Friday, September 4, 2015

Some Amateur Advice

Hey All!
So as I mentioned at the top of the class a few weeks back, I've been working as a freelance animator for the past 3 years. While I'm no where near a professional level I do think I've learned a few things during my time that might be helpful to those who might want to further explore animation as a medium. Here's a little piece that I put together a few years back if you guys want a better sense of the kinds of things I've worked on:

This project took around 30 hours to complete.

The Software
With the exception of some light After Effects work, I animate exclusively in Flash CS3. This version of flash came out a few years ago, but it's one that many animators still use today. It's got everything you need to produce quality animations, and it's got one of the widest library of plugins of any version of flash. 

That being said the program is a RAM hungry monster and will very often crash on you without warning. So make sure that whenever your working with flash, you save twice as often as you would in any other program.

The Hardware
As Professor Arturo mentioned earlier, if you're hoping to do any sort of design work you're going to need to get yourself a drawing tablet. I picked up my Wacom Bamboo fun around 4 years ago, and it's still going strong. If the pricetag is above what you're willing to spend then I'd advise working primarily on the Cintiq's in 168, they're top of the line and used by almost every full time animator I know and on top of that they are super cool. 

ALSO. While it's not essential for animating, I'd seriously consider purchasing your own condenser microphone. If you;re in a pinch and need to crank out some last minute foley having something like a Blue Snowball mic is incredibly handy.

The Work
There will be a lot of it, it will last forever, and it will be very tedious! However don't let that deter you! Once you get into the swing of things it's actually very relaxing to spend an after noon with a cup of tea, turn your higher functioning off, put on some beegees and let you lizard brain do the work. 

The best thing you can do to hone your skills as a novice is practice, but the SECOND best way is to watch tutorials online. Even if you;re only really half paying attention, you can learn a lot about how to better work your work flow when you're able to watch the way others work.

Here is a link to a great set of tutorials I put together a few years back, they're all about flash animation but they're really easy to follow and presented in a beginner friendly way. 


That's all I can give you guys for now, but so often I find myself completely changing the way Iwork because of tricks or time saving plugins I've found. 

Have awesome weekend guys!

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