Respect Your Audience
One of the major principles of animation should be ‘Know Your Audience and Respect Your Audience’ As an animator you need to know who you are animating to, you need to get into the heads of your audience to deliver your performance. Animating to a 4 year old is very different to animating to a teenager, who in turn is vastly different than animating for an old man. Your animation will be all the more poignant if you know who your target audience is. You can direct your performance to your audience and play on their likes and dislikes, you can input subtleties and nuances that a particular audience will appreciate. This is going to vastly improve your animation, and improve your clients happiness =D
A personal favorite of mine is Pocoyo!
This is a children’s animated series with a push towards learning and developing, especially in visual and auditory communication. The simplicity of the animation and the length of time each pose is held, lends itself perfectly to this medium. More importantly it delivers a message brilliantly to its target audience in the simplest of ways. Kudos to the animators. It is clear and succinct with its message and animation style!
On the flipside lets take some animation from the super awesome Hellgate Cinematic done over at Blur Studios.
Sweet creature animations, violent, agile and super dynamic! This works brilliantly for the target audience!
Both of these work wonderfully in their own right, but put one animation style to the wrong audience, and your animation stops being effective. Obviously this is an extreme comparison, but the same applies to subtlety and character performance, knowing your audience is going to take you that extra mile.
Don't Animate For Animators
So often nowadays a growing percentage of animators are more and more obsessed in animating for themselves, or their peers. As human beings we have a tendency to look for approval from our friends and peers, probably harkens back to our primal urge to move in packs?!? In relation to animation, (and many other disciplines) this tends to create a subculture of introspective works and watered down performances.
For my mind there seems to be a flood of like minded work through the middle band of animation. Animators animating not for their target audience but for themselves or the approval of other animators. Sure you can say ‘but this piece IS for animators’ and if that’s the case, then awesome! In the everyday work place the animator is rarely the target audience, try not to loose sight of your audience as your slogging through your work, or learning animation!