Declan has worked on eight features for renown American film director – Don Bluth, both in Ireland and the USA for Fox Animation as a director. More recent works have been for animated efx on Disney titles such as Marvel’s Thor, Epic Mickey, KHO online, Anastasia and Wreck-It Ralph.
Well-known as a traditional cell animator Declan Walsh has worked with the biggest names in the 2D animation industry, and now uses Cartoon Animator to produce animated effects and more.
In this interview with Reallusion, Declan discusses his history in the field of animating and why he chose Cartoon Animator as his new animation software.
“When I started using Cartoon Animator, I was really impressed by its ability to bring the old and the new ways together. I was amazed by how little time it took to produce a head rotation, or to match expressions to character’s faces. This type of thing would have taken up so much of my time had I gone down the traditional route!”Declan Walsh | Animator 2D/3D – Painter digitally and traditionally – Graphic Artist
Q: Greetings Declan! Wow, we are very excited to finally interview you. Please tell us more about you’re background and the work you are doing with Cartoon Animator.
Hello, and thank you for having me here. My background is in feature animated special effects. Before digital, I created animations frame by frame on paper, with blue pencil. I used this technique on numerous films including Thumbelina, Troll in Central Park, Pebble and the Penguin and more.
With Titan A.E., Anastasia and Bartok however, the process moved to digital, and production became more efficient. I love that I can continue this skill digitally with Cartoon Animator. As it allows for a dynamic and efficient work flow, and it also lets dinosaurs like me continue to animate frame by frame!
The Cartoon Animator software is very flexible, therefore I’m continuing my special effects animation for the Reallusion 2D Marketplace. I’ll be producing water splashes, gushing waterfalls, explosions, tornadoes and a host of other effects for 2D animators users to place in their scenes, which I’m very excited about!
Q: Can you tell our readers a little on why you choose Cartoon Animator as the platform to create new content?
Well, it all started when a client in Jamaica commissioned me to produce characters for his scripts. He wanted the characters to work inside of Cartoon Animator 4. When I started using it, I was really impressed by its ability to bring the old and the new ways together. I was amazed by how little time it took to produce a head rotation, or to match expressions to character’s faces.
This type of thing would have taken up so much of my time had I gone down the traditional route. So ever since then, I’ve been using Cartoon Animator to create music videos, presentations and special effects – the animations I love most!
Q: You’ve worked on so much, what would you say is your favorite genre or theme to work with?
You’re probably sick of hearing it, but I love special effects! To be honest, I’ve always had a passion for environmental effects. Animating water and understanding the physics of why it works the way it does really appeals to the way I think. Environmental effects are all around us; from clouds forming and dissipating to rain falling and rivers flowing.
I love the way, as an animator, I can manipulate natural phenomenon. I can influence water to get up and walk, or force the magic particles on the princesses shabby dress to transform into the most beautiful ball gown. It’s what I love to do – I love making the ordinary, magical.
“It’s what I love to do – I love making the ordinary, magical.”Declan Walsh | Animator 2D/3D – Painter digitally and traditionally – Graphic Artist
Q: Do you find the process of creating characters and content for Cartoon Animator easy and enjoyable?
Absolutely! You’re always going to go through a frustrating period while learning something new. And while I did of course experience that with Cartoon Animator, but it was to a much lesser extent than I expected. Cartoon Animator is intuitive and has a logical flow. Plus, there are tons of online tutorials that should help you through with ease.
What advantages do you find Cartoon Animator gives you?
My personal favorite is the timeline. I love how I can create keyframes wherever I want, and I think it’s so cool how I can manipulate them whatever way I see fit. Timing is everything in animation. When I first began animating, we had to flip the paper and shoot our work onto videotape. This took an awful lot of time, and it was extremely frustrating when a scene went bad. Scrubbing through and finding issues is simple, and it’s honestly easier on Cartoon Animator than any other software I’ve used.
I also love the layering 3D view, and how I’m able to quickly manage complex elements to achieve my goal.
What advice would you have for inspiring developers looking to break into the Reallusion Marketplace and sell their content?
I’d say do what you’re passionate about. If you create content that you love creating, it’ll show in your work and people will see that. Also, take your time building content and make it unique. Maintain a high level of quality and keep learning the software. It’s so important to stay up-to-date with any new advancements. That way, you can offer your clients more.
Q: What projects have you most recently been working on?
My latest project is my Dive Bubbles. I have to admit, I was inspired by the All Stars ‘Scuba,’ character by Garry Pye. I got to animate a scene like this in Thumbelina, and I was so excited to be able to create this complex world of swirling bubbles underwater. I look forward to seeing it in creator’s animations, and I’m interested to see how they change the colours and transparencies to work with their environments and characters.
Q: Do you have plans for future content in the works?
Right now I’m creating water packs, similar to my Water Flow and Dive Bubbles. I’ll continue to expand on these with fountains, waterfalls, oceans and more – the possibilities are endless. I’ve also been re-watching the movies I’ve worked on for some inspiration. So there’ll be a whole store for animators to choose from. They’ll be able to make their creations look like the old Disney or Don Bluth classical features!
To Learn More about Declan’s work, check out:
Reallusion Marketplace: https://marketplace.reallusion.com/cartoon-animator/author/DexArt