I used to draw this webcomic called Jip - nothing special (it's just on a plain ol' Wordpress blog) but I drew over fifty of the things until I decided I needed a break. Well, I'm back to drawing it now.
I see what you did there.
I dunno, I kinda feel like the Stop Mervert storyline has been going a bit too long, when compared to others which often only spanned a few editions.
It's still cool though. Merry Jipmas is pretty funny, I love how the skull on jerk's hat dies.
I remember watching something about the making of Wallace & Gromit a long time ago, and Nick Park actually started out on the first one (where they go to the moon) by himself, and it took him like 2 years to animate 10 minutes O_o
I don't know how anyone can have to patience work on something constantly (I presume) with such slow progress.
OFF: It's a shame that there probably won't be any more Wallace & Gromit films/shorts now. All that's done nowadays is they appear in some TV advert somewhere, and let's face it, Peter Sallis probably won't be around for much longer, unfortunately. He's nearly 93 for christ's sake.
Animation is a lot of work, for sure. For 2D it's a case of, take the amount of time you think it'll take to hand-draw every second of every scene (including backgrounds, separately and with no gaps - because characters could theoretically move anywhere) and multiply that by twelve. And that's without securing voice talent, direction and recording of dialogue, ADR, foley, mixing, editing, and all the pre-production involved (research, script writing and revision, character designs, even of existing ones which may need tweaks to work well in motion, storyboarding, animatic).
One simply can't work constantly on this stuff unless it's a main job and/or source of income. Which is why I think two-to-three years is pretty accurate an estimation. Luckily, these designs are pretty lightweight in terms of detail, so I won't go crazy and end up catatonic because I've wasted quarter of a normal human lifespan drawing elaborate fingers and knuckles or something. ;)
But enough waffle. I'm moving the platform to BitStrips so I can go daily.
Just a -perhaps dumb- question based on my -limited- experience with Flash animations: wouldn't use a timeline + layer-based tool as adobe Flash considerably speed the creation of such limited animations?
I don't know how you have organized your resources though, whether it's easy to import characters as vector art, manipulate only part of their bodies etc. or it's all full hand-drawn 2D (non-vectorized). What tools did you use to produce this animation?
I used Flash for this. I prefer the look of animations when they're drawn frame-by-frame, but Flash's drawing tools are worse than terrible for this since it's got what appears to be a functional enough brush tool until it starts 'smoothing' off lines and removing all nuance and subtlety to them; or even adding it's own variable line-weights at random. Ugh.
In contrast, the comic strips are drawn with pen on paper (before being scanned and coloured), where I have total and utter control over the lines I get. Seriously, if it weren't a total ballache to scan and colour every frame (Flash does at least make colouring easy) I'd happily animate the thing on paper.
Plus, lip-sync directly from the Flash timeline is an effort-saver and a half.
Jayextee said: I used Flash for this. I prefer the look of animations when they're drawn frame-by-frame, but Flash's drawing tools are worse than terrible for this since it's got what appears to be a functional enough brush tool until it starts 'smoothing' off lines and removing all nuance and subtlety to them; or even adding it's own variable line-weights at random. Ugh.
Ouch. Figured out so. With a fully Flash-drawn animation, you'd never be able to have e.g. as detailed fingers on the character as you do now, unless you were willing to do a lot of painstaking super-zoomed-in editing on every frame. To do ALL of your animation in pure 2D and still be able to benefit from advanced functions like tweening etc., I think you need far more professional tools than Flash.
Jayextee said: Plus, lip-sync directly from the Flash timeline is an effort-saver and a half.
I noticed that caring about proper lip-sync is mostly done in Western animation, and even 13yos on Flash sites like Newgrounds throw a fit if you simply use the "animutation chattering mouth" shortcut.
On the converse, anime, even if high-quality OVAs, don't seem to give a shit about proper lip-sync and just do talking with two-three different frames, most of the time. I don't know if it's because of a linguistic feature (does Japanese really produce so uncharacteristic lip movements when spoken?) or a universally accepted animation shortcut like e.g. drawing Mickey with 4 fingers and gloves. I wouldn't be surprised if that's one of the reasons why the Anime industry is able to pump out visually impressive titles so quickly.
Having learned how to x-sheet (AKA exposure sheet, or dope-sheet) for lip-sync the traditional way, I can say it's probably wiser to go for 'chattering' mouths and save a whole fuckton of time.
However, it's worth noting that the Japanese spoken word lacks the 'stresses' of Western dialects, where syllables of certain words are spoken with more emphasis ("hy-DRAU-lics" as an example off the top of my head) -- coming off much flatter in comparison. This, combined with the blistering pace they can deliver the consonant sounds (each one generally syncopated with the corresponding vowel) would make it very tricky for the person doing the x-sheet to discern the mouth shapes being made versus the broader Western ones. The cultural differences here probably lending more than a few things to influence their respective approaches in animation.
Then, most of the time on the above animation was on the lip sync. Hmmmmm. ;)