I haven’t been collecting long, but I’ve come across a few things that reduce some of the pleasure received when opening what should be highly-sought-after cards. Specifically, chase cards that feature a poorly-made process animation GIF, and card-titles or flavor-text that feature typos.
I’d like to expand on the issues with the few GIFs I’ve encountered but first I want to know: can creators change elements of their cards after release? Can they change card titles, flavor text, or the card artworks after people have started collecting?
I suspect creators are not allowed to make changes after a set releases, but, if it is confirmed as possible, I would start messaging creators about the specific minor issues I found problems with. I’d love to have my feedback be able to affect change and improve an artist’s work, to make a card more enjoyable for myself and for other collectors.
Back to the GIF topic. I like the idea of a creator sharing an animation, and think that animations can make for particularly good chase cards. Whether that’s an animated figure, a still image in front of a fancy animated background effect, or an animation showing the process of creation from sketch to line-art to flats to final colors.
Two of the series I collect have among their chase cards animations showing the “process of creation” of cards from lower rarities. Both series’ animated cards have the same problem: they are three-frame animations but the first frame displays for a tiny fraction of a second, making it largely invisible. This is a particular shame because that first frame is the frame most-unique to the chase card; that first frame shows the original sketch or line-art that the artist started with. The flash past that first frame, which is largely white due to being blank paper, also provides an unpleasant visual flash or flicker when viewing the card, since it flips past the white frame to colored frames that hold longer.
Since I noticed this across the only two series I collect that feature animations, I’m curious if this is a common problem across all animated cards on the site. Has the frame delay on the first frame of other animations similarly been eliminated? I noticed these animations seem to be in the MP4 format though the card titles given by the artists state they are GIFs; were they uploaded as GIFs and converted to MP4 in the upload process and, if so, is that where the animation was hurt?
If these files cannot be changed with an alternate upload, future creators should be warned about the problems with animations.
Also, I would like to suggest that a process animation that flashes from sketch to line-art to flats to final colors is not very appealing, even if the errors with the first frame are eliminated. The quick, hard cut from frame to frame feels a little lazy, or a little too jerky or sudden to be appreciated, in my mind. Adding a quick transition (like a wipe) between long holds on each stage of the process could make this type of card much nicer. A more elaborate speed-painting style animation, showing much more moment-by-moment detail on the artwork’s creation would be the most ideal. I’d love to see creators upload something like that.
The frame-skip issue is present viewing the MP4 files in-browser both on Chrome on a mobile device running Android and in Firefox on a laptop running Windows 10.