Creating 3D animation may seem a real challenge, especially if you are a beginner. If you are going to work in one of the motion graphics services or just want to become more confident as a 3D animation designer, you can hone your craft by learning game animation traps and how to avoid them.
What to avoid
Familiarize yourself with these game animation traps in order to avoid them in your creative process:
- Hanging out on the Internet
Although it may seem trivial, it considerably affects the quality and effectiveness of the design process. When you have numerous windows in your browser opened during the process of game development animation, you can demonstrate only 20% of your potential. Don’t waste your time and focus on your productivity.
- Don’t conduct researches hasty
Always watch your competitors and get inspired by their ideas (but not steal them). You can research the other animation production companies, for example, technical animation services at Kevurugames, to emulate brand-new tricks and incorporate innovative hacks in your work.
- Don’t neglect peer reviews
Regularly completing other designers’ levels leads to a mutual exchange of ideas and generally improves the creative process. A healthy sense of rivalry within a team may result in coming up with brilliant ideas. It is possible to organize a scheduled peer review sessions where team members can evaluate each other’s work.
- Don’t show your project “cold” to the director
The majority of reputable animation services incorporate the practice of sharing the project with colleagues or third-party viewers before introducing it to the director.
Although any animation project is different, it requires approaching specific steps. The first one is thumbnails and the blocking. Start with drawing poses to simplify the entire process of developing the project. Most animation studio services never skip this stage. Once you have sketches at hand, you can proceed with blocking, which is the series of critical poses that convey the story. Other stages of preparation include storyboard, visual style, and concept and script development.
Clarification of blocking
Blocking is a 3D computer animation technique that implies creating poses to determine the timing and placement of characters and props in a particular scene. If you work with a pose-to-pose animating style, blocking is what you will need to start with. Blocking doesn’t necessarily mean only keyframes. Pose-to-pose blocks may also comprise in-betweens, breakdowns, and extremes that are important to set the action’s timing and flow. You will need to use “stepped” or “square” tangencies without interpolating animation poses to create decent 3D animation curves.
Whatever game animation studio you approach will state that the more complete poses you create, the more professional-looking result you achieve.
Aim and Miss
It may happen that the animation doesn’t work in the context of the game, even if you followed all the stages mentioned above. You may face the situation when the fighting pose appears lifelike in the animation editor, but it lacks sharpness when you import it into the game. In fighting games, punches are usually rarely used in-betweens. It is necessary to hold the contact pose for several frames. In theory, these are relatively obvious things, but realizing that is a matter of practice.
The same applies to the uppercut. It may look polished in the animating software, but it lacks dynamic when you insert it in the game. In this case, you will need to replace it entirely.
Overall, animation development is challenging, and you will never know what results you end up with. Carefully choose software and hardware for your work. No less important is understanding common errors, such as using inconsistent motion graphics and creating wrong block poses. Nevertheless, to improve your craft, you should properly organize your workflow, carefully plan your project, and follow all game development animation stages.