2D releases, the likes of which make it to the top of the Oscar short list. Whether it’s dead or not, today we’re going to do something very different and look at reasons why 2D should be left in the past and abandoned completely from here on out. What case can be made for that?


Review: Drawn to Life (vol. 1 & 2)

Drawn To Life Book Review

Every day it seems another few books for animators hit the shelves, and there are no lack of options for where to spend your hard-earned money. How do the pair of Drawn to Life books by Walt Stanchfield stack up to the rest? Do they deserve a spot on your bookshelf?


Animation Critique: The quarrel – good acting and boosting clarity

This is an animation critique for one of my students. She did a fantastic job with understanding the characters’ attitudes, values and motivations, but there is still a lot to tweak with regard to timing and posing to ensure everything comes across clearly.
Watch it above or click on “read more” to see the core lessons of this animation critique in text form.