Back in the day, it would take a team of animators countless hours of work to finish animating a project. The original animation style was done using cels, which were a series of transparent sheets. You had a background sheet that would serve as the base and you overlaid character levels that moved independently over time. Each shot was composed of stacked cels and the finished product was made by playing all of the shots in order like a flipbook. Computers changed all of this, allowing you to digitize the layers and manipulate them with ease. In addition, 3D animation has added even more to the possibilities. South Park, for example, was originally made in the cel-style, using paper cutouts instead of full sheets. Their original episodes took a long time to produce. With the introduction of digital animation, the South Park creators turn episodes around in just six days, using exactly as much time as they have between episodes to write, animate, and record their episodes.
Digital animation has opened the doors for lots of independent artists to get their animations out. On the internet, it became simple to use Adobe Flash to animate videos. Sites like Homestar Runner, Jib Jab (which made those politics-based lipsync videos), or Newgrounds let anyone with time create what they wanted. If these are things that interested you and you want to create your own, you might want to look for animation tutors near me.
It has never been easier to get into animation because the resources are more available than ever. OpenToonz is an open source software that has become available for free to anyone that wants to use it. It has been used in the past by Studio Ghibli, which is the Japanese company behind anime hits like Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, and Princess Mononoke from the legendary Hayao Miyazaki.
Even if you are not an artist, it is very easy to start animating. You could also work with an art tutor to get good at that side, but that is not necessary. Instead, all you need to do is search for animation tutoring near me and we can help you do the rest.
Sometimes, the best animators around are the ones whose art style is subpar. The South Park creators were not expert artists, but they were able to create an animation style with the show that is entirely unique. They no longer use cutouts to animate, instead switching to digital, but the textures they use were created using scans of the original construction paper, allowing them to keep the feeling of the show.
Matt Groening, who is perhaps the richest person in the history of animation as the creator of The Simpsons, Futurama, and Disenchantment, talks about silhouettes as being the key to creating an iconic character. This is certainly the case with his signature works, as Homer’s two hairs, Marge’s tall beehive, Bart and Lisa’s different spikes, Fry’s straight up bangs, and Bender’s antenna can all be easily identified even without color. This is true of Mickey’s ears, Buzz Lightyear’s wings, Woody’s cowboy hat, Beevis and Butthead’s elongated faces, Stewie’s football-shaped head, Hey Arnold’s football-shaped head, and so many more characters. As long as you can come up with a new shape for your character, you can create the next iconic animated character.