...well isn't this a surprise.

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...well isn't this a surprise.

Post by Joyfulldreams on Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:49 am

So uh...wow. It's been how many years? Jesus christ, didn't we start this thing in what, 2010? 2009? And despite everything you're STILL going for it? Memieko, you especially--you astound me with your sheer dedication. I moved on from this a long time ago I'm sad to say but now...I dunno.

I think SOME of you might remember me! Haha. I'm Joyfull, one of the founding members from...all those years ago. I used to be head of the Illustration team. Mostly because back then, I didn't think I had what it took to be an animator, never thought I could. But to be honest? It was in huge part thanks to this project that I am now in my 3rd year of college studying film and animation and that I'm on the career path that I am now.

You posted what you had of your ending and I saw it and I'm so different now than how I used to be. More experienced, mostly. My passions have moved on from Pokemon and Pokespecial mostly, but...it'll really always hold a special place in my heart, even though I obviously haven't attempted to keep up with it in years.

...but this project.

I'm more experienced now. I know more now. I can do things now that when this project started I would have never have believed possible for me. And I've just recently had a bad experience with another online animation project, which I really had my hopes on being a part of, but coming out of that and seeing this thing STILL GOING? Such as it is?

I dunno. I feel like a part of me wants to try it out again. How I am now, what I know how to do now, maybe I can help again? I dunno? If you'll have me?

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Re: ...well isn't this a surprise.

Post by Giest on Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:58 am

I remember you. ^^
While you're at it, you might want to give admin powers to Memieko.

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Re: ...well isn't this a surprise.

Post by Joyfulldreams on Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:07 am

Done and done! Haha.

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Re: ...well isn't this a surprise.

Post by Memieko on Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:44 am

Of course well still have you Joy! I'm so glad you're back! And thanks, Joy. I'm just a very stubborn person ^^' thank you for the admin powers and I can't wait to see you work on this project again. I love your illustration and art.

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Re: ...well isn't this a surprise.

Post by Joyfulldreams on Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:53 am

Hahaha, you should check out the short film I did last year, actually. I'm making another one this semester...http://vimeo.com/97177074

I actually have a few questions as to how you've been doing things! How many people are still on the project atm? How are you guys making things? Are you still using SAI, of all things? :0

I looked around and discovered that apparently there's a dropbox now! That's got to be a far more efficient a way to transfer files than what we were doing last time I was here. XD Maybe you could invite to share with me? I have a dropbox that I use for school and in other more professional settings so I don't have much room on it, so I made another one with my typical email/username. (Joyfulldreams@gmail.com)

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Re: ...well isn't this a surprise.

Post by Jonk on Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:49 pm

Did you get the dropbox invite afterwords Joy?

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Re: ...well isn't this a surprise.

Post by Joyfulldreams on Tue Sep 30, 2014 5:10 pm

No, I don't see anything yet! No rush, I don't think--I'd love to see what all we've gotten done so far other than having all of the scripts written (which I have yet to read, but will soon) and the ending done.

Right now I'm actually doing some animation exercises. May post them later in an audition or something--Various walk cycles. Need to practice for my semester short as well as for this. But I figured, it's been so long, my skills have changed so much, if I plan on animating I should audition properly!

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Re: ...well isn't this a surprise.

Post by Memieko on Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:32 pm

That's be amazing. We are still on SAI and adobe programs. We had to change the Dropbox though because a virus got transferred to it by a staff member. I can invite you to the new one once I get on my computer!

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Re: ...well isn't this a surprise.

Post by Joyfulldreams on Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:31 pm

Alright, that's good! My question is though, what programs are the animators using to animate before they go into the line and color stages? Surely not photoshop? That's nigh impossible. I wonder how Aki did it back in the day.

I mean--currently the software I use for actual animation is either ToonBoom Animate/Animate Pro 3 or TVPaint. If I'm going to be animating, I'm still going to use them. (I mean, I could color and ink in ToonBoom too, seeing as it's absolutely perfect for that. It's too expensive to insist anyone else have it, though. So SAI/Photoshop could still work...)

The most efficient way I can see going from animation -> line/color -> composting would be for me to animate in ToonBoom and export it as a video with alpha channel (transparency, basically), and then import the video into Photoshop, which will make each frame into a layer. (This will create duplicate frames if animating on 2's or 3's, but it's a necessary evil in order to preserve the timing of the animation, and whoever inks/colors can easily just copy/paste whatever they do onto the duplicate frame.) The PSD can then be inked/colored in Photoshop and/or SAI, and when finished each frame should be flattened into a single, colored and inked image on its own layer. Then we can import the PSD into AfterEffects as a composition, reverse the stacking order of the layers, change the length of each to 1 frame, then sequence them. Then the pre-composed animation can be composted in a separate composition with backgrounds and music and add effects and whatever else, then the final product is exported, viola!

I mean, it doesn't actually matter what program you use to animate this way, so long as you can export the rough animation in a video format (preferably quicktime) without a background and with alpha channel. This is about as streamlined and fool-proof as I could think of. The cool thing about it is that if any changes need to be made to any frame, even when in the middle of the compositing process, you can go into the original PSD, change what needs to be changed, and after you save the change will automatically update in After Effects without any hassle or having to re-do anything.

I dunno what your guys' plans were for that, or whatever it is you've been doing in the past, buuut....if any of you get what I'm talking about, thoughts?

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Re: ...well isn't this a surprise.

Post by Memieko on Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:12 am

Joyfulldreams wrote:

The most efficient way I can see going from animation -> line/color -> composting would be for me to animate in ToonBoom and export it as a video with alpha channel (transparency, basically), and then import the video into Photoshop, which will make each frame into a layer. (This will create duplicate frames if animating on 2's or 3's, but it's a necessary evil in order to preserve the timing of the animation, and whoever inks/colors can easily just copy/paste whatever they do onto the duplicate frame.) The PSD can then be inked/colored in Photoshop and/or SAI, and when finished each frame should be flattened into a single, colored and inked image on its own layer. Then we can import the PSD into AfterEffects as a composition, reverse the stacking order of the layers, change the length of each to 1 frame, then sequence them. Then the pre-composed animation can be composted in a separate composition with backgrounds and music and add effects and whatever else, then the final product is exported, viola!

Um..yes? Just kidding, I think I understand what you're saying with this. I use normal traditional sketch paper because my tablet is only like 4x6inches, but if necessary I can animate on SAI using some customized tools I made. Each animator can choose their own media for how they want to draw keyframes so long as it can come out into a PNG sketch for people to work on in PSD or SAI, How we animate now is a little different. The actual animators only design keyframes while the second, less director-oriented group of animators come in and fill in the frames based on how long/short or how many the keyframer directs them to make between each keyframe. This sort of lessens the load on animators while also helping produce higher quality by not having one person draw every single frame. (Fun Fact: Did you know Hayao Miyazaki was a Tweener before he did his own animations?) This is something Guest started with the Ending and something I really liked and want to continue. The way to keep up the timing is to have every frame play at 24 fps and draw frames based on that speed. That way when it comes time to finally compile, we all know it will take the correct length. I also wouldn't recommend flattening images before importing them in AE because we could lose effects created on PSD that way. The water color in the Ending wouldn't be there if that image were flattened before AE. We also work (after lineart/tweening) entirely on PSD files since they can be used in PSD and SAI. Anyway, I invited you to the dropbox, so you can see how we've done it. I think since there is a lot of pan sliding in the Opening, the timing won't be as critical since we can just make it slower/longer to change the overall time.

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Re: ...well isn't this a surprise.

Post by Jonk on Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:58 am

Ya If you use a standard fps like 24 then as long as you can export you frames they can be recompiled in w/e program for the final compilation. I mean I use Adobe Flash and just export the lined keys as png with an alpha layer for the colour team.

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Re: ...well isn't this a surprise.

Post by Joyfulldreams on Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:40 am

No no, what I meant by preserving timing is the timing of the action, not the frame rate! If I animate on 2's and maybe have a frame on 1's here or there it's for a very specific reason, you know? A part of the character performance. And if we stay with 24 frames per second, if we don't have the repeat frames than when I import into AfterEffects everything will be on 1's, and be way too fast! Or I'll have to extend everything to 2 and manually find which frames I wanted at 1 instead of 2...ay.

Unless you're saying you animate everything on 1's...always which is uh. Ouch. I dunno if I can do that! That's literally double the work.

And you have other people tween? Huh....I dunno how comfortable I am with that. I always inbetween my own animation myself, I'm the only one who knows how I want the motion to look after all...

I mean.



Here, I just animated that yesterday. It's a little fast though so I probably want to add some more inbetweens here and there. I guess someone else could do that? I'm not really comfortable doing any less than this when in comes to inbetweening...? Even then I'm not 100% sure where to put the inbetweens so it might take a little experimenting on my part...plus, how exactly will they add the inbetweens? How can I check to make sure it looks fine? Augh putting my work in other people's hands is stressful it's like giving away one of my babies. ;A;

Also: It looks like I can't accept the Dropbox invite because there's way more than 2gigs of stuff in it, and I don't have enough space. 0_0

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Re: ...well isn't this a surprise.

Post by Memieko on Wed Oct 01, 2014 7:17 am

Alright then, next time you're on skype, shoot me a message, I'll explain and show you what I mean.

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Re: ...well isn't this a surprise.

Post by Giest on Wed Oct 01, 2014 7:58 am

@Joyfulldreams
There's a forum in the staff section where our process is explained. It's called "Instructions". (I think.)
In there, it explained that the animator would export the frames that were to be tweened to a folder in the Dropbox. The animator would specify how many in-betweens would be needed and at what intervals. After that, the animator would then import the tweened frames back into their own project and add them where necessary. Lastly, the animation would then be exported as a PNG sequence. The FPS would also be specified by the animator so the compositor can interpret the footage correctly. (Most Japanese animation is animated at 8 FPS, sometimes even less!)
The final video file will be exported at 24 FPS, though. Panning, and other transitions look better at higher frame rates.

If that method is not appealing, I guess old-fashioned time sheets could be used. I think ToonBoom Animate has an option to export one of those.

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