What went well in the project:
I feel like the preproduction/planning stages went really well. I put in a good amount of work, and adjusted the pre-production stages well to such small-scale projects. There were concepts done for everything and thumbnails and notes taken from reference videos. The use of symbols, especially nesting symbols was very helpful and time-saving, I used symbols to make key poses, the trapeze animation is made completely of symbols, I just made a lot of them. The swan animation still uses symbols, but the in-betweens are mostly hand-drawn. Adobe animate just cooperated with me in general and I didn’t have any problems with it. Rigging with the auto rig in Duik went well, as, well as using the naming system from the auto rig to name the body parts of the frog. The renaming tool was very useful in naming as well as the naming conventions I learnt from the tutorials I watched.
What didn’t didn’t go well in the project:
Duik didn’t work as well as expected, some of the tools didn’t work like I thought they would, the morpher tool didn’t allow me to change the timing of my animation. It glitched a lot, at one point it kind of worked but it was unpredictable in its results. I ended up having to do it manually which wasn’t too bad but it was fiddly and time-consuming. The cel animation tool was a bit confusing and again glitched, this may have been also due to the fact that I possibly didn’t add a new cel to the sequence with every new frame, but I did use the correct keys to scroll through the animation, instead of scrubbing through the timeline. But when I went back to the composition to see how it looked with the composition, it wasn’t in the right place or orientation within the composition or appearing at the right time. The cel animation glitched and I couldn’t find or edit it. The animations I made also ended up being shorter than expected, although the timing of them is fine. I also didn’t end up being able to make as many animations as I wanted to.
What I would do differently:
Start earlier. Brainstorm more ideas, no preproduction work on it, just so I have options waiting to be explored, that could be used as tests, I could start when work on another animation as slowed down. Gather more reference, good reference especially from the angle I wanted. Get detailed reviews of work more often to ensure work isn’t wasted (like the second trapeze flip). Double check the thumbnails drawn from reference. Refer to reference more. Experiment and test more, so I get more practice. Watch more animation, to be inspired. Instead of drawing thumbnails draw them digitally as rough keyframes.
What I learnt:
I enjoy 2D animation, particularly hand drawn, its very calming. Rigging in Duik isn’t that hard to do. Yet again I did use the autorig, in the limbs. And succeeded to my 3rd try cause I started trying to rig without watching the whole tutorial. 2D rigging is better than rigging in 3D. Learn the process and program before you start. Watch tutorials as much as you can. Good reference and using reference, in general, is very important.
Future goals for skill development:
Animate more to improve quality. Make animations cleaner, as well as stylise the sketchyness a bit better if it’s going to be used more in the style. Experiment more in Duik. Spend more time drawing and animating.