As a teacher, I am often asked, "What do I need to do to become an animator?"
or, "What program do I need to learn to do computer animation?"
Animation is as much of a disciplined art form as painting
or dancing or acting. It requires a lot of practice, patience, and devotion.
And like any other art form, it has certain commonly known principles.
You can't just simply learn a program, move stuff around, and call yourself
If you are interested in what makes great animation,
start with the people who figured it out before computers existed: animators
who were drawing cartoons at places like Disney and Warner Bros. To help
you out with that, I've included a list of books I would recommend to
my computer animation class. Aside from quitting your job, enrolling yourself
in an art school, and taking animation classes, these books can give you
a good start.
Illusion of Life: Disney Animation by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson
Written by two of Disney's best animators, this is the animator's Bible.
Every professional animator owns or has access to this one. It was reprinted
in 1995 but is currently out of print.