I was a little reluctant to start a blog about animation; couldn't find the appeal in posts written by a twenty year old holding no professional experience. However I've found a few people asking in the comments section to my videos about learning animation. Now by no means am I knowledgeable enough to instruct. Besides, there are hundreds of tutorials and books on animation already. One thing I can do though, as someone self taught, is offer a little direction to those of you starting out struggling to find direction.
I'll be making this a series dealing with subject that should allow you to come to your own ideas on what to take from them. So without further delay...
Concern yourself with Frames
Animation is a series of still frames, a fact I find animators forgetting early on when taxed with manipulating the character to perform an action. It's an error I made myself, and one I see made most frequently (admittedly in 3d animation more than 2d).
When drawing a picture, we're concerned with elements such as perspective and composition to create an image that's appealing. When drawing characters we look for line of action, mass, gesture, age, height, mood, and so forth to express the performance of the character to an audience.
If animation is a series of frames/pictures, then surely we should be concern ourselves with elements listed above on every frame/picture we create?
Watch the following animation, and keep pausing the video every so often.
Each still within the animation could be framed and hung on the wall. The characters are posed appealingly, their gesture is clear, the layout is readable. In each achieving this, the intentions of the animator are visible to the audience.
For even greater emphasis on this, check out this article on 11secondclub.com . It's where I learned this valuable lesson from! Also be sure to check out the site beyond this article.