What is a pencil test? It’s the part in 2D animation production where the animator tests the rough drawings he or she has made thus far to see how they flow, so that the animator can spot and correct any problems before the images are cleaned up and colored. There’s a similar step in 3D computer animation where you do a quick render without a lot of detail to check your work, but that’s another topic for another day.
As I try my very best to get Vision Rider’s animation launched (this was supposed to happen way back in July, by the way), I’ve finally gotten to a concept that’s far enough along that I’m doing actual animation for it. Here’s a pencil test that I put together today to test the level of quality I can achieve in a given amount of time. If I strive to make the animation and characters look *too* good, then the end product will obviously look much better, but it will take too long for a single person to animate. Thus, I have to find a good middleground. This happens in all animated productions–you have to draw the line somewhere–it’s just that larger studios and groups can draw the line closer to quality because they have more manpower and resources
and probably a lot more skill.
In any case, enjoy the little three second clip. If you watch close enough, you’ll find some mistakes that I have to fix. 😉
I use an entry-level professional art scanner for Vision Riders, purchased for the mere fact that it was the only 11×17 flatbed scanner that was within the company’s budget at the time. Weighs a half a ton (well, almost) but it has a wonderful scan quality and, of course, it’s big! However, it is now the only scanner hooked up to my computer and, even scanning in low resolution, this thing is SLOW. S-L-O-W! Normally, this isn’t a problem. Swordmaster Odyssey pages come into my system at 600dpi, and I only need two or three at a time.
But for animation, where I need to scan many sheets at a time… Sheesh… It takes a great deal longer than it probably should. If I had room, I’d considering hooking up another scanner, but for the time being, I will have to learn patience (and multitasking).
Oh, look, it’s Sketchbook Monday on an actual *Monday* again!
Once upon a time not so long ago, she was a gentle princess doted on by her parents and the palace servants. Now she is forced to disguise herself as a commoner in order to eventually escape by slipping across the border.
The self-proclaimed “noble thief” except… he’s not a particularly good thief by any stretch of the imagination. He ends up tagging along with the princess, leaving the former capital behind after one of his attempted burglaries ends up not quite how he had expected. (Truth be told, I’m not completely satisfied with either character’s outfits. I think they’ll get a drastic change before you see them again…)
A later sketch of the thief. I think I like this style a little better.