There were some good comments on the last post - that Flash isn't right for those wanting to get the absolute most from their animation and that it could even cause whole generations of animators to lose the craft. Some good points there and I plan to go into them in my next posts.
But first I just want to expand on what I was saying yesterday because it has larger implications. Beyond just the individual, Flash makes it much more realistic to put a full project together and actually get it off the ground.
Back in the day, an animated series or film required a huge number of people - storyboard artists, layout and background artsists, animators, assistants, clean-up artists, a whole ink and paint department and many more. And a whole bunch of production people to just keep track of all that. Financing something like that is a seriously daunting task. Convincing someone else to spend that amount of money on your project? Almost impossible.
Limited animation was required to make projects a bit more realisitic on television budgets and then the dreaded outsourcing happened. Studios in the Far East and elsewhere can pay people a hell of a lot less to get your job done. Unless you were an animator in the Far East, that sucked shit.
The positive, however, was that budgets reduced to an even more realistic level. You might be wondering how this could be considered a positive but what it means is that the risk involved in launching an animated show is not what it once was. So you could say there is more room for creativity.
Whether that happened or not is open to debate.
Then along came Flash. Just as one person can make a little cartoon in an afternoon with Flash, one studio can make a whole show in less than a year with just a handful of animators. So, not only can more shows get off the ground because the financing is easier and less risky, but studios can keep the work in-house. No outsourcing! That's great for those Flash animators as they can actually find work. It's also great for directors who are open to Flash because they can keep that creative process close rather than having to ship it off after storyboard stage.
There are a bunch of shows being produced in the US and in Europe that, ten years ago, either would never have been produced or would have been shipped to the Far East. And, in the Far East scenario, the project could have ended up divided among so many co-producers each with ownership and creative input that the porject could have ended up a mess.
Flash has allowed people to keep that work close, easier to fund, easier to make and easier to retain creative control. That's got to be positive for the industry, right?