Animation is Never Finished

When I was first studying animation, I heard a saying that resonated with me: Animation is never finished, you just eventually stop working on it.

This was especially true for the Lunchbox Theatre project that I worked on at Dead Ready Productions.

We were tasked with producing a 3-4 minute piece of animation that would be projected onto the side of York Abbey. It was incredibly fun to focus on the character performances - including my favourite element of the entire project - the sword fighting mice!

As much as you want each video to be completely and utterly perfect, real artists ship, as the saying goes. It took restraint to be pragmatic and say “this is great - now we’ve got to move on, or we’ll have blown all our time (and money) on two characters”. For each part of the animation, it felt like there was always “just one more” thing we could tweak.

A few weeks after we had completed the project, myself and the two other animators who had worked on the project visited York to see it in person.

Ridiculously excited animator.

Ridiculously excited animator.

We - and the client - were incredibly happy with the result. However, even watching the huge projection on the side of the abbey, we were pointing out little changes we might make, if we could have another go. Even when we, the client, and the public were happy with the result, we were still watching with a critical eye - animation is never finished.