Desmond Bouey is a professional Animator who provides creative solutions for a variety of clients. He specializes in hand-drawn and cut-out animation, and he’s worked on broadcast productions such as Star Trek: Lower Decks, Metalocalypse (HBO 2023), and Duck & Goose (Apple TV).
I first started animating stick figures back in 2006, drawing a lot of inspiration from stick fights on YouTube and Stickpage. The simple design of stick figures helped me discover a passion for making animation, and going into Highschool I began to take it more seriously, practicing animation and drawing before and after the school day. After graduating high school I studied from books and online resources and used the commissions I would get as opportunities to grow my skills, until eventually breaking into the TV animation industry.
My animation style draws influence from both Eastern and Western animation, and I lean towards animating more realistic designs. I like to use different elements of Eastern and Western animation methods, like using cut-out animation to increase the efficiency of my workflow.
I get a lot of inspiration from 90's anime aesthetics like films directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, and Satoshi Kon. I also take a lot of inspiration from cut-out animation I've seen from Wakfu and the studio Bobby Pills to name a few.
I gravitate towards animating action, sci-fi, horror, and mystery.
Currently, I'm using Adobe Animate, After Effects, Harmony, and Clip Studio Paint EX. I use both screen and graphics tablets by Wacom, and I also sometimes like to lay back and animate using VR glasses as a monitor.
I first visualize the animation, and then I create the designs. Afterward, I create a storyboard by making small sketches for each scene on paper and then importing those to Adobe Animate to time out and refine. Once those are in place, I draw and animate the characters for each scene. Then I paint the backgrounds and composite the animation in After Effects where I add a variety of effects.
My favorite part is character animation, with storyboarding and design as my other favorites. But my favorite part can vary depending on the project.
Everyone's path in animation is unique, always seek out new information and strive to make improvements with each animation you make. Study the timing and spacing of animation that inspires you, and learn about.
I usually walk away and take a break if the block is strong enough, and I also use meditation to still the mind and remain open to new ideas.
I always enjoy the creative freedom when working with Storiaverse, I enjoyed creating the designs for the thugs in the story Tiger by the Tail, and I had fun exploring the different compositing features on Harmony for this animation. I learn something new with each project I work on.
Storiaverse has the immediate appeal of giving me fresh and interesting short stories to design animation around, and the creative freedom to experiment and refine my animation. And Storiaverse has wonderful and patient people to work with.
As Ralph Bakshi mentioned before, animation has the unique ability to make difficult subject matters easier to understand. Things that are tough pills to swallow are easier for people to take when represented through animation, and this can help people relate to marginalized groups of people more easily.
I love animation as an art form, and how it can transport you to an entirely different world. Adult animation expands the horizons of animation as a whole, and it is just getting started.
I think in the next ten years animators will be able to leverage AI tools to speed up processes like inbetweening, clean up, and color. If production times speed up considerably, then it would help animation meet the quickly changing needs of audiences, and perhaps be more on par with the production time of live-action films. If this happens I think we will see the expansion of investment in animation as a whole.