Now that my 401(k) enrollment duties are over, I was back to the usual studio rounds.
The deal just now at Disney Animation Studios on the hand-drawn front is the Toon Boom Harmony software. (These are programs designed for hand-drawn animated product. No hole-punched paper. No eraser crumbs. Just fire up the computer, put your stylus down on the cintiq screen, and have at it.)
Is it good...and getting better? Or is it, you know, not good?
I fell into a long conversation about the pros and cons of with an animator who happens to like the software a lot. He said he has no trouble using it, likes the convenience of not traipsing down the hall to shoot his drawings, likes the new erasable functions of the program.
"But there's still animators here that love paper and don't like doing their drawing on a computer screen. They're like, really strong against it. But the Harmony people have really improved the product from when we first started using it, so I think it's the way we'll go..."
But then I've heard from clean-up artists who say that using the software is like wearing mittens and using a magic marker when they try to get the line the want, so go figure.
And the studio, I'm told, is still weighing other programs and hasn't locked in Toon Boom Harmony as their ultimate software of choice. But it seems to be what's happening for the two hand-drawn shorts now in production.
Draw your own conclusions.