Today was a good day. Let me list a few of the reasons:
- Kung Fu Panda World went live. I’ve been working on this virtual world since January of Last year and it’s very satisfying to see it “ship”. This is also the first game I’ve shipped as an animator. Long ago I was a software engineer and I shipped one game while I worked at Treyarch Studios. Maybe you haven’t heard of it?
- I got a number of positive responses regarding the autotweener, including several people who seemed to be suggesting that I could make money with that kind of thing. Hmmm, it’s an interesting thought.
- I and two other animators, in the course of a few days, were thinking about the same “if only Flash had this feature” idea. The two other people brought it up with me and it got me thinking: why couldn’t I program something that does that? So I’m doing it. Coming soon to a blog near you: an animation-disc-esque rotatable stage in Flash. Well, sort of. It’ll be a bit of a workaround but it should work very similarly to the rotatable canvasses in Toon Boom Studio and TV Paint. Under normal usage you’ll probably have to remember to run a “reset” command at the end to make sure everything goes back to normal, unless you’re using a virtual camera, in which case you won’t even have to do that. Speaking of which: Coming soon to a blog near you: my personal take on the virtual camera, which will flawlessly save your movie (including actionscript) as a PNG sequence that you can use in any video editing program.
- Since we “finished” KFPW my workload has been much lighter and deadlines much looser. When I told my animation director that I could make a tool that would rotate the stage he gave me the go-ahead to do it. Making tools for Flash is really fun for me, so it made me happy to be able to do a little programming for a change.
- Tomorrow’s payday (cha-ching).
- I’m seriously considering getting a smartphone. I bristle at the thought of having to pay $30 per month for data but I think maybe the idea is starting to win me over. That, or buy an unlocked phone (Nexus One!) and don’t have any data plan at all. I’m with AT&T, and it seems that even when the phone is unsubsidized I have no choice but to get the $30 data plan if I want any mobile internet at all
Finally, I just want to comment on something that struck me as I did some animation on Don’t Fear the Sitter tonight. Keyframes are hard. Breakdowns are easier. Tweens are easy. These may seem obvious, but it really amazes me sometimes how I can spend a long time doing key poses for a character and then the rest of it just zips by. In no time I go from just-a-suggestion-of-motion to damn-that-character’s-a-movin’.
I love it.