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es to es
Jan 16, 2010

by Peatpot


neonnoodle posted:

Just dropped by here to mention TVPaint (formerly Mirage).

As another TVPaint user, I'm glad to see some love for the application. I found the learning curve relatively easy and I use the application for everything but advanced compositing. The forums are great, though underused; but the development staff has been known to address issues from the forum overnight. They easily have the best support program I've seen because you have access to the programmers and they don't charge a dime. The standard version of the application (which is all I really need) only costs 475, so it's far more accessible than Toon Boom or Retas, but it's raster-based, so you have the flexibility of traditional work. I strongly recommend it to all traditional animators.

Additionally, the ability to create custom brushes and behaviours is a life-saver and the community encourages sharing custom content.

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Chernabog
Apr 16, 2007



Speaking of flash, I am exporting an animated intro title card for my demo reel from flash into premiere as a .swf file but it looks blurry as hell. I'm not sure if the compression problem is from exporting it into premiere or from exporting from premiere to a quicktime (H264 codec). Is there any way to fix this? Are there any better codecs that will make the text more readable?

Vaporware
May 22, 2004

Still not here yet.

check the scaling to make sure it's not scaled, check to make sure the text is positioned at whole pixels. I've found that masked text is a total bitch to make sharp, so avoid that if possible.

The 7th Guest
Dec 17, 2003



I'm wondering if I should consider switching over to (and subsequently learning) Toonboom. I don't have my ear to the chest of the industry but it sounds like more productions are starting to use it. I'm definitely going to have to learn AE, I know that much. Toonboom though, other than the necessity of knowing it, I'm not sure if it's actually something I'd want to use on my own time. It just seems a little clunkier to me.

I love Flash as a WYSIWYG sort of tool, but its problems are so numerous. The crashing, the inaccurate stroke rendering (forget drawing curves in this program). I like how you couldn't paint inside a flipped symbol for like 8 versions of Flash, and they knew about it, and they put off fixing it. Who doesn't enjoy having to loop a silent audio file just so their cartoon won't de-sync after 90 seconds?

How about the "native" quicktime exporting which is actually just some form of transcoding that drops frames? The frame limitation that prevents you from making a FLA longer than 15 minutes? The limit of velocity changes you can make to an audio file? How about the magic of undoing stuff you've done inside of a Group? Trying to fill in a gap with the paint tool and marvelling as the entire shape ends up changing to that color for no reason? Trying to open a file that brings up a dummy tab instead of actually opening? Flash running out of memory somehow despite only consuming 50 megs of your ram?

I love Flash though. It's.. it's great. Every rose has its thorn. This rose just has a shitload of thorns and requires an iron glove to hold. It's more of a rose cactus.

es to es
Jan 16, 2010

by Peatpot


Quest For Glory II posted:

Learning Toon Boom

As a former spokesperson for Toon Boom, I liked their product. The Harmony Suite (which I currently teach) was exquisite; then they started competing with Flash. The new releases are clunky, buggy, and offensive. They're the reason I switched to TVPaint.

Anyway, you're right about more studios using Toon Boom; that's partially my fault. If you need to create vector line-art, the older versions in the Harmony Suite (such as Digital Pro) and even the current version of Harmony are top notch. I would rank them above RETAS! Pro for everything but colour. Steer clear from Animate and Animate Pro, they include(d) such bugs as not saving.

As for WYSIWYG operation, programs like Digital Pro are about as WYSIWYG as you can get. Also, I've found Flash (the bane of my existence) to be clunkier than any other vector program (I will not do Flash the undeserved honour of calling it animation software). The interface on professional-level Toon Boom products may take some getting used to (although the aforementioned Animate and Animate Pro have modelled their interfaces after Flash), but it's fully customisable.

Yes, it's worth learning because it may cost you a job someday. I'm not necessarily advocating you switch over to Toon Boom entirely, but at least get used to the demo versions of their professional line. You never know when you'll need Toon Boom experience.

Chernabog
Apr 16, 2007



Vaporware posted:

check the scaling to make sure it's not scaled, check to make sure the text is positioned at whole pixels. I've found that masked text is a total bitch to make sharp, so avoid that if possible.

I have masked text but it looks the same as the non masked. Also, I found out that changing the color from red to white made it less fuzzy, but still not good enough.

The 7th Guest
Dec 17, 2003



es to es posted:

Yes, it's worth learning because it may cost you a job someday. I'm not necessarily advocating you switch over to Toon Boom entirely, but at least get used to the demo versions of their professional line. You never know when you'll need Toon Boom experience.
It seems like the smart move. I've got a little time off next month so I'll probably dig my hands deep into that moat.

9nine
Sep 1, 2005



Heyoo- So I'm taking a puppet animation course this year and it's been really fun thus far. I'm halfway done with my first big puppet and made a quick short just to test the waters with him beforehand. It's my first time animating something other than pencil on paper, but I'm looking forward to the practice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flQ_ZzwREQc

The monster is just aluminum armature, epoxy, and needle-felted wool.

Hinchu
Mar 4, 2004

Please keep a watchful eye out for hinchus. They are very slow and dumb, and make for easy roadkill.

9nine posted:

Heyoo- So I'm taking a puppet animation course this year and it's been really fun thus far. I'm halfway done with my first big puppet and made a quick short just to test the waters with him beforehand. It's my first time animating something other than pencil on paper, but I'm looking forward to the practice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flQ_ZzwREQc

The monster is just aluminum armature, epoxy, and needle-felted wool.

Awesome! I've always wanted to do this. I think he could use a rim light though, to help define his contours. How did you do the armature? Is it just an aluminum wire?

BrokenCycle
Nov 15, 2004

A Rough Job, But...

9nine posted:

Heyoo- So I'm taking a puppet animation course this year and it's been really fun thus far. I'm halfway done with my first big puppet and made a quick short just to test the waters with him beforehand. It's my first time animating something other than pencil on paper, but I'm looking forward to the practice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flQ_ZzwREQc

The monster is just aluminum armature, epoxy, and needle-felted wool.

This is really, really good.

le capitan
Dec 29, 2006
When the boat goes down, I'll be driving

Didn't realize there was an animation thread. Very cool. These are two character animations I've been working on. Comments/critiques most appreciated.

http://www.vimeo.com/9369805

http://www.vimeo.com/9369775

Chernabog
Apr 16, 2007



The first one looks pretty good. The only thing is that the knee on the guy of the left seems to be twisting back without any reason.

On the second one I'm not sure whats going on with those cubes. My best guess is that the guy is summoning and using them to fight or something, so if thats the case I would try to make it look like the cubes actually reflect the movement of his hands, kinda like you did at the very end where he lifts them.
When he gets up after the leg swipe it looks a little robotic. I think it is because he is getting up at the same time as he is moving the leg under him, which in real life would make it imbalanced. And last, but not least, when he throws the cubes I think you can exaggerate the anticipation and ending poses a lot more. Make him really show the force of his movements. Maybe you can even combine the get up from the swipe with the throw anticipation for one big, fluid motion.

NC Wyeth Death Cult
Dec 30, 2005

He lost his life in Chadds Ford, he was dancing with a train.

On the whole, I really like ToonBoom studio. It's pretty easy to use, despite a monster manual, and it handles my small projects pretty well. Tech support isn't all that good. Anything I've fixed has been stuff I had to dig into the program and figure out. I still don't know why I can't drag and drop things into my library.

I think it's funny that the guy from Bitey's Castle is sponsored by them and promotes the program on his site but anytime he does a video of him at work it's almost always him working in Flash CS4.

es to es posted:

Steer clear from Animate and Animate Pro, they include(d) such bugs as not saving.

Hah, it looks like they are putting all their muscle into Animate Pro, too. I've been holding off and now I think I'll hold off indefinitely.

I think that they have made a huge leap in solving stability issues from 3 to 4 in Studio. For instance, whenever I put things on my other monitor, it doesn't crash. Also, my program doesn't automatically reset itself to use the minimum system requirements every couple weeks.

Vaporware
May 22, 2004

Still not here yet.

Hackuma posted:

I have masked text but it looks the same as the non masked. Also, I found out that changing the color from red to white made it less fuzzy, but still not good enough.

Try changing the anti-alias option from "anti-aliased for readability" to "bitmap text"

9nine
Sep 1, 2005



Hinchu posted:

Awesome! I've always wanted to do this. I think he could use a rim light though, to help define his contours. How did you do the armature? Is it just an aluminum wire?

BrokenCycle posted:

This is really, really good.

Ah! Thank you, guys!

Yeah, I forgot to adjust the camera settings and white balance beforehand so everything looks super dark. The monster is actually a really great saturated cookie monster blue. The armature is some thick gauge aluminum wire- I think .125". At the major joints like the pelvis and shoulder, I cemented it with plumber's epoxy, which is super strong. Then I just filled out some of the body with some saran wrap wound pretty tightly and gaffer-taped in place and felted around everything else. I have pictures of him and his armature that I can upload later today if you'd like.

Hinchu
Mar 4, 2004

Please keep a watchful eye out for hinchus. They are very slow and dumb, and make for easy roadkill.

Please do. How does the wire hold up? I think it would be interesting to use Apoxie Sculpt to make parts on some puppets. It's a self hardening epoxy that apparently behaves like clay before it cures. I have some I'm going to be using on some fiberglass shark blanks to finish out the empty mouths. For a puppet it would obviously be for non-moving parts though. I don't think it would be that expensive in the small amounts needed for a puppet.

Edit: Where did you buy the wire?

9nine
Sep 1, 2005



Hinchu posted:


The wire holds up great, and since the major body parts are soft aluminum, the constant bending and shaping I do to animate it doesn't put too much stress on the wire. In the long run, it will inevitably degrade, but it's perfect at the moment. I bought a spool of the wire online and got the rest of my supplies at a basic hardware store. Here's a picture of where the little guy is at right now, with some of my supplies included. He's about 17" tall.

I'm sorry, it's just so hard to resist posing him. Anyway, those bolts he's holding are what help him stand up while I'm animating the rest of him.

I've never used that apoxie sculpt specifically, but it sounds exactly like plumber's epoxy putty with a longer hardening time. I got mine at Ace hardware, but you can buy it just about anywhere. It comes in a tube and you pinch off a small amount, knead it for a minute, and mold it to the area you want to put it. You get a good 5-7 minutes of sculpting time before it hardens completely. That poo poo reeks, though. For his feet, I sculpted the basic shape and then embedded a nut on the bottom so I can anchor him down when he's standing on a pegboard by screwing the bolt in on the underside.

Anyway, sorry for all the , but here are some earlier pictures of him.


I'm going to be making his head and animating a walk this weekend.

Hinchu
Mar 4, 2004

Please keep a watchful eye out for hinchus. They are very slow and dumb, and make for easy roadkill.

No thank you, that's awesome. Keep showing us any progress! I might do my own...

Chernabog
Apr 16, 2007



Vaporware posted:

Try changing the anti-alias option from "anti-aliased for readability" to "bitmap text"
Thanks for the help but after some more testing it seems like the problem is when I export from after effects into the final movie, not with flash.

This is what I'm doing: First I put everything together on premiere and render it there. At this point it still looks good. Then I am taking it into after effects where I am adding some some effects and then rendering the final movie, and that's where it stops looking good.

gmc9987
Jul 25, 2007


Hackuma posted:

Thanks for the help but after some more testing it seems like the problem is when I export from after effects into the final movie, not with flash.

This is what I'm doing: First I put everything together on premiere and render it there. At this point it still looks good. Then I am taking it into after effects where I am adding some some effects and then rendering the final movie, and that's where it stops looking good.

Can you just take the SWF directly into Aftereffects? That's what I do, and it keeps all of the vector information intact so you can scale to whatever size you want, I haven't had any blurring even when enlarging the SWF to 1080p sizes.

Chernabog
Apr 16, 2007



It wasn't letting me do that for some reason, but I imported the whole premiere project into AE and rendered it there. It took a lot longer to render but it looks good now. I'm guessing the problem was the double compression.

BrokenCycle
Nov 15, 2004

A Rough Job, But...

Hinchu posted:

No thank you, that's awesome. Keep showing us any progress! I might do my own...

Yeah, really. The clip was incredibly inspiring.

What I liked about it, 9nine, was that you obviously took your time to make it as lively as possible. I think a lot of people, even if they're advanced in traditional animation, would half-rear end it because of the medium. The animation could be a little bit more complex, but it was leaps and bounds what I expected. Great job.

tuna
Jul 17, 2003



BrokenCycle posted:

Yeah, really. The clip was incredibly inspiring.

What I liked about it, 9nine, was that you obviously took your time to make it as lively as possible. I think a lot of people, even if they're advanced in traditional animation, would half-rear end it because of the medium. The animation could be a little bit more complex, but it was leaps and bounds what I expected. Great job.

Gotta agree. First off it was well done and awesome to watch. I've got a lot of respect for stopmo animators, as I have no doubt I couldn't do it for poo poo.

That said, animation is never without critique and I'd like to offer mine (for your next planning). It's about the timing and spacing. Mainly to add more to your resistance and animation physics, also to spice things up and make it more interesting to watch.

Really pay attention to your overlap and spacing (timing). The most boring thing about your animation was the timing of the actions. For instance, taking off the lid was a single linear motion, as if the lid had no resistance on the pen, but in the same timing that the lid was taken off the pen, the pen was also lowered to the paper, and that timing was the same as the timing that it took to lift the pen off the table. These are 3 distinct actions and are all completely different in how we do them based on physics and intent.

For instance: lifting the pen off the table: it isn't a heavy pen, it can be left exactly as you have it, it has a speedup as it's lifted and works well. the lid taking off needs to show more resistance. You never manage to take pen lids off with the first instance of a tug, it takes a gradual increase of your pressure to take it off, and that means the pen lid is going to stay on for a fraction longer while your wrists tense up, then the lid will snap off and both hands will shoot out for a fraction of a second while you readjust the pressure of your pull. It's the most distinct characteristic of pulling a pen lid off, and you need to include this into your spacing in order for it to read well to the audience.

Now here is where the acting choice comes in. It would also come into the lift of the pen, but let's keep things simple. Has the guy decided what he is about to write? Is he taking pen to paper as a method of thoughtful experimentation (as his hands on hips gesture would suggest), this is what decides how he lowers the pen back down to the paper, and this is acting.

Instead of simply lowering the pen down to the paper, in a linear way, like a robot, he needs to show some sort of motivation or thought throughout, so the audience knows what he's thinking. Will he lower it most of the way, pause, draw a shape in the air before deciding that's the best way to start his drawing? Will he draw the circle fast and finish it off with wispy, finer facial features? Will he pause at drawing the mouth, a conflict of how he feels? This is what will tell the audience what is happening, not the result. It's sort of like how the story is told, not what the story is.

I think your control over the armature is good enough that you can start dealing with these things now, and I really look forward to seeing the results.

[edit] dont mean to sound condescending at all, and sorry if im pointing out silly things here

tuna fucked around with this message at Feb 14, 2010 around 13:41

Chernabog
Apr 16, 2007



Ok, so now that I got it exported, here's my reel. Any advice?
http://vimeo.com/9439365

a computer
Feb 22, 2008


I'm curious about what programs were used in the making of the music video for Trucker's Delight, but Google brings up nothing. I guess I'm not so much interested specifically in this video as I am in the style in which it's done (16-bit animation, or maybe it's 8 bit, I really don't even know what these terms mean).

Are they using old-school tech, or some sort of conversion plugin for a conventional program, or what?

Shoehead
Sep 28, 2005

Did you do somethin' with your hair?



I know this is kinda late, but gently caress Flash CS4. I love drawing in it and everything, but by gently caress I wish I could resize a symbol without the entire thing crashing and then not starting again.


3 times and I started working an hour ago.. uggggggh

Vaporware
May 22, 2004

Still not here yet.

I know this is a dumb question, but have you done the oct.09 update? I really haven't had all that many unpredictable crashes since that update.

The Mobile Sponge
Jan 23, 2010


I've always used Flash, and up until cs4 I supported it, its not reliable, but I felt it did what I wanted in a timely fashion

But this TVPaint everyone is talking about, this actually does line/inking work good? I've wanted to switch forever to something more trustworthy!

I hand animate and ink (its what I'm most comfortable animating with) but could TVPaint make inking easier for me?

9nine posted:

The wire holds up great, and since the major body parts are soft aluminum, the constant bending and shaping I do to animate it doesn't put too much stress on the wire. In the long run, it will inevitably degrade, but it's perfect at the moment. I bought a spool of the wire online and got the rest of my supplies at a basic hardware store. Here's a picture of where the little guy is at right now, with some of my supplies included. He's about 17" tall.

I'm sorry, it's just so hard to resist posing him. Anyway, those bolts he's holding are what help him stand up while I'm animating the rest of him.

I've never used that apoxie sculpt specifically, but it sounds exactly like plumber's epoxy putty with a longer hardening time. I got mine at Ace hardware, but you can buy it just about anywhere. It comes in a tube and you pinch off a small amount, knead it for a minute, and mold it to the area you want to put it. You get a good 5-7 minutes of sculpting time before it hardens completely. That poo poo reeks, though. For his feet, I sculpted the basic shape and then embedded a nut on the bottom so I can anchor him down when he's standing on a pegboard by screwing the bolt in on the underside.

Anyway, sorry for all the , but here are some earlier pictures of him.


I'm going to be making his head and animating a walk this weekend.

Fantastic work! I love more organic simpler puppetry, Henry Selic is the only man I've seen make complicated stop motion animation to work

9nine
Sep 1, 2005



Thanks for all the kind words, guys! I finished little dude's head today and sweet jesus that thing took forever to make. I'm uploading two process pictures in case anyone's interested.

Tuna: Yeah, evenly-paced timing is something I also struggle with in drawn animation. That last animation was more about getting a feel for the puppet in general, but I totally understand what you mean. Since I won't be able to alter his facial expression, body acting is going to be really important. Thanks for the crit!


So his skull is made of sculpey, painted with acrylic on exposed areas. I sculpted around a loop of steel wire for the jaw. I made little sculpey eyeballs and felted around them for a few hours to make the sockets. Now, they're free-floating and I can turn them around any way I need.



He even has a tongue! Oh yeah- and sometimes when I'm turning them, his eyes just pop out which is only kind of unsettling...

tuna
Jul 17, 2003



That's a really appealing design now it's complete. Cool stuff!

Shoehead
Sep 28, 2005

Did you do somethin' with your hair?



Vaporware posted:

I know this is a dumb question, but have you done the oct.09 update? I really haven't had all that many unpredictable crashes since that update.

Wh- Oh crap I really should get on that!

9nine posted:



This is so cool. I love happy he looks. Really simple design, but I bet you'll get a lot of use out of it. (hint: show ussss)

Vaporware
May 22, 2004

Still not here yet.

agreed, the tongue is AWESOME.

9nine
Sep 1, 2005



Thanks, guys! I just finished another quick little test with him today, and I really had a blast animating it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8QTSxggPRw

Let me know what you think!

The Mobile Sponge
Jan 23, 2010


9nine posted:

Thanks, guys! I just finished another quick little test with him today, and I really had a blast animating it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8QTSxggPRw

Let me know what you think!

How fun! What a nifty little puppet

The only thing that really stands out is the flow of the motion, its fun, but a tad underplayed, it seems it would benefit greatly from more reaction, and more buildup in the antic, but other than that this was awesome!

Shoehead
Sep 28, 2005

Did you do somethin' with your hair?



No motion here, but I forgot how much fun it is designing Preloaders...



I feel so proud!

photoshop
Jun 21, 2009



9nine that stop-motion work is epically awesome. Question: Did you have a remote trigger for your camera or did you press the button manually? I had always assumed that stop motion required your camera to be as static/secure as possible.

Insane Gazebo
Jan 11, 2007


Some friends of mine have been working on some short animations for about 2 years now. They've recently been looking for some feedback, and because neither of them had accounts here, asked if I'd post their work here.

To give you a quick summary of what it's about before you watch anything, here's a description from the creator:

quote:

What started as an exercise to teach myself basic animation has continued into an ongoing web series. Some of the early episodes have pretty crappy audio but we've mostly overcome those kinds of problems now.

The series is intended to be conversation based and focuses on two main characters: Elroy and Furious. Episode 09 features the introduction of some 'guest star' characters who will participate in the next few episodes.

The writing is intended to be dry, nerdy and references nerdy things. The saddest part of the whole thing is that there are episodes which contain almost verbatim conversations that I've had with real life friends.

All the current episodes are avaliable here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/elroyel...97ABDAF105EC1C2

Whatever feedback you've got for them would be great.

Duuk
Sep 4, 2006

Victorious, he returned to us, claiming that he had slain the drought where even Orlanth could not. The god-talkers were not sure what to make of this.

9nine posted:



This guy is incredible. Well done.

I felt the videos were rushed a bit, though - not in the sense of quality but "lacking in dramatic slowdowns". I realise that might be intentional, what with the amount of pictures you have to take for each second. Otherwise, the movement and articulation felt very authentic.

mynameisbutt
Jun 19, 2007

Special persons invites club, that is what I'm talkings about!


Anyone out in LA working at a studio? I'm coming out there next week and I'm trying to get some informational interviews going on... Help me please!!!

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cheese eats mouse
Jul 6, 2007


I made this at 16 years old, and I'm 22 now but finally uploaded it to the web. Hope you guys enjoy.

http://vimeo.com/10023932

I really do enjoy animation, but graphic design takes a lot of my time.

There are a lot of problems with it, but I had two weeks to shoot and edit and this was back in the computer dinosaur age when CS was just a baby.

cheese eats mouse fucked around with this message at Mar 9, 2010 around 05:27

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