I've found out--straight from the horse's mouth!--that I can use Digicel Flipbook commercially, so I'm going to become very good friends with it. I'm still going to work with Maya at the same time, but since I'm not only not allowed to freelance but not allowed to submit work to film festivals--also straight from the horse's mouth--I'd like to work with a program where I might actually be able to get some more avenues for publicity out of my projects.
So I figured out the spacing and got my art table into my own room and out of the spare room (which is where the dog paper and cat litterboxes are all located--not ideal working space!) I've dug out my old Advanced 2D Animation project, which I never finished but my teacher (Mr Schwab) said would make a great piece to submit to animation and film festivals if I could finish it. It's a second skit involving Ziingr, the little ice-cream hatin' and hurlin' alien from my reel. Now that I'm set up, I think I'll start by doing a walk cycle on Ziingr and maybe Sister Mary Hendrix to get re-acquainted with the process, then get to working on the next scene. Only remaining hitch to the plan is that I'm out of animation paper and can't afford more, but I found some printer paper that was about the same texture, thickness, and consistency as animation paper, so that's what I'm going to use. I'll use a small three-hole punch as a peg.
This will be new though. This can't be left in sketch form like the reel animation and will have to be cleaned up and colored if I want to show it off at festivals. I have had some limited experience with cleanup animation, but it's still a bit new to me. I may just get my parents to help me a bit with the paint-bucket part of the coloring, which they've already said they wouldn't mind helping with.
I'm still working my way through the Mel scripting book too. It's not a light read and takes quite a bit of focus.