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In this animation tutorial for beginners we will animate a cute monster jumping with joy. And the best thing is: The workflow we will apply is used by many professional animators.

Just click play on the video above to get started with your own character animation!

Character Design

Before we can animate any character we have to define the character design.

To approach this systematically, I’m going to explore different variations of how our monster could look. For example, in one section of a sketchbook I might collect rough variations of possible body shapes while another has different options for ears or tails.

Next we start to combine our favorite body shapes with our favorite eyes, mouths, arms etc. and see what combination works best.

My goal here is to try as many possibilities as I can so that my brain is completely saturated with shapes and designs. This way we won’t miss any cool ideas, because we literally have almost every possible combination in front of us.


Next we create a modelsheet to really define and set in stone how the character has to be drawn. This is especially important if you work on a project with multiple people and everyone has to draw in the same style

In the model sheet, you record how tall your character is, at which height you have the arms, legs and other body parts are situated. In many productions modelsheets show the character from multiple angles.

Acting premise

We’re going to talk about different aspects of acting in its own video series a lot later in this 2D animation class. But for now, there is at least one thing that I want you to think about:

Why is the character jumping up into the air? Is he trying to reach something that’s maybe up there? Did he get good news and is jumping up and down in excitement?

Putting a goal into the character’s head will make the animation a lot more interesting and believable.

Storytelling keys

The first set of poses we are designing are the so called storytelling keys.

In our case, we need one pose on the ground, one in the air and one back on the ground to understand the action of him jumping up and coming back down.