Thank you, Mr_Force

Yes, I have read "The Illusion of Life", "The Animator's Survival Kit", and few other of the classic text but I'm having a difficult time translating the wealth of information in those books to my own animations. Most of those books are written from a drawn 2D animation perspective so I'm having a hard time applying those principals to animation that is done "straight ahead" and not reliant on keyframes.

I have not used reference videos so that's the next thing I'll try to understand movement better. I also don't use anything to pre-visualize the movement. I go straight from the storyboards to the blocking of the scene. Blocking is the way I try to "keyframe" the scene before do a take.

I've also come to appreciate how important the range of motion of the puppets is to the animation. I'm using wire armatures in my puppets but I think I made the armatures too thick because I'm having a heck of a time getting smooth arcs. Most of my animations suffer from the "jitters" and I often have to repeat a sequence 10 or 12 times before I get a useable couple of seconds.

Thank you for your advice and I'm going to try the video reference technique for my next scene.

Best regards,