Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Were have I been man!

My apologies everyone! Man, has been so psycho... have been helping someone to get ready for pitch and had to animate, like, near 30 feet in 3 weeks! Ughhhh, i hate it when life gets taken over by work--
So, because of my business i am going to continue the tutorials but in short bursts. I just don't have the time to sit down and organize an entire huge entry right now, but i need to keep posting. I dug this up... i showed this in a rougher version a long time ago but i realized i never posted the finished piece! I like the weight in it, but i spent so much time on the beginning that the end, the real acting got sacrificed. meaning, i had to cut it off about half way through cuz of time. So, hope everyone enjoys!

hand drawn animation on Vimeo
So, here's a little question I'd be curious to hear from all you traditional animators on. What would you prefer to work on... cintiq, paperless hand drawn animation or just the regular paper and real pencil animation? I ask cuz I've heard very mixed reactions-- I've tried the cintiq, i hate it personally although I'd do it if i had to. but i would prefer a choice between which method. what do you guys think?


Ian Worrel said...

I love this animation. As for the whole technology thing.
I would love to incorporate every medium into a film and apply different techniques all over the place. Start with a rough in flash with a wacom and then print it out. sit down with paper and pencil and hash out some more stuff on top of your flash. Model a 3d primitive character for a wonky perspective camera move and print out wireframe screens for each frame and draw over it with pencil and then tie in some cutout-esque element on top of that. Then do some more flash on top of that, but cleane,r and then you can paint over it with a cintiq. While your at it you could also flick paint on your final print-outs. It would be a soup of madness.
I don't know what to use. There are so many possibilities, but in the end you have to rely on what the story calls for.

Todd Oman said...

First off great animation! I used the cintiq for about a month for drawings and I agree with you stick to the pencil and paper. There is just something about animation and animation art done traditionally that the digital way is never going to capture.

Chris Graf said...

need i say more

Matt Williames said...

Ian: Those are some neat ideas man-- I know for myself i'd love to experiment with all tat stuff too, just as long as i can draw it all out on paper first and THEN take it to the computer. Just my preference, and that's all it is, a preference. I bring it all up cuz I heard Disney might be leaning this way once they bring back hand drawn. I sure hope they offer a choice to those they hire.
Todd: thanks man! I agree, you can't frame a cintiq ya know? well, you could, but , uhhhhm, nevermind.
Chris: thanks man!

Benjamin De Schrijver said...

I'm an animation student who actually came from a 3D (hobby) background (games and the likes), and when I decided to focus on character animation, I changed to 2D. And for me, it's pencil and paper all the way. I've tried a cintiq, and I'm not a fan of it. I can see the benifits of it for storyboarding etc, but not really for animation. Tied down drawings need to be so tight that a computer can hardly give that. Nor can it give you the same beauty, eg. could you imagine Glen Keane animating with it? Sure you've got instant playback, so you could perfect your timing, but really, people have managed perfectly without that for ages... I wouldn't like for them to change because they can. They'd need an actual reason. And for a company like Disney, budget isn't one.

Fun animation, btw. Not a particular fan of the acting (that's in there), but I love your sense of motion and timing.

Matt Williames said...

Benjamin: Thanks for your thoughts!

Piotr said...

Gorgeous animation. I haven't tried a cintiq yet, I use a big wacom, which is bad for eye coordination. I think if you plan to put review your work digitally, it's beneficial to see the animation right away, at whatever fps you'd like for reviewing. I work in flash and I've accomplished much more than I could on paper. But I'm still enchancing my drawing skills and haven't dipped into traditional animation too mcuh yet. All self taught.

Robin said...

I'd imagine if they found some way to make the cintiq feel like it was paper being drawn on that it would have a much better standing with the classical animators. I've never used it, but from what I hear, drawing on a tablet just doesn't compare to putting pencil to paper when animating.

I'm sure you could emulate the look of classical animation nicely on the cintiq, but there seems has to be a much more tactual connection with the pencil and paper. I'll let you know if I get the chance to compare the two :)

David said...

I PREFER to work on paper , with pencil, pen, colored pencil, Sharpie or otherwise.

I have made friends with Cintiq. I can work that way if necessary.

The thing I tell my employer (who is keen to come up with a Paperless™ animation system : the Disney/Fleischer/Warners/MGM/Lantz,Terry, etc. system of pencil on paper is not broken. 80+ years of wisdom in the old pencil and paper system drawn on an animation light table, disk . But ... I love my Cintiq and the software like Mirage, ToomBoom, Digicel, even Flash. It's all good.

Ian Worrel said...

I still love paper more than anything else. I will always start and end with it.

ND said...

I animate 2D digitally (in Plastic Animation Paper) for mostly practical reasons, but I definitely agree that drawing on paper feels much better.

Animation feedback is faster on the computer, but it's easier to get the drawings right on paper.

Jesse Soto said...

Jesus man! I found you!
Wow, beautiful piece of animation. I'm surprised you havn't shown it in class or anything, it's a great weight study (flipping through pages of sinbab worked though :P)

I'd perfer paper over the cintiq, I used a wacom for a while, and I don't get as much utils out of it than I do with paper and pencil. I like the sound of hand drawn, the feel, and friction of it. Plus it's really hard to flip with the computer. All anyone would have to do is press a button, I'm still new to animating so I still only prefer having pages underneath my fingers. :D

See you in class tonight! Enjoy your day, I'll be going through the tutorials you have here. :P


Anonymous said...

First of all, nice animation.

Now about paper vs cintique. I've never actually tried the cintique but I have a tablet pc that only has 1/4 the pressure sensitivity of the cintique and I must say that the tablet pc already feels fairly close to paper. The tiny little gap between the glass and drawing takes getting use to but I think when little nuisances like that dissapear it could be very good for roughing out keys.

I'm not sure if you can use the cintique to get the final clean drawing though. Like Benjamin said the control just isn't there for that yet. I wonder if they would ever use vector lines to do clean up though. I'm sure with Disney's big bucks they could have their own software where you can easily adjust thick and thin lines etc. (Don't flame me, I'm just not very good at clean up.)

Liam said...

cool animation man,
so its the big question eh?? hmmm well maybe its just me but i say whatever works for you-if you can animate the hell out of a scene on a cintiq-cool
for me personally-i like pencil and paper-its fun, i can touch it- i find the emotion in the scene better--BUT no one wants to pay for that so i do what i have to on the computer.
Even so i still come back to the pencil and paper again and again before i have to go to the computer for work-cos its more fun and thats why i got into the business in the first place.
keep up the posting

Matt Williames said...

Hey everybody! I am loving hearing all of your guys' thoughts on the cintiq! I am kind of encouraged in a sense that not everybody wants to switch over automatically, but i DO think there will be some really cool stuff we will be able to do in the future that we may not have been able to do otherwise. I just feel like as long as i can just animate on paper I'll be happy, and I'll learn whatever software i need to suppliment the drawings. now THAT excites me.
I saw a post on the TAG blog where someone said it would be the "death of the pencil". I just kinda laughed it off, but reading that made me wonder what everyone thought. I was mainly interested in hand drawn guys opinions, specifically animators. So thank you all for commenting, please keep'em coming!

Ian Worrel said...

people love to say, "the death of..." when refering to replacing a medium. Oil painting lives on despite other paint mediums, photography, digital, and so on. I won't even touch the whole 2D 3D thing, because you all know. But new mediums are always eventually considered simply additions to your arsenal of options when creating art. Add, not replace.

BigKidz Entertainment said...

Although I haven't used a Cintiq (and am not really interested), I can't think that I'd get the same satisfaction from it as with pencil and paper. There's something about the way a pencil moves over the grains of the paper that makes the process almost sculptural at times. If I have to draw with a Wacom I spend half my time swearing that I just can't get the quality of line I'm after. But perhaps I'm just un-co'. Some people still use a MOUSE to draw with...argh!
Lovely animation by the way! Great sense of weight.

Lou Hamou-Lhadj said...

I started out on paper, and you know... when you're first starting out, and I mean FIRST starting out, your timing is whack, adding random drawings, not numbering anything, trying to make it feel "right" but never really getting quite there because the planning just wasn't laid down first. Then I went to the cintiq, because for me it was much like animating in pen, or brushpen, wherein you can loosen up, and so forth, but also have the liberty to pencil test your stuff instantaneously. BAD. I interviewed James Baxter a couple months ago and of all the golden nuggets of wisdom he passed to me, the one that was most prominent was to not become a slave to testing! You're not going to learn about timing and spacing correctly if you don't take a risk, have a theory, animate on it, and then analyse why it doesn't work. From there, redo it, don't try and mold it into something "workable". For the past year and a half now I've been sticking solely to paper, minus an occasional thumbnail session on the cintiq to loosen up before I begin a scene. Also, there's no way to take your drawings "off the pegs" on a cintiq, and get those spot-on inbetweens and so forth. Anyway... my two cents!

Jeremy said...

Hey Matt, beautiful work and I really respect how nicely tied down and solid your work is... always!
About the cintiq, yeah I own one and work on it daily. I don't believe it can replace paper since there's something unique and special about having no barrier between what you feel and expressing that. Plus flipping is relaxing and I never really get frustrated using paper. Paper doesn't crash :P I agree with you in the sense that the cintiq is very crude for animators because we're use to a specific workflow, sometimes there is lag on the cursor, and there's a space between where the pen touches the glass and the cursor on the screen. In my experience it takes about 3 months to get use to it and year to feel comfortable.. even now there are some things I prefer to do on paper. Maybe that's just me though.. I don't know. Also I still find that my paper animation turns out better than my digital animation. I've also had moments when a layout supervisor would look at my thumbnail and approve it. Then I would draw it digitally and it would be totally off... again that could just be me.
My guess is that disney will still offer a choice between cintiq and paper when production starts up. It might make the pipeline kind of messy though.. I don't know. If you give the cintiq another shot, try using alias sketchbook. It is by far the best program for quick sketches in my opinion.
But yeah, I agree with Lou that it should be avoided for new animators. Its way to easy to noodle and not plan propperly.

Jeremy said...

Oops, by beginners, I should say that includes myself too. I find everything technical, timing, spacing, ect causes me trouble to do this day and using a cintiq doesn't help deal with it properly. Having the confidence to commit to an idea is worth more than the cost of a cintiq.

Andrew Chan said...

I haven't used a Cintiq, but I do have an Intuos3 tablet. For myeslf, I can do some good work on the computer but I still prefer pencil to paper. I just don't get the same feel when I draw with the tablet.

When I use a tablet it's mostly for digital colouring since I don't have enough money to buy the really nice quality paints. Other than that, I prefer working with pencils and paper. ^^;

Matt Williames said...

Hey everyone! thanks again for all your thoughts... I thought i'd direct everyones attention to the TAG blog again. A story guy from Disney said he heard that they are definately gonna give people a choice between paper and cintiq...
also, i noticed that the animation i uploaded is missing frames- dang man, why am i such a computer retard! So, if it seems a little gittery that's way

Young Vo said...

great stuff, very inspiring. i needed to see something like this.
thanks, rock on.

Kristian said...

Although I have never used a cintiq I couldn't offer an oppinion. I do use wacom frequently and there would be no contest if i was offered the choice over pencil and paper. With paper every line you put down is there, you put emotion into the work far more with pencil, beacause the anxiety of losing files or constantly saving isn't there. I appreciate the technology, and use it for the timing purposes and animatics. but i then move to the lightbox and do the body of animation in pencil. Matt your work blows me away. absolutely wonderful, whether in haste or not you're talent surpasses. well done and thankyou

Matt Williames said...

Wow! It seems to be pretty unanimously pro paper! For a while i wondered if i was the only one-- whenever i'd see something about it online i'd only hear about how much everyone loves it. that or i'd hear about it from producers who think they'll save "SO MUCH" money with not have to buy paper and pencils. I'm it could have some expense benefits, but at the expense of the comfort of your artists is a very bad idea!
Vic: Yeah man, it's be slightly hecktic to say the least. I feel like I'm half way in the casket sometimes when i work that much! hope you're well!
Young blood: You couldn't have said anything nicer to me... thanks man! Inspiring a fellow/talented artist is one of the greatist compliments!
Kristian: thank you man! Your compliment blows ME away!

Mikko said...

Great animation.
About your question. I really like them both. Real pencil and paper and digital. I recently found animating with cintiq and TVpaint Animation software really fun. Depends of what you are doing. If it have to be very clean and smooth I prefer for pencil and paper. When working with cintiq I use soft felt nibs. They give a lot better feeling for you pen.But I think traditional and digital are just different tools for different projects. Just take the fun out both of them...


samacleod said...

I like this test a lot Matt. Very cool.

I can't decide on the technology question. I love pencils, but I love pens too. So cintiqs feels more comfortable for me, but still, nothing beats showing grandma your original pencil drawings. It's a lot better than showing grandma the tv or a print out of your work.

Matt Williames said...

Thanks Steve! I know what you mean man! You can't frame a computer screen, or a cintiq! but it does have value for sure!

Anonymous said...

I love 2D animation, but haven't had a chance to do too much on my own yet. I've played around with the Cintiq a bit. For concept art I do not like it. Unlike with a regular pencil or a wacom I feel that my hand gets in the way because you have to still use the user interface the same way as a Wacom. Beyond that, alot of hotkeys on my keyboard become in accessable because I have to move my keyboard off to the side to use the cintiq. Lastly, has anyone else had issues with heat? My drawing hand gets unpleasantly hot using the cintiq.
I found the idea of the device cooler than the actual functionality as a whole. They aren't bad, but the annoyances(and price!) are enough to deter me.

The monkey clip is excellent. ^_^ Thanks for sharing!

Tealin said...

Hi! I've been stalking your blog for a little while now, in awe of your amazing animation – this latest one did not disappoint!

To chime in on the Cintiq topic: I haven't used many animation or graphics programs on mine, so I don't know if my complaints are satisfied with software that is actually out there. I find drawn animation amazingly frustrating in Flash because you can only step forward and back one frame at a time, you can't effectively 1-3-2 flip to inbetween, and you can't do the equivalent of picking up a chunk of pages and flip back to a much earlier drawing to check volumes, model, perspective, etc. It does have its good points for straight-ahead doodling of an idea, for loosely timing out thumbnails, and it's awesome for repegging and resizing things with a minimum of effort, but that doesn't make up for the difficulty in doing any more involved, tightened-up animation (at least not the way I feel most comfortable doing it), much less cleanup. Some people manage it, though; check out this short by Adam Phillips: The Yuyu ... I guess I just don't have the right wiring to do that. It's not as lovely as real 2D but it's the best approximation I've seen in Flash.

Drawing in Photoshop and in Sketchbook isn't nearly as fun or as gratifying as on paper, but it is quick and easy to colour. And of course, it'll never be as high-res as an actual concrete work of art which goes down to the atomic level.

That said, I probably would be a heck of a lot slower at storyboarding if I had to do it on paper, especially TV boards. Being able to only draw the background once and trick myself into thinking I'm animating by flipping through the poses makes my job possible.

That's all aside from the artist/Cintiq interface, with its slippery surface and uncomfortable temperature and level of removal from your line... Everyone else has pretty much covered that, though.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing like good old fashion paper and pencil! I dont have a cintiq, but I do have a cheap tablet. To mean drawing into the computer isn't the same as drawing on paper. I think it might be because of the lack of contact feeling. You're just drawing on a smooth surface. I've also found that quality wise, drawing with a tablet doesn't stack up against drawing on paper.

Olivier Ladeuix said...

I used to be against the All digital workflow but I eventually bought my first TabletPc few month ago. It is a second hand HP 4200 and since I can't live without it. Can't live without it for drawing using Sketchbook pro. I even bring it to life drawing classes and the result is just as great as using traditional medium.

Now one big issue is 2d animation softwares. I hate them all. I tried Toon Boom, TV Paint (Mirage), PAP, Flash. They are all "kind of cool" but none of them can replace traditional animation. Toon Boom and Flash are vector based and it doesn't appeal to me. TV paint has a really awkward Xsheet which doesn't make sense to me. PAP is the best of all but you only get the fancy Xsheet on the expensive version, the drawing tools are rudimentary, the interface belongs to Amiga and it doesn't work very well on tabletpc.

Olivier Ladeuix said...

oh I forgot. Digicel offers a demo version 4.53 on their website but it doesn't recognise the pressure on any of my tablet PC (Toshiba m200 or HP 4200) and on my Intuos3. I can't believe Eric Goldberg would advertise this software.

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