Common Animation Mistakes You Will Make as a Newbie


Animation demands originality and creativity. And while it seeks newness, it also has some basic principles and rules. Ignoring these rules may lead to mistakes that do not go unnoticed. It is a field that demands practice and newbies in this field learn from their experience and mistakes.

Vidalgo doesn’t want its followers to learn their lesson the hard way. So, here are common animation mistakes you need to avoid making as a newbie:

Lack of Synchronization between Emotions and Expressions

Animation means the art of bringing objects and drawings into the real world by giving them expressions and emotions. One of the biggest yet the most common animation mistakes is the lack of synchronization between the emotions and expressions of the characters or objects.

Either the animated character fails to convey what it is feeling, or his reaction lacks the intensity the scene requires. Sometimes, the animated character may have both of the above-mentioned things, yet they contradict each other. This in return may distract and confuse the viewers, causing them to lose interest in the animation work.

So, while working on the character, the animator should put effort into the little things like facial expressions, movement of eyes, hands, and posture to help viewers understand and feel the character’s feelings and emotions.

Improper use of slow ins and outs

Slow ins and outs follow the basic scientific law of motion. It suggests the addition of a greater number of frames at the start and end of the movement of any object  or character during animation. A moving car is one example. It doesn’t reach higher speed instantly but takes some time to gain speed. Similarly, it doesn’t stop as soon as the brakes are applied but slows down gradually before stopping completely.

Inappropriate spacing

Newbies usually ignore the issue of spacing but it may prove to be distracting for the viewers and is noticeable. Sometimes the addition of pause seems tempting between every action of a character but this may cause the animation to lose its realistic nature. Hence, right spacing that doesn’t seem unrealistic and unnatural is a crucial part of animations.

Excessive animation

Since beginners are enthusiastic bunch, they can easily go a little overboard with their efforts. Excessive animation means showing a lot of things or actions in one shot or a very short period. This overcrowds the scene making it confusing for the viewers. Viewers are often unable to grasp the whole solution and may miss some points as a result.

Lack of anticipation

Anticipation is one of the basic animation principles that allow the viewers to get ready for the next scene or the next action. While it seems obvious, many newbies forget to add the element of surprise to their animations. Lack of anticipation means that the animation might fail to convey its message, or might hold no meaning for the audience. To ensure that your story turns out to be as interesting as you had visualized in your head, add anticipation and aftermath basics in every animation scene.

Not tracking arcs

In our world, nothing travels in a straight line. While some people might know this, a beginner at animation might just forget. Hence, this is a common animation mistake. The inclusion of this basic principle improves the quality of the animated world and makes it seem more realistic. Tracking arcs using some software might be a boring task, but it pays of in terms of the output it generates.

Lack of branding

While trying to show their creativity and newness, most newbie animators tend to do off branding. This is a major animation mistake that can not only damage your repute but the repute of the company that is paying you as well. Animators should never move away from branding. They need to do proper research and gather information about the brand they are working for. Branding does not restrict an animator’s creativity and freedom of expression. Animators can show their work along with branding through things like using brands’ color palettes and ideas that synchronize with the brand’s mission statement.

Lack of flow

Animations that are seamless and smooth are truly magical. They can have a deeper impact on the viewer, making themselves memorable in their minds. Lack of flow is one of the common animation mistakes present in the content of most beginner animators, making their work broken and uninteresting. Unnecessary obstructions and breaks in the flow of animations make viewers lose their interest.

Complex animations

Animations are usually fun and digestible. One of the many pros of animations is that they turn complex things into simple ones and make difficult concepts digestible. While trying to make their work look more sophisticated and different, some animators might do it the other way.

If a certain shot is complex with multiple things happening at the same time, there is a great chance that viewers are going to stop watching. Why would anyone want to watch something they are unable to understand? To avoid this, efforts should be made to make your animations and every single shot simple.

Lack of planning

Animators often treat planning as a side task, which leads to them making multiple animation mistakes. Lack of planning before starting a project can cost in terms of money, resources, time and effort. Planning before animation helps you understand the challenges that you need to overcome along with the needs of the project which makes you better prepared.

 Wrong shadows

Shadows add texture and detail to the animations. Plus, they are an important part of the real world yet still often ignored by many newbie animators.

Forgetting to add shadows is one of the common animation mistakes that drifts the animation away from reality, making it appear not only unrealistic but unattractive as well. Great shadow effects enhance the charisma of an animated scene, and hence can be used symbolically and for anticipation as well.

Continuity errors

While making long animations, continuity errors are frequent. Continuity errors should be avoided by taking special care of the looks and colors of your characters, objects, and scenes and making sure that they do not show any drastic changes when appearing in the next scene. This requires great attention to the minor details. Ignoring this part can have an extremely negative effect on the output of your animation. A few examples of continuity errors include a change in dress or the color of a tie of any character in the very next scene without an understandable reason.

Ignoring the weight and properties of objects

Animators do hold the magic wand in their hand. They have the ability to cross the boundaries that the real world and real objects cannot, but that does not mean that they can completely ignore the properties of the objects and get away with it. Take extra care to maintain the weight and volume of objects as well as the characters throughout the animation.

Moreover, the basic properties of objects should not be ignored because this is what makes viewers feel connected to the animations. For example, mirrors should show reflections and should not miss the reflection of any object in the animation.

Critically evaluating your work for minor details and errors

It is human nature to make errors, especially when one does his work in haste. New animators often try to complete their work as quickly as possible to show their efficiency, yet end up with many mistakes in the final results.

Efforts should be made by animators to give proper time to their animation. They should focus on minor details. After completing their work, they should try to reevaluate and screen it for any mistakes. This will improve the quality of the animator’s work tremendously.

Lack of proper trafficking for your animations

Newbie animators often consider their work complete once they wrap up the technical things, but that’s not the case.

To enjoy good market repute and develop people’s trust in your work along with ensuring that your animated work reaches the maximum number of people, you have to plan how you will traffic your animation. This is an important step that should be taken and decided at the planning stage and discussed with your client in advance to ensure maximum possible reach. This can be done by diversification of delivery methods used for your animations.

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Common Animation Mistakes –Conclusion!

You saw what you need to avoid as a newbie, and the best way to do that is by getting more knowledge and information about your work. This is where Vidalgo comes in. On our blog, we are constantly uploading animation-related walkthroughs, tutorials, trends and information.

Don’t try the hit and trial to find the best animation techniques, pathways and software. Read our blog to obtain all the information you will ever need as an animator!

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