Pro Motion is my weapon of choice for pixel stuff, but sometimes I bounce between that and Photoshop since each program has its strengths and weaknesses. Also Toon Boom, when I need to boom toons.
For animation, I spend a lot of time planning and asking myself questions to get a bead on where I’m going. Things like:
- What is this character or environment’s story/background?
- How do I want the viewer to feel?
- Conan, what is best in life?
Then I do rough keyframes to get a sense of visual flow, do some breakdowns, test out timing, edit, more breakdowns, get sidetracked and do something else for 4 hours, come back with fresh eyes, edit, show it to someone else, cry, start over, ink/color, composite, and a bajillion hours later bam. Animation(the abridged ver.).