Sadly, I have become very busy and that has limited the priority of these tutorials. Fortunately, my top priority has become the production of an animated short series. Because I have to train much of (and this feels strange to say) my staff in the ways of Digital Pro and a few students as well, it should not be terribly difficult to record some early sessions and share with you the experience. Please bear with me as I try to hold my life together.
I have found it quite difficult to keep up with the demands of a weekly tutorial, so I have hatched a plan to ease the burden on me and cease the extended interruption between releases. I will henceforth be conducting bi-monthly symposiums with a small group of students at Kent State University. With their help, I hope to demonstrate not just the workflow of Toon Boom Digital Pro, but also basic animation techniques. These symposia will be recorded, edited into small segments, and posted here.
As my pupils improve in the practice of animation, I will have them create independent films to demonstrate the flexibility of the program and showcase their individual talents. Only Toon Boom Digital Pro will be used in the animation of said films with background and prop design in Adobe Photoshop, editing with Apple Final Cut Pro, and sound design in Apple Soundtrack Pro. Again, I stress that all animation shall be conducted within Digital Pro.
As for distribution, while posting videos to this site has proven functional, there are those amongst you who have expressed concern over accessibility. As such, I am looking into hosting options for a podcast of future materials including lessons and student films.
On the matter of community, I would like to express my hope for all of us to grow together as artists and eternal students. I am always open to new ideas and opinions, as well as promotion of my followers. If you have any comments or would like a film created with Digital Pro to be featured on the blog, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good Night and Good Luck,
In an effort to streamline my work and assist you and others in learning the basics of traditional animation, I will henceforth integrate animation techniques with my Digital Pro tutorials.
When undertaking an ambitious project, one must be prepared with the right tools for the job. There are always alternatives, but for these tutorials, I’ll be using:
A MacBook Pro
As my default work center, I’ve chosen a MacBook Pro running at 2.4 GHz with 2 GB RAM. I’ll be running Mac OS X (10.4) as a matter of preference, but I intend to include Windows equivalent shortcuts in the videos.
To the Linux community, I feel for you, but Toon Boom Digital Pro is not supported on Linux platforms (although I’ve heard promising reports about WINE).
If you are an animator considering a computer purchase in the near future, remember that RAM is power.
A Wacom Cintiq 12WX
This is the pride and joy of any digital artist’s arsenal. At $999, it’s a little pricey, so I recommend the lesser Wacom tablets (Graphire and Intuos [I have no comment on Bamboo]) unless you’re wholly devoted to the trade.
A Sony Bravia HDTV
You might look at me funny for this one. This is a personal recommendation for anyone animating for television. You should always know how your work will look to the end consumer. Screening your work in a theater is expensive and watching it on your computer desktop can be misleading. My solution was this TV (it was on sale). Using a DVI-HDMI cable, I can preview work for HDTV directly from my computer without broadcasting (sorry, I just can’t do that) or risking quality loss on DVD. I HIGHLY recommend a proofing station to all of you, even if it’s not an HDTV.
Finally, the sweet nectar of the gods. I wouldn’t advise anyone to begin work without a refreshing caffeinated beverage.
There you have it! Now you, too can build your very own garage-corner animation studio!
These are the tools to get you up and running. For learning purposes, this should suffice until we get into sound later in the year.
The next post will be a tutorial based on a viewer submitted query. Enjoy!
~Justin “Denny” Furlong