What Does it Mean -
"Learn How To Draw"?

learning to draw - basic boxes

"Do I have to know how to draw to be an Animator?"

The answer is Yes - BUT - What does it mean, "Know How To Draw"? 

Let me tell you a secret: 
"Learning to Draw" really means "Learning to LOOK"

This is the process of Drawing:

  1. Look
  2. Understand what you see,
  3. Choose. Decide what to draw out of everything you see,
  4. Draw what you see, instead of what you know. Draw with pencils, pixels, plasticine, pen, beads, sand, oil, spray – anything.

To be a good animator, then:

Basic Drawing Skills

Learn to See and Draw

Drawing a chair using negative space

Drawing Characters

Animators need to go a step further:

Animators need to learn how to draw movement

Drawing for animation is a specialized branch of drawing in general.
We really need to study and understand how people, creatures and all sort of things move.
How weight, thrust and impact affect the shape of things.
How do the joints work in a living body.
Even if your character is some wacky imaginary creature, you still need to consider basic rules – like Gravity, if you want the animation to look good.

"But why do I have to learn how to draw?
I can make things move in After Effects without all this academic stuff!"

It is true that some people started animating directly with a computer software and became good animators, with no academic education.
What happened to them was that they learned to draw - on the computer.
If you have an eye for detail, can create great compositions, know how to articulate the weight and mass of your character – then you are drawing, no matter what you call it.

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