Monday, 31 March 2008

A Blast from the Stone Age Past.

As a result of some online conversations about new developments in traditional 2D paperless animation and some of the very early pieces of animation software (Hands up; who had an Amiga computer and ran DeluxePaint and Take2 on it?) I received an email from Jerome Lorin who kindly included a link to a piece of animation I worked on with Billy Allison from Core Design in 1994.
Have a peep HERE.

It was a title sequence for the Sega computer game "Chuck Rock II". We had to work within the huge constraints of computer game memory at the time, and so the animation is rather limited in places. I thought I'd add it to the Blog purely for it's nostalgia value. At the time though, the title sequence received a host of 5 star ratings in computer magazines.

The "inking" and colour work was produced in DeluxePaint, on good old Amiga computers.

I continued to use an Amiga for animation pencil tests (Using the excellent Take2 program) up until the end of "Second Star to the Left" in around 2002. Amigas were great little computers with excellent graphics capabilities (2D and 3D) far in excess of PCs at the time. It's a shame they got left behind in the blitz of hype and publicity that surrounded the dull old PC that most of us use today. Amigas were happy computers.


Anonymous said...

I remember my first animations on the Amiga.. its what started the ball rolling for me. Sadly they where taken away and I had to wait 2 years before touching animation again, when I got my hands on a copy of flash. Its weird to think how much the animation process has evolved over what seems to be about a decade or two. those changes almost seem beneficial now because its now possible to draw a rough sequence and see how it flows instantly rather then getting a rough Idea, scanning it in frame by frame (wasn’t around during the film reel era) and finding it doesn’t work then repeating that process over and over. thank god for screen tablets.

Mark Mason said...

You're right, things have developed so much over the last couple of decades. I do remember animators I used to work with who shot their own rough linetests on 16mm film, and developed it in a bucket in their bathroom.
I started work at a time when everything was shot on 35mm. Any special effects had to be created in camera, so we became skilled at creating artwork for lots of great "lighting" effects; some of which were designed to look like computer animation, even though computers in that time weren't capable of producing the kind of animation we did.
Animating text and 3D logos using 2D hand drawn animation was our bread and butter work in those days. I'm glad I don't have to do that anymore!
Now, depending on the job, client and budget I'll either animate on paper or in Flash. Sometimes I rough key in Flash, then print out frames, clean up on paper and scan and paint.
When you had to work on paper, and linetesting was longwinded and time consuming, you actually sharpened your animation timing and drawing skills because when it came time to penciltest, you wanted it to be right first time. You couldn't rely on scrubbing through frames in Flash, it had to all be "felt" by no more than flipping a few sheets of paper, and I really loved that hands on, flying by the seat of your pants way of working.
Computers did mean not having to work with Rostrum cameramen anymore; and they could be an odd group of nocturnal creatures.