Animation is a world of tough competition, especially for young animation degree students. Everyone wants to create the next big Pixar movie or the next great cartoon. For those few who have the talent, there is little opportunity to produce their work or to share said work when they manage to create it. Flash animation and the community behind flash animation represent a huge step forward for amateur animators. Anyone with an animation degree and knowledge of Flash can be a superstar on the internet.
Flash animation is the creation of animated films using the program Adobe Flash or its various alternatives. Adobe Flash allows for the creation of animated work in a variety of methods, including, but not limited to, frame-by-frame with easy-to-use onion skinning and the use of motion tweens. With its relative ease-of-use and large community, getting into Flash animation is easy for any animator at any level of skill in animation.
Flash animation was brought into the spotlight by John Kricfalusi, the creator of Ren and Stimpy. Kricfalusi produced a series called “The Goddamn George Liquor Program” specifically for the internet, one of the first of its time, and showcased the abilities of Flash animation. From there, the format exploded.
In the late 1990’s, a number of websites dedicated to Flash animation arose, such as Newgrounds.com which today stands as one of the largest hubs of Flash animation and gaming. Users were able to share their work on these sites and receive community feedback and awards. This empowered a number of animators and led to job opportunities as well with many major television programs adopting the Flash animation format.
Popular cartoons like Metalocalypse, Bob’s Burgers, and Ugly Americans all utilize the Flash animation format. But it isn’t just the use of Flash in the mainstream that has been amazing; it is the viral success of independent animators on Flash hubs that is the true appeal for animation students.
Arin “Egoraptor” Hanson (pictured above) is one of the most popular Flash animators on the internet thanks to his high quality Flash animation and over-the-top humor related to the gaming industry. On the aforementioned Newgrounds.com, Hanson stands as the most followed user, with over 30,997 “fans”. He has created a line of products based on his cartoons and has even been offered a job to work with Fox’s animation department. His success with the Flash format should stand as inspiration to any young animator looking to make a career in animation.
Work on getting an animation degree, release a few Flash animations based on what people want to see and you might just end up on TV.
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