Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
So far, it's actually not bad. It's not paper. But it's not bad.
Where it falls down is in the level of control and speed. Animators can (and do) flip so fast you sometimes won't know what they are looking at. They also don't always flip their drawings in sequential order, something almost impossible with a tablet/timeline setup.
But, hey, it's better than not having it at all, right?
Although, part of me is really wondering if we're moving to computers just for the hell of it. I mean, when it comes to more traditional style animation, where your paper flipping skills really come into play, why move from a system that works to a system that doesn't work as well? To satisfy producers? I don't know.
Murray Bain, however, of renowned Copernicus animation studio - something that more than qualifies him as an expert in the field - made an excellent point: old WB guys pegged their drawings on the top (as did most animators in the early days) and so it was more about the drawing than that rolling 'animating in motion' that I was talking about in my last post. His comment is worth reading and, you know, he's absolutely right.
There are extremes of timing in the old Warner cartoons that perhaps would have gone against instinct if they were using the 'flip like a crazy person' method that I was trained in and became pure habit (I flip single drawings and don't even notice I'm doing it).
But, as Murray points out, there's a fluidity that came with the bottom-peg switch that I don't think could have happened without the flipping or rolling. I've had the pleasure of seeing Glen Keane work many, many years ago. His drawings were loose, each one just looking like a sweeping line of action and his paper was fraying at the edges from excessive flipping but the movement was just beautiful once it hit that line tester.
Those were the days when I was young enough to be inspired and had the energy and drive that has long since left me. But, hey, I think the reason I'm beginning to think about these things again is that I may, just maybe, be getting a little bit of my love for animation back. Just a little. A tiny shred. The littlest of little morsels.
Anyway, I've been getting to know my new Cintiq and it's a lot of fun. Much, much better than the plain ol' Wacom because you're actually drawing where you're looking. It doesn't have the resistance of paper and I'm having some control issues but I'm getting a bit better at it and I'm enjoying it. It does have a lot of potential and, importantly, it's much cleaner than pencils, paints and so on. No more shiny graphite hands, endless washing and then heavy-duty hand cream.
I have sensitive hands.
Here's something I knocked up on my Cintiq, following my Spambots encounter:
It's me, saving Planet Doom, a place I hate but it has sexy blue chicks. Like a grown up Smurfette. Yeah, it's scrappy but what the hell.
As I write this, I'm the first person in the studio this morning and, just passing someones desk and noticing what they're working on, I've spotted one massive breakdown in communication. It's going to be an interesting, if frustrating, day.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Thing is, regardless of what it is, as you get older, it's far more realistic that those pains you feel are something serious. Eventually, you'll get something that isn't just wind. Isn't just a product of an overactive imagination. It's a scary thought.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Chuck (not his real name - like I'd know someone called 'Chuck') isn't hilarious. Chuck is a dick. Sure, Chuck thought he was funny, to the point where he'd perform for the studio prompting at least one animator to ask to be moved away from him (true story).
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Especially on a Monday. Life is hard enough without some grinning idiot trying to be nice. They say you're never fully dressed without a smile. Well, I say go naked.
Unless you're seriously ugly. Then wear clothes. But no smiles.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Kidscreen is on at the moment. I'm not at it. I'm here instead.
Here's one that pisses me off - iTunes was meant to carry the shorts from the Sundance programme on their service. Well, it has deemed two animated shorts 'too explicit and too political' and has refused to offer them. They may as well say they aren't carrying any content that might actually provoke some sort of neurological response. Pacify the people, iTunes. Pacify them.
More: I put a counter at the bottom yesterday evening but I now suspect it is full of shit. There is no way in hell over 100 people have been here since then. It's Pinnochio. Or Clinton after his blowjob.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
A fantastic actor, probably known best for Jaws and maybe that underwater show with the talking dolphin but has done so much more. I don't think it's all that popular a film but I loved him in 2010 (along with acting genius John Lithgow).
Whatever it is that dead people do, I hope you do it well, Roy. You'll be missed here.
"Something's going to happen... something wonderful"
Saturday, February 9, 2008
I mentioned this in a comment to Ron and thought I should share it.
In the studio I'm in right now, the producer is always talking to people, companies, whoever, about new projects. So, on a regular basis, he comes to us with some visual reference (usually painted children's books, or beautiful illustrations) and shows them to us to find out what we think.
Without fail, the words that come out of his mouth are, "I was thinking maybe...", and somewhere in there he adds a pause to show he really is thinking about it, "thinking the look would be perfect for Flash."
The look. Perfect for Flash.
No matter what the hell he's showing us. It could be anything. An ink illustration - perfect for Flash. A children's book - perfect for Flash. A video of two donkeys having sex - perfect for Flash.
Every single thing on this planet is perfect for Flash. Oh, but not because it's cheaper and that's where he can make bigger margins. No, it's because the look would work best in Flash.
Okay, I'm definitely done with Flash for the moment. Honest.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Time for a rethink maybe.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Thanks, Cold Hard Flash guys! I appreciate the mention.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
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.
Friday, February 1, 2008
This is a view I would be inclined to support. After all, you can't get the same things in cut-out animation that you can get from traditional hand-drawn animation but that doesn't mean cut-out animation doesn't have merit or isn't valid. Cut-out animation brings its own character and can be really entertaining - just look at Terry Gilliam's Monty Python work.
Similarly, Flash has its own limits and should be taken on its own... right?
Well, the problem here is that Flash is being used as a direct replacement for 2D. It's faux 2D. If anything, a huge amount of studios using Flash are trying to fool you into thinking it's not Flash because Flash was a dirty word for a while in the industry - not so much now. If Flash is being used as faux 2D, then it should stand up to direct comparisons.
But it doesn't.