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Hi all, am deciding on the best technique for my short graduation film, my tutor would like me to try cut out animation but am having a hard time getting my head around it, I have done traditional animation before but found I didnt have much time left to focus on the backgrounds. I want my animation to look artistic, the usual way i do it is draw, put into phshop and them composit it in after effects, but am wondering weather to try using flash, as i have heard that if u have two key frames, the software wotks out the inbetweens, this would be quicker..i also have toon boom but ive not been on it much. Any advice?

Hello, I'm a big fan of Flash and would totally say use it! I'm not sure if it will give you the look you're after though, like most programmes I guess it's how you use them. You could import you're artwork and manipulate it certainly, but flash works out the tweening of objects like a ball, moving across the stage in a very linear way (unless you use motion guides) so it doesn't do the tweening of say a head turn which still requires lots of hand drawing! I don't know how familiar you are with flash so I hope you don't find this patronising. Anyway, I've used Toon Boom very briefly and found it a bit tricky! I still need to explore that one really. The cut outs sound cool but very laborious, the best advice I have to offer is kinda boring but seeing as it's for an important show I think you should use your tried and tested methods and really show off what you can do! Unless you have lots of time to experiment before it's due in which case give flash a try.
Hope some of that's useful, sorry I wrote an essay!
When and where is the show by the way?


Can Flash do morphs?

Can Flash do morphs? depends on what you call a morph. There are probably some better programs , little java things that will do it better and quicker for you.

Rannettz don't rely too much on tweening, but it can be helpful to keep the file size down, but if you are filter freaks, and rely on the software to make your look, it's probably not the tool for you.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

but if you are filter freaks, and rely on the software to make your look, it's probably not the tool for you.

That's almost like something traumatic happened to you, and a filter was the make me smile, Pat :)

That's almost like something traumatic happened to you, and a filter was the make me smile, Pat :)

No never traumatized, but yeah, I have made all the mistakes everyone does. But I learned early on the emboss tool and effects and filters all start to look the same after a while. Just think back to when Gabe found the photoshop tools and thought they were just marvelous. His early work was much better, before he started embossing everything. It depends on the look you are after.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

I love Flash Rannettez, and I'd normally say to use it, but if this is for your final animated short, I wouldn't start to learn it on that project. It can do a lot and animates great for certain looks, but it's not the magic bullet. It is a great program for cut out type animation, limited HB style, and some anime. I'd say to try it out for a few short simple animated exercises like walk and run cycles.

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

Use Moho, it's perfect for the workflow you're describing (I use it pretty much like that). It has a lot better animation tools than both AE and Flash and it handles bitmap images you get from Photoshop really well, AE can get very slow with a lot going on and Flash handles bitmaps very poorly.
And it got a very low learning curve, if you have tried cut-out animation before and are familiar with the general workflow, you could be using it for real work in no time at all (well... in a few days anyway).

You said you've done traditional; don't let the backgrounds stop you. The bgs could be stylized, minimalistic or none.

Once upon a time a student film with no bgs won an academy award: Charade, 1985.

I don't understand, if you don't have time for bgs is the learning curve for a new software easier?