Question for animators



  • A friend asked me for advice on what kind of tablet should be used for an aspiring animator. As I know nothing about animation, I thought I'd throw the question on here for advice. Do you use a type of tablet for animation, or specific computer programs? Thanks in advance.



  • @rhirsch I use a Surface Pro 4 with Toon Boom Harmony for 2D animation. Clip Studio Paint and Krita also offer much cheaper 2D animation tools for beginners that work well to get started. -- Krita is free/open source.



  • I don’t do much animation, but I´ve been using TVPaint for raster (Aaron Blaise has a lot of tutorials about that) and Flash (once upon a time - now it´s Adobe Animate) for vector animation. Any tablet that is used in illustration is fine for animation (drawing is drawing). If he wants to do 3D animation, then he doesn’t need a tablet. A good software to start is Blender: it´s open source and free and pretty awesome - there is also a huge community.



  • Are you talking about 2D or 3D animation?

    Free software for 2D:

    Free Software for 3D:

    • Blender (https://www.blender.org/): you get a industry level free software for doing everything 3D: modeling, sculpting, animating, simulations (physics simulations for water, smoke, cloth, hair...). The interface may be a bit scary, but once you get used to it you can be a happy 3D artist!

    And is your friend going to design the characters, assets and environments, or just animate them?
    This is quite different, because you can spend a whole day (or week) creating a transition from a sad face to a happy face, or making a hand move to grab something, and you did not design the character doing it. You are just animating his expressions and movements. In this case, your friend may even prefer a mouse if it is 3D animation.



  • I second Andrew's suggestion. The Surface Pro will run full apps...definitely get the i7.

    ToonBoom is a pretty popular software for 2d animation and is good to know. They used to have a free version, but I'm not sure if they still do.

    For 3d I'm not sure what all the cool kids use now. Blender? Is Maya still a thing? IDK.

    It could be helpful to learn Adobe After Effects too, but...

    ...the MOST IMPORTANT THING is having strong drawing skills and knowing the basics of animation. The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams is a great book to have. No software can make up for lack of fundamentals.