this isn't actually meant to be anything i was just testing out my editing

tunablip  asked:

Um hi. I was wondering if you could say some steps of the animation process because 1 have a project on the animation process and need at least one source to be from an actual animator. I really enjoy your work and hope this isn't too much trouble.

I think wikipedia actually covers the whole thing fairly well, but I’ll give you the process in my own words, haha.  Also keep in mind, this is specifically in regards to the kind of animation that I do.  The process can vary based on the method of animation, or on the animator themselves!  Here’s the basics:


  1. Character design/development.  Working on your characters.  I’m not really including this because I’ll assume it’s already been done!
  2. Writing a script.  Pretty straightforward.
  3. Storyboarding.  Drawing out very rough sketches of what’s going to happen in your animation.  During this step, you’ll plan out the composition (where everything is in the shot), movement of the characters, movement of the camera, etc etc.  (Sometimes people skip the scriptwriting step and write as they board).
  4. Animatic.  Animatics are basically your storyboards in video form, so you can work on the timing.  If you’re working with sound or dialogue that needs to be timed properly, you’ll add this to the animatic as well.  Your animatic will serve as a guideline for the production of your animation!


1. Animating.  Putting the pencil to the paper, or the stylus to the tablet, or moving your stop-mo puppet frame by frame, or whatever your method may be. 

  • If your animation has dialogue, you’ll need to make a dialogue chart, called an “x-sheet” for reference.  You’ll have your sound file, and your video, and you’ll have to go through and mark each mouth shape to correspond with a frame.  
  • Most character animation is “pose-to-pose”, meaning you’ll draw a few “key frames” of animation and then fill in everything in-between.  Most anything timed to music or sound is pose-to-pose.
  • Some animators don’t plan their animations with key frames, however.  They just draw one new frame at a time, going forward.  This is called “straight-ahead” animation.  
  • Some animators do a little bit of both!

2. Pencil test.  Shooting your animation on a camera, or playing it back in the computer, to see if it is moving correctly and timed the way you want it.  If it’s not adequate, you’ll have to either fix it, or scrap it and start over.  A lot of stuff gets scrapped in animation!  Animators have to be willing to part with their drawings if it’s simply not working. 

3. Ink and paint.  This is all pretty much digital now, unless you’re an independent artist who likes to make everything harder on themselves.  Inking your drawings, or cleaning up the lines, and then coloring them.  (My animations are rarely ever inked/cleaned-up, if you hadn’t already figured!)

4. Backgrounds, or any other illustrations that need to be done, separate from the animation.


  1. Compositing.  You take all of the components of a shot and put them together in a computer program for video editing.  Backgrounds on bottom, animation on top.  You might have multiple layers for each component too!  If there’s more than one character, if there’s an object, if there’s some effects animation… maybe it’s a chase scene and you need to have the background pan across the screen, or a tree going by in the foreground.  All of this is called “comp-ing”.   Some shots might not require any comping, others might require tons!  (In live action film or stop motion, this is also the step where you would key-out your greenscreen and place-holder effects!)

  2.  Final cut!  You need to take all of your shots, once they’ve been comped, and put them together to make the film.  (I usually have the animatic as a base layer in my video editing program, and then just drop the finished scenes in on a new layer above it.  I mentioned earlier that the animatic was a guideline for the rest of the film, and I meant it! )

  3. Sound editing, minor timing adjustments, etc.  Basically any little touch-ups that still need to get done!  Polish it!

I HOPE THAT KINDA HELPS!  Good luck!  : )