|Fast sketches to capture a pose|
However, it still helps to be able to draw to a basic level of skill, especially for creating thumbnail sketches which can be used to plan animation.
Nowadays there are many opportunities to learn animation online, at sites such as pixelovely and promo. You can also draw friends and family - models don't need to be nude, and gesture drawing clothed models is just as useful for animation, and in some ways more practical, as most animated characters tend to be wearing clothing.
So, how do animators learn the basics of life drawing?
Gesture drawing is an important skill for animators - it helps us learn how to capture a pose, and to master the art of visual storytelling. Planning your animation with quick thumbnail sketches that tell a story is still one of the core skills of the 3D animator - it's why we still need to know how to draw - at least just a little bit.
We recommend this series of videos by Proko, hosted at YouTube. The particular playlist we're interested in is titled "Figure Drawing - How to Draw People". You can find it here.
Avoid "the Curse of the Outline"
Another useful online resource is the free life drawing classes online at Pixelovely, where you can learn to draw from life without even leaving your living room.
|Gesture drawing - line of action|
An understanding of human anatomy, and the ability to capture a pose or gesture in a few lines, is still a key skill - even in a digital world. Fast sketches are useful, helping animators to make quick thumbnails to plan animation - a technique which hasn't changed since Disney's Golden Age.
Thumbnail sketches are still an important part of planning animation, and for me at least are an essential first stage in figuring out how to make a shot work.
Life Drawing Resources
There are a number of resources at Animation Apprentice for life drawing. Also see our recent blog post on how to use thumbnail sketches to plan animation.
- Learn life drawing online with Proko
- Life drawing online with Pixelovely
- How to plan animation with thumbnail sketches