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The Tools of Animation

At Topic Simple we love great animated videos. For those who are curious to learn, or who don’t want to pay us to make one for them, we’re happy to provide resources to help you on your way.

This week, we want to talk about some of the basic ‘tools’ one would definitely and also probably need to start creating digital animations.  Without further ado:

The Tools (Hardware & Software) You Need to Create Animations:

picture of a brain

 1. A VISUAL BRAIN

Not joking here.  If you know that you are one that thinks and solves problems visually, you’re good to go.  It’s pretty important to be able to think this way, or your animations will have nothing to start from.  You at least need the desire to want to start thinking visually.

 

software

 2. ANIMATION SOFTWARE

We’re going to assume you have a computer.  Now you need some software.  We use a combination of Illustrator (for drawing) plus Flash & After Effects (for animating).  If you are just starting out, you can draw and animate in just Flash.  These programs retail between $600 to $1000 each, although some are available together in the Adobe Suite.

 

monitor

 3. AN EXTERNAL MONITOR

Not totally necessary (especially if you have a computer with a large screen) but helpful indeed.  With the above-mentioned software, its nice to have a large working area to fully take advantage of the numerous tool palettes etc that take up valuable screen space! External monitors usually cost between $200 and $1000.

 

RAM

 4. RAM

Like the a external monitor, RAM is not 100% necessary, but with software becoming more and more powerful all the time, it increasingly needs more ‘juice’ to perform speedily.  We’ve recently doubled our RAM twice from 2GB to 4GB to 8GB! RAM upgrades usually cost between $50 and $500 but prior to buying make sure your computer can specs can handle it!

 

drawing tablet

 5. A DRAWING TABLET

Also not a ‘must’ but helpful to be able to draw in a ‘free-hand’ way and also ‘map’ your large screen (or screens) to the drawing area of the tablet. This allows the efficient pen to replace your relatively slower mouse and save valuable time.  Tablets can cost from a hundred dollars to several thousand.  There are many kinds but an industry standard is WACOM.

 

Check out our other blog entries that talk about the animation process:

Transitioning from Flash to After Effects – How to use Flash and After Effects in your animations

Animation is Hard! – A sneak peak behind 1 second of animation

The Top 5 Myths about Animation – Things you may not know about the animation process

 

 






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