How long have you been using Anime Studio?
I've been using it for about one year now. What started out as a small and quick animation turned into a large multi-scene animation project.
How did you find out about Anime Studio?
Google. I needed animation software that had "bones" to help me create a quick and dirty animation for a client without breaking the bank. After looking at the competition, I settled on Anime Studio because I felt it provided the best features and value.
What software did you use before Anime Studio?
Before Anime Studio I didn't have a need for "bone" style animation. I had used Mirage a long time ago for a hand drawn rotoscoped project, but I mostly used Apple Motion and Adobe After Effects for the type of motion graphics animation I was doing.
What software do you use with Anime Studio?
I use a LOT of different software in combination with Anime Studio. I used ArtRage Studio Pro to "paint" background scenery in one animation. I've used Illustrator and Flash to build characters. I create the base animation for each scene in Anime Studio then edit it like traditional video in Final Cut. I also add special effects in Apple Motion or After Effects.
What was your first experience with Anime Studio?
My first experience was for a children's DVD called Jen Gould's Music Soup. Jen Gould is a singer/songwriter and Juno winning children's artist. Initially I was asked to produce an animation for one of her songs, I Love My Rooster. Then the project expanded and I was asked to create motion graphics for the intro and credits, three green screen skits with animation overlays, two short animated skits and a fully animated interactive game. It really made me push the limits of my knowledge, but it was great to be involved in such a major way. They even had a premiere at Empire Theatres, so I got to see my work on a huge theatre screen (in full HD of course).
What was your first impression of Anime Studio?
My first impression was that it was very easy to use and was going to make my life so much easier. My second impression was that it wasn't as easy as I thought. But after learning the software a bit, things rolled well.
How did your first creations with Anime Studio go?
My first creation, the animated music video, was a little rough at first. The way I chose to animate this was to create a new project for each scene. The first scene took me forever to produce. Every scene after that got a little faster to work on and a little better, because I was learning new tricks along the way. There's definitely something to be said for learning software while using it to produce real work.
What is one of your favorite features of Anime Studio?
The most important feature I was looking for was bones, so I thought that would be my favourite, but it turns out my favourite feature is the 3D depth and camera movement. I can easily create really nice layered animations that have depth and style. A close second favourite feature is the auto lip-synching. It's not perfect, and I had to go back and tweak it manually, but it saved a TON of time.
If you could change one thing about Anime Studio, what would it be?
The one issue that really frustrates me is that you can only add new objects to frame one of an animation. Often I would be in the middle of a scene and pan the camera over to a new section, and decide "I need something else here" but I couldn't just add the object and keep going. I would have to go back to the start, add the object and then figure out how to keep it off screen for the first half of the animation because the camera was in a different place. Ideally, I should be able to add an object on any frame, and it just starts from there.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I would have the ability to slow down time. Kind of a lame power, I know, but there aren't enough hours in the day for me to do all the things I want to do. The superpower would of course make me immune to being tired too.
What other kinds of art arenas do you play in?
I do all kinds of things. I create video art installations, make short films, compose music, do animation, motion graphics, graphic design, web design, illustration, drawing, painting... If it's creative, I do it.