Slow Going

I’m really close to being done with my first scene for DFtS. I’ve been working on this one little scene for so long that it feels weird to be almost done. I keep scrubbing through the Flash file trying to find things that need to be finished/fixed but I’m finding fewer and fewer things each time.

Part of the point of doing this scene was just to test out the model I built for Jenny. I set it up in the way that I though would be the most useful but there are still occasional glitches. I’ve found a few things that are wrong — as small as a pivot point in the wrong place or as big as needing to make a bunch more drawings just to make one little thing work. I would explain in more detail what I’m talking about, but I think that would go a little beyond the scope of what I want to get into. Suffice it to say that I’m testing a lot of the preparatory work that I did and mostly it’s coming out all right.

Animating this model is definitely different than doing the ones at work. It’s pretty much a matter of character design. I designed my characters with traditional drawn animation in mind, and they work well for that. There’s an inherent quality to the method I’m currently using, though, that’s conducive to flat action. If you watch an episode of Foster’s you’ll notice that about 95% of the action is parallel to the camera plane — that is, right/left, up/down. It’s rare for a character to move toward or away from the camera. So the characters I designed for the traditional method feel a little constrained by the 2D world of Flash.

Maybe I should have redesigned my characters and storyboard to fit in with this new medium? Well… I didn’t wanna. That would have been soooo much work. So there’s some amount of pushing and pulling, then, to get my animation to match my original vision. It makes me start to wonder if this process is really going to save me time in the end. So far I’ve animated about ten seconds and I’ve been working on it for like five months. Now, admittedly I was working on it almost full time while I was still in school, and I’ve been kind of sporadic about working on it at all lately, but still.

But, really, life is a grand experiment. We’ll see how it goes.

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