Are drawing skills important for CG animators ?

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Old 10 October 2012   #1
Are drawing skills important for CG animators ?

Hi folks,

I am starting to teach a new course at university, "Animation Theory", and I wonder how important You guys rate essential drawing skills for CG animators? Beeing and old schooler, I tend to say "Very important", but what is the general opinion on this ? Personally I couldnt do animation without scribbles, key poses on paper, etc. But time in the course is limited, so I wonder if I should invest time into teaching basic drawing skills ?
Old 10 October 2012   #2
If you are short on time, maybe you could teach the students how to draw "stickmen" in various poses?

Something like this:

Even someone with the worst drawing skills can probably draw this way.

And in the end, the drawing/sketching is about nailing down good animation poses, not high-art?
Old 10 October 2012   #3
Hi Emmanuel,

There are many threads devoted to this topic, try a search via Google since the forum search tool is poor. + is drawing important (etc)

I'd say that Drawing is such a vast topic that it would be pretty difficult to try to shoe horn it into your class. You should assume that students have drawing ability already. The best scenario is if students have drawing as a pre requisite for taking your course. Having said that, one doesn't always have control over the sequence of classes in schools. So you may have to do the best with the abilities that your students have.

Good luck,

Korpus School of Art + Gallery
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Downtown Los Angeles

Old 10 October 2012   #4
Yeah, thats the problem, I dont have the total control over the sequence of courses, but I am working on it Tried to search this forum, but didnt find exactly my answers, except for an example of requirements at Disney from 1993.
Old 10 October 2012   #5
Right, try this.

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Downtown Los Angeles

Old 10 October 2012   #6
To be fair, he asked a more specific question for his animation course. Most threads talk about drawing in general.

But then again, we discussed this so much and every single time its turning in circles and most people get mad because they're old school or super modern, etc.
But basic sketching and preparing your animation ... well I guess everyone would agree on that. Planning goes first. And in most cases its faster and easier to plan on paper.
You don't have to be a skilled draftsmen at all to do this, as DePaint said, stickfigures can already do the job.
So for beginners I would explain it like that. Planning on paper is essential to start animation (some might prefer wacom and photoshop of course)

If you need good drawing skills to become a professional animator ... well that's another question and I wouldn't ask it because you never get consistent answers.
Passion is the key.
Miysis 3D
Old 10 October 2012   #7
Rebeccak, sorry, link just leads me to Google, but thanks Thanks for all the answeres so far, I am going to stick with stick figures (no pun intended) and give the freedom of choice to those students who feel more ambitious. As we all know, prior planning prevents piss poor performance, so thats also an important aspect I will make them understand.And that they need good chairs and cushions, as they will spend a LONG time on them.
Old 10 October 2012   #8
I really understand the lack of time to get your info over to your students. I would devote about a half hour on examples where drawing is important and issue homework

Now that would be homework I would have love to have in school!
Good luck with your course.
The terminal velocity of individual particles is directly related to pink rabbits on a bank holiday.
Characters, Games, Toys
Old 10 October 2012   #9
Originally Posted by Emmanuel: prior planning prevents piss poor performance

Actually its "proper planning". Prior planning that is not proper, will not prevent a piss poor performance. LOL

Its good for people to draw, no matter the skill level. Its just a fast form of communication. Maybe you can warm up your class one day with a game of pictionary. They can work in small teams and work out an animation problem very quickly. You come up with the subject matter relevent to your message that day.

In my meetings with clients, I am usually sketching on the fly as we discuss ideas. Sometimes its real chicken scratch, but gets us on the same page quickly. Plus the clients get encouraged when they start seeing their ideas visualized before their eyes. If motion needs to be conveyed, I start throwing a quick storyboard sequence together, with stick people if necessary.

Last edited by XLNT-3d : 10 October 2012 at 06:31 PM.
Old 10 October 2012   #10
Drawing is important, but I don't think you should be trying to teach how to draw in an animation class. There isn't time, and I assume their are drawing classes offered at the universtiy that they can take.
Old 10 October 2012   #11
I am an animationstudent myself at this moment and though many people would say that drawing isnt that important and that you can get away with only drawing stick figures, in some cases it really does help when one can draw more detailed key poses for a character.

It really helps you to think things through before you spend more time trying to get the character into a difficult key pose on the computer only to later find out that it is wrong.
Old 10 October 2012   #12
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