So I decided to take a time to build a passion project, an animated shortfilm. I work as a freelance motion grapher and my work looks always corporative, I animate almost exclusively on After Effects.
I want this animation to feel more organic, I have considered the following workflow:
1. Design the elements on photoshop using a wacom (different layers for each depth level for the backgrounds and different layers for each movable part of each character).
2. Start animating these elements on After Effects (before coloring them or detailing them thoroughly), the characters will be faceless at this point, I will just rig their arms and legs, etc
3.-Animate the characters faces and expressions frame by frame (I am still not sure which software is the best one for this step) in order to make them more dynamic and organic.
4.- Append the faces animation to their bodies and examine how the sequence feels and flows and in case it is good....
5.- Colour and define the PSD files of each element.
I am writing here in the hopes of someone telling me how and why this is a bad idea and how it should be made, since the short film is close to 80 shots long. I want to try to make it as efficient as possible.
It will still allow you to use your hand drawn elements, but import them in to character sets, making the pre-production workflow easier. There are also some very powerful lip syncing capabilites. Take a look at the video on the link above, with the still of a penguin on it. You can download a free version which will give you an idea of how you might use it in your project.