muurtikaar is an ingrate and clueless. muurtikaar will never get any questions answered on this forum ever again.
Ironically, I was writing about this very thing for my new book (essentially an entired degree-level course on animation, with DVD lectures and examples) when I read your recent post. The new book's been in the works for two years now but I'm doing a tidy-up on the text manuscript and happen to be writing about animators' equipment when I read your email.
Anyway, professional animators use Col-erase almost exclusively. I personally always use the 'BLUE' pencil (not 'Photo-Blue' which is far too light to be of any use... i.e. doesn't show up on penciltesters or scanners very well when testing rough animation). Disney animators used the 'RED' a great deal, although I'm almost certain they didn't switch to the Blue after initially roughing out their scenes. (They called their drawings 'Reds' by the way... meaning pencil test animation, prior to clean-up.)
A 'committed' line means a final clean-up line. I.e. An animator roughs-out all his animation using the Blue (or Red, if you're so inclined?) and when they have tested and are happy with the movement they have created they will then 'clean-up' their drawings with a black, soft lead pencil... or even a fiber tip black pen, which works best for scanning purposes.
Remember though, it really doesn't matter what kind of pencil you use... it's the animation that is the most important factor and if you can do that drawing with coal on a white wall its all permissable!
By the way, I'm sorry I don't post much on this forum anymore. Its not that I'm indifferent to you guys or anything but I am so overwhelmed with work these days that I just don't have time. I should have my new book material out of the way in a few weeks, so that will help. However, as I'm now Dean of the DigiPen Institute of Technology's BFA degree in 'Production Animation' I barely have time to do anything but concentrate on my students. I don't even have time right now to keep up my personal blog or post more of my work on YouTube! (See links below).
But anyway, please keep the topics going. I love to read what you guys are up to and will jump in from time to time if I can offer something specific... like today! For further information, I do recommend my book 'Animation from Pencils to Pixels'... it should have all the answers you will ever need. I'm not plugging it for a sale, its just that after spending 4 years of my life writing just about everything I know about the industry from top to bottom I'm sure you'll find anything you need right there. The new 'course' book will use it and my 'Animator's Workbook' as text books... but will additionally give you guys a well structured, knowledgeable, degree-level program on how to become a professional-level animator and filmmaker.
Must go now... I have to work on it some more over the Labor Day weekend! (Groan!) :)
And... 'good luck' with your animation and studio building everyone!
Animaticus Foundation: http://www.animaticus.com
Personal blog: http://blog.animaticus.com
And here's where you can check-out some of my work by the way...
Short films: http://www.youtube.com/user/TonyWhiteFilms
"Be the change you want to see in the world." (Mahatma Gandhi)
"The Animaticus Foundation"http://www.animaticus.com
If you're scanning in your artwork,there's no need to use a system of color codes for your pencils. Any graphics package, such as GIMP, will allow you to use layers and also to replace colors. For example, if you draw with an ordinary gray pencil on white, you could scan in the drawing and then replace everything darker than a certain color with blue, green, or whatever.
There's absolutely no need to use any particular brand of pencil. Colored pencil is an inferior medium anyway, because one can't depend on it being permanent. I have never seen the ingredients for colored pencil listed on the package. This doesn't matter much if you're only working for repro. Please understand that I'm not knocking colored pencils; I use them myself. Col-erase isn't available at the stores here and I certainly wouldn't order them. I think I have one and I didn't find it to be the best thing since sliced bread. If you like them, use them, but I doubt it's worth making a special effort to get them.
I mostly use colored pencils for the sake of the color and hardly ever for sketching. They are usually either too hard or too soft and don't usually take a point as well as graphite pencils. However, I'm not dogmatic about this and would do it if I felt like it. If you like them, use them.
I tend to use B and HB graphite pencils most.
I recommend using a technical pen to ink your drawings and then to go over the inked lines with good quality drawing ink using a brush or a nib. I prefer using brushes whenever possible. Marker ink is of inferior quality, as is any ink that has to flow through anything and not clog it. I never use markers for artwork, but again, that's personal preference.
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[...] The Prismacolor
Color pencils don't erase very well.
Colored pencils don't erase well, period. I don't think it's a good idea to use them for anything you're going to want to erase. You're better off using plain graphite pencils on a kind of paper that takes erasure well. I do all the erasing I can with a kneaded rubber eraser, which doesn't remove paper (except maybe a little bit). Then, I'll use an art gum eraser, which doesn't remove much paper. Only then will I use a pink eraser. I prefer the kind that can be sharpened.
[...] It seems to me that NON-PHOTO blue would
be perfect for layouts and constructions lines because the camera wouldn't
pick up any of that line, just the red or black lines drawn over them.
It doesn't matter if you're using a package like the GIMP and it especially doesn't matter if you're using a light table. You can just draw on separate pieces of paper (make sure they're properly aligned!) and scan them in or photograph them, and put them into separate layers. Then you can change their colors at will, if you choose. However, if you like using non-photo blue, there's no reason why you shouldn't.
In this case, I can see a definate
advantage to being able to sketch LOOSELY in blue or red, then make a final black line on top.
I sketch loosely in pencil and ink over the lines I want with a technical pen (the "final" lines).
Since I've just started learning about classic animation, I haven't had time to become dogmatic about anything. I'm still trying to figure things out. It would be very nice to learn some standard 'rules' of thumb, so I wouldn't develop any 'bad habits' in the beginning, that might have to be undone later on.
My advice would be to find out what works for you and don't worry too much about what's in _The Illlusion of Life_. I think it's a useful book if taken with a very large grain of salt. I prefer Richard Williams' book, but he's very clear about what he wanted to learn _in spite of_ the advice of one of the main people he wanted to learn it from! There's a lot more to animation than Disney.
When I get to the point of making an inked animation, I'll certainly take this advice to heart. It sounds like good advice. I have ink pens with nibs, but I need to get a new bottle of ink. I used to have a Rapid-o-graph technical pen. They are great for uniform line widths.
The ink is also resistant to erasure with a kneaded rubber eraser. I recommend inking your drawings at an early stage. However, this is also a matter of preference.
At this point in my studies, it's a crap shoot. Some days I do better. Some
days I do worse. However, I've done enough of the above process to start
to realize that maybe, just maybe, some colored pencil might help?
I think it would be less of a "crap shoot" if you animated straight-ahead as much as possible. By using key frames, you are making a decision about how a motion proceeds and fitting your animation drawings (so-called "in-betweens") to this pre-conceived idea. By animating straight-ahead, you can have each image "grow out of" the preceding one. There is no such thing as "in-betweens" --- only animation drawings. Key-frame animation makes economic sense, but in most cases it's not the way to produce the best possible animation. Animating straight-ahead will generally produce a more natural-looking illusion of motion. That is not to say that key-frame animation is bad, it's not. It's a useful technique among others.
Since one can easily change the colors of scanned or photographed drawings once they are on the computer, I don't see how using colored pencils is going to make that much of a difference.