While 3D animation requires a great amount of technical skill, students and artists today often forget that what makes a good animation is much more than simply moving things on a screen! All animators should start their projects away from the keyboards and screens. Read the story you are bringing to life, listen to the soundtrack if there is one, find your inspiration and the meaning/ideas for what you are attempting to cultivate. After doing so, create a beat list-think of an animation beat as an event that needs to happen on screen before the audience can understand the story. Following the creation of a beat list, move into sketching key poses/actions and even a few in-betweens if you want. Researching is the next important step that ALL animators should practice! Obtaining material and experiencing, watching, and rehearsing/acting it out yourself can be incredibly helpful to your practice. If you shoot reference for your work, you should have it up on your screen beside you or import it into your file! Blocking out your key and most extreme poses is a great way to flesh out your project. Keep in mind that as you work-one of of the best ways to spot issues as you work is to watch the file upside down!