3 Simple Ways to Improve Your Narrative Animation Skills
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 4 min read


  1. Study narrative structure
  2. Practice storyboarding
  3. Experiment with different animation styles

Are you an animator looking to breathe new life into your storytelling? Enhancing your narrative animation skills can be as easy as one, two, three! Here, we'll delve into three simple methods that can set you on the path to improving narrative animation, making your work not just visually striking, but emotionally captivating as well.

Study Narrative Structure

First off, you've got to know your narrative structure. Just like a building needs a solid foundation, your animation needs a compelling story arc. A well-structured narrative is the backbone of any good animation.

Understanding the Three-Act Structure

Most narratives follow a three-act structure: setup, confrontation, and resolution. Think of it as a sandwich; the setup is the bread that introduces your characters and setting, the confrontation is the juicy fillings where all the action occurs, and the resolution is the final slice of bread that ties everything together. By understanding this structure, you can craft a coherent and engaging plot for your animation.

Importance of Character Development

Let's move to characters—those lovable, hateable, and undeniably relatable figures that populate your animation. They're the heart and soul of your story. They drive the plot forward and engage the audience on an emotional level. When you're improving narrative animation, consider who your characters are, what they want, and how they change throughout the story. Remember, dynamic characters make for dynamic stories.

Mastering Pacing and Timing

Finally, there's the pace of your narrative. Imagine you're a DJ, and your story is the music. Too slow, and you risk losing your audience's attention. Too fast, and they can't keep up. Striking the right balance is key. Experiment with different pacing and timing techniques to keep your audience on their toes and glued to the screen. Whether it's a fast-paced action sequence or a slow, dramatic reveal, remember—timing is everything!

So, there you have it. By mastering these aspects of narrative structure, you'll be well on your way to improving narrative animation. Now, let's move on to the next step—storyboarding!

Practice Storyboarding

Next up in our journey to improving narrative animation is the art of storyboarding. Think of storyboarding as a comic strip of your animation, a visual guide that maps out the sequence of your narrative, frame by frame.

Sketching Your Ideas

First things first, grab a pencil and start sketching. It doesn't matter if you're a pro at drawing or just a beginner, storyboarding is all about capturing the essence of your story. It's about visualizing your characters in action, the backgrounds, the angles, and the transitions. The goal here is not to create a masterpiece, but a rough sketch that brings your story to life. So, let your creative juices flow and start sketching!

Planning the Flow

Storyboarding is also about planning the flow of your narrative. Here's where you decide when to zoom in for a close-up, when to pull back for a panoramic view, and when to transition from one scene to the next. In other words, it's your chance to direct the visual storytelling of your animation. So, think like a director and set the stage for your narrative!

Testing and Revising

Finally, storyboarding allows you to test and revise your narrative before diving into the full-blown animation process. It's like a dress rehearsal for your animation. You can identify any potential roadblocks, iron out the kinks, and tweak your story to perfection. Remember, practice makes perfect, and storyboarding is no exception.

So, whether you're sketching out epic battle scenes or planning a heartwarming reunion, remember that storyboarding is an essential step in improving narrative animation. But we're not done yet! Let's dive into our final step—experimenting with different animation styles.

Experiment with Different Animation Styles

The last, but certainly not the least step in improving narrative animation is to experiment with various animation styles. Animation is a vast and vibrant field with a myriad of styles to explore. Just as a painter experiments with different brush strokes and color palettes, an animator too can play around with different techniques to bring their stories to life.

Traditional Animation

Let's start with traditional animation—think old-school Disney. This style involves drawing each frame by hand, and it's a labor of love. Traditional animation can give your narratives a unique, personal touch, and a sense of nostalgia. But be warned, it's a time-consuming process. Are you ready to test your patience and dedication?

3D Animation

Next up is 3D animation, the style we often associate with Pixar. With 3D animation, you can create lifelike characters and immersive worlds. It's an excellent choice if you're aiming for a realistic narrative. Did you ever imagine yourself creating the next Toy Story or Frozen?

Stop Motion

Lastly, let's look at stop motion. This is a unique style where you physically manipulate objects and capture them frame by frame. Think Wallace and Gromit or The Nightmare Before Christmas. It's a fun and hands-on style that can add a quirky and distinctive charm to your animations. Are you ready to get your hands dirty?

Remember, each animation style has its own charm and challenges. There's no 'one-size-fits-all' when it comes to animation. So, don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and experiment. Who knows, you might just stumble upon a style that perfectly captures the essence of your narrative. After all, improving narrative animation is all about telling the best story in the best possible way.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more, don't miss out on learning from our 'Daisie Original Animation Course' with none another than Alex Jenkins who will you take you through his complete animation process. Dive in and take your animation skills to the next level!