Monday, February 4, 2008

Flash - for the moment

So I think, ultimately, Flash and its equivalents will be harmful to animation and harmful to those employed by the animation industry. I don't like what it is, what it does and what it's doing to animation. But, right now, it's keeping people employed. Right now, it's helping shows get off the ground. Right now, it comes with a lot of positives.

And it's not going to go away.

I've learned to use Flash and I think anyone in animation today should because we are not living in an age where one can specialise any more. Animators need to be jacks (or jills) of all trades to be employable. And Flash does offer quick means of expression as a bonus.

I know if I get a show going in the next few years, it will have to be produced in Flash. That's just the reality of budgets over here. And accepting that means the design can be tailored right from the start to work with those methods rather than against them.

And there is good Flash out there. If you're curious, keep an eye out at the Cold Hard Flash blog - they have showcased some great work. Sure, it's not traditional, but it's not all atrocious by any means. And a lot of cartoons are just really entertaining regardless of technique or animation ability.

Sometimes the animation is just an expression of ideas and that's okay.

There was way too much rambling about Flash over the last week so I'll let that positive note be the end of it for the time being. I guess we'll see where the industry takes us or, hopefully, where we take the industry.


Andy Latham said...

I totally agree that we have to live with Flash for now in order to be employed. I learned it purely to get a job, not out of the desire to make quick animations. I think my home animation habits show that - if ever I use Flash at home, I end up drawing every frame so it ends up being more traditional.

I just hope that we aren't forced to use Flash (or its equivalents) forever. I may be wrong, but doesn't 3D animation take just as long as traditional 2D? Pixar seem to take about the same amount of time to bring out a film as Disney used to. How then do 3D animation studios get the budgets? I guess 3D is just more in demand.

Bitter Animator said...

Yes, high quality 3D takes a long time and is certainly in demand for the big budget features but how many of those are made a year? Not enough to keep animators employed I reckon. Though you could probably say that about 2D even when it was doing well.

Where Flash has really taken over is in television and that has had a dramatic effect on the industry.

I share your hope that it doesn't last forever.

Mr. Trombley said...

Dear Sir, it is only slightly related, but these posts are a summary of why I became a mathematician. I didn't want to compete with computers.

Computers will conquer the stars before they can write elegant mathematical proofs. However, I must qualify my statement by saying that proofs by exhaustion can and do work as a last resort.

But, there are questions in mathematics that cannot be solved in this manner. There are even questions that cannot be solved, even in theory. Computers are helpless in these situations.

Bitter Animator said...

I guess when you start getting into imaginary numbers and stuff, computers probably go a bit crazy. I know I did. When I got to university level maths, that's when I started thinking, "hang on, you're just making this shit up".

And that's the story of how I ended up in animation in a nutshell.

^_^ said...

dude - my studio director sent me a link to your site... you are the KING!!!! holly cow. we feel the same WAY! it's amazing and sad how TRUE your comics are!

i love it - keep up the great work!