I’m Shaheen, an animator from Kerala-India currently based in Kolkata at an animation studio -Ghost.
Over the past five years, I’d made a 2d-animated short film called 'Watchmaker at Time’s End’ using only FLOSS. Here’s the teaser trailer:
I’d used Blender, Krita, Natron, GIMP, G’MIC, imagemagick, Ardour and more, constantly changing and updating the workflow according to the needs and improvements.
Blender has been a very integral part of the process since the very beginning.
I started working on this back in 2015, when greasepencil was just beginning to get major upgrades. After watching the short film ‘For You’ by @pepeland Daniel M Lara, I was convinced to dive in. I worked on some loop animations to figure out the software and see how far it can go, and how it can be integrated with other open source softwares for any type of output. You can see few of them here:
Once I was sure this is a viable option, I got to work on the animatic using greasepencil. All the sound layering was done here too.
Most of the shots are animated using Blender greasepencil. The playback speed and responsiveness is unlike any other software I’ve tried:
The lighting has been done in Blender using Cycles render engine mostly, but in later shots, once Eevee came out, I switched to it as the render time difference is huge.
In one shot, the freestyle rendering was also used to get an ‘infographic’ sort of effect.
Overall, I feel it was a great decision to hop on board Blender for 2d animation, and nowadays, I use it daily on personal and client projects.
I hadn’t switched to 2.8 greasepencil for the Watchmaker project as I couldn’t figure out some of the changes that were made, and was in too tight a deadline (some film screenings were already fixed) to experiment.
Nowadays, I’m animating with Blender 2.8 greasepencil though, stuff like this:
It’s good to see the tool being improved at an incredible pace, and it truly feels like the developers care. I had reported a bug earlier, and felt very happy that it was rectified immediately.
The movie is currently on a festival run, and hope to share the film online afterwards.
I’d also like to create videos explaining the various workflows if people are interested.
Thanks for reading.