Well, my own dissatisfaction with my inking has now been echoed on my gallery thread. My lines are kind of wobbly and don't convey the mood of the pencils I started with. To some extent, I'm sure this has to do with getting a good deal of practice in. But it seems like people generally pick up some tricks as they go along.
Up until now, I've been concentrating on a classic comic book style. Though I was initially drawn to the cross-hatching because of the way it looked, it's also a convenient way to hide mistakes. The clean lines of animation are brutally honest. Of course, you can do some photoshop fixes. But this is very time-consuming, and generally not something I want to have to rely on.
Right now, I'm using Rotring Rapidograph technical pens on typing paper. If possible, I'd like to stick with this, as it's A: Very cost-effective, which becomes an issue when you're doing your own stuff, and B: The tech pens give you consistant line weight, so my lines don't become jittery from one frame to the next. I have had regular ballpoint pens suggested, and they're not bad. But I prefer being able to vary line weight by switching pens.
So, are there any tips? Revelations? A way to hold the pen, or a particular pen you like? This is probably all pretty subjective, but I notice that not one book I have on animation really focuses on inking. It's reffered to as "clean up" and is done on cels-- which are ridiculously expensive, and pretty much out of the picture for us desktop studio clowns. Of course, I'll be working with cels at VFS, and doing pretty much what I'm told if I get a gig in a studio. But is all that expense really necessary?
So, any advice would at least be experimented with as I develop an animation style-- both at VFS and at home.