Roughs in animation are without a doubt the most boring, lifeless part of the animation process, I could literally turn an overnight scene into a multi-week project, just cause I take soo long on the roughs. Seriously, what are they good for? sure, you use them to make your final artwork much cleaner and precise, along with giving you a solid guide on how the scene unfolds, but other than that? I don’t see the necessity.
I wasn’t exaggerating when I said it’d turn into a much bigger project than normal, and it’s not because I spend too much time actually drawing the frames, it’s the masses of time not doing it, as I’m typing this right now, I’m avoiding it. It’s this terrible, terrible process that makes me want to just give up! The lack of color and fills are what screws things up for me, all I have to work with is a light blue, and in the rare case that I’m doing a multi layer scene that requires something more, a boring orange. Now of course if I wanted to add more colors and fills to the otherwise bland and blegh, i could. But it’s just the simple fact that putting any more time or effort into something as not noticeable as roughs, just isn’t worth it (time and effort-wise). The time is debatable though, if I say, added solid fill colors for certain things, then I’d be more motivated to finish what I started. On the other hand, the amount of time coloring each of those frames equals out to be around the same (depending on how much you hate roughs).
As many faults as roughs have, they do in fact have some good characteristics. For one, they allow you to perform complex animated segments without worrying about finding that it looks all wrong and deleting all of the smooth and filled line art. Another thing is that it allows you to be less precise on your work, you can scribble if you want. I know a lot of different animators who have a lot of different ways they do roughs, a handfull put a lot of effort into making the roughs look really nice, no unnecessary lines, just clean polished work, others (something that I used to do) hardly put any time into their roughs, just leaving themselves with basic shapes and scribbles to work with, (something I don’t recommend doing, it makes the line art much more tedious when you can’t figure out whether or not you are actually drawing a face). Personally I’ve started putting more time into mine roughs, just cause I’ve ran into the problem I mentioned above about not being able to determine one thing from another. Not to the point were I could submit it without doing the finals and expecting it to stand on it’s own, that’s just not worth it.
To leave with a small summary: I hate the roughs in animation, but they do provide you with a solid way to make the line art look clean and perfected, And unless I have an incredibly strong dedication to my work (such as a deadline) you can expect me to take longer than what would be reasonable to finish something.