Welcome to the first ever Mail Bag posting on Jim Lujan.Com. Each week I'll pick an email and answer it to the best of my human ability. It can be a question, comment, request, etc. Whatever floats your boats. For our inaugural letter we have an email from Krishna Sadasivam (creator of PC Weenies).
How long does a typical animation project take for you? What is your process like? Do you start with a script? Or is it largely improvisational? How important are storyboards and animatics to your animations?
The simplest answer is I don't start with a script, I start with an idea, I'll take that idea and make a storyboard with notes. I use those notes and thumbnails to do the audio track. I edit the audio track and get it just right and then I import the mp3 into Flash.
Doing the thumbnails is helpful for me to decide what kind of voice to give the characters and what tone to use for different emotions. Doing the audio first helps me to assure the picture flows and works in a "rhythm" if that makes any sense. The dialogue is largely improvised, but I always have an idea of key things I want to say. I realize if I worked in a more traditional animation environment, I'd conform. For now, Im having fun doing what I do. I love the freedom and the spontaneity of my current method. Below is an example of a storyboard.
I hope that helps, Krishna. Hope to see your animation soon too!
Feel free to email your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org