Creating a script that produces an animation with animal characters calls on skills from a variety of disciplines: modeling and rigging (making movable) the animal characters; an understanding of animal physiology, so the animal movements appear natural; programming knowledge, to write the code that directs the virtual animals and their environment; and visual storytelling, including lighting and rendering, to assemble the parts into a complete sequence that's fun to watch. But, today's software makes working in these areas much easier, so that your main task is to become familiar with the animation and modeling programs themselves.
Step by Step
1) Write a text script that describes the animation sequence you want your programming script to display. Write at least two drafts, with the first describing the sequence as though you were relating it to a friend. Make the second draft as specific as you can, including the number of seconds that each shot lasts for.
2) Draw storyboards for the most important parts of the sequence, even if your drawing abilities aren't top-notch.
Storyboards are the framed images that comic books use to tell stories, except don't have balloons for character dialogue.
3) Create the virtual 3D models of the animals and other characters in your sequence. Use modeling tools to make the mesh (i.e. skin) of each character. Seek these tools first in the program you're using for the animation. Look to other software that's made specifically for modeling, if the animation app doesn't have these tools.
4) Begin rigging each of the characters you want to animate, using the modeling application's bone, armature and related tools. Construct a network of connected bone objects, then arrange them to form the poses (e.g. walking or prowling strides) needed for your animation.
5) Complete the rig for each character by fitting it (called "skinning") to its model (which you made in step 3). Pose the
armature as you did in step 4, making sure the animal character's mesh follows ("deforms") with each armature movement.
6) Write test scripts in your animation program that create, move and rotate simple objects like boxes or cylinders. Copy and tinker with the sample scripts in the documentation for the scripting language, until you can easily direct these simple shapes.
7) Watch documentaries of animal behavior and take detailed notes on how the animals for your animation move.
8) Begin writing the scripts to create the animation sequence you scripted and made storyboards for in steps 1 and 2. Debug
9) Critique the first draft of your animation from the standpoint of a first-time viewer. Revise the script accordingly, then
complete another critique. Repeat this cycle until you're satisfied with the animation, then render the completed animation into a standard format (e.g. AVI, QuickTime).