Gone are the days when computer animation was considered for only a section of the people. Today, it is more popular and one of the most used videos for different business, entertainment, and educational purposes. That’s because they’re engaging and entertaining by nature.
What is Animation Software?
Animations are also more widespread because of the number of software available today. Not only have these software brought more animation styles, but they have created more possibilities for animators and their audiences.
However, each animation software also comes with its peculiarities. The variant books on animation software usually leave the readers with the impression that they already know everything they will ever need to know about it.
Meanwhile, there are standard features in all of these programs offering something new or different most books fail to mention. So what are they, and how do you use them?
This guide presents fifteen of the most important knowledge about animation software that you may never find anywhere else.
15 Facts About Animation Software
You can introduce more characters into the software
Animation applications often have inbuilt characters that you can use to bring your stories to life. These are usually diverse, with each software offering you as many characters as you may need.
Yet, there are still possibilities of wanting more from them, and the animation software will permit you to add your characters.
Depending on the story you’re trying to narrate, you can build custom characters and import them into the software. However, your characters may not work immediately unless you rig and import them correctly by following the steps outlined by the software providers.
You can remove the hands in whiteboard animation
Whiteboard animations have been widely used for educational purposes due to their unique animation styles. It features handwriting texts and drawing objects on a white background resembling a board.
Despite being a prominent part of this animation type, some animation software like Videoscribe allows you to toggle between using the hand and keeping it out. This gives you the freedom to do more with a whiteboard animation program.
Animation software has templates
Some of us love to take complete control of our animations from start to finish. Hence, we conceptualize what we intend to create and prefer to start working on an empty white canvas.
Others need ideas to set them in motion, and that’s why templates are super helpful. The most popular design tools have templates, and animation software is not left out.
Many of them, including Renderforest, come with a number of pre-made works that can help you create yours.
Many of the animation programs we’ve seen require that you subscribe to the paid versions of their tool or log in through the software to get access to templates.
You should also bear in mind that you have to switch many things to ensure originality.
In some animation software, you can create multiple scenes within a scene
Scenes are indispensable, regardless of the animation styles you employ. Of course, they may vary depending on the software, but one thing that’s always present is camera position.
Some software lets you automatically create multiple scenes, but you can also achieve the same by simply switching camera positions. However, you must ensure to lock your positions correctly so that the scenes do not overlap one another.
You can use multiple camera positions to bring life into your animation
Speaking about camera positions, they do not have to be limited to scenes alone. You can create multiple camera positions even within a scene. This makes it more interesting and engaging to viewers.
The key is to focus cameras on the active elements and characters within a scene. For instance, focus camera positions on a speaking character and switch it when another speaks.
You can monitor the animation duration when making it
Unlike the video-making process, computer animation requires creating every activity from scratch.
First, you need to set how the mouth moves and work on the limbs. This does not only make the process time-consuming but also creates confusion regarding animation duration.
The good news is that indicating individual and overall duration is a key feature of most animation software. Individual duration refers to the time each action takes, while the overall duration is the entire length of the video.
So, when next you open an animation software such as Maya, ensure you locate the timeline with the indication of minutes and seconds on the top. Some of these programs also let you zoom in and out of timeframes.
You don’t need drawing skills
One of the most common misconceptions is that you need drawing skills for computer animation. While drawing is an added advantage that will be quite useful for certain aspects of animation, you can still do a lot without it.
That is because numerous animation software already come with inbuilt characters that you can use. Some also let you import more characters.
Hence, you may never need to draw anything. As implied already, drawing gives you more freedom to introduce your own characters.
You can make animations better by syncing actions with words
The more realistic your animation looks, the better. Just as you cannot speak without moving your lips, you should endeavor to make an animation that does not do the same. Apart from chatting, it would help if you properly synced other aspects of the animation.
Speech without moving lips, changing positions without moving the legs, incorrectly overlapping objects, improper arrangement of layers, etc., are all examples of bad syncing and animation. Animation software limitations could also cause this; hence, the need always to use the right tool.
Some animation software function like others
Each animation software has a particular animation style it works with. For example, Animiz Animation Maker works for 2D animation, while Blender works for 3D. Occasionally, these software also have the capacity to deliver other styles of animation.
The common trend is for the more powerful tools to work with less powerful animation types. Therefore, it is fairly common to find a 3D animation software capable of making 2D animations or a 2D software making whiteboard animations.
That’s why Animiz Animation Maker can make whiteboard animations, and Videoscribe, which is supposed to be a whiteboard animation software, also has features that make it act like 2D.
You can use anthropomorphism
Anthropomorphism refers to the representation of non-human entities as having human traits like emotions, intentions, and actions. Attributing speech to dogs or thoughts to a chair are examples of anthropomorphism.
Fortunately, this is one of the advantages of video animations; there are more possibilities than in real life. For example, you can inject more energy into your video animation by letting the animal characters engage in conversations.
Virtually all animation software allows this in various forms. While some of them let you animate characters for anthropomorphism, others use callout shapes to achieve the same thing. Your drawing skill may also come in handy for this one.
You can use exaggerations to add dimension
Exaggeration is usually not a good idea, but that’s not true for computer animation. It is a crucial element for bringing more activities into your animation, even though it must be used moderately.
It adds dimension and life to the visuals; otherwise, your visuals may be bland. But, of course, exaggeration comes in different forms, and you can add them to the elements, transitions, or even the sound.
For instance, you intend to make an animation where a character makes a phone call to another one. It would be good to add exaggeration that signifies the sound coming from the gadgets. Another example is using wide eyes to convey a surprised character.
Background music makes your animation better
When making animation, every little detail counts. However, one detail that is often overlooked is the background music.
While it is not an inherent element like voiceovers or sound effects, they remain useful for giving the right feel to our animation.
The background music also sets the tone for each aspect of the animation. That’s why it comes in several themes.
For instance, an upbeat background works perfectly for a chase scene, while slow amorous sounds are suitable for romantic scenes.
You can preview your videos before exporting
Video previews let you watch the animations you’ve created exactly the way they will appear. This gives you an idea of whether you’re doing it right or not.
However, most animation software offer different types of previews. The common ones display the entire animation or preview it from the current scene.
You can export videos of varying quality and type
If your preview shows an animation you’re satisfied with, it might be time to export it in the form of a video. This is different from simply saving the animation, which does so in an unplayable version. All animation programs have this function with slight variations.
Most programs will let you save in MP4 or AVI formats, although some also allow MKV, MOV, etc. like video editors. Also, you can select the quality of these video files. Free software versions will enable saving in lower qualities, but saving in 720p or 1080p will likely require paid software.
Less is more
As with most things in life, less is more. Therefore, it is important to keep things simple and short when using animation software. It is crucial to include only the necessary elements and not overdo anything.
Doing that also comes with its benefits. For one, it would put you in better control of your animation, and for another, your work will look professional.
Animation is an enormous industry that continues to grow by the day. There are many software available now that it is practically impossible to use them all. However, they are similar, and recognizing those similarities will help animators do more.
Above are some of the most important and uncommon knowledge about animation tools. Feel free to leverage your new knowledge to make better animations today.