I have just made a quick test shoot for a new animation. It's a little bumpy, but it has given me quite a bit of confidence for the new project. It can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTRCjvzBDXc&feature=youtu.be
love the character design!
Don't worry. You will improve very well. By the way I like your clay model!
The overall timing of the movement is good! And picking things up, like where he grabs his hat, isn't easy to do. You just need to smooth out the little judders. That is completely fixable, just use your framegrabber to check each frame before you capture it.
I don't get smooth moves because I move the puppet perfectly every frame - my wire armatures are a bit springy and some puppets don't always do what I want them to - I get smooth moves by checking the move in Stopmotion Pro or Dragonframe, and if it isn't at least reasonable, I adjust the puppet and check again, then take the shot. Don't just look at the last frame captured, but at the last two frames at least, so you see how this move compares with the last move and the one before. You want to be sure it is moving in the same direction, or if it is changing direction, it is a gradual change. A part of the puppet may be moving to the left the right amount, but if it also moves up for just one frame, that will cause a little pop. See that it moves the same amount, or if it is meant to be speeding up or slowing down, it changes a little each time. These are just technical things, that anyone can get better at. All this checking and adjusting sounds tedious - and it is, with some difficult puppets - but with practice, your feel for how your puppet moves will improve, and you won't have to go back and adjust the move as often.
Anyway, a good start!
Cheers for your pointers. This is the first time I have animated over 4-5 fps, the clip is 24, so it was a pretty steep learning curve. I think the main issue is that neither the armature or the seat were secured down. I think once that has been done when I have built the set making equal movements will be more straight forward.