Browsing animations here and on other sites, I see a lot of basically the same mistakes being made by beginners. I see this in the lab I work in, too, actually.
Beware, this is kind of a rant.Don't spend all your time focusing on one moving part, while forgetting other parts that should be moving!
I'm looking at you, kids who do cycles with heads/chests/hips that don't move.Fast animation doesn't mean it's bad/doesn't always need extra drawings to smooth it out. Fast isn't always bad!
On the contrary, if everything is slower and moves at the same speed, it's boring. Combo fast and slow, smooth and sudden. This is why a well done ball bounce is so important, because it teaches exactly this.If you can't imagine it clearly in your head, you need refs. If at any point you're like "what happens after this pose?" you need refs!
Seriously, take some time to at least watch real-time videos of what you want to animate, so you'll at least know what it should
look like. If you can't find refs, and if it's something you could act out yourself, act it out and film yourself!
I can do some of this stuff largely ref-less because I have thousands
of hours of nature documentaries in my blood. I have watched so many lions moving, I know what it should and should not look like. Even so, I still get refs for anything that's not a doodle.Good animation has good anatomy. If you're unsure of where the joints are supposed to be, learn them before you try to animate them!
Where are a dog's wrists? What's a pastern? What's a hock? Don't know? Don't try animating until you do. Even stylized characters have the right joints. MLP ponies have hocks. Balto has pasterns.12 principles.12 PRINCIPLESPractice to learn. Practice a lot.A lot.
Eventually you'll stop having to actively think about a lot of things, they'll just happen in your work, because you've done it so much you feel
this stuff. But it takes a lot to get there. In the meantime, experiment the crap out of it, and learn!Feature films take 2 years and 500 people to make.
You yourself won't make one by yourself. Acknowledge how much work animation is, and what is and is not practical for the time you have. Even if you have unlimited time, will your interest/attention span last as long as it needs to? If you can cut corners, do.Just because you don't have to draw it, doesn't mean it's easier LOL
Puppet animation and tweened animation is almost harder, because you give up a portion of your control over it. Same goes for 3D. This shit is hard to do right, no matter how you're doing it.
That's it for now. Enjoy my animation rant.