I found this helpful guide for Simpsons animators and thought it was pretty neat. These sheets are made to help the animators, to make sure the character design stays consistent and the final product looks right.
Another useful animators guide sheet are for making mouth shapes for dialogue. Animators use these sheets to remind them of the correct mouth shapes and exactly how the specific character they are animating with should look. The one below would probably be accompanied by another at 3/4 angle, so that animators could get even more of an idea of how the mouth should look from different angles.
The below sheet is a character turnaround. This is usual a front, side, back and 3/4 view. You want to be able to see how the character should look from all the way around, so animators have a guide for how to draw the character from all angles.
Topcat! A simple turnaround guide sheet.
A bunch of different animators guide sheets from the same production:
These characters move in really dramatic and cartoony ways, so the sheets need to cover everything so it’s easier for animators to get it looking consistent and correct.
They have shows size differences and also drawn the hands and feet from lots of different angles. There are also some comments about the stuff beside them so there is no ambiguity.
Size sheets are really useful for making sure all the characters stay consistent when in the frame together. The lines on the sheet are used to make it easier for animators to see the difference and size things up, make comparisons.
The Powerpuff girls!
The characters in the powerpuff girls are really stylised and don’t have fingers, so the animators are reminded in the guide sheet that they need to cheat, sometimes things will appear to be floating in their hands .
Model sheets are useful because the character is shown using a range of different emotions, and from lots of different angles.
This Goofy character turnaround has lots of additional written information which will help the animators when it comes to bringing him to life, and also contains a comparative size sheet with the other main characters he will be animated with.
This model sheet shows the character in a wide range of different poses and from different angles.
Lots of different expressions and angles of Bambi. It is labelled ‘sheet #41’ which gives us some idea of just how many sheets are needed in a movie production.
In the animated tv show Adventure Time the main character is quite flexible and has ‘noodle’ arms. The character sheet below gives the animators a lot of different walk cycles and movements that the character can make in an episode – and there is quite a variety of different movements.
Another character sheet showing the character looking in various directions and making different expressions.
The sheet below has notes to help the animators, and also shows the eyes as they close, so show how that should be animated properly. This is a sheet copyrighted from the 1940’s!
There are so many examples of these character sheets online, and I’ve only posted a few here but i recommend checking more out! I just wanted to give a quick overview of the kinds of character sheets that are used in the industry and what they contained. There are also colour sheets, but when it comes to the animation there is usual not much colour used on the guides – this is so the colours don’t get in the way and so the animators can see the guide lines properly. The colours would come later in production anyway and aren’t needed for the line work, which would often be completed by different animators.