I recently finished up on my work with “Hirune Hime”, a feature film directed by Kenji Kamiyama. Its production studio, Signal MD, is one of the few companies in Japanese anime industry who is trying to go all digital (yes, we still animate traditionally!) When I accepted this opportunity to receive the on-the-job training of TVPaint, it turned out to be the best thing I did out of curiosity. The learning part was mostly about applying the traditional animation technique to TVPaint, and thanks to the free download version and online tutorials, I was able to get the hang of it while at home before my first day of work. All in all, it took about a week to learn the basics, and another couple of weeks to actually start on the animation work. After getting used to the tools, the biggest challenge was to get the speed up to my usual pace, but that just never happened and it probably never will. I noticed this problem with others, too. I’m guessing this is going to be a serious issue we are to face as we move into the digital environment.
But now that I left the project and with no other project produced in TVPaint, I’ll just have to keep up with the training on my own until another opportunity comes along. I’d really hate to go extinct by clinging onto my paper and pencil for too long, so I was very fortunate to get this training in at this time when things are just about to change. Honestly, it’s never easy to ditch the old ways. I’m the first one to admit that I still prefer drawing traditionally. But I’m more excited to think about the possibilities it would bring to the anime production process and would like to be ready to embrace the change when it happens.