What makes a good animation...?

Hi :evilgrin:

What makes an animation a “good animation” for you?
What makes an animation a “failed!” for you?

I’ve seen a lot of “art” animations, which I feel don’t really interest others.
So, I’d like to start a thread that would be helpful for anyone starting a new project. Where they could go through some checks and see if the idea they had is worth it, or if they should change some adding some pain to the process but eliminating a lot of frustration after the project is finished.

daredemo aka René

the art of animation means to convey emotions using moving pictures. if you can create a movie that touches someone without the help of music, just using basic, theatrical elements you are an animator.

Well for me I like photo real animation as well as the Pixar stuff. I think the one thing to photo real stuff anyway is camera positions. To me if you are you making an animation in that style go for camera positions and tracking like you were a human being filming the event. If you take the camera as your eyes and what you ‘could’ see when filming (animating) then your well on your way to suspending disbelief. If you go out side that scope of photography then you will add to disbelief as the viewer will not continue to ignore the odd viewpoints that shouldn’t be able to happen.

You can use ‘magical’ cameras to be sure but use then sparingly. When making an animation it’s temptiong to show everything that you can. It’s animated so you control all that you see. To the viewer though story telling is a big part of the experience so include that in the filming. When making animation don’t give away everything. Let the viewer discover them as the camera does. I know the phrase. “Show don’t tell” in animation though don’t show everything…

A good story, strong visual design and a damn good reason to create the animation in the first place, after that an animation style and level of skill that doesn’t work against the fore mentioned.

Thats pretty much what I would have said, Good story, but thats not enough, obviously,
no matter how good the story, if its not told well, its not going to be good.

To me everything matters, but I’d have to say one big thing alone is the Expressions & body language in general,
be it a character, or even an animated object, theres more to it than just what they are speaking,
or whats happening around them…

eh, I suppose, the big thing is bringing it all together!

ps: somebody seems to have forgotten their log-in info. :wink:


Lost one e-mail account, and when I forgot my password in here (I thought I had all keys saved before I reformated my hard drive, but ba.org didn’t survive), there was no way to recover. Asked a couple of times around at the irc, but none of the moderators seemed helpful on this issue.

This is my opinion, some may disagree, but anyway.

To me a good animation make’s you forgot that you’re watching a animation or even film for that matter, it speak’s to you on a raw emotional level, i actaully felt this while watching Wall-E and the main character’s are robots, so that speaks alot for itself.

Also having extremley good graphics, that are believable add’s alot to what you’re watching, aswell as the sound and background music which is really what set’s the mood for each scene.

This all really ties in with the story, if you have a solid story, with solid background stories for all the characters and everything that happens during the course of the film and it is all explained through the actors, in a way which seems natarual and drives the story along then i’d say that makes an enjoyable animation.

An example of the above is in a real film where you dont know the story, but you get a 2 minute explanation of the story by the main character and then it jumps back into what ever random action scene they may stumble upon next. That to me spoils animation and films in general.

You want to start of with the audience thinking, ahh what is happening here and then progressivley start to put the picture together by themselves and this gives them a sense of satsifaction since they understand what is going on, but it hasnt been fed to them on a spoon, or as 2 or 3 lines by the main actor etc.

This is not meant to sound like a jerk response.

Practice, Practice, Practice, Practice… and then some more Practice:)

Love. All you need is love.

A good animation is one that doesn’t fail in any of the myriad ways an animation can fail. In a good animation, the audience gets the impression that the animation is alive. If the hand of the animator is at all obvious, it fails.

Story is king. Story first. But that is for any film, comics or novel. Not just for animation.

For me, there is something that is begining to strongly get on my nerves in recent animated films and this is a king of a way of animating characters. A sort of animation mannerism. A sort of animating by numbers or by recipies. Like when a character in in some mood, then he must adopt this body posture with this arm/hands gestures and this facial expression with this head tilt. The last animated feature I watched with my girlfriend was KungFu Panda. At some point, my girlfriend told me “It looks like Panda is acting like Shrek”. This is the kind of animation amnnerism that I observed since quite some time, but to me, when someone not involved in animation can observe the same thing to the point that she can recognize the characters mimics similarities, this is a very bad sign. It is like animators are not learning to animate by observing real peoples anymore but by just replicating animations done my other animators. A sort of inbreeding where animators have raised the 12 principles to the status of system. This, to me, is very, very bad animation.

I hear that and second it. Don’t even start without a good story, but I can’t tell the number of web-‘comics’ or amateur shorts I don’t bother with because the author, even if a good narrator, is trying to pass his inability to draw/model/animate as a style, or because the whole thing seems thrown together despite the individual elements being good.

The animation needs a good story (look up the three-act structure, plot layering, the monomyth), good characters (give them identifiable human needs and traits even if they aren’t human, look up Maslow, archetypes), good design (for crying out loud, learn to draw), good palettes (please don’t vomit rainbows all over your film), believable animation (I didn’t say “realistic” – look up the 12 principles)…

eh, I suppose, the big thing is bringing it all together!

… and good direction so the thing has consistency.

Story makes or breaks animation. It’s easy to look past bad animation, texturing, and lighting if the story is good.

Kiwi is a good example of this.

Haaa!!! The very simple question that I make to myself everyday :smiley:
I agree with Daniel8488 comments!

…but what is good and bad is not a linear thing to define, is more a like a bezier curve in the shape of a hedgehog :slight_smile:
I guess that if, in one movie, you manage to make people laugh like hienas , cry theirs souls out, jump from their seats and hit the sealing, completely forget about the time and in the end stay more than happy to have spent the money buying it… then you’ve made it.

But there are somethings that for no apparent reason makes a film a blockbuster… wile making them The Lion King was the B movie and Pocahontas was the A one and in the end Lion King is a eternal classic and the other :confused:

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A bit off topic, isn’t it?
Or could you explain how this is relevant to our topic of “how to make a good animation?”

Timing ! . .

would you like to explain it further?