The Fascinating World of Character Animation
Ever marveled at Elsa crooning in Disney’s Frozen or wanted to deliver punches like Ryu or Chun Li in Street Fighter V? Then you’ve witnessed character animation at its finest. It’s all around you — in video games, movies, or even advertisements.
So, what is character animation?
It’s simple: bringing 2D or 3D characters to life with the help of animation. In other words, it is the art of adding movement to a character in a two- or three-dimensional context.
What’s Special About Character Animation?
A character animator takes a sketch or a drawing of any character and breathes life into it, quite literally. And no, it does not involve anything close to Dr. Frankenstein’s experiments.
Instead, the specialty lies in the fact that the animator give the character human-like qualities. From adding trademark movements to voice, speech, and expressions, the animator adds a well-defined set of traits to make the character who they are.
A great analogy would be an actor bringing a written role to life on stage or screen.
Things Character Animators Swear By
Character animation is an effort-intensive job. There are a few areas of focus:
- Facial expressions
- Body movements
- Pace of movements
Apart from that, animators also need versatile and flexible rigs.
A rig is a skeletal structure of the character that artists use as a template for adding animated traits. A good rig should have:
- Flexible deformations
- Excellent eye and limb control
- GUI picker
- Some amount of automation in movable parts
- Scaling control
Types of Character Animation
It is a vast area of specialization that branches off into many different niches. These include:
It involves the use of 2D vectors for 2D movements. Given its simplicity, 2D animation is the easiest and cheapest of all types.
That does not mean it’s ineffective. In fact, 2D character animation can be used to great effect in regular applications, like, for instance, the famous series Rick and Morty.
It involves 3d character modeling — creating characters that move and live in a live-action or realistic 3D space.
This is one one the most popular, impressive, yet very time-consuming to create style. It takes a seasoned animator to craft awe-inspiring 3D character animations.
Detailed Character Animation
This may stump you if you’re new to the world of character animation.
It is the most complex type of character animation. It can be applied to any style of drawing, but the fun lies in animating every single joint and moveable part of the character.
Think of the mesmerizing dance of the siren in Jibaro from Love, Death + Robots Season 03. Did you know that choreographer Sara Silkin and her real-life movements went into the making of the episode?
Stop-motion Character Animation
Stop-motion or motion graphics is an advanced flipbook style of animation.
It involves physically manipulating photographed objects within a frame. When each frame is played in sequence, it creates the effect of an object moving itself.
Searching for A Good Character Animator?
Animation has quite a learning curve. Only those genuinely interested in it can learn and progress in the field. Even then, becoming a respected animation artist takes years of practice and experience.
That’s one of the reasons why good character animators are rare.
Sure, you can hire freelancers for your project and work with them. They may even have an impressive portfolio that woos you. But can you be entirely sure of the quality of their final output?
On-time delivery and seamless process management are two other pain points you must pay attention to when working with freelancers. If you do not have someone to oversee the process of shortlisting, selecting, and working with external resources, your project will run into trouble.
NOON22 is a computer graphics studio specializing in all types of animation, including stellar character animation. Our team creates 3d characters and deep dive into detailed character animation to bring your visions to life.
We have a diverse portfolio of services to suit every requirement and have successfully delivered hundreds of projects for the entertainment and media industries. With us, you’ll get the best of consultancy, strategy, and execution in one place.
If you’re looking for a reliable studio for your next project, we’ll be happy to help!