Posted by warnwood on April 04, 2000 at 17:17:06:
In Reply to: Re: Thanks to everyone who attended! posted by SNAKEBITE on April 04, 2000 at 15:03:07:
: FLASH (the version we're dealin with now) is just temporary, a program to adabt to the limitations of todays technologies. Where will it be 6 months from now let alone 2 years, as broadband takes over so will the need to expand on internet entertainment...I know theres alot of crap out there using Flash, but it doen't mean that thats all it can do. This proagram uses the same metgods of traditional animation, its just more limited, it uses key frames.Traditionalist can be hired to do these key frames, BG , color ,and character design and the programers can do the rest. Our services are still needed, if we act afaid of this program cuz' of the rumor of it takin our jobs then whos gonna want to deal with us, they'll have no choice but to go with the guy who only knows Flash, but is not livin in fear. We need to re-educate people that the fundementals of animation does not stop where Flash begins, and at this point is only by example I believe...We need to adapt to the limitations for now, but when technology finally catches up with us , we'll be way ahead of the game.
I won't disagree with the notion that there's currently a demand for Flash animation or that traditional artists can do it (if they can overcome their traditional computer phobia), but I do take exception to the idea that it employs traditional animation techniques. Flash is a vector animation program; that is, you draw points on a 2D grid and Flash draws the curve between them based on a mathematical formula. You set keyframes for moving those points around in time, and Flash will draw and transform the inbetween shapes based on a set of algorithms.
There are definite advantages to this (scalability and, therefore, file size for one) but doing things like controling volumes, layering in follow-through and overlap, let alone trying to get some sort of quality or texture into the line itself, become very difficult -- precisely because you've given up a part of your control over the line (and, for that matter, over subtle timing tweaks as well) to the computer.
Flash is okay for moving set pieces around the frame, but there's a reason that most of this stuff looks like cut-out animation. This is not a temporary limitation of the program: it IS the program. Vector animation has been around since the dawn of computer graphics, and it isn't going to change that much in the future. There are folks trying to work out solutions to the problem; the trouble is, when you start translating traditional animation artwork into Flash (through some plug-in), what you gain in quality, you lose in file size, which is Flash's current Internet advantage. Same with 3D-to-2D plug-ins.
Broadband probably will not bring an avalanche of Flash animation to your desktop; streaming technologies will more likely enable you to play full-screen versions of the stuff you can currently produce in computer ink-and-paint packages from traditionally animated material (that will translate into other media as well), so that's still where I'd be putting my money if I were looking to produce a film for the Internet. Media formats come and go, but pencils and paper will be with us forever.
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