Very soon I'll be doing Jason Ryan's upcoming animation course where he will be teaching his cool 2D-3D approach, cartoony acting, and a lot more! So, I'm really excited for it. YAY!! A few days back I asked Jason, to suggest me a 2D animation software and he suggested me to purchase the new version of Digicel FlipBook, version 5. Finally, I've managed to purchase it and I love it! The pressure sensitivity works great and the lines look very smooth and flowing. There is also an option to pick different types of pencils and they all work great. It really feels and looks like I'm drawing with a real pencil. The line quality is so good that I can even do life drawings in FlipBook. hehhe.. Though for my life drawings, I like to use Alias SketchBook Pro.
In FlipBook, you can directly import your drawings/frames from Maya and then you can time it there in FlipBook, and draw better poses and finally export everything (timing, etc) back into Maya. It's really cool! Timing is also very easy in FlipBook. I can play my animation in loop, adjust my timing and watch the results in real time. I think that's a huge plus point. Also, I love the new "Light Box Option". This makes it very easy to work straight ahead and pose to pose. COOL!!
Check out these doodles I made in FlipBook.
Rabbit Run Cycle
Tug of war
Yeah, I know my drawings are horrible... but don't worry, I'm working on it. heh..
One more thing I would like to discuss here. A lot of folks ask me this same annoying question over and over .... "Hey! Why the hell do you spend so much time in 2D? Are you scared of working in 3D?" Scared?? NO! Not at all. Why would I be scared of working in 3D? I don't get it. I know, I can work in 3D and 2D both. I'm learning animation, and I like exploring things. 2D gives me a freedom to explore things which I can hardly ever dream of doing in 3D (unless I'm a technical nerd, or a kickass rigger). In 2D, I'm not dependent on CG rigs and I can experiment freely and figure out things much quicker. Drawing a pose with a stick figure takes me about 10 seconds or sometimes even less. And posing a CG rig takes not less than 10 minutes or sometimes even more. So, its really very fun, easy and quick to experiment in 2D. :)
The best thing animation students can do is to get familiar with 2D animation. It teaches you the basics very quickly and really helps you understand the process. So, purchase a copy of FlipBook and have fun with it. C'mon you kids! There is no need to be scared of 2D. Its not mathematics, you know! hehe.... Once you know the power of 2D animation and realize how much it helps you in your 3D animations... I bet, you'll take its help wherever possible . And of course, no doubt, soon you'll be found miles ahead from the rest of the crowd. They will struggle and you'll chuckle! :)
There is a good news from Keith Lango. He is resuming work on his long lost short film "The Secret Joys of Myopia"! I'm looking forward to his PLOG (production blog).
Check out this super cool, non-photo real test animation. It looks very different. Good luck, Keith. I'm looking forward to see your new short! I'm sure, this will be very inspiring for all of us. :) -A