Tips

Tip #1: If you've got it, flaunt it. If you have 150 experienced character animators and enough render power to crank out a Pixar-quality, feature-length piece...for crying out loud, do it. Smaller studios, garage bands and individuals will have more use for the "tricks" recorded here.

Tip #2: The more an element appears throughout the animation, the less you can afford to skimp on that element. From what I have learned so far, elements present throughout an entire animation are story, direction, storytelling, art direction, and character design -- don't cut corners on any of them.

Tip #3: Make sure that everything looks as good as possible. Even if you only have two cents to spend, make that the best two cents the audience ever saw.

Tip #4: In my opinion, if you can't afford enough experienced character animators, you should rely less on complex character animation to tell the story. Good character animation requires spending a lot of time and hard work -- something to keep in mind if the animation is long but the production schedule and number of character animators is short. Think of it as choosing the lesser of two evils. (I would rather see a little bit of high-quality, finished character animation intercut with strong held cels instead of a lot of half-finished, unconvincing character animation).

Tip #4.5: The point of these "tricks" is "robbing Peter to pay Paul." By cutting down on the total amount of character animation work, one can spend more time on the remaining character animation. In no way can these tricks substitute for the real thing (character animation). The most that they can do is reduce character animation work and enhance what is already there. (Anyone who thinks anime creators conserve cels on purpose is hereby advised to watch the 24fps opening animations for the Tales of Destiny and Ghost in the Shell video games).

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