Sunday, October 28, 2007

In Defense of Moving Crap Around in Flash

So I guess there's been a big debate about the merits of Flash over at Cartoon Brew.

This was the inflamatory line "Forget honing your skills and mastering the craft of animation like those classic artists, just cheat your way into thinking you’re an animator by moving some crap around in Flash."

I will admit that I personally prefer hand drawn animation, but drawing and animation are not the same thing. Consider stop motion, or 3-D animation. Apparently some of the best Pixar animators can't do tradition animational. That doesn't make them bad animators, it just means they are not great draftsmen (or women). If you wanted to play devils advocate, you could argue that stop motion, 3-D, or any cut-out style of animation is more pure than hand drawn animation. Animation is movement, not drawing, so if the medium eliminates draftmanship from the equation, you can't hide behind nice drawings. Your work lives or dies by how well it moves.

And finally, in defense of moving crap around in Flash, check out this Yo Gabba Gabba music video directed by Justin Fines (who I don't know) and animated by Andy Kennedy (who is a good friend). You can do some awesome stuff in Flash by just moving crap around.

I'm hardly impartial, but I think this is the one of the best piece of animation I've seen done for Yo Gabba Gabba. The only other short that has impressed me as much is Nick Cross's "Kites Are Fun" piece.

Of course, what I like about Kites Are Fun, are the drawings and design more than the actual animation (which is still really good, and MUCH better than what his budget should have allowed, I'm sure), whereas what I like about Andy's piece is the animation more than the design. So the dichotomy continues!

Friday, October 26, 2007

After Effects

I've used Flash for over three years, and by now I pretty much know what there is to know when it comes to using the program for animation. However, for my new job I have to use Flash and After Effects. I'd used After Effects a few times before, but I had no idea how amazingly deep the program is. It feels good to be a beginner at something again, I really enjoy learning new things, and there is a TON to learn with After Effects.

For my down time at work, I've been going through some excelent free on-line After Effects tutorials, put together by Andrew Kramer. I highly suggest checking out his website,

Here's a little logo animation I did in After Effects using some tricks I picked up from the on-line tutorials. Click on the image to see the quicktime.

What is Faux-Kour, you ask? Why, it's the next inovation in Parkour, aka freestyle running. Here's a quick teaser. There will be much more to come.