Skip to content

11 3D Character Animation Tips


Characters are the most essential part of a story. The more accurately the 3D character animation is represented in relation to its personality, for example, body shape, the more tangible it is for the audience. That’s why knowing these 3D character animation tips is essential for any 3D animator.
In the realm of 3D artworks, the characters have more potential to approach the human world. People empathize with characters even more, and Everyone has their own favorite animated character.
But what makes a character significant to people? How could you animate a character in the world of 3D animation and be sure it becomes one-of-a-kind?
Whether you are a beginner or a professional, these 3D character animation tips help you to master the art of character animation.

1. 3D Character Fundamentals

The 3D animation pipeline starts with the concept art process, determining the character’s personality and developing its physical appearance. Learning character design fundamentals is a crucial step in mastering 3d character animation tips. A different storyline with a portion of humour will be engaging in the first place. But, characters play a significant role since they are the factor that will lead the audience into the story. They give them a clearer understanding and greater emotional involvement. A successful character design should be both visually appealing and believable.

3d Character Animation Tips Announce and a boy

2. Questions that Make the process Simpler for the Beginners

In order to design a character, consider the following factors:


the more precise the character’s personage, the more engaging it is. When creating a 3D character identity, try to answer these questions:

  • A) What is the character’s personality type?
  • B) What motivates them?
  • C)What makes them emotional? Do they have any specific habits?
  • D)Answering these questions will help you create a well-rounded character.

Physical Appearance

the prerequisite for designing the physical part of the character is having proficiency in human anatomy painting. Drafting a body is practical when you show 3D character traits with it. For example, a tiny short body for a shrewd astute character will attract the audience.
When designing a 3D character’s physical appearance, try to answer these questions:

  • What does the character look like?
  • What are their unique features and attributes?
  • Do they have anything unusual in their appearance?

Take the time to sketch out your character and consider how different elements, such as clothing and accessories, can enhance their design.

Story and Context

characters are the elements that lead the audience to the conflicts and make them pursue the story. When narrating the story, try to answer these questions:

  • How does the character fit into the story and the world you are creating?
  • How involved are they?

Try animation storyboards to ease this process. Consider the character’s backstory and their role in the narrative.

3. 12 Essential Rules of 3D Animation

It’s not a tip. It’s the law of 3D animation. Before going for any kind of action, make sure to master the 12 principles of animation, and this will only be achieved by practice and experience through repetition. Using the basic principles of animation, such as precise staging, timing, follow-through, and squash and stretch, will give an identity and add life to the 3D characters. For example, the exaggeration used in Monsters Cop 3d animated movie is what keeps the audience fascinated to the end. Try new things while keeping these rules in mind. But if you don’t want to read the article wholesomely, you can read the 12 rules, which are listed in the following:

  • Squash and Stretch
  • Anticipation
  • Staging
  • Straight Ahead Action and Pose-to-Pose
  • Follow Through and Overlapping Action
  • Ease In, Ease Out
  • Arcs
  • Secondary Action
  • Timing
  • Exaggeration
  • Solid drawing
  • Appeal

4. Professionality Comes with a Good Schema

Most of the artists have minor skills in sketching Or are at least capable of creating simple 3D blockings. An artist could not reach the 3D world without passing the gates of 2D. planning before starting anything on the computer, will arrange your mind properly.

It’s better to work on the whole character in general, like drawing a 2D character sketch to determine the timing and then go for details.
It’s better, to begin with the creation of a primitive form. Modeling is creating the surface of an object in detail. 3D modelers, in short, build their visual models by considering every aspect of the 3D character. Starting with blocking out, artists give their model a proper shape and work on the topology, color, as well as special features of the character’s appearance. This process gives them a general idea of the character.
A professional 3D animator usually rigs and moves a figure provided by a 3D modeler. 3D animators aren’t just moving things around. For Ratatouille, one of Pixar’s employees jumped into a swimming pool while wearing a chef’s uniform. They are creating like a God! (although I think God didn’t actually do such crazy things to create us!)

After designing the whole, it’s time to work on details. What makes the difference is the attention to detail which makes your characters outstanding. For instance, the incredibly realistic fur in Zootopia blows the mind. (I mean their crazy animators observed various animals’ hair under a microscope!), The detail will come across by final animating. Remember, A perfect animation is perfect in detail.

5. Mastering Movement and Pose

A perfect animator is someone who brings motions to life. They gift the essence of freshness to the cold, animated body by designing elegant poses and extraordinary movements.
Any good 3D character must have a unique sculpture for better animation. 3D Rigging and 3D digital Sculpting are professional techniques that allow the animation of 3D characters’ muscles and the integration of all body parts as an entire mechanism.
Besides, the animator should be advertent with lip-syncing because the brain’s perception of timing processes character motions with the movement of lips and the words being said. Generally, Mastering movements and poses involves creating keyframes, in-between frames, and secondary motion to create a believable and fluid animation.

6. Keyframe, in Between Frames & Secondary Motion

keyframes: Keyframes are the key positions that define the character’s movements and are used to determine the movement of the character between the frames. When creating keyframes, think about the character’s motivation, and use their body language to express their emotions and intentions.
In-between frames: In-between frames are the frames that are added between the keyframes to create a smooth and seamless animation. This is where you will add the majority of your animation work, as you will need to create a believable movement from one keyframe to the next.
Secondary motion: Secondary motion refers to the smaller, less noticeable movements that add realism to an animation. This can include things like swaying.
As a suggestion, I would say, Don’t stick to one FPS. Experiment with every FPS, and find the one that suits that character at that moment.

7. Plenty of Reference Material Ready for 3D animators

Using reference material can be incredibly helpful in creating an animation that is both believable and visually appealing. Reference material can include real-life footage, animation from other sources, or still images. For new ideas, google “facial expression pose sheet” and click on the “save” button because these pose sheets are going to help you a lot!

In order to improve creativity and sight, the animator should take a look at the late works of animation. Studying everything that has been made so far in the realm of animation and figuring out the different reasons that make each of them successful, increases the animator’s control over what’s ahead. What are Toy Story’s success factors? Enjoy Watching the animations, and make sure to list any factors that seem significant to you.

The animators don’t need to build every action themselves. By using reference material, they can observe how characters move and make decisions about the movement and pose of their own characters.

8. Software and Tools

Yes, It’s ideal to have a vivid imagination, and love for cartooning but the thing that will significantly distinguish you from other animators is proficiency in basics with the skill of using complex software and the innate ability to work well under extreme pressure.

First of all, Having a suitable system speeds up the 3D animation production process. As the work speeds up, the number of productions increases. The software you are working with should be helpful in finding what you need. There are a variety of free animation software and tools available to help you create 3D character animations. Some of the most popular programs are Blender, Autodesk Maya, and 3D Studio Max which make your work easier by providing a range of tools and features to help you create animations, including modeling, rigging, animating, and rendering.

9. Improving Your Skills

You might be wondering how to improve your animation skills. I know you watched so many youtube videos, and they were fast, like it’s easy to be an animator!
As with any art form, the key to improving your 3D character animation skills is practice and experimentation. The more you practice, the better you will become. Just believe in yourself because Experimenting with new ideas that cross your mind will make a change.

10. “Art demands constant observation.”

The mentioned words are told by Vincent van Gogh; and as this saying master of art, we should mention that the key to learning 3D animation is purposeful observation. The human being has fascinating reactions. Each individual is incredibly different from another one in expressing their emotions. Observe real-life characters and have an unlimited number of postures for designing your character. Study the psychology of movement and then seek out real-world references. The time an animator puts on observation increases the chance of his succession. It’s wonderful to see your own reactions and observe yourself. Film your own movements and analyze them because you are one of the main sources as well!

11. 3D Character Animation is a Mixture of Engineering and Art

Yes, a good animator is both an engineer and an artist. An animator needs to have enough information about directing, acting, and physics to get the form he wants in the correct mise-en-scène. The character must represent both of them as it moves.
Additionally, consider taking courses or workshops to learn new skills and techniques and to receive feedback on your work. Without the fear of failing, Take the time to try out different techniques and styles.

The Pixune Team is Here to Help You with Your Animation Projects

Pixune professional staff provides 3D animation services that are qualified in developing first-rate 3D characters and mise-en-scene.
To know the details, just get us a free quote and let’s talk about your ideas; we will help you through the road to make them happen.

Final Words

Obviously, In the process of making an animation, all components play an important role. An entertaining story, camera angle, lighting, music, VFX, and proper modeling save an animation from being boring. The audience senses the gravity, the time, and other key factors of the real world in good animation. But everything depends on the animator.
In the real world, everything moves according to the laws of physics. In the animated world, Things move according to the animator’s decisions. It takes a lot to create a good 3D animation, but it’s not hard if you’re a good animator. Building 3D characters are the most joyful part of the process!
It’s interesting how some animators are worried about the future of 3D animation. But still, 3D character animation is a complex and challenging field that requires a combination of technical skills and creative vision.


In order to make your 3D character move smoothly, it’s recommended to set the FPS to 60.

It depends on what you’re going to do, but Blender & Adobe 3D animation suits are the good ones.

Yes. it’s better to have. Use a Moodboard or Storyboard.

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let’s start a project together!

Message us and receive a quote in 24 hours