Beginner Wants to Draw, Animate

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by MegaSignal, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. MegaSignal macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2003
    Hello To All!

    One of my daughters would like to begin drawing and animating with one of the family's computers - we have both a Mac Pro as well as a PC.

    She has been enjoying free-hand drawing animals and landscapes for years, and has been influenced by the works of Erin Hunter (Warriors) as well as Brian Jacques (Redwall), and has recently discovered many animations on YouTube that have inspired her to try her hand at animation.

    Where do I begin after the purchase of a decent mouse tablet and stylus with regard to beginner software?

    Thanks all in advance for your input!
  2. mofunk macrumors 68000


    Aug 26, 2009
    You can talk to her art teacher. GO to and pick up a Wacom Intus3 tablet or a Pen & Touch tablet. You can get one with the Student/Education discount. Not sure on which Anime software to purchase.

    If this is her 1st time. You can download trials of software for her to tryout.
  3. sigmadog macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2009
    near Spokane, WA
    In general, I would encourage her to develop her traditional drawing skills with paper, pen, pencil, and brush, before jumping too heavily into software tools.

    I think computer software is absolutely marvelous for creating art and (of course) animation, but not without a good grounding in traditional skills.

    I don't know of a respected professional artist currently using software that didn't first develop amazing skills as a traditional artist. One must come before the other, IMHO, and not the other way around.

    You can't learn to be an artist on a computer.

    That said, I'm not a complete Luddite, and I understand the appeal of the computer as a fun and useful tool. I think one needs to establish a balance between learning the skills, and having fun with them on a computer. By finding that happy mix, you will be doing your daughter a big favor.

    I don't have any advice on entry-level tools, but I thought I would offer my thoughts as a professional artist and curmudgeon (I make money as the former, the latter is just a hobby but I'm real good at it).
  4. MegaSignal thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2003
  5. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    +1 for the wacom tablet.

    Also for drawing I really really like Corel Painter. You can pick up essentials for cheap or the full version for around $100 on a student discount.

    Also, something not mentioned is any type of software she chooses she can probably learn from
  6. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    May 28, 2004
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    For animating you could use a few different programs. One would be Toon Boom Studio which offers a traditional style "cell" animation work space/style. The other option would be Flash as that's what I use however…using Toon Boom one gets a richer animation because it's not using tweening as the animation motion per se. Very similar to what they use on Family Guy and old Disney animation movies.
    You can get Toon Boom from also and they have a few different levels of the program you can buy depending upon the needs and cost you can afford. I was going to go with TBS a long time ago but I was given Flash and have just stayed with it since then.
    There are some great tutorials out there for animation for Flash and TBS on I started with the free downloads and have bought a few lessons over the years from there, great source and cheap for the amount of stuff you get.
    Enjoy helping your daughter out and hope she has fun with this :)
  7. MegaSignal thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2003
    Once again, Thanks, Everyone!

    I appreciate the info, as does my family!
  8. Macrovertigo macrumors member


    Jan 25, 2008
    I agree with those who say that nothing beats a pencil and paper, (or normal, natural clay or wax when it's time to go to three dimensions), but that said, I always recommend three excellent free software offerings -

    1) pencil (excellent 2D animation software, way easier than it looks, very intuitive, here is a good info link, and -

    2) seashore (mac only, and likewise very intuitive,

    3) aviary (only recently made entirely free -

    When in doubt, learn to draw first, the real way, in real time, with real stuff, so that you have the skills to use the software.;)

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