Friday, 29 April 2022

How To Create Thumbnail Sketches for Animation


How do you create thumbnail sketches for character animation? Learning how to create thumbnail sketches is a very important skill, even for animators who don't draw well, because thumbnail sketches are an important tool for planning animation.  Even 3D animators who aren't that comfortable with drawing are encouraged to have a go at the thumbnailing process.  Watch the video above to see how we would go about creating some rough thumbnail sketches for this month's "11 Second Club"

You Don't Need to Draw Well
Thumbnail sketches planning a dialogue shot
Many students feel anxious about their drawing skills, but it is still important to have a go at basic thumbnail sketches.  Of course, not all animators (especially 3D animators) like to draw, and in this case there may be more reliance on shooting live action reference.  

Start With Key Poses
But, however you choose to do it, you  will need to start with a series of expressive poses that tell a story, long before you start to block out your shot by creating poses in Maya on Stepped Curves.

Thumbnail Sketches for the Video
To see the thumbnail sketches drawn for the video above, take a look at the sketch on the right hand side of this blog and below. 

Resources on Planning Animation
11 Second Club Thumbnails
For more resources on how to plan animation (including how to use thumbnail sketches and live action), follow the links below:


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