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Tony White p2

Animator Tony White talks about the production steps in animation...

READERSVOICE.COM: How have people taken to this idea of returning to a Disney-style apprenticeship and studio system?

TONY WHITE: Employers don’t like it as it means committing to full-time employment over a long period of time. Most employment today is contract work, which means investors and producers are only thinking in the short-term and are not investing in the future the way Walt Disney did when he was alive.
I think the apprenticeship system is a novelty to the younger generation too, as this kind of opportunity has not existed for some time now and is therefore strange.
Certainly, when corporate Disney closed their traditional animation studio down in 2002, their much-prized animation apprenticeship system was flushed away with it. When my students watch or help me with my own work however, I think they become excited to learn in this way as it suddenly doesn’t feel like ‘education’ but more a shared journey of achievement as the work unfolds between master and pupil.

RV: Could you describe how, after the frames have been drawn on paper, and scanned into Photoshop and maybe colored there, animated movies are edited and stuck together these days?

TW: I think many people have many different ways of producing animation in the digital world of today. For a start, let me correct what you are saying about Photoshop being the next stage after the drawing and inking of traditional animation. This is my preferred method of production but there are others.
I suspect that most contemporary animators will prefer to use a vector system of production, such as Flash and Toon Boom Studio. Other pixel-based systems too have a lot to offer. My particular favorite is “TVPaint”, 2D animation software developed in France. That said, the usual process I use via Photoshop is to first animate, pencil on paper, and scan these drawings.
Then I create and color each frame individually, as layers in Photoshop. Then these frames are exported into Adobe ‘Premiere’ or Apple’s ‘Final Cut’ from which I render the scene movie file. When all these scene are finished individually, I will again import them into the same digital editing software to render them into an entire film.

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-copyright Simon Sandall.