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LISAA's Choice (paperless animation)

Bas les masques

Elodie: Earlier, you said 2003 was the year when the school opened the 2D animation section. 2003 is also the year when Mirage (TVPaint technology 7.0) was commercialized for the first time. How did you learn about Mirage and/or the TVPaint technology ?

Renaud: Before 2003, 2D animation was taught via various ways, in particular, with compositing tools. We were looking for a digital 2D animation tool that could be as accessible as our 3D software. We tested several tools, but most of them weren't open enough, incompatible with the tools used in production. At this period, we were approached by a touchstone company, but there again, the tool was too “closed”.

I had something special in mind and I wanted to find it: an animation tool, inspired by the traditional light table, but digital. So I contacted Mirage's developers. Here we had the solution for a tool which is still used today in the making of most 2D short movies at Lisaa.

Elodie: I'm glad to know the TVPaint technology played such a big role in the 2D animation department. By the way, is our technology only used in the 2D animation department? Or do the other departments use it too? In your opinion, which are the favorite features in the different departments? The animation, the storyboard, the drawing tools, the rotoscoping possibilities?

Renaud: All departments can use it. TVPaint Animation can be useful every step of the way. Some students use it for the drawing tools, for the concept art, in conjunction with other famous bitmap software. We also use the storyboard tool, which accelerates the relation between the film conception and the animatic. Of course, TVPaint Animation is the main tool of the 2D animation section and its live action projects. In addition, the software is for compositing, because it accomplishes certain tasks very well.

Elodie: Why did you go directly to paperless animation? Was it demanded by professionals as well?


Renaud: We went to the digital 2D animation directly for various reasons. First of all, the tools were usable! At this period, Mirage offered all the functions we needed to teach traditional animation on a digital platform. Graphics tablets became more accessible and could used easily to draw animations.
Storyboarding still includes many steps on paper, especially because the paper is easier to use during brainstorming sessions. We strongly benefit from what the software brings, notably in the making of the movies' animatics and or for keeping storyboards up to date.

Elodie: Why did you prefer the bitmap technology instead of the vectorial technology ?

Renaud: Both technologies are interesting, but we wanted to find a sensibility in our shapes and get the same effects you can find in the traditional animation. Bitmaps allow us to develop rich imagery and it's very important for our students. But we also use vectorial technology for the visual aspect provided or in order to use some animation techniques.

Bas les masques (Making-of)

Elodie: What do you think about people who still compare the animation on paper to animation on graphic tablets ?

Renaud: 2D and 3D or 3D-stereoscopy and traditional cinema are also frequently compared. “Old methods” and “new tools” are compared too. Comparing several techniques is a good way to understand and use them better. Concerning the making of an animation movie in digital 2D, I assume it's a choice. It's certain, thanks to the computers, that anyone can make animations. But obviously, the computer is just a tool. It doesn't do the work, only the artist in front of does. A tool must help you to save time and make work easier. It allows you to go further.

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