Manu Järvinen writes:
Here comes a lenghty post, but tl;dr: Creating some character animation with your own character rigs is just awesome!
Nothing beats a good punchy little character animation like this :)
(Both rig and animation made in 3ds Max by Peter Starostin, one of my idols)
This clip has a special place in my heart since it put me to the journey to learn both character rigging and character animation. First in 3ds Max and then in Blender when I made the transition (because I believe in the future of Blender more, after all, it turned out) And what I really love, is veeeery stretchy stylized characters so that you can do all kinds of smears with your character's limbs, face and body.
Especially if you're a beginner in character animation, what I really recommend to do, is to watch the above animation frame-by-frame in order to observe all the little nuances that go into a good character animation. Just use Dot (.) and Comma (,) to scrub frame-by-frame in the paused YouTube-video.
And you might be surprised how much the above animation relies on the animation principles, because that's a lot. Here you can see all the 12 principles of Animation in simple clips, made by Alan Becker:
Enough jargon, what has this to do with Blender? We'll get to it, don't worry.
I'm a kind of guy who want's to make everything by himself, to not use pre-made rigs or anything. One gets a whole different kind of satisfaction when he/she has done everything in a Blender scene by herself/himself. However, learning to animate is one thing, but learning to rig a character is a whole another endeavor. But I think it doesn't need to be that hard.
Hi! I'm Manu Järvinen, founder of Studio Gearnoodle.
I'm loving these types of super short character animations and I am learning how to make those with Blender as much as I can. (Maybe I should really enter Animation Mentor, well, maybe some day) - I also would love to inspire and encourage people to produce these kinds of small animations with free tools more. And see what they come up with. It's not that hard :) You can do it even in a week if you put your mind to it, I'm sure. Both the character rig AND the character animation.
So, I made a course to teach people my current knowledge of how these types of animations can be done. Yes, I also have some road ahead of me in order to reach the quality of the example animation, but, I'm progressing.
But, I'd have loved to be able to get this kind of tutorial when I started with Blender. That's why I made one.
Here's the introduction of that course:
(PS. One great place to submit these kind of animations is the 11 second club - even though they may concentrate more on the lip-sync animations than body acting. But they offer a great challenge.)
Let the rigging & animation challenge for yourself begin!
Thank you if you managed to read most of the post!