I'm currently hammering through my first proper commercial animation job. It's nothing ongoing like a cartoon etc, but a product explanation video.
I'm doing it completely solo so it's been an interesting learning curve on what not
So for any of you out there wanting to animate here are some huuuge tips I learnt over the past 6 weeks of this.
Get your Script and Voice work done before you even start your animatic. If the client doesn't know what they want in the scene, get them to work that out. Not doing this for video means re-organising a shoot and puts a team of people out. Not doing this for animation can be the same, except it can put the animator\team out by days of waiting and work.
In getting your VO work done beforehand, you can actually use your animatic to aid in timing.
Instead of basically starting from scratch when you come to the final production.
The more you make, the more you'll have.
If you're planning on doing a web series or something don't be afraid of re-using your assets.
Also Illustrator works really well in conjunction with flash these days.
Cut the right corners:
For example - If you're animating a conversation. Animate it from the waist up.
That way if you need to change it to a walking scene you don't have to worry about the legs. And if you do have to worry about the legs you can just mask the conversation\legs separately and pop them both in during composite.
Get the hard stuff out of the way first:
Do your walk cycles and expression sheets.
Actually, if you're doing a series, do 2 walk cycles (slow & normal) and a run cycle.
Set your pivot points correctly:
If you don't do this first, and do it later. You'll have to go back in and fix every single character animation that had that asset in it.
Get a team!:
Especially if you're doing a series.
Background artists are wonderful people and get to do some great artworks.
And a dedicated compositor\sound mixer? Hurmagawd. Saves so much work.
Maybe I should turn these into a tutorial once this project is finished.