Saturday, January 2, 2010

Super Duper Software! (I hope…)

Whoops! I know I said I'd talk more about my festival plans TOMORROW and now it's ten days later!

OK, my first New Year's resolution is to be more diligent about this blog.

Before I discuss festival plans, I want to tell you about my new purchases! Because a grown-up buying new software and hardware is like being a kid at Christmas!

I attended a Toon Boom presentation several months ago in SoHo. How would I sum up the demonstration of their software? Jaw-dropping. I don't think I've ever coveted something as much as I did Toon Boom's Storyboard Pro and Animate Pro. I was amazed with the capabilities of these two programs. The company actually has an entire suite of animation products for kids, teenagers, amateurs and professionals.

I had struggled to use After Effects with my last film and was thinking that I needed to switch to Flash. I've heard so much about the vast use of Flash that I figured it was a necessity to learn it if I intend to pursue a career in 2D animation. I even discovered animator Adam Phillips's awesome blog that discussed, among other things, the merits of both Flash and Toon Boom. He created terrific, in-depth (and free!) Flash tutorials. But he also spoke about the benefits of Toon Boom, primarily that, unlike Flash, Toon Boom's software is designed specifically for animation. Flash does animation, but that wasn't it's original intent. As a result, the animator has to fight using it, expending time and energy figuring out workarounds.

Time is vital. And if there's a tool that will make the already tedious job of animating even remotely easier, I'm for it. So I took the plunge and bought both Storyboard Pro and Animate Pro. Thanks, Toon Boom, for the discount! This software is expensive but with the discounts I saved $1200.00. Which I needed to invest in a new computer to run the new software. I have a PowerPC Mac G5 which I unfortunately bought 6 months before Apple switched to the Intel chip. My machine, despite working perfectly, is slowly becoming obsolete. It can't run Snow Leopard…nor Animate Pro. But it will run Storyboard Pro. Why, Toon Boom, why?!?!?!

Anyway, I bought a refurbished white MacBook so I could work while commuting on the bus. It's my first laptop and I'm loving it. Now that I'm done with my Plympton class film (and have taken two weeks to recover from the stress of meeting the deadline) I already have the idea for my next film. And I'm looking forward to getting to know Storyboard and Animate Pro. In future posts, I'll review how well it works.

OK, I'm done gushing about the software that I haven't even used yet!

Next post—festival talk

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