John W. Lane
How long have you been using Anime Studio? What version do you use?
I started using Moho, Anime Studio Pro's first incarnation (ASP), in the late summer of 2005. I use the current version now.
What software did you use before Anime Studio?
I used a lot of stuff: frame by frame in Photoshop via After Effects, Flame, SoftImage (XSI), Matador on SGI Unix, Linker Systems Animation Stand and Quantel Paintbox. That spans about 22 years.
What software do you use with Anime Studio?
I bring Anime Studio Pro renders into After Effects as PNG files. After Effects has always been a real Swiss Army Knife for putting shots together, as it's intended. Since sequential PNG files take less space than uncompressed Quicktime, I sometimes render them out of ASP at several times the final resolution. That way, I can really experiment with my composite.
I'm more than happy with ASP not having a lot of After Effect or Combustion like features. It's light and versatile. I'm thinking I'll eventually put a seat on some kind of low power lap top, like the 'one laptop per child' machines, that can run off solar batteries. I live in the southern US. We get thunder storms that can challenge a quality line conditioner (power regulator). And, when you hear a transformer blow, you won't be running a juice sucking work station very long from your APC battery.
What was your first experience with Anime Studio?
I had an old colleague call me up with 7 minutes of lip sync to do for an animated spokesperson. Once production was given the green light, I had barely more than a week to deliver everything.
What was your first impression of it?
If nothing else, I thought this would make a good prop builder for 2D making it worth the money. Animating grass, trees, birds - these kinds of things - were very, very easy with the IK bones.
How did your first creations with Anime Studio turn out?
I made it. I gave them QuickTime files for Final Cut edit sessions and PNG files, in case something needed to be adjusted in the middle of the night - without having to re-time the QuickTime render.
What was your inspiration for Near?
I was just back from trekking in Nepal, and hanging out in Tokyo. I met a lot of really fun, relaxed people in Tokyo. Nepal is hard to quickly describe. The coolest drum and base I've ever heard was coming out of a boom box on a bicycle rickshaw, being peddled by a guy in his 50's. The mountain people are extremely capable, and on the trail you will never do anything of importance better or faster than they. The Mountains, well that's why everybody goes. These kinds of trips take hyperbole, and grind it to dust.
Where has your art been featured?
A lot of my recent work has been done under an NDA. Some of it involves patents and the like. A recent public job was an HBO produced documentary about Albert Barnes and his painting collection.
What is one of your favorite features of Anime Studio?
Being able to tag points to bones, like in a 3D application. ASP was out there very early, compared to the 2D competition.
If you could change one thing about AS, what would it be?
I would have a more robust function curve editor for manipulating key frames in the time line.
Can you give an example of how AS made a project go smoothly?
It makes some projects possible. ASP is not the most intuitive product out there. But, once you've worked out your animation, you're done for the most part. There is no having to go back and color frame by frame.
What other kinds of art arenas do you play in?
Illustration for books
See more of John W. Lane's work at his Vimeo Channel.