Sprites for a small game project I’m working on with a couple Boston-area devs. (Forgive the compression artifacts in this animated GIF, but WordPress disallows embedding SWFs. You can view a smallish version of the Flash file here.)
It seems squiggly lines are here to stay. I’ve never been crazy about tweens, so I generally create a basic body shape on a guide layer, manipulate it how I want, and then trace each frame over it. The hand-drawn quality appeals to the same part of my brain that loves seeing thumbprints in claymation. But moreso, the subtle boiling has a way of smoothing out motion. If I draw zoomed in far enough, the squiggles are barely noticeable in the finish product (in the game itself, the sprites will be half this size). I’d like to figure out how to get a bit smoother still, but I might be reaching the upper limit with frame-by-frame. This might be the best I can do.
But I can see my technique with cartooning has improved since the ESL Panda Promo. That was only a few months ago, too. This kinda makes me want to tackle a short, for myself, without a client. We’ll see.