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Old October 9th, 2004, 08:53 AM   #1
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Flash animations..?

Hi, I was asked to make a video clip that would contain some animations.
Since I don't know the first thing about it there will be other people to take care of that part.. They told me that they would use Flash. When I asked them if they could print their animations on top of my video (ala Roger Rabbit) or if it had to be separated (ala Kill Bill vol 1) they seemed not to know..
Has anybody done something similar?
What I want to know is if there is anything that I have to take in consideration when I shot my part to be able to match it up as well as possible with theirs..

Thanks.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 12:57 PM   #2
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Maybe I should have posteed thisunder another topic.. Are there really nobody here with any idea?

Thanks.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 05:38 PM   #3
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I was waiting to see if anyone with more specific experiece would answer (someone who had more experience mixing live action and animation), but I think I can give you the basics. I have done animations mostly with After Effects, at least for video use, but have used other programs (including Flash) for non-TV animations

The animation can be treated like any other graphic you would superimpose over your video -- meaning you can mix live action and animation. Whether or not the animation is a separate entity or superimposed over the video would be up to the person who asked you to make this video.

Although i have a little bit of experience with Flash, I have not used it for video work, so I do not know if it allows for a transparent alpha layer. An alpha layer is one way to superimpose animations over your video. If not, you can ask them to create a keyable background -- a "green screen" of sorts. Again, the same methods you might use to superimpose a photoshop image over video can apply to animation.

Yes, you will need to have the animation in mind when you shoot. To what extent will depend on what the scene is and what the client expects. Which brings us to the question, What exactly is this animation/video scene you are trying to complete? Knowing this would help answer the questions of whether or not this is a live action/animation mix, and how much pre-planning you need for your shoot.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 06:04 PM   #4
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The answer is yes. You can animate with an alpha.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 07:34 PM   #5
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Well I only know that they want to make a kind of skateboard clip mixed in with some shots of the singer. It seems the storyboarding will be entirely up to me..

Since I never worked with animations before I'm quite excited to do it to get to know something new. I wanted to know as much as possible about limitations and such before I have a meeting with the flashguys.

Thanks.
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Old October 14th, 2004, 10:34 AM   #6
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Flash would not be my first choice for an animation to be composited into a video. You have to deal with the aspect ratio issue and you don't get all the anti-aliasing, motion-blur, stuff that you get with animation packages specifically made for video. Also, the animation tools are not that sophisticated, mostly timeline/keyframe stuff and anything you can program in ActionScript.

Flash is great if you are publishing straight to the web. For example, hosting a video player or animation around/supporting a video. I created some real-time system monitoring displays for the web that work great in flash.

Flash can be used, it would just not be my first choice.
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Old October 14th, 2004, 12:04 PM   #7
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Actually, Flash (and varients thereof, like Toon Boom Studio) is making headway as more than just a web-based animation program. One of my favorite cartoons on TV, Home Movies, switch to Flash after the second season (I believe it was the second season), and director Kevin Smith has suppossedly green-lit Flash as the main tool to create a Clerks animated movie. I think it really depends on the look you are going for and how proficient your Flash animators are.
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Old October 14th, 2004, 03:54 PM   #8
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Alright. What would some other good/great animations be then? Since it's a nobudget thing and everybody gets paid in experience only.. (I hope the provide that pizza though..) I'm guessing they don't want to do something too time consuming.. But that's only a guess.

Thanks.
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Old October 14th, 2004, 04:14 PM   #9
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What experience do the animators have? Have they ever animated for television/video? For that matter, how long have they been working with Flash? when you say, "What would some other good/great animations be then?" do you mean "animation applications/programs"? If so, I would say to stick with what the animators know best. If they know Flash best, then use it -- as I've said, it has been used successfully for television work.

But I've got a list of the most popular 2-D animation programs somewhere around here that I'll try to dig up...
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Old October 14th, 2004, 04:20 PM   #10
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Note: "South Park" is animated using Maya.
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Old October 14th, 2004, 04:25 PM   #11
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Yeah, it's funny how they have a huge render farm just to create the construction paper cut-out look...

still looking for that issue of Digit with the animation program list, but here's a book I've had my eye for a little while: "Flash MX Design for TV and Video" by Janet Galore, Todd Kelsey -- from what I can tell, it goes into pretty good detail about how useful Flash is for TV animation. You can find it at amazon.com.
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Old October 29th, 2004, 12:05 PM   #12
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So, Alfred, got any updates on the animated project?

Sorry this is so late-coming, but I just had time to dig up that issue of Digit (Feb 2003). Here's some of the animation programs listed in that issue (in no particular order):

CAS Animo 4.1 http://www.animo.com: "One of the Big Four digital cel-animation systems" Used for "The Iron Giant," "Osmosis Jones," and "Rug Rats in Paris."

ToonBoom USAnimation http://www.toonboom.com: used in TV programs like "RugRats" and "The Wild Thornberrys"

Retas Suite www.retas.com: used for cartoons such as "Batman," "Spiderman," "Digimon," and "Pokemon"; also used in movies such as "An American Tail."

Mediapegs Pegs http://www.mediapegs.com: "Companies using it include Nickelodeon [and] MTV." Used on TV cartoons such as "Arnold" and "Babar." [edit - link seems to be dead]

The article has entires on about 6 other programs -- the programs above are simply the ones that had better known projects mentioned in their descriptions.
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