Dave Thomas, director of El Tigre (and owner of Wendy's), describes here how he converted from traditional pencil drawing to an all-digital paperless production using the Cintiq.
Even though we've been using Wacom tablets for 9 years, going the very expensive-Cintiq-route has been a fearful and costly idea for us. We hope to eventually convert our storyboard/layout departments to this model. The quality speaks for itself, as you can see in the samples here.
We've always been paperless for the entire full animation & BG line art/paint process, but not until now have I truely seen the potential efficiencies of using Cintiq for aspects of character/prop/location design, story art, and rough background layouts.
We've been apprehensive about this for too long, if no quality is being sacrificed, and production gets optimized, then why not? Technology has advanced to this, trees will be saved, speed is increased, creativity and draftsmanship is not compromised.... we'd be foolish not to.
Even before I saw that blog, we had already decided to slowly convert our storyboard, design & layout team to this model by next Christmas (avoiding a big confusing switch-over in mid-production). The least we can do is try it out, right?
Spafford is hired to conduct a "Behind The Scenes" short film on Collideascope Animation Studios to find out what harsh conditions the cartoonists are working under. He makes many disturbing discoveries. Beware: some unforseen dirty language and inapproriate situations occured during the filming of this piece. Viewer discretion is advised. Watch the videohere.
Nearly 3 years ago, I read the first Delilah & Julius Script, and by page 3 there were LOTS of animated vehicles. I knew this new series would not be possible without a 3D animator. There were simply too many diffcult shots with props and vehicles animating in perspective. This posed technical problems that would have our animators spend way too much time animating vehicles and therefore the character animation could suffer, not too mention that animating vehicles can be very, very, very hard to do consistently.
Thankfully we had the genius of Dave Thompson. An animator that just so happened to know 3D Studio and was up to the task of taking the model sheets for each episode and re-create the vehicle designs in 3D.
The results were fantastic. Dave was able to place storyboards into the 3D software, re-create the shot, model any new vehicles (each one taking about 3 hours), set the motion paths, tween away and BAM it was done. After just a bit of research I found software that exports his renders as Flash toon-shaders, the rest is history.
All the 3D blends in with the characters and BGs flawlessly because you can set the shaders & lines to render in any way you'd like. The compositing is all done in Flash with incredible ease, layering the traditional character animation as overlays and underlays directly into Flash, line weight and colors all convert into flat, frame by frame, vector Flash art and makes it all easy to edit.
Thanks to Dave, all 3D elements are done with percision and without difficulty, and no animator needs to worry about drawing hundreds of in-betweens for slowly turning geometry.