25 Awesome Animation Websites You Should Know #BrownBag25





We're continuing on with our #BrownBag25 picks this month, and we thought we'd take a look at some of the animation blogs, websites and online resources out there that our creatives love and return to time and time again.

We did a call out to our crew and compiled a selection of some of their great suggestions!

Take a scroll through and be sure to add your own favourites in the comments below:

Animator Island is “the” website for animators and animation lovers. Not only a great resource of technical and artistic knowledge about animation but also tutorials, animation exercises, interviews with artists and links to other animation websites and blogs.

They also have a YouTube channel full of interesting videos.

- Andrea Cristofaro, Animation Supervisor

This website is a monthly contest where animators take an 11-second long clip of animation and animate something to it. There are links to free rigs, forums where you can get feedback on work in progress, and if you want to animate something at home it's a great motivation to just make something that month.

- Diane Aarts, Animation Supervisor

Via 11 second club you can take part in monthly animation challenges or just take a look to see what other people have submitted and the reviews they get from artists. Very interesting indeed!

- Mik Kirchheiner, Animator

Great resource for free life drawing!

- Samantha Braithewaite, Storyboard Revisionist

Line of Action is a huge collection of still images where you can choose the length that each pose stays onscreen, how long your drawing session is, and you can choose whether the models are male/female and if they're nude or clothed.

I would always recommend life drawing references for any artist or animator, no matter whether they're still in college or 20 years in the game. It's essential to keep drawing and to draw from life as much as possible!

- Jennie Kelly, Production Assistant

4. Women in Animation

Founded in 1995, WIA is the only organization dedicated to advancing women in the field of animation. Envisioning a world where women share equally in the creation, production and rewards of animation, and providing resources and connections to make it happen.

Amazing for news around the development of the 50/50 equality in the animation industry, hearing about women pioneers in animation you never knew and also finding job opportunities, mentorships and more.  

- Anna Margiotta, Senior Storyboard Revisionist

5. Cartoon Brew 

Cartoon Brew is the main website for news about animation all around the world.

- Anna Margiotta, Senior Storyboard Revisionist

6. Screen Directors Guild of Ireland

Established in 2000, the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland (SDGI) is the representative body for directors involved in the Irish and international audiovisual industry. These include directors of feature films, fiction, animation documentary, television drama, short films, video art and commercials.

SDGI has great updates on the Irish animation industry, and recently they have published a second round of Directors in Dialogue Podcasts, including one with our very own Bronagh O'Hanlon. These are an amazing source of knowledge. ^_^

- Lynne Guthrie, 2D Designer

7. StoryboardArt

StoryboardArt is a professional community of visual storytellers that provide you with a terrific toolkit for learning the art of visual storytelling. Through online classes, streaming videos, and live workshops they teach the story principles that are not found in art schools or traditional learning environments. 

An amazing website, full of interesting articles and classes for storyboard artists.

- Anna Margiotta, Senior Storyboard Revisionist

8. The Art of Animation 

The Art of Animation is a Tumblr blog full to the brim with gorgeous artworks from animations, concept artwork, model sheets and more. If you're looking for something that has endless scrolling opportunity, look no further.

This is an amazing site. Very inspiring!

- Stephen O'Connor, Art Director

9. Animation Screencaps

Looking for references from your favourite animations? Look no further! Animation Screencaps has a huge list for you to peruse.

Best animation film reference site.

- Stephen O'Connor, Art Director

10. Catsuka

Catsuka is a fantastic site that showcases Animation and Illustration from around the world. They share indie and big name stuff alike. I've been following them on multiple platforms since the early 2000s before I even went to Sheridan college. A wealth of inspiration!

They are in French but you can easily translate the page through your browser.

- Kostadino Ketsilis, Scene Painter

11. Sakuga Blog

Has everything from interviews to current anime's production notes! The notes, in particular, are fascinating to read and give in-depth details about how a certain anime's production is going, who works on it and their background, how production mishaps can/may affect the show, etc.

- Adrienne Bazir, 2D Animator

12. Animpricer.com

Ever wonder about the cost of animation projects or how to budget one? Frederik Villumsen, Co-founder of Craft, set up this site, currently in Beta, to help you gauge a rough estimate of the cost of your passion/commercial project, and to explain the reasons behind the costs.

This is fairly new and is not going to be applicable to everyone, but I've used this in the past to give me some quick and rough shorthand ranges of budget for animation projects.

It's not the be-all-end-all but it's a good link to throw to people who want to do animated projects but don't know how much money they should allocate for it because it allows them to pick their priorities and see how they affect the estimated budget. Also works nicely as a bit of a learning tool for people who think art is cheap.

- Mik Kirchheiner, Animator

Character Design References™ (CDR) is an independent website dedicated to sequential, illustrative and concept art from animation, games and comics. CDR is also the home of the ''Character Design Challenge!'' (CDChallenge), the largest and most active community of character designers on the Internet. 

Great resource for reference for artists.

- Samantha Braithewaite, Storyboard Revisionist

Want some great tutorials on how to think when you draw? The Etherington Brothers got you covered! Their blog is chock full of visual tutorials to get you thinking and help you improve your artwork.

 Great reference for 2D artwork.

- Samantha Braithewaite, Storyboard Revisionist

15. Blender Guru

Every Blender fan knows this site, it's one of the most useful references to bring blender into use!

- Omid Nejadnik, Senior Previz / Layout Artist

16. Living Lines Library

A great resource for animation pencil tests, production art and behind the scenes!

It's become a bit more of an animation blog as time has gone on, but I've used it in the past to look up pencil tests to study. It's a good page for animation research in general as they've got a bit of everything in terms of production art.

- Mik Kirchheiner, Animator

17. Quixel Megascans Library

Quixel Megascans is an impressive library featuring thousands of 3D and 2D asset scans to help speed up your workflow. 

A very powerful source for hyper-realistic textures and shaders, both free and paid.

- Omid Nejadnik, Senior Previz / Layout Artist

18. Textures.com

Textures.com is a website that offers digital pictures of all sorts of materials - fabrics, wood, metal, bricks, plastic, and many more. These images are called textures and can be used for graphic design, visual effects, in computer games, animations and any other situation where you need a nice pattern or background image.

Free source for textures.

- Omid Nejadnik, Senior Previz / Layout Artist

19. Jessica Abel

Not directly animation related but a great resource for any creative for advice on managing your creative output.  Jessica Abel is a cartoonist and educator who runs the creative focus workshops and offers lots of advice and guidance via her blog on dealing with procrastination and work-life balance.  

If you find you’ve lost the passion for your creative work this is the blog to follow!

- Cliodhna Lyons, Episodic Director

20. SHADERS.XYZ 

SHADERS.XYZ is a forum created in an effort to unite all look-development nerds from the various render engines out there. The focus is on doing monthly material challenges whilst being as transparent as possible about the process. It's all about learning from and sharing with like-minded people.

For those who are into hyper-realistic surfacing, here is a great resource to see rendering geeks approaches to replicating material.

- Omid Nejadnik, Senior Previz / Layout Artist

21. Kathleen Quaife Effects Animation 

Kathleen Quaife is a traditional FX animator who worked on movies like An American Tail, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame and Hercules. She has a lot of experience as an animator and her blog details her method of animating FX traditionally.

- the Special FX department Brown Bag Films Manchester (Ali Shakir, Frederique Le Blanc, Frida Ramirez and Nathalie Sandstad)

22. Olivier Malric 

Olivier Malric is a French artist that creates really nice designs for FX and has a lot of good examples of what is needed for model sheets on his blog. It's also great for inspiration!

- the Special FX department Brown Bag Films Manchester (Ali Shakir, Frederique Le Blanc, Frida Ramirez and Nathalie Sandstad)

23. Archive3d.net

A free library of 3D objects with a caveat that most of the topologies are broken, but are very helpful for blocking out a 3D scene very fast.

- Omid Nejadnik, Senior Previz / Layout Artist

24. Highend3d.com

Highend3d.com (formerly CreativeCrash.com) is home to hundreds and thousands of free and stock 3D Models, Scripts/Plugins, Textures, Shaders, Tutorials, Galleries, Forums and more!

A library of many useful mini tools and plugins, mainly for Maya.

- Omid Nejadnik, Senior Previz / Layout Artist

25. Short of the Week  

Short of the Week is not limited specifically to animation, but it does house a great list of beautiful animated shorts alongside insightful reviews. A great resource for researching short films or just for watching them for fun.

Short of the Week is a website which showcases short movies made by professional individuals and companies alike, along with great reviews. It's all categorised by type - 2D / 3D, animation, horror, humour, style, country etc. The selected shorts range from being funny to moving to weird! Something for everyone I’d say. 

- Rory Morris, Lead Texture Artist

So there you have it - got your own favourite animation website? Pop it in the comments below!

 #BrownBag25


Anahita Tabarsi

Anahita is Brown Bag Films' Marketing Director, Digital & Social and drinks more than five coffees a day...

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