Avoid Digital Animation Mistakes: Practical Work Tips
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 12 min read


  1. Refine your animation skills
  2. Manage your animation project time
  3. Ensure quality in your animation design
  4. Optimize software use for animation
  5. Avoid repetition in your animation
  6. Create consistent animation frames
  7. Apply the right animation techniques
  8. Avoid over-complicating your animation
  9. Ask for feedback on your animation
  10. Stay updated and learn from animation mistakes

Creating the perfect digital animation is a journey. Think of it like baking a cake. You have all the ingredients but it's the art of mixing them in the right order and quantity that makes a perfect dessert. The same goes for digital animation. It's not just about knowing how to use the tools, but using them in an effective way. And the cherry on top? Checking for mistakes. In this blog, we're going to explore a handful of practical work tips to avoid common mistakes in digital animation. It's time to smooth out those rough edges and take your animations from good to great!

Refine Your Animation Skills

Just like a chef needs to know how to chop, sauté, and roast before he can create a culinary masterpiece, you too need to master the basic skills of digital animation. Checking mistake tips for digital animation starts right here. Let's dive into how you can refine your animation skills:

  • Practice makes perfect: This old saying applies to digital animation too. The more you animate, the better you'll get. It's simple math. But don't just practice aimlessly. Set specific goals for each practice session, and keep track of your progress.
  • Learn from the masters: There's a wealth of knowledge out there waiting for you. From Pixar's animation team to independent animators on YouTube, there are countless professionals who share their expertise online. Watch, learn, and apply.
  • Experiment and explore: Don't limit yourself to one style or technique. The beauty of digital animation is its limitless possibilities. Try out different techniques, play around with new software, and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
  • Review your work: After finishing an animation, take a step back and review your work. Look for areas where you could improve. This is a key step in checking mistake tips for digital animation.
  • Stay patient: Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will your animation skills. It can get frustrating when progress seems slow, but remember, every great animator started where you are now. Stick with it, and you'll see improvement.

By refining your animation skills, you are setting yourself up for success. So, grab your digital pen, fire up that software, and let's get animating!

Manage Your Animation Project Time

Time — it's that precious resource we all wish we had more of. Especially when it comes to animation projects. Like a well-coordinated dance, managing your time effectively can make the difference between a smooth, successful project and one fraught with stress and last-minute scrambles. Here's how you can become a maestro in managing your animation project time:

  • Plan Ahead: Before you even start your project, map out your timeline. Break down your project into smaller tasks and assign a deadline to each one. This way, you know exactly what needs to be done and when.
  • Set Realistic Deadlines: While it's great to be ambitious, it's also important to keep your deadlines realistic. Remember, quality takes time, especially when you're checking mistake tips for digital animation.
  • Use Time Management Tools: Tools like Trello, Asana, or even a simple spreadsheet can help you stay organized and on track. They also give you a visual overview of your project, so you know exactly where you stand at any given time.
  • Prioritize Tasks: Not all tasks are created equal. Some are more important than others. Prioritizing tasks ensures that you spend your time and energy where it matters most.
  • Take Breaks: This might sound counterintuitive, but taking regular breaks can actually boost your productivity. It helps to refresh your mind, preventing burnout and keeping the creative juices flowing.

Remember, managing your time effectively isn't about cramming as much work into a day as possible. It's about working smarter, not harder. So, go ahead and take control of your time. Your future animation projects will thank you!

Ensure Quality in Your Animation Design

Quality in animation design isn't just about producing stunning visuals—it's about telling a compelling story that captivates your audience. It's like a chef creating a culinary masterpiece; you need the right ingredients, a good recipe, and a pinch of creativity. Here are some tips to ensure quality in your animation design:

  • Sketch Your Ideas: Start with a rough sketch of your animation. This is your playground where you can freely experiment with different ideas. Just like an architect wouldn't build a house without a blueprint, you shouldn't start animating without a solid plan.
  • Choose the Right Colors: Colors set the mood for your animation. They can make your audience feel happy, sad, excited, or even scared. So, choose your palette carefully. You wouldn't want your happy scene to look like a horror movie, would you?
  • Pay Attention to Details: Details matter. Whether it's a subtle change in a character's facial expression or a tiny object in the background, these seemingly insignificant details can add depth to your animation and make it more engaging.
  • Keep Consistency: Consistency is key in checking mistake tips for digital animation. Keep your style, characters, and settings consistent throughout your animation. This helps maintain the illusion of reality and keeps your audience immersed in your story.
  • Seek Feedback: Don't be afraid to seek feedback from others. A fresh pair of eyes can spot mistakes or suggest improvements that you may have missed.

Remember, quality in animation design isn't achieved overnight. It's a journey, not a destination. So, keep experimenting, keep learning, and most importantly, keep animating. Happy animating!

Optimize Software Use for Animation

Animation software is like a magic wand in the hands of a wizard—it can create wonders when used effectively. But even the most powerful wand is useless if the wizard doesn't know how to use it properly. So, how do you optimize your software use for animation? Here are some handy tips:

  • Know Your Software: Every animation software is different, each with its own set of tools and features. Whether you're using Blender, Maya, or Adobe Animate, take the time to learn the ins and outs of your software. It's like learning to drive a car—you need to know where the brakes are before you hit the road, right?
  • Use Shortcuts: Shortcuts are a lifesaver when working with animation software. They can save you valuable time and make your workflow more efficient. So, learn the shortcuts for your software and use them regularly. Don't worry, you won't get a speeding ticket for using shortcuts!
  • Keep Your Files Organized: An unorganized project file is a recipe for disaster. It can slow down your work and make it harder to find the assets you need. So, keep your files neat and tidy, just like you'd keep your room clean. It's much easier to find your socks when they're in the right drawer, isn't it?
  • Update Regularly: Software updates often come with new features and bug fixes. So, make sure to keep your software up-to-date. It's like getting a car service—you need to keep your engine running smoothly.
  • Use Plugins: Plugins are like add-ons that can enhance the capabilities of your software. So, if you find yourself needing a tool or feature that your software doesn't have, check if there's a plugin for it. It's like adding a turbo charge to your car—it gives you that extra boost when you need it.

Remember, optimization is all about efficiency and productivity. So, make the most of your animation software and let your creativity flow. You've got this!

Avoid Repetition in Your Animation

Imagine watching a movie where the same scene plays over and over again. Boring, right? The same goes for animation. Repetition can make your animation dull and monotonous. Here are some checking mistake tips for digital animation to prevent repetition:

  • Vary Your Motions: In the real world, no two movements are exactly alike. So, try to replicate this in your animations. For example, if you're animating a character walking, change the speed, stride, and arm swing for different scenes. It's like changing your dance moves to match the rhythm of the music.
  • Change Camera Angles: Using the same camera angle for all your scenes can make your animation feel repetitive. So, mix it up a bit—use different angles, zoom in, zoom out, pan, tilt... the possibilities are endless! It's like taking pictures from different angles to get the perfect shot.
  • Use Different Backgrounds: Changing the background can drastically change the look and feel of your animation. So, don't be afraid to experiment with different backgrounds. It's like changing the wallpaper in your room to give it a fresh new look.
  • Experiment with Light and Shadows: Light and shadows can add depth and dimension to your animation. So, play around with different lighting conditions and observe how they affect the mood of your scene. It's like using a flashlight to tell ghost stories—it makes things more exciting, doesn't it?
  • Play with Colors: Colors can evoke different emotions. So, use different color schemes for different scenes or characters. It's like dressing up for different occasions—you wouldn't wear the same outfit to a wedding and a beach party, would you?

Remember, variety is the spice of life—and animation. So, sprinkle some variety into your animations and watch them come to life. Happy animating!

Create Consistent Animation Frames

Creating consistent animation frames is like baking a batch of cookies. Each one should have the same texture, size, and shape. Sure, a few odd ones can add character, but too many and your batch will look more like a hodgepodge than a set. Here are some checking mistake tips for digital animation to help you maintain consistency in your animation frames:

  1. Follow a Storyboard: Just as a baker follows a recipe, you should follow a storyboard. This will help you maintain consistency in terms of the storyline, character design, and scene transitions.
  2. Use a Color Palette: Stick to a specific color palette for each scene or character. This will ensure visual consistency, much like using the same ingredients ensures consistency in taste.
  3. Maintain Proportions: Just as cookies should be of the same size, the elements in your frames should maintain consistent proportions. So, make sure your characters and objects don't suddenly grow or shrink from one frame to another.
  4. Ensure Smooth Transitions: The transition from one frame to another should be smooth, much like cookies moving on a conveyor belt. So, avoid abrupt changes in movement or scene.
  5. Keep Lighting Consistent: The lighting conditions should remain the same within a scene, unless a change is necessary for the storyline. This is like baking cookies at a consistent temperature to ensure they bake evenly.

Just like baking cookies, creating consistent animation frames requires attention to detail, patience, and practice. But once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to create animations that are as consistent and delightful as a batch of perfectly baked cookies. So, put on your apron and start baking—I mean, animating!

Apply The Right Animation Techniques

Remember when you learned how to ride a bike? You didn't just jump on and start pedaling—you needed to learn the basics first: balancing, steering, braking. The same goes for animation. Before you dive into creating your masterpiece, you need to learn and apply the right animation techniques. Here are some checking mistake tips for digital animation to put you on the right path:

  1. Understand the 12 Principles of Animation: These principles, developed by Disney animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, are the bread and butter of any animator. They cover everything from squash and stretch to timing and exaggeration. If you want your animations to look smooth and natural, these principles are your road map.
  2. Master Keyframing: Keyframing is the process of defining the start and end points of any smooth transition. Think of it as the waypoints on your bike ride. Knowing where you're starting and where you want to end up makes the journey a whole lot easier.
  3. Use Anticipation and Follow-Through: In real life, actions don't just start and stop abruptly. Before a person jumps, they crouch down. After they land, they bend their knees to absorb the shock. This is anticipation and follow-through, and using these techniques can add a lot of realism to your animations.
  4. Experiment with Timing and Spacing: Timing and spacing are the speed and distance between your frames. By experimenting with these, you can create a variety of effects, from slow-motion to fast-paced action scenes.
  5. Don't Forget Secondary Action: Secondary actions are smaller movements that support the main action. For example, if a character is running, their arms will be swinging back and forth. Including these secondary actions can make your animations more dynamic and engaging.

Just like learning to ride a bike, mastering these techniques will take some time and practice. But with patience and persistence, you'll soon be creating animations that are as smooth and effortless as a bike ride on a sunny day. So, strap on your helmet and start pedaling—I mean, animating!

Avoid Over-Complicating Your Animation

As tempting as it might be to add all the bells and whistles to your digital animation, remember the old saying: sometimes, less is more. Over-complicating your animation can lead to confusion and could even distract from the story you're trying to tell. Here are a few checking mistake tips for digital animation to help you keep things simple and effective:

  1. Stick to the Story: Every element in your animation should serve the story. If it doesn't contribute to the narrative or the understanding of your characters, consider leaving it out. Remember, the story is the star of the show—not the fancy effects!
  2. Use Clear and Simple Designs: While complex designs might look impressive, they can sometimes be confusing to the viewer. Using clear and simple designs makes it easier for your audience to understand what's happening on screen.
  3. Limit Your Color Palette: Too many colors can be overwhelming. Instead, try to limit your color palette to a few key shades. This not only helps to create a cohesive look but also makes your animation easier on the eyes.
  4. Keep Movements Natural and Fluid: Over-complicated movements can be distracting and hard to follow. Instead, aim for natural and fluid movements that mimic the way objects move in real life.
  5. Don't Overdo the Sound Effects: While sound effects can add depth to your animation, too many can be distracting. Use sound effects sparingly and only when they enhance the story.

By keeping your animation simple and focused on the story, you'll be able to create a more engaging and enjoyable viewing experience for your audience. So, before you add that extra sparkle or sound effect, ask yourself: does this serve the story? If the answer is no, it might be best to leave it out.

Ask for Feedback on Your Animation

Creating digital animation can be a solitary task, but it doesn't have to be. It's a good idea to reach out to others for feedback—be it from colleagues, friends, or online communities. These checking mistake tips for digital animation will guide you on how to get and use feedback effectively.

  1. Show Your Work to Others: It's easy to get lost in your own work. By showing your animation to others, you can gain a fresh perspective. They might notice things you've missed or suggest improvements you hadn't considered.
  2. Be Open to Criticism: Remember, feedback is about improving your work, not criticizing you as a person. It might be tough to hear, but constructive criticism is a valuable tool for growth.
  3. Ask Specific Questions: Instead of asking "Do you like it?", try to ask more specific questions, such as "Does the character's movement look natural?" or "Is the storyline clear?". This way, you'll get more useful and targeted feedback.
  4. Use Online Platforms: There are many online platforms where animators can share their work and receive feedback. Sites like Behance, Dribbble, or dedicated animation forums are great places to start.
  5. Learn from Every Piece of Feedback: Every piece of feedback—positive or negative—presents an opportunity to learn and improve. So take it all in, and use it to make your next animation even better.

Remember, feedback is a gift. While it can sometimes be hard to hear, it's one of the best ways to improve your skills and create better animations. So don't be shy—put your work out there, ask for feedback, and use it to grow as an animator.

Stay Updated and Learn from Animation Mistakes

One of the most practical checking mistake tips for digital animation revolves around learning from your mistakes and staying updated with the latest trends and techniques. This can make a real difference in the quality of your animations.

  1. Analyze Your Mistakes: When a piece of animation doesn't turn out the way you intended, don't just discard it and move on. Analyze it closely to understand what went wrong. This could be anything from timing issues to problems with the storyline or character design.
  2. Stay Informed: The world of digital animation is always evolving. Techniques that were cutting-edge a few years ago might be outdated today. Regularly check up on industry news, keep an eye on what other animators are doing, and learn from their work.
  3. Upgrade Your Skills: As the animation industry evolves, so should your skills. There are many online courses that can help you stay updated. For example, platforms like Lynda or Coursera offer a range of courses on different aspects of digital animation.
  4. Experiment: Don't be afraid to try new techniques or styles. Experimentation can lead to some of your best work and help you find new ways to express your creativity.
  5. Learn from Others' Mistakes: You don't have to make every mistake yourself. Learn from the mistakes of other animators. This can save you a lot of time and frustration.

Remember, every mistake is a chance to learn something new. So don't be too hard on yourself when things don't go as planned. Instead, use these experiences as opportunities for growth and improvement. After all, becoming a great animator is a journey, not a destination.

If you're looking to improve your digital animation skills and avoid common mistakes, 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!