Ways to animate,( some advice for newcomers to SFM or those who cannot figure out how to animate)
these are some animating tips for SFM. I noticed that there aren't too many for those who are completely new to computer graphics and. Although they will not speed the process of animating, (don't worry, be patient, it takes animators at pixar 24 hours to make 3 minutes of footage :/.) it will help it look better.
DO NOT RUSH YOUR ANIMATIONS. It will make your animations look only worse if you don't know what you are doing.
Timing is very important. Rewatch your animations at least once or twice after you are done, or watch it frame by frame, and sort things out where you see something look unnatural or strange. But remember to not watch your animation like 30 or 40 times in a row, which wastes time and energy (remember you can only stay focused on something for so long), UNLESS you are done with the entire thing and reviewing it.
I use the graoh editor because it is easier to edit previous frames. Remember to bookmark the frames you are editing!!
When animating a human character, (I personally found this to be the most effective) start with animating:
-then the legs and torso
-then the arms
-then the hands and fingers
-and finally the head and any extra parts, like clothing.
This is important to know.
When animation you can go in two directions. These are:
Straight forward consists of basically animating as you go along. It is effective because it is easy to keep track of the timing and
Pose-To-Pose is basically like:
Start with the first pose, then a major pose which:
1. showing or changing a character’s expression, action, behavior, feeling, or any other status
2. If it is a big motion, then later fill it with some more detailed frames.
3. If it is when a character stops, then beings to do something else, for example when someone waves, one frame is when they lift their arm, another is going back, next forth, next putting the arm down, etc, etc.
4. If someone is walking or running, do the alternating contacts before anything else instead of just going forward. Or you can just try it out and do so, keep testing!.
When animating, also take note of how the characters move in spline. Spline makes them have a sort of recoil when they move, they will move their arms or legs back before making the animated motion, which can make it look great or make it look really badly if used in an awkward way. Make sure to control this spline effect as well. Be careful of too much or too little of the affect.
Use the rigs when moving the pelvis, legs and torso. You can also try moving the arms but it may not look as good as using the non rig, remember you can go back and forth between rigs as well.
Use reference when animating, watch SFMs made by others in the community or anything you are trying to replicate. Go outside and walk around, watch others behave and move around for reference as well. Also read animation books like The Animator's Survival Kit. They are extremely useful as well, but I know not everyone has 20 or 40 bucks ready at bay to by one.
If you mess something up, simply click ctrl+z to undo these changes.
Hopefully this helps you guys a little and I appriciate feedback and other advice. Thank you and have a nice day :).