10 Replies Latest reply on May 4, 2014 9:23 AM by musarticus

    Help deciding what software to purchase for animation - Flash or After Effects

    Benzy

      I have decided to dedicate a large chunk of my time in the coming years to learning how to animate simple 2D animations.

       

      So, for an absolute beginner in animation wishing to accomplish simple (and i use that term lightly) 2D animations, which software is best recommended, Flash or After Effects? I have completed a little research on the matter and the general consensus seems to sway towards AF, but as no query seems to match my situation exactly i'd thought i'd ask here before forking out a small fortune and purchasing one of the two.

       

      This is the level I'd ideally like to achieve:

       

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUYW0JyzydA

       

      Also, any books that would be of any help would also be appreciated. There are plenty of video tutorials on the net but a book covering all the basics will be necessary i strongly assume.

       

      Any other advice on how to go about learning animation would also be appreciated.

       

      All help is appreciated.

       

      Thanks for your time,

      Ben.

        • 1. Re: Help deciding what software to purchase for animation - Flash or After Effects
          musarticus Level 2

          Well, it seems that many Flash animators have switched to Toon Boom Animate because it is designed specifically for animation. You can't go wrong with After Effects because it's such an amazing application, although it's not really ideal for what you want to do. But if I were to choose between Flash and After Effects it would be a no-brainer: After Effects!

           

          For another, more affordable option, have you looked into Anime Studio Pro? I think you might find this a less expensive, really fun way to get into animation while still being able to achieve professional results.

           

          As far as books are concerned, there are a lot of options, but a couple of classics are The Animator's Survival Kit, and Character Animation Crash Course. These offer a great foundation for the fundamentals of animation.

          • 3. Re: Help deciding what software to purchase for animation - Flash or After Effects
            Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            You will need to develop some good cell animation and illustrating skills if you want to duplicate the work you referred to. That's where I would start. The software is inconsequential to illustrating skills.

             

            After Effects can help you in some cases, but it's mostly the quality of your illustrations that will drive the look of your animation.

            • 4. Re: Help deciding what software to purchase for animation - Flash or After Effects
              Benzy Level 1

              musarticus wrote:

               

              Well, it seems that many Flash animators have switched to Toon Boom Animate because it is designed specifically for animation. You can't go wrong with After Effects because it's such an amazing application, although it's not really ideal for what you want to do. But if I were to choose between Flash and After Effects it would be a no-brainer: After Effects!

               

              For another, more affordable option, have you looked into Anime Studio Pro? I think you might find this a less expensive, really fun way to get into animation while still being able to achieve professional results.

               

              As far as books are concerned, there are a lot of options, but a couple of classics are The Animator's Survival Kit, and Character Animation Crash Course. These offer a great foundation for the fundamentals of animation.

               

              Perhaps i should not have cited that particular style of animation as what i intend to achieve as truth be told i am more than open to all styles and i certainly don't intend to be limited to one style only. The main reason i used that example of animation was due to it looking the easiest to achieve and thus more reachable from my viewpoint due to  the level i am at at this moment.

               

              Toon Boom sounds an interesting piece of kit, will look into it in more depth but from what i have googled so far  it seems pretty popular, and it seems to trump Flash in the Flash v Toon Boom debates i have come across so far. Is Toon Boom easier than both AE and Flash in terms of creating animations? You mention that it's solely designed for animation, how exactly? How does it differ to other animation software?

               

              Also, is making transitions between animation software smooth and swift? The only reason i ask is that i intend to devote myself to one piece of software when i finally begin learning, and due to that i fear that if i pick the 'wrong' one i may be left stranded. From what i have read so far, After Effects is the most popular, so that is the lead runner so far for me,

               

              Thanks for the book recommendations, will have a look.

              • 5. Re: Help deciding what software to purchase for animation - Flash or After Effects
                Benzy Level 1

                Todd_Kopriva wrote:

                 

                Here are some good resources for character animation in After Effects:

                http://provideocoalition.com/ryoung/story/animate_a_character_in_after_effects

                 

                Start here to learn After Effects:

                http://adobe.ly/AE_basics

                 

                Thanks, extremely helpful that.

                • 6. Re: Help deciding what software to purchase for animation - Flash or After Effects
                  Benzy Level 1

                  Rick Gerard wrote:

                   

                  You will need to develop some good cell animation and illustrating skills if you want to duplicate the work you referred to. That's where I would start. The software is inconsequential to illustrating skills.

                   

                  After Effects can help you in some cases, but it's mostly the quality of your illustrations that will drive the look of your animation.

                   

                  Like i mentioned in my post to musarticus, i don't intend to limit myself to that one style, sorry it was my mistake for leading people to believe that that was the only style i intended to accomplish. I should look to rephrase my initial post but i'm not entirely sure how to edit.

                   

                  As for illustrations, i am by no means an expert but i have been practicing for the past 6 months or so solely by video tutorial on the net, in particular Mark Crilley on youtube. So, for the work i want to do i feel i am at an adequate standard illustration wise.

                  • 7. Re: Help deciding what software to purchase for animation - Flash or After Effects
                    Benzy Level 1

                    One last thing, how long do people believe it will take for me to reach a good level of animation? I know it depends on the individual in most cases, but generally, how long does it take for someone to create a relatively professional looking animation?

                    • 8. Re: Help deciding what software to purchase for animation - Flash or After Effects
                      Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      If you mean starting from scratch with no skills, 8 to 10 weeks of hard work.

                       

                      If you mean how many hours for an experienced animator to create 10 seconds of quality animation from hand drawn images using a software package that helps streamline the process, 8 to 10 hours on average.

                      • 9. Re: Help deciding what software to purchase for animation - Flash or After Effects
                        musarticus Level 2

                        It really depends on what particular type of animation you want to do. Different applications offer different approaches. Try them out. If you have a Creative Cloud subscription you can download After Effects and go through some of the great tutorials in the link that Todd provided. The other applications I mentioned previously can be downloaded as free trials or PLE and this would be a good way for you to get your feet wet in animation, whether it's frame-by-frame or cut-out/puppet style.

                        • 10. Re: Help deciding what software to purchase for animation - Flash or After Effects
                          musarticus Level 2

                          To address your question about Toon Boom specifically, their software is based on traditional frame-by-frame animation, although they've been adding bones for cut-out animation in recent versions. Basically, this means that you will have to create a lot of drawings to produce your animation. I think it is better suited for this traditional FBF approach than AE is. Todd's link gives excellent examples of what AE can do re: animation. If you're not really sure what style you prefer, Anime Studio is very popular and a fun way to get quick results (although it's very different from other animation programs.) 

                           

                          Trying to learn how to animate AND how to use animation software simultaneously is very challenging, to say the least. Again, download some free trials and have a go at them and see which one feels right to you.