This is a great blog, Henry. I have a question, though--for those who may enjoy animation like yourself, but may not necessarily want to pursue animation as a career, do you know of any sources one can use to learn and draw their own pencil test animation? I draw a lot in my spare time, and although my career isn't headed in that direction, I always wanted to be able to create an animation of my own. But I don't know much about lip synching and all that.
If you just want to dive straight into animation as a hobby, I would recommend Eric Goldberg’s book on animation. (I’d actually recommend this to all animators.) It’s a really enjoyable and short read on the basics of character animation. It also dives into a couple of the technical aspects that other “beginner” animation books usually skip over, such as lip syncing. And it comes with a DVD of the example animations he refers to in the text, so you can see the stuff in motion.
After that, the best way to learn is to just start animating. Mess around in Photoshop or on paper, see what works. Just have fun with it.
Hi! First of all, your blog is so interesting. I want to study animation but realized this too late and now I am a freshman at a University of California. What's a good place to transfer to study animation?
Well you’re already in California, which is a great place to be for this. CalArts is the best of the best. (Co-founded by Walt Disney, their Animation Dept specializes in traditional techniques.) If you can get in, you’re basically set. If I can get a good portfolio together myself (and the money), that’s where I’m setting my sights.