Filler Comic: I stink at animating

Feb. 18th: FINISHED! See next update!


I said I’d try to finish by the 17th, but slow progress and a week of no animating have left me ridiculously far behind (25 seconds or so done of >2 minutes). So, rather than set a deadline, possibly miss it, and update with more news of myย epic failure, I’ll just update this page with my current progress every day or two.

Also, I can’t resist a meme reference:



Discussion (16) ¬

  1. Greg

    Don’t sweat it buddy! The fact that you’re doing it is what counts.
    Heh, the first three panels reminds me of Fsjal.

    What program are you using to animate with?

    Btw what is this number? [ 639/3641 ]

    • Ahmed

      I’m using Photoshop first, then exporting individual “miniscenes” as .gifs to Flash.
      That’s the amount of frames completed and the number remaining, I’ll edit my post for that. It’s kind of intimidating, I’m barely a sixth of the way through with this!

  2. Tachyon

    I’ve learned something over years of trying to figure out why I was so bad at animating, and why I couldn’t just *do* it the way I did other art: it was a skill I’d never practiced before, and really, an entirely separate art form from anything a creator of static artwork produces.

    I figured this out only after watching a couple of professional animators at work, who knew so well what something moving should look like that they could look at movements in a student’s work and say “no, that’s wrong, do this” and not only break it down into frames and show how, but explain it. They knew this instantly if not intuitively, the way I know what color different parts of something should be dependent on the object’s immersion in shadow, or where a light source is located relative to an object it’s casting on, or whether proportions are off.

    The basic explanation I was given was that they’d spent years learning all these things from people who knew how and first-hand experience.

    This caused me to come to the conclusion that, rather than spend 10-15 years of my life trying to master something I wasn’t born into doing, I should get better at creating concepts and static artwork, so I can pass those off to someone who can actually translate those into motion-based art. Mostly because I don’t enjoy endlessly recreating and tweaking the same thing I just finished.

    That’s just my personal path though, not something I’d recommend for anyone *just* because they think they’re bad at animating. Like any art form, anyone can improve with practice. It just seems to matter how much free time you have to devote to it, and how invested you feel you should be in the practice.

    For example, they say an investment of 10,000 hours is roughly the time it takes to become an old hand at any skill…

    So basically, I wouldn’t feel bad if it doesn’t come quickly, especially if you haven’t had that much time to get good at it. No sweat! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Ahmed

      ( Giant wall of text! @_@ )
      Thanks for the insight. I do enjoy animating, though I haven’t done it very often, so I still want to get better at it…but I might have to come to terms with the possibility that animation might never become natural for me.
      Still gonna try to build up those 10,000 hours though! >:)

      • Tachyon

        Glad to hear! ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Pedro Rhian

    Take your time. We don’t want something that starts well and rushes the finish. The comic has been a wild ride, and this is just the calm before the storm (of AWESOME! (EXPLOSIONS ARE BAD-ASS!))

    • Ahmed

      Yeah, I want this to be great all the way through, so I won’t rush…but I’d still like it to be done soon, at least!

      • Pedro Rhian

        We’d all like it to be done soon, but we’d rather wait than having something that tails off towards the end. Chill, and make it the ending the comic deserves.

  4. Pedro Rhian

    How far’ve you got with the animation? No updates for some time…

    • Ahmed

      Still working on it. I wanted to have a large chunk of it done by the next update. ETA: February 8th or so.

  5. Greg

    How’s it going?

    • Ahmed

      Coming along. I’m almost to the homestretch (Once I get below 1000 frames left things should start filling in).

      EDIT: giving an ETA isn’t very helpful, but for what it’s worth I should finish it by the end of this week.

      • Greg

        Good to hear! How do you manage to fit all the animation and content you want in a pre-set time limit?

        So, finished by Friday, Saturday, or Sunday?

        • Ahmed

          1) I actually added a whole unplanned sequence to fill up time, but I also add little transitions or stretch a moment out as well. I haven’t needed to cut anything out, though!

          2) Don’t know for sure. I’ll say by Friday, just so I have that extra pressure to try for that, but more likely it’ll be later rather than earlier.

  6. Rogers

    Your ambitions to animate is profound, man! Take your time and make it everything you’d hope it would be! I’ve loved catching up with Silent Pirate (it’s been a while) and seeing what you’ve done with it to date is hellacool!

    What program are you using to animate? I’d be really interested in trying something like this out, too! (I’m totally unworthy of it, but I’d love to experiment!)

    This is the closest I’ve come to animation (LOL):

    • Ahmed

      Hey there! Good to see you again! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’m currently using both Photoshop and Flash (doing the art in Photoshop, then assembling it in Flash). It’s really close to being finished, so check back in a couple of days!

      You should definitely do more animations, that one was funny in a dark way (Om nom nom!)

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