This post is actually kind of momentous though it may not seem like much. First, the not so important part: I did some testing in Flash to see how I might be able to get decent line quality using Flash as a frame-by-frame animation tool. It’s okay, I guess, though the underlying drawing is kind of sucky. On the second head, I experimented with using blurs on some elements.
But the cool part is the image below. For this one, I was testing the idea of inking and painting in Gimp over a camera shot of a penciled image (the same image in this post, also not a great underlying drawing but good enough for test purposes). I really like both how this turned out and the process. My next step is to try it on a short animated sequence to see if line quality holds up under those circumstances. If that works, then I think I’ve finally found my pipe line for hand-drawn animation. 🙂
Tonight I started trying to draw with my entire arm for really the first time ever. Before today, I had always planted the heel of my hand on the drawing surface and drawn with my fingers. I kept reading how that wasn’t the best way to go – at least not in all circumstances – but drawing with my arm seemed really uncomfortable and out of control. Well, today I watched the umpteenth video of a person with vastly superior skills drawing with his arm, so I threw in the towel and dedicated myself to learning how to do it.
I drew a lot of circles on several sheets of scratch paper, way more than would be worth posting. By the end of the evening, I had noticed two things. First, even though I was still new to the process, I was markedly more comfortable drawing with my whole arm than I had been when I first started; the “pain” of this new approach only lasted about an hour or so. Second, drawing with my arm seems to be a paper and pencil thing; it’s almost impossible to do effectively on my Intuos – at least so far.
One of the things I’m hoping to get out of this is the ability to draw larger. I have a tendency to draw really small and it hasn’t worked very well as I’ve been trying to do some traditional paper and pencil animating. We’ll see how it goes.