Perfecting Animation: 5 Final Touches Before Rendering
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. Clean up your animation timelines
  2. Check the lighting in your scene
  3. Review your character designs and models
  4. Finalize camera positions and movements
  5. Add sound effects and music

As an animator, you're a maestro of movement, a wizard of whimsy, and a champion of character design. But even with all those superpowers, you know that the real magic happens in the final touches before rendering animation. So, let's dive into the nitty-gritty of perfecting your animation, starting with the first step: cleaning up your animation timelines.

Clean up your animation timelines

When it comes to refining your animation, tidying up your timelines is the first order of business. It's like de-cluttering your workspace before starting a big project—it sets the stage for smooth execution and a stunning final result.

Eliminate unnecessary keyframes

Keyframes are the cornerstones of your animation, dictating movement, timing, and pace. However, more isn't always merrier. Extra keyframes can create unwanted jitter or motion, so be brave and delete any that aren't pulling their weight. Remember, it's about making each frame count, not counting each frame.

Check your timing and spacing

Next, let's turn our attention to the rhythm of your animation. Timing is the heart and soul of animation—the beat that your characters move to, and spacing is the dance floor they move on. A well-timed animation with just the right spacing can make even the simplest character feel alive. So, tweak the timing and spacing until every move flows naturally.

Smooth out transitions

Now that you've nailed the timing and spacing, let's talk transitions. Smooth transitions between keyframes can make the difference between a jerky puppet show and a fluid ballet. So, pay extra attention to your in-betweens—those frames that bridge the gap between keyframes. A little polish here can add a lot of smoothness to your final animation.

By the time you're done, your timelines should be neat, efficient, and ready for the next step in adding those final touches before rendering animation. Remember, a tidy timeline is the best starting point for a masterpiece in motion.

Check the lighting in your scene

Now that your timelines are neat and tidy, it's time to focus on the lighting in your scene. Lighting is the secret sauce that can make your animation pop off the screen. It sets the mood, highlights important elements, and gives depth to your scene.

Balance your light sources

Just like in photography or filmmaking, it’s important to balance your light sources in animation. Too much light can wash out details, while too little can leave your scene looking flat and uninteresting. So, play around with the intensity, direction, and color of your light sources until you find the perfect balance.

Experiment with shadows

Shadows aren't just the absence of light—they're an artistic tool that can add depth and realism to your scene. Don't be afraid to experiment with shadow length, opacity, and softness. Remember, shadows can be your best friend when it comes to giving your animation a three-dimensional feel.

Use lighting to guide the viewer's eye

Last but not least, use lighting to guide your viewer's eye towards the most important parts of your scene. A well-placed spotlight or a subtle glow can make all the difference in directing the viewer's attention. After all, you've worked hard on your animation—make sure your audience sees the best bits!

Remember, good lighting is like the icing on the cake—it can turn a good animation into a great one. So, take the time to get it right—it's one of the most important final touches before rendering animation.

Review your character designs and models

Having examined the lighting in your scene, the next important step in adding the final touches before rendering animation involves a thorough review of your character designs and models. Your characters are the heart and soul of your animation, and they deserve your utmost attention.

Ensure consistency in character design

Consistency is key in animation. Make sure that your characters remain consistent in their design throughout the animation. This includes their size, color scheme, and even the way they move. Any inconsistencies will stick out like a sore thumb and could distract from the overall flow of your animation.

Refine character models

Your characters aren't just flat drawings—they're three-dimensional models living in a three-dimensional world. So, spend some time refining your character models. Smooth out any rough edges, adjust proportions if needed, and make sure your characters can move in a realistic and fluid manner.

Check for visual glitches

Visual glitches can be a real pain in the neck, especially if they pop up after you've rendered your animation. So, take the time to check your characters for any visual glitches, like flickering textures or parts of the model that disappear when viewed from certain angles. It's better to catch them now than to have to re-render your animation later.

Remember, your characters are the stars of your animation, so give them the care and attention they deserve. A well-designed and well-modeled character can take your animation from good to great, so don't rush this step—it's a crucial part of the final touches before rendering animation.

Finalize camera positions and movements

Now that we've given our characters the attention they deserve, let's shift our focus to the camera. How you position and move your camera can dramatically impact the way your animation is perceived. So, let's dive in and explore how to finalize your camera positions and movements—another key aspect of the final touches before rendering animation.

Pick the right perspective

First things first: you need to choose the right perspective. Will a bird's eye view capture the scene best, or should you go for a worm's eye view? Maybe a simple eye-level shot will do. Remember, the perspective you choose can set the tone for your entire animation, so choose wisely.

Plan your camera movements

Once you've nailed down your perspective, it's time to think about camera movements. Do you want your camera to follow your characters, or would you rather it stay still and let the action unfold? Again, the choice is yours, but keep in mind that every camera movement should serve a purpose. Aimless movement can confuse your audience and detract from the overall impact of your animation.

Test different shots

Finally, don't hesitate to play around with different shots. Try wide shots, close-ups, and everything in between. Experimenting with different shots can give you a better understanding of what works and what doesn't. Plus, it can be a lot of fun!

Finalizing your camera positions and movements might seem like a small detail, but it can make a big difference. It's one of those final touches before rendering animation that can help your animation stand out. So, don't skip this step—your animation will thank you!

Add sound effects and music

Let's move on to something that'll truly make your animation come alive: sound. The right sound effects and music can elevate your animation, while the wrong ones can break it. So, let's check out how to add that perfect soundtrack—one of the final touches before rendering animation.

Choose fitting sound effects

First off, let's talk about sound effects. These are the sounds that match the actions in your animation. For example, the sound of footsteps, a door opening, or a car engine starting. The key here is to choose sound effects that fit the actions and the atmosphere of your animation. Always remember, every sound effect should serve a purpose.

Find the right music

Next, let's discuss music. Choosing the right music can set the mood of your animation and stir emotions in your audience. It can make them laugh, cry, or feel suspense. So, take your time to find a piece of music that complements your animation's story and vibe. And don't forget about the pacing. The rhythm of your music should align with the pace of your animation.

Synchronize sound and visuals

Once you've selected your sound effects and music, the last step is to synchronize them with your visuals. This means making sure the sounds match the actions on screen. For instance, if a character is running, the sound of their footsteps should match their pace. This is crucial for creating a believable audio-visual experience.

Adding sound effects and music is not just another task to tick off your list. It's a key part of the final touches before rendering animation. So, take your time with it, and make your animation not just a treat for the eyes, but also for the ears.

If you've enjoyed learning about perfecting animation and want to take your skills even further, 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!