Thursday, April 9, 2009

For the Birds Goes to the Dogs

Uh oh... here it comes...

This year, us second year animation students have been in the process of creating our own little animated films. & I, being one of those eager beaver animators, is completely ecstatic over the it. Back at the beginning of the semester, I was all set to get this production running at full throttle. I had my story down pat, my characters all designed & I was just about to start animating shots. Everything was going alright.

Then my heart nearly stopped.

Since my little heart scare back in February, I haven't felt quite the same. I've been considerably weaker, my sleeping & eating tracks have been knocked off kilter & I've become a bit more moody & emotional, which to me is very uncommon. I've even had a good amount of nightmares since I got out of the hospital. But worst of all, due to my lack of energy (emotional, mental & physical), I've neglected my little film (as well as some of my other projects for school). Work has slowed down to a crawl & I've actually gotten to the point where I've lost almost complete interest in it. Long story short, I won't be able to complete my film by the end of the school year. I'll be lucky if I get at least a minute out of the intended 2-3 minutes completed by then. 

I don't know what part of my heart hurts more, the physical or the metaphorical.

Yet, there's a little flame in me that still has emotional backing in this project, & I still want to go ahead & finish it, deadline or not. One of the few things that I could never let myself do is quit. I wouldn't be able to live it down if I did. So no matter what, even if I'm nearly struck dead by an act of some unspeakable force, I'm gonna finish this film. I've decided that I'm gonna make this a little summer project, something to keep my hands & mind busy the four months I'm away from school.

It was decided pretty late in the game that I was going to animate the whole thing in Flash. I already had about 3 or 4 scenes already animated on paper, ready to be shot. But when I began to think of all the trouble I'd have to go through to complete a shot, I had second thoughts. For a scene, each drawing would have to be 

1) animated & tested until it looks just right
2) cleaned up 
3) scanned into the computer
4) colored in Photoshop
5) composited into After Effects
& repeat until the whole film is complete. 

& for someone like me, who just happens to enjoy animating on ones, this would take an incomprehensible amount of time & effort to tackle. In Flash, you kill about 4 birds with one stone, all in one program. So, I threw al my completed scenes in the trash & started over.

For me, my use of Flash is a love-hate relationship. While you can accomplish basically the same exact things in Flash as you could traditionally drawing on paper, the program still doesn't suite me right. It almost feels like I'm cheating. Besides, I don't want to be solely attached to the computer. I want to have a thorough grounding in doing it the traditional way with good ol' pencil n' paper. Starting next year, I'm gonna stay as far away from the computer as I possibly can. 

But for now I got a film that needs finishing, so Flash is my last resort. & so far, I'm pretty satisfied with what I've animated. If I can spend at least 3 hours a day working on this cartoon, I may have something decent to show off. 'Til then, I'll be working my ass off (or at least whatever's left of it)

Earlier today, I animated in the Cintiq lab for about 5 hours straight. & of course, I had to have a doodle break:

It's almost like a sneak peek, but it's not. 
& so, I'm off to draw more doggies!

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