Animation Resources that I personally recommend
How to download reference video
Reference video is important and most of the time, we would want to review the reference video on our computer. I must stress that I download the video purely for reference purposes. There are other plug-ins available by Firefox and Chrome but I prefer to use this website called Offliberty.com. I used this website because I don't need to download plugins and I can access it any time I want on any computer I'm working on. This website is mainly for downloading youtube video and it's really convenient for me.
For character animation, I would suggest using Norman Rig. This is a very well created rig and I've been using it for practice in the past. In this blog, I'll also share how to install and use this rig for your character animation.
Observation is important to creating a realistic animation. Observation skill is essential to all artist because this will help you spot for errors in your animation. This is an ebook I personally wrote and guiding you from my personal experience. Check out more details about Learn To Animate with Observation!
This is the most important tool for your animation! A good mouse brings your comfort and ease in creating your 3D animation. I recommend buying a 3 button mouse with scrolling middle mouse button. 3D softwares needs 3 buttons for navigation so investing in a good mouse will gives you a piece of mind when animating. For mobility, I’m currently using a wireless USB mouse by Logitech (Model M185) which I bought at about USD$25 and has been serving me very well for the past 1 year. To learn how I use my mouse during animation, check out my beginner's guide post.
Voice Clips for Acting
I go to Movie Sound Clips to find voice clips that I can use to practice my acting animation. This website provides tonnes of movie's dialogues and they include many recent popular movies too. As a practice, I usually find short dialogues within 10 seconds. 10 seconds might seems short, but for beginners, it can be quite a challenge. I would recommend anything more than 10 seconds only when you have tried making acting scenes.
This is not always necessary but in case you like to add some sound enhancement to your animation, I have two recommendations.
PartnersInRhyme.com has many free downloads for sound effects and music as well. Even when the files are free, its quality is pretty good as well. I like PartnersInRhyme mainly because I can easily find the type of sound effects I need very quickly.
Sounddogs.com has more variety than PartnersInRhyme, but they aren't really free to begin with. Although you can easily download the free sample files to listen, the sound quality for preview isn't really good. The good news is, they sell sound files individually, so I can buy only those sound files I need.
Web Portfolio Resources that I use to create my website and portfolio
Domain name is your branding and your identity. I use NameCheap.com to search and find a suitable domain name for my website. I like NameCheap.com because it is friendly to use and I can easily find other alternatives if the name I had in mind is taken up.
*Tip: I would recommend a *.com over any other ending because *.com is always much visible than *.net or *.country name. Use *.country name unless your business is very much local.
Web Hosting Server
I use HostGator to host my website for many years. It allows you to create wordpress blog within 3 mins with only a few clicks. I also find it very affordable because it cost less than USD$4/month which is definitely very economical. I started with their hatchling plan and now I've upgrade to baby plan as I need more websites. Find out more details at HostGater's website.
I've been using Divi Theme from Elegantthemes.com which works great for both mobile and desktop browsing. It also includes some small gadgets such as build in icons for selection and simple animations for buttons. I've been loving it so far from the look of my website! They also provide live demo website for each of their theme so you can preview before using. Their fees are pretty reasonable, $69 for more than 80 themes to choose from. You can check out their website at Elegantthemes.com for more details.