Total newbie

Hello. This is my first time posting; I just registered here. I’ve been a fan of animation for a long time, but I can’t draw (I’m not an animator). I am a writer and, through the years, besides short stories and novels, I’ve written a few screenplays. There is this one story I have that I’ve always thought would make a good movie–an animated movie. I’ve begun to flesh it out to develop it into a feature. I would love to make this story into a movie, but, like I said, I’m not an animator. My question is, do you need to know how to draw to use Blender or any other animation program out there? I guess the bottom line here is that I would like to make a movie out of my short story and I would like to know how. Maybe I’m dreaming, but, if I am, I’m sure someone will let me know. Thanks all, and I love the work I’ve seen you guys do.

Hey welcome on board to this forum.

Regarding your idea - you have every chance of succeeding with your project if you take some time, energy for learning the best way about it.

Do you need to draw to be a blenderhead ? Not necessary, but it is most helpful! (like a 90% boost in efficiency & productivity).

All the best for the new year!

kbot, thanks. I don’t mind putting in the time and effort, but how should I go about it? Take a drawing class somewhere, or, has computer software advanced so much that one does not need to know how to draw anymore? In which case, perhaps my move would be to learn X computer software? Thanks.

Go to the “Traditional Arts” section . . . some help on drawing there. You may wish to read up some of the threads there.

On learning Blender . . . there’s another thread in this section . . . about someone new.

Have a great day!

You don’t really really have to draw, but if you can it helps. You might find it surprising that many CGI animators can only draw stick figures. But don’t let that fool you though. A stick figure is mostly used to block out poses. I recomend you to download Andrew Loomis’s book: Fun with a pencil. (if I’m not mistaken they are all royalty free). There are a lot of free resources on the web. Search for well known animators names like Don Bluth on you tube.
If you want to learn to draw, you should read drawing with the right side of the brain too. Glenn Vilpuu is a good source too (he taught the animators at Disney to draw).

toontje, but, at least initially, someone had to create those characters, right? Do you create them directly in the software of your choice, or, do you do them the old way (by hand), then import the character into your system using the software of choice? A bit confusing. Thanks for all your help.

OK, character development/ design is a whole other business. I’ve bought a really good book from Amazon concerning this topic.I think for animation, very detailed drawings is secondary to the motion. That’s why with stick figures drawings and a simple model, you can communicate a lot to the public. Detailing out you character is the last step.

What’s the name of this book?

So, basically, with some guidance, one can give an illustrator some instructions as to what one wants in a character and have someone “create” a character, right? Once that’s taken care of, the animation part can be done with a computer program. Did I get it right? Thanks.

Drawing is useful to know, I’m practicing it as well. Start with a stick figure, then just like in 3d put cubes or cylinders all over. To get the 3D shape, then you need to study anatomy to know where to place all the muscles and stuff. Lots of practice!

Drawing will definitely help, but I think it’s overkill to put the movie’s production on hold while taking a drawing course. You only need to be able to draw well enough to document your ideas on paper. It might look like crap to the rest of the world, but if it’s a reliable document for your idea, then the drawing is good enough. You don’t need full color and shading. It helps, but it’s not necessary. might be a good site to find an artist to develop your character from your scratchy sketches and detailed description of your character (physical details, personality, history, psychology, etc.)

Also, check out a book called “inspired 3D Short Film Production”. It will be one of your best resources for understanding the entire process. Get it. It’s awesome. You’ll likely create a far lesser film without it. You can find it at Amazon.

There’s also a good Blender book on creating a short film. You can find it at It’s called “Animating with Blender”.

Good luck with the project!

I’ll be buying this:

And I have this already (really good):

I have the Animation Crash Course from Eric Goldberg too, which is a good book, easy to read and right on the money.

The most important thing is that you need to be able to visualize what you want clearly. Being a writer, you can probably do that.

In older days, when many of the applicants for jobs doing 3D hadn’t been able to get ahold of a 3D program. (Blender did not exist and others were too expensive.) I found that the greatest indicator of potential success, was if they had done 3 dimensional work like making models or crafts. We didn’t really ask about drawing.

Just be willing to spend the time and it will all happen. The cool thing about 3D animation is that it touches so many other arts and sciences.