I am a huge fan of animation and have done my fair share of goofing around using both traditional hand-drawn and 3-D computer techniques. The problem is that animation is hard to do well, so I usually get frustrated and give up. Still, it's proven to be valuable experience, because it has made me better at story-boarding and character design (which is work I really enjoy).
Recently I've fallen in love with the idea of making my own animations again, and have decided to see what I can do with the hefty DaveToon library I've accumulated from my blog over the past couple of years. At first I was going to do everything in 3-D, but that quickly fell through because the 2-D nature of my simple drawings didn't look very good when translated. So now I've been messing around with 2-D cell animation and find that it isn't much easier. The characters were never intended to be animated when I first created them, so everything looks a little strange when I attempt it.
But, after a drawing up a few dozen pages of movement animatics and character structure, I'm getting much closer to being able to make DaveToons come to life. Here's a page showing the frames of a simple head-turn...
And here's an attempt at restructuring Bad Monkey for movement...
At this point I still don't know if it's going to work. Hopefully I'll get it figured out after another two dozen pages.
Fortunately, Steve Job's keynote speech at Apple's World Wide Developer's Conference didn't result in me going bankrupt. No widescreen Video iPod. No super-cool iPhone. No iPod Car Stereo. Just the release of the impressive new Mac Pro machines and a peek at the X-Serve server specs. This really makes sense, because consumer devices like iPods and iPhones don't really belong at a software developer's conference anyway.
The highlight of the keynote was, of course, a sneak peak at the next version of the MacOS X operating system, code-named Leopard. Steve was very clear that they would only be showing a few of the features that they have planned, because they need to have a few surprises left in store for the product launch.
If THIS is the cool stuff that they are willing to show us, then heaven only knows what else they're going to pack into the OS when it ships next Spring! Once again Apple totally blows by Microsoft Windows, which is still trying to copy the previous version of the MacOS with their ever-delayed "Windows Vista" OS (which, in my mind, is rip-off because it's mostly a bunch of security fixes that SHOULD have been put in Windows XP). Why anybody would still want to cling to that lamer imitation is a complete mystery to me. Every single time I am forced to use my Windows PC, it's like stepping back in time... even when I am using the "Windows Vista" beta. Apple revolutionizes their OS nearly every year, whereas Windows just continues to lag behind and stagnate. "Vista" ain't going to change that, because paying for a bunch of security fixes and an outdated GUI simply isn't worth it. I can't help but wonder how many people will switch to the Mac after seeing what a total disappointment "Vista" is turning out to be when compared to how rippin' cool Leopard is.
All I can say is that I am amazed at the new "Time Machine" and "Core Animation" tech built-in to the new MacOS, and am thrilled that virtual desktops will finally be built-in as well. Everything else is just beautiful gravy, and I can't wait to see what else we're going to get with MacOS X v10.5!
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Where do we go to get deprogrammed from MS?
and you thought you may not be impressed by Leopard. or was that me?
i’m also glad i don’t have to shell out a bunch this year…my macbook purchase was enough this time around, thanks very much!
Wow. I’m drooling.
Except I had my hopes up for iToaster. Sigh. Maybe next year.
No Widescreen Video ipod? I’ve been waiting for that…
A question to Dave or Apple masters:
I still have apple performa (1995),
iBook(blue clamshell 2000)
powerbook G4(2001)-which I use now.
Is it time for me to upgrade?
And what shall I do these old models?
It depends on what you do with your computer as to whether or not you need to upgrade.
I actually have an old PowerMac G3 which is still in regular use, because all I do is answer email and surf the internet on it.
But if you do graphically intensive stuff… or your computer seems slow when you use it… then perhaps it’s time to take a bit of Intel goodness! 🙂
I’m trying to be responsible and not rush out to the store and spend money I don’t have on the mac laptop I’m lusting after. You’re not helping!
In other news, the animations sound extremely impressive, and I’m blown away by your patience!
Spot on, Dave. I’ve removed all but one version of Windows from my house (Windows 2000 on an older Toshiba laptop that refuses to die) and the Mac OS keeps getting better.
Time Machine was the coolest feature they demo’d today and I’ll use it without question.
I can’t tell you how well my personal computing has been since I fully switched to Mac last April (been a Mac user on and off since 1985).
You’ve convinced me to look into converting.
I’ve been stuck in the M$ void for ages primarily due to the fact that most of my work has been M$-focused over the past several years. But I’ve disliked M$ for the most part (although I liked Windows 2000 Pro the best, and XP Pro is good once you tame the crap out of it – which takes some time/patience).
I’m a Unix guy at heart (old-school through AIX/HP-UX and Linux), but before that I had (and still have) two Apple ][+’s (heh which I *upgraded* from Apple ][‘s!). I can still remember how disappointed I was when the very first Mac came out – a black & white screen?! WTF?!?!
My work now is all over the place. From PHP/MySQL to Java/JavaME to Python/Perl to C++ to _______.
Think I’ll have to look into this…
Remember “American Gladiators”? Remember those big Q-Tip looking things? I think Steve Jobs and some of the MSFT guys should fight using those.
This is complete random, but:
I saw a truck that said “Wenatchee, WA” on it today and realized it sounded so familiar because of your blog! Yeah, I need to get out more.
Is Bad Monkey dancing the Robot in that animatic? Looks like it to me.
I’m sure you know your stuff about animation. But here’s a site that really takes animation seriously. The creator of Ren & Stimpy has a blog! http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/ Give it a look if interested. I loved the Garfield strip from the other day. I laughed my ass off! Davetoon is great! Do you have any ideas about facial expressions? Or are you planning on leaving those personality expressions up to dialogue? I’d just hate to see him ending up like Bob the Builder with the smooth 2D if someone approaches you to take it further. Good luck!
When I can build my own Apple from scratch, run every video game that’s available for PC, use dual and triple monitor setups, and open and convert PC files without even thinking about it, I’ll convert.
Until then, I’ll stick with XP. It never crashes on me, and my computer has been running constantly since 2004 with less than one re-boot every six months. That’s not too shabby.
The power and forces of Satan [Microsoft] will not allow me to view that lovely sneak peak on my crap ass work PC. Internet Explorer keeps crashing whenever I try to go to it. Bastards!!
Anyhow, I don’t even really need a sneak peak at Leopard because I’m sure me and Dave will be at the Apple store at midnight on opening day.
When I followed your link to preview Apple’s Leopard, I about had a heart-attack. It was so…. beautiful.
ichat in particular had me wondering why anyone is their right minds wouldn’t purchase a Mac.
I LOVE MY POWERBOOK!!! Yeah for Leopard!
Have fun ! Tapalaki