For the past several years I've been working myself up to work on that "one big project." Each time I'd over extend myself, get frustrated and give up. I knew that I can do it and I had it in me to be the next Craig McCracken and create that animated show that everyone wanted to see. I freely commented on other people's animations, confident that I knew what was up.
I was wrong.
I looked back on my education, and while I have gotten to be very proficient in Maya, and know how to tell a good joke and story on film, I realized I was missing something. I realized that somehow I had skated by without doing many of the basic animation exercises (like a bouncing ball). Later, I had done some of them using various computer tools that allowed tweening, but I had never drawn it.
Pascal and Internal Cow's galleries really inspired me to think differently about things. I'm hoping to work towards their quality.
Instead of biting off more than I can chew, I'm returning to the basics. The idea is simple, on nights that I have time, I'll sit down and doodle out a quick animation in an hour or two.
This keeps me from going too far with it and aiming for a full series or feature and gets me working on the basics that I'm realizing that I didn't really have down in the first place. In the few days that I've been doing it, I've already noticed an improvement in my animations. Not to mention I've done more animating in the past week and a half on these tests than I have in over a year of working on that one big idea.
I'm learning where I can cheat the drawings, what works, and more importantly what doesn't. They aren't perfect, but that's the whole point. Quick and dirty. Does it do what I want it to? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Learn my lesson and move on.
Currently, I'm using Flash because I had an old licence of it and the drawing tools aren't too technical. I'm considering trying out Toon Boom as well since it seems a little more suited for frame by frame stuff. But for the moment I'm content with Flash. It's a pretty nifty piece of software for doing pencil tests (now if only I could afford a cintiq :rolleyes: ).
Eventually I'll move onto a larger project, but for now I'm content in working over the basics. I still need to perfect the bouncing ball but I'm working on it...
Anyway, thought I'd share.