Brown Bag Manchester Animator Billy Mpetha took on the InkTober challenge this year and went one step further, creating an animation a day for 31 days! We asked him a few questions about his process and how it all came together:
What motivated you to do this?
I thought it would be fun! Sometimes it was a bit of a push, but generally it was great to not worry about everything being perfect and just finish something everyday.
How did you tackle it? What was your process?
As I only had a short amount of time per day for each animation, I would try to think of the idea during breaks or on my cycle to work. Then I would do very quick thumbnails planning out poses, timing and seeing if I could employ any of my tricks using Toon Boom Harmony to make the animation easier!
If I was working on the animation during my lunch break, they would be very rough and I would be working basically straight ahead with the thumbnails in mind. If I had some time after work at home, I’d draw up the keys and breakdowns and maybe do a little bit of clean-up/colouring.
What tools did you use?
I worked with good ol’ post-it notes and paper for planning, then using the traditional tools in Toon Boom Harmony. The pens aren't as nice as TVPaint but I know some tricks that make my life easier!
What tricks might those be?
Say, if I had an animation that didn't need to move too dynamically, I would create a few drawings then using pegs, make a very simple rig so that I could tween the drawings using the software.
As I am used to working with rigs in my day-to-day, this means the animation can be done very quickly!
What advice would you give to anyone trying this out at home?
Try to plan and thumbnail whenever you get a chance, it's low pressure and you can quickly rough out your initial ideas and get rid of what isn't working.
I would give yourself a time limit on the actual animation, so if you're working in the evenings - 2 hours max! Then you're forced to either edit down or come up with creative solutions and you’ll still get a good night's sleep!
There you have it, try animating your InkTober drawings next time!