The process of animation involved a lot of diverse but closely interrelated tasks. The whole process of design and animation of a character is very complicated.
There are a large number of technical and creative tasks, many of which have effects on subsequent tasks in ways that are not always obvious. It is a highly skilled and labour intensive process, which has all the hallmarks of a craft skill. Many animation studios resemble traditional workshops in there organization of skilled labour, with Masters leading various levels of workers from apprentice upwards.
When approaching the animation, it is essential to try gain a view of the whole project and be aware of all of the technical issues right from the beginning in order to avoid wasted work. Even in a simple character animation there are a huge number of elements in geometric relationship with each other, so it is important to design a workflow that aids a systematic approach to keeping track of all the relevant properties.
It is also important to take as many creative decisions as possible before starting work, as trial and error later on, can cause major set backs. If you change your mind about the level of detail after the character is rigged then you are likely to need to begin the rig again.
There is a natural progression to character animation work that is well used in the animation, games and visual effects industries:
- Concept development
- Story board
- Rigging animation
- Video editing