Smith Micro Graphics Software Blog

Back to Basics for Animation #1: Character Conception

Posted by Emmy Rey on Jul 20, 2016 2:21:44 PM

We’ve partnered up with Moho (formerly Anime Studio) enthusiast, artist and educator, McCoy Buck to bring you a new blog series called “Back to Basics for Animation”. This blog series will feature a variety of different animation tips for beginner animators. Hope you enjoy, now let the animating begin!

So you’ve finally purchased your 2d animation software, it’s loaded up and you’re ready to start animating! Not so fast, there are several questions to consider before you begin. What are you going to animate? Who is going to be in the animation? Do you have a story line? Script?

Time to go back to basics, close the software and pull out a piece of paper and pencil. It’s important to answer the questions mentioned above and to formulate a game plan ahead of time. Coming up with a solid plan will allow your animation to flow better and to keep your animation’s theme clear and concise.  

The best place to start is with your character.

Is it going to be a human, animal, humanoid, monster? It helps to create a character your audience can emotionally connect with. For example, perhaps you decide that your character isn’t going to be an actual human, making your animal or monster have human characteristics or even giving them a human-like name, will allow your audience to relate to them.  

Don’t know how to create your character? Not to worry! Learn how by checking out the ‘Character Design Made Easy with Anime Studio Pro’ course on Udemy.

For this particular example, since we already know how to create our character, we went ahead and chose to make it a monster.


Time to give our character some personality. We will make him goofy, curious, and adventurous and we will name him Blue (for simplicity sake).  It’s important to start off by giving your character three defining personality traits. This will help you immensely with your animation because now you know what your character will look and act like. Again, it’s important that your animation is believable and relatable. 

So now that we have our defining personalities, here is the finished product!


For more tips and tricks on animation basics check out the 'Animation Essentials' course also on Udemy or check out the next post in this series, 'Back to Basics for Animation #2: Developing a Storyboard'

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Topics: Insider, Moho (Anime Studio), Featured Artists, News, Education, Digital Artists, Back to Basics for Animation

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