Dr. Mussey's Blog
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The “perfect” animation: OOOPS!!

You make your animation and it seems “perfect.”  Then, you realize it is far from perfection.  In fact, it seems fatally flawed.  Can it be fixed?

Usually, taking an apparently final production and backtracking to change dialog or the timing of a scene is an expensive nightmare.

Not so with animation on modern systems!

Take the above animation.  I made it and assumed it was “finished.”

Problem #1 appeared late in production: It was too long.  In order for the scene to “play out,” it took forever.  No single gag is worth five minutes.  So, I compressed the scene by triggering dialog events earlier.  It seemed to be, again, “perfect” with a tighter script.

Problem #2 was made worse by recent news events in our local Washington D.C. area concerning gun violence: A certain section of this animation followed the style of Warner Brothers cartoon type violence which proved excessively jarring.  When two test audiences made an audible gasp, I knew there was a problem.  The comic value was destroyed.  It had gone “over the top” in a bad way.  I had to change it all.  Working almost totally in Harmony and a bit in Audition, I was able to fix the issue within a few hours.

Now, it was “perfect”?  Nope.

Problem #3 appeared in a test audience of other physicians:” The doctor is talking too much.  He’s a real jerk.  No one sympathizes with him.”  The problem was obvious and, somehow, I missed it.  When you do a scene over and over you lose the impact and fail to see obvious problems.  My efforts to compress the scene’s action (see Problem #1 above) had created a new undesirable character trait: The doctor who never listens to the patient.  Perhaps such a non-listening doctor could be a future cartoon topic, but not this one.  Again, with a few hours in Audition and Harmony, the issue was solved.

Imagine doing this in the old days!

So, now it is perfect?   Well, at some point, you have to let go, release the darn thing and move on!

Harmony and the miracle of computer animation make this possible.

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