The are no shortage of websites for an aspiring (or experienced) animator to become lost in. Unfortunately more does not equal better. Since you should be spending as much time as possible actually doing animation, you want to get right to the good stuff online and avoid any places that eat up your time and give nothing back!
#1 Temple of the Seven Golden Camels
Strange name, amazing blog. Mark Kennedy has worked as head of story at Disney Feature Animation, and he shares incredible insights that you’d be foolish to pass up. Though the blog is updated rather randomly, every post is a treasure trove of information, often breaking apart real-world films and art to give you insight into why something works so well (or doesn’t work at all).
#2 The 11 Second Club
It continues to surprise me how many people don’t know about the 11 Second Club! Every month a new 11 second long audio file is posted. Your mission: Animate it! You can take it in any direction you like as long as you don’t alter the audio. It’s a chance to stretch your animation muscles and get some practice in, so give it a shot! And don’t worry about where you rank at the end of the month, the important thing is trying your best.
#3 Animation Insider
Featuring constant interviews from a range of different animators, there is always something new at Animation Insider. You can also send in an email if YOU happen to be an animator offering to be interviewed! Essentially a library of knowledge from animators past and present, and a lot of great art as well.
#4 Animation Forum
One of the best animation forums dedicated to animation. There are a few out there, and while things like Facebook have in some ways diminished the world of message boards, it’s still nice to build a community and talk with other animators. One fun challenge on the AF boards is the Character Design Weekly contest, where you design a character based on a simple prompt. Win and you get to choose the prompt for the next one!
#5 Deja View
The home of Andreas Deja on the web. If you don’t know who Andreas Deja is, you need to go find out. Right now. Andreas offers a TON of unique art from animation masters (he’s got quite a personal collection from the great Milt Kahl) and his keen eye for appeal makes him a modern day master that reaches out to the animation community and shares his wisdom.
#6 Animator Island of course!
Alright, so we said FIVE sites, and yes this is just a shameless plug, but we do our best to be a useful resource for you every week! So you’ll forgive us for tacking ourselves on to the tail end of this list. 🙂
What do you think of the websites above? Any you use frequently? Any you had never heard of but after looking into them have changed your entire animation life? Let us know in the comments below. Also if there’s a site we missed that you think should be in the Hall of Fame, post a link! Maybe it will end up in a future article sharing the best places for animators on the web!