Why You Don’t Need to Know How to Draw to Be a 3D Animator

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I wrote about the differences between 2D and 3D animation in the past, and one of the main points I made in that post is that while drawing skills are a must for 2D animation, you don’t need to know how to draw to be a 3D animator.

Read more about this in our ebook.

I don’t know how to draw

Well, that’s not entirely true. I did go to art school for 4 years and have been into drawing since a very young age. However, I am not half way close to be good enough to do any industry style 2D animation.

As a kid, watching the classic disney movies made me wanna do animation, but as I grew up I learned that I would not be able to do so since no matter how hard I tried I would not reach that level of craftsmanship very few gifted people have.

Then I discovered 3D animation

This consensus that people have about the requirement of amazing drawing skills to do animation is just flawed as of recent years. The process of 3D animation is very different on a technical level. Since drawing the character is not an issue, instead it’s all about moving it around like a puppet. A 3D puppet.

3D animation allowed me to make my dreams come true and animate. Since I didn’t deal with all the technical obstacles of drawing, I could focus on the characters and what I wanted to get from them. Animating means “bring to life”, and drawing is not the only way to do so.

However, there are a few things to note:

If I got you all excited about animating (which I hope I did) there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Drawing skills are a huge plus. A good understanding of figures and body movement is extremely important. I studied for 4 years and had many life drawing classes. I might not have been the best in class but my eye has gotten a lot better at depicting anatomy.
  • Composition skills are also mandatory. You don’t need to know how to draw, but you need to understand composition aesthetics in order to create compelling poses for you animation and great angles for your shots.
  • Basic animation principles are the same in 2D and 3D and you must know them.

If you want to learn more about character animation, try out our Maya Animation Course which teaches how to animate with the industry-standard program Maya.

What’s my point?

This post was not intended to cheapen 3D animation. It is a craft like any other and require years of dedication to master. I only thought it’s important to get the message out there so that if you, the reader, have always dreamed of being an animator and thought you couldn’t do it, maybe this gives you another perspective on the matter.

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