Monday, March 31, 2008

Premise for Animation

It was very hard to come up with any ideas for this assignment, a single animation. Usually my ideas turn out to be too elaborate and long. But this past weekend, I was re-reading one of my favorite books (for about the 21st time) and thought that perhaps I could animate a scene from the book.

I read The Secret Garden just about every spring. I think I started doing that in 7th or 8th grade. So of course (in my opinion at least) it is a wonderful book. For my digital form, space and lighting class final I decided I would model the bedroom of the character Colin Craven from this book, why not use another bit of the book for this class? My only problem now would be what scene to animate.

Though I love the dialogue in the book, and how the character’s personalities come through so well through their words, I believe it would be simpler for me to do a scene without it, since I have never done lip-syncing before, but I am good with facial expressions.

Some scenes I think may work would be:

-when Mary first enters the garden, and is just exploring and looking around. The main animation of this scene would be of Mary walking around, perhaps a bit of animation of the plants if a breeze is blowing. the fun part of this scene would be all the background imagery of the garden.

-another good one might be when Colin first meets Dickon. Colin has been sick in bed, but is recovering and reading books with Mary in his room, when Dickon comes to visit and brings his pets, which are a crow, a young fox, two squirrels and a baby lamb. For this project I might cut the squirrels and fox and just have the crow and lamb, since they are the most important to this scene.

-the last I thought of would be a scene that isn’t exactly described in the book, but goes with the story; where Mary is walking or skipping rope through the garden paths, then sees the robin and chases after him as he flies away. This is similar to the first scene I mentioned, in that the backgrounds would be fun, and also I would have more opportunity with the action. Also, perhaps a bit like this could lead into Mary running out to the moor and finding Dickon or something.

I think I like that third idea the best, but I’ll keep drawing and mulling over them.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

and now, a third.

for this class i would like to try and use Flash to create more traditional-looking 2D animation. this video from the last post is somewhat what i'd like to go for:

but you can still rather easily tell it was made in flash, if you know much about it. i think what makes it easy to tell is the line quality, flat colors and rather flat style of the backgrounds. i have heard of people exporting frames into photoshop and giving them a more painted look, but I don't know much about that. and I don't know if I can do anything about the line quality situation, but I'd like to try.

what I DO like about this animation, though, is how everything is really drawn by hand and nothing is just being picked up and dragged around the screen. the characters have three dimensions, and you can see them turning around and all that, which is how it is in the old classic stuff. that is the main thing I'd like to get across.

and THIS... is the second second.

Though I'm studying 2D animation, I enjoy watching all types. my favorite is the old style found in the older Walt Disney films, mostly from 1930s to the 60s, but as I said I enjoy all types. Pixar, of course, is just about the best 3D animation I like:

if i ever say i don't like something that's 3d, it's probably because the animation looks like a puppet moving around, it has no squash and stretch. but Pixar is able to get the squash and stretch into their 3D characters and things. look at that vacuum hose. even the robot looks very alive, and though he looks very much to be made of metal he moves in a very cartoon-ish way that fits his personality.

I also enjoy Blue Sky's original Ice Age movie, and their new one 'Horton Hears A Who" is just BEAUTIFUL and you should go see it now. they are another studio that is really getting the squash and stretch into their 3D. at the beginning here, the snap of the umbrella as Jojo whips it around and opens it is great. i also like how the Who's arms and legs move a lot like the rubber hose animation of the 20s. and Horton the elephant's face looks nice and squishy.

also I have seen a lot of independent 3D animation that is wonderful as well:

even though in comparison this short is rather stiff, the textures and movement is great. and the fact that one guy made it is just amazing.

but as for 2D, the 'golden age' Disney stuff is still my favorite. maybe i'm just being nostalgic, but the fact that they drew and painted everything BY HAND just baffles me. I know that there wasn't any other way in the 30s-50s, there weren't any shortcuts that could be taken, but it still boggles me.

richard williams is awesome:

He animates EVERYTHING on ones. i love the cartooniness of the roger rabbit cartoon, but especially i love the different camera moves. you don't see a lot of camera movies in animation, but that roger rabit short is full of them; as is the clip from "The Thief and the Cobbler". his design sense in thief, how he based all the backgrounds off of the style of old persian and other artwork is something I love.

and, really, any of that old-fashioned-like 2D stuff i like if it's done well, because you hardly see it anymore. i believe this little short was done by someone who works at Disney, just for fun. horray for squash and stretch. i love how he leaves his finished product as basically a glorified pencil test. the second clip here is just a character pencil test from treasure planet - it's so fun to look at original pencil tests, you can see much more clearly the animator's thought process.

Hayao Miyazaki and everything out of Studio Ghibli is awesoooome. i know it is part of the Japanese style, but i love the focus and detail on the landscape and setting. also I love when the characters aren't moving that much, and you can focus both on the character and on the environment they are in.

Stop-Mo is fun too! like this short film by tim burton. cute that he did it in black-and-white like the old horror films.

the film "Madame Tutli-Putli", which was nominated for an academy award, is experimental in a way that real actors were hired to act out the eye expressions of all the characters, and then the actor's eyes were digitally transposed onto the already-animated puppet's faces. i also like how this film looks so very hand-made. it didn't have much of a budget, and so the filmmakers made a lot of the characters and props out of junk that they could find for free.

(if you wanna see all of tutli-putli, better watch both halves of it quick before it gets taken down.) I also love to see the more experimental stuff too, like in "Flat World". here they have kind of infused cutout and stop-mo animation, and then the cuts into traditional 2D are also seamless and very funny:

more wonderful foreign animation! the first is a bit from a Russian animation of winnie the pooh. I don't know much about this film technically, but it looks as though the characters were hand-painted. the backgrounds very much complement the action and style of the animation. the second is a clip from the French film "Persepolis", which is based on a graphic novel. the style of the inking and the composition of the scenes look very much like a comicbook.

and of course, there's the ever-present student animation projects. i love to see student films because i love to see what a single person can come up with on their own.

i love those last two because neither looks like typical flash animation. the first was a cutout done here at SCAD. :) aaaand i'm a-thinkin that's enough video now.

THIS... is the second first post.


there were troubles with my last account, to the point where i couldn't log back in to update and such; and so i started over and copied my entries to here. whee.

My name is Lauren Rasmussen, though on occasion i have been called 'Elf'. I am from Cincinnati, Ohio, but i was born in Kansas and usually feel that my brain is still there. Cincinnati has interesting Chili, and Kansas has sweet lightning storms. my major is Animation, and I am doing 2D; my minor is Sequential Art. This quarter I am also taking Digital form, space and lighting which should be verrry interesting considering how very much Maya despises me. I am also taking 20th Century Art History, which should not really be interesting at all. concerning all those animation-related questions, i enjoy watching any type of animation on the web or otherwise if it done well. my absolute favorite movie is Disney's Peter Pan, so that should show my opinion of the definition of 'done well'. i LOVE reading, my favorite book is "Walk Two Moons" by Sharon Creech and she is one of my favorite authors as well, but some of my other favorites are Eoin Colfer, JRR Tolkein, Francis Burnett, CS Lewis, Roald Dahl, Louis Sachar and tons more but i think that's enough. I hate TV, I don't watch it ever by choice. and there are so many people i admire for whatever reasons I suppose I'll just leave it here.