Very often I have recommended my students to create single panel cartoon strip. It is a “net practice” for Animation Film Making.
Animation Film making involves lots of stages/skills as we all know. Starting with script writing, screeplay writing, storyboarding, character designing, film designing/styling, rough animation, cleanups …. and for 3D, there is modeling, rigging, 3D character animation etc etc..
Practice is a shorter/sample version of a performance that can be repeated regularly to hone the skill so when you come to real performance you outperform yourself.
Student may want to stick to one of the skill and would like to keep practicing that. For e.g.
– exercise for script writing – regularly coin a short script for 30 sec ad of whatever product strikes you on TV or newspaper.
– exercise for storyboard artist – produce Story point panels of short stories of master story writers of the world weekly.
– exercise for character designer – convert some of your daily gestures into character design by implementing your opinions into it, will take around .5 hour.
– exercise for classical animator – doing gestures regularly, creating 1 3-4 sec animation rough weekly,
– exercise for 3D character animation – creating 2 3D gestures daily, or 3-4 sec small animation clip weekly,
– exercise for 3D modeling – keeping a lump of clay on your table and sculpt a new face daily or weekly, or model one face or figure weekly or monthly
But if somebody wants to practice animation film making, from start to end, what could be short version of it that could be repeated on regular basis that hones skills of story telling through film.
Yes, that happens to be cartooning.
If we look at one frame here –
Isn’t there script in it? Screenplay is also in it – A Dialogue. One frame Thumbnail/Storyboard is there. And Notice character design is also in it. We can identify the personality of each character. And there is single keyframe also for both characters. Then there is cleanup, BG/layout design and also film design/styling (we can makeout that this is RK laxman’s panel and this is Mario Miranda’s by just having a look).
So if you create a new cartoon panel, you actually go through the whole process in a shorter form.
If you want to pratice Film Making, no doubt making complete films is not replaceable, but Cartooning is an excellent net practice.