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Ah, a mechanical pencil user like myself. Though in art class I used wooden pencils when I graduated my first job I jumped into was working as a manual draftsman. I immediately used the 2mm lead holders and various leads (HB to 2H). Then I discovered mechanical pencils. In life drawing class while the other artists would fumble about sharpening their wooden drawing pencils with knives I would be working with my own 2mm lead holder. Poke the lead out of the holder and then stick it into the pointer. With a smug smile on my face I rotated my hand in a circle as the lead went whisk, whisk, whisk, so much fun.
For my personal use I liked the Pentel Sharp Kerry pencil in 0.5mm. For digital art it is interesting to note that the variety of brushes found in the My Paint menu include a mechanical pencil. It’s been incorporated into the Krita program along with several others.
What I see coming is already here and it’s exciting and scary. The past year has seen an explosion of art and images generated by AI software. By typing in a few prompts and importing reference images anyone can create art that is so real it borders on the uncanny valley. And I do mean anybody. This has some traditional artists upset since art is being corrupted by soulless computers and button pushers.
But I also see a boon is this new technology for animators. Imagine if one would input the reference drawings of all the characters in your animation. Head shots, body turns and various costume changes. Along with background images one can customize an animated movie to their unique style. Then just tell the computer what happens in each scene, for example character A sitting in a room when character B enters and engages in conversion. The soundtrack automatically synchronized and lip sync done right. All you have to do is type in your actions and images. Motion data controls the animation. Animation created by a single individual at a push of a button. To make it more personal you can go back and adjust spacing and timing to your liking. One doesn’t need a large crew of artists to make your animated dream come true. The possibilities are endless.
It still requires the artist to create the artwork. Just let the computer assemble the scenes and do the inbetweens. It could happen sooner than we think. Technology is advancing so rapidly that the miracle on the horizon is closer than we realize.
Oh well, I hope my advice helped someone out there.
One doesn’t have to rob the bank in using video editors to augment the videos we produce with these animation programs. Adding titles, effects and sound enhancements can be done with basic editors that can be had for free. I’ve been using Videomeld from the makers of Goldwave, a sound editor. It is free to use for videos of 5 minutes or less. It has many features such as video effects, transitions and audio effects. Also there are many open source video editors out there that serve the purpose one needs for their animations. One such editor is OpenShot Video Editor. So look around, you’ll be surprised in what you find.
Oh, I fully understand the paperless process. I intend to import drawn animation and trace it with AP to get that scaleable line. I use the hand drawing as a reference.
One thing about OpenToonz and Tahoma is they work with the GTS scan utility developed by Studio Ghibli to scan drawing that are converted into vector drawings automatically.