Animation, bring still images to life, is both a science and an artform. There is a dearth of information out there, in books, videos, audio podcasts, and more. The lists below offer everything from fundamental resources. to more advanced items that I personally recommend. <3
Oh, so you want to animate? Okay, do you know your basics? Forms, shapes, general idea about physics, motion, illusion, how the human brain works in regards to its vision centers? No? Some? Well here's a good starting point. :)
Is all this necessary? Well, you pick up on some of it as you go, but I prefer to think of this stuff as "lite" reading - because you should apply this to all of your artworks and creations, regardless of skill level or chosen creative path, rather than just "read" it.
The results of "getting back to fundamentals" speaks for itself as your artwork improves by leaps and bounds.
The books above are either on my bookshelf now, or they are books by authors who have written other books I own. My favorites are the Force Series as it takes basic anatomy work and enhances it, yet I still consider this a "fundamental" for animation studies. These are great starting points.
Below are some of my favorite YouTube Creators for art and art skills improvements. Go check them out!
Now we get to the skill sets that are specific to animation. Because animation combines several different skill sets together (comics, illustration, painting, and film) this section will be a little longer.
You will need a better understanding of painting, color theory, and the human mind's ability to perceive distance and depth in an otherwise flat image. This is primarily for backgrounds and scenes, but will also influence the movement of the character.
General animation techniques, cycles, motion, expressions, etc start with the 12 principles of animation. Practice these and your work will improve!
Another great place to find this information is on YouTube. These are some of my favorites.
Framing & Storytelling
Storyboarding captures the essence of the scenes you will be working on, the action in it, and where the camera is compared to where the actor is in the scene.
Once you have the basics down pat, now it's time to really consider the story and the framing. As Animators, we don't have the benefit of an actual camera we can use to follow an actor around in a scene. Although in Stop Motion this is more doable -generally we still need to keep in mind what we want the viewers to see, and then draw it.
These essential skills help us to bring our fundamentals skills in perspective and composition to really drive home to the audience the story, and the feelings, involved in a scene.