11:22 pm, December 4 2014
Yeah, it's been a long time (again) since the last blog post. Yes, this project is still a thing that is happening. It's just happening somewhat more slowly than I'd prefer.
So, I honestly haven't had much time to work on the short lately (my schedule should open up considerably in May, but I'm hoping not to wait till then to make some progress), but even beyond that I've realized lately I've been kind of misprioritizing matters. Most of what time I have managed to put in on the short has been spent not actually animating the characters, but building backgrounds—in particular, building a virtual 3D model of the Mongleys' house (including the interior) so I could make it easy to trace it from different angles for different shots. I figured I'd get some of the backgrounds set (besides the Mongleys' house, I'd also planned to model the Teras Elementary fifth-grade classroom), and then start animating the characters in front of them.
Which was unnecessary, and probably unwise. Not that building 3D models of the "sets" is a bad idea, but I shouldn't have put animating the characters on hold until I did that. (Especially since I'm sort of still figuring out the 3D modeling programs, so it's taking me longer than it would if I actually, um, knew what I was doing.) I can do the two simultaneously. I don't have to have the backgrounds finalized to start animating the characters. (In certain scenes maybe I sort of do, where the characters are heavily interacting with their surroundings, but not in all.) It's been way too long, and I really ought to start animating the characters.
So. I'm going to do that.
Hopefully soon I'll have something to show. Someone recently volunteered to help out with the inbetweeing, which would definitely expedite things... but even if that doesn't work out, I'm going to get on actually doing the animation. So hopefully, relatively soon, I'll actually be able to post a sample of the animation, rather than just stills of the characters.
Well, actually, I do have some other things I can show now, I guess—storyboards, voice acting—, and I probably ought to start posting some of those. I ought to post here more in general, really. So, yeah... relatively soon, I hope to let you see some of the work in progress.
One thing I need to decide on before I get into the animation in earnest, though, is what software to use. I had already decided that—I'd intended to animate the short in Flash. The thing is, I'm considering changing my mind. I'd heard of Toon Boom animation software before, but I'd been under the impression there wasn't much important difference between using it or Flash. I've been looking into the matter more in depth lately, thogh, and the more I research it the more it seems to me that while Adobe Flash may be fine for web applications and interactive projects, the Toon Boom products really are vastly more suited for the kind of good old-fashioned frame-by-frame animation I'm doing, and may be worth getting. The problem is that I already have a copy of Flash, and I don't have Toon Boom software, and even the cheapest application, Toon Boom Studio, costs a few hundred dollars... which with my current budget is not an insignificant sum. Still, it seems it may be worth it... drawing in Flash really is kind of awkward, among other issues, and if Toon Boom Studio (and/or the more expensive, higher-end products, if I can find a way to afford them) facilitates the animation as much as it seems it might, it may be very much worth it.
Anyway, I'll ask around and figure things out. But either way, in Toon Boom or in Flash (and at this point I'm heavily leaning toward the former), it's time to get going on the animation.