Monday, 21 September 2009

Animation ideas

I have already professed my hatred for animation purely due to the sheer amount of time it takes to complete but I can't help but love cartoons... people assume that because I enjoy comics and cartoons, I would like to work in those areas, but because I love comics and cartoons so much I don't actually want to work in them as I fear it would spoil my passion for them... also because I reckon I can't live up to standards set by some of my favourite animators/studios...

We've been given the option of which software to use for our animations and I'm venturing into the unknown with After Effects instead of I-Stop this year. Since I've never seen, let alone used After Effects, I thought I'd research a little via YouTube and try find some good examples of what I could achieve. I have already seen the work of two of my favourite comic artists work transformed into 2D animations (Ashley Wood's Metal Gear Solid work and Mike Mignola's Hellboy) which brings more life to the already rich world's in their work. The seemingly simple animation involves only moving/altering a few elements making the movements quite subtle yet effective. Although theres no excessive animation in the movements (e.g. running, lip sync etc) other simple effects have been used to show the progression of events...

Ashley Wood's Metal Gear Solid digital comic:
first 10mins::

another shorter version, but someone has added Muse onto the soundtrack::

I have the Hellboy digital comics on my computer but haven't found them on YouTube, however I did find the animated digital comic prequel to the second Hellboy movie 'Hellboy II: the golden army' which uses the same techniques although it isn't drawn in Mignola's style...

The closest I could find is actually a students work who has taken Mignola's original comic artwork and animated it as if it would be the intro to a cartoon series using the same style as the comics. Apparently direct images were taken from the Hellboy comics and edited via Photoshop and After Effects which leaves me quietly confident I can achieve something similar for my own animation, although i now need to sort out my storyboard and then create my "comic" panels from which I'll animate...

I also remembered an old music video for The Get Up Kids song 'Overdue', which I originally saw as a bonus video to their UK single release. It again incorporates simpler techniques to showing movement but I also forgot to mention that all these videos make use of camera angles, pans and zooms to show progression and in particular on this video, as cuts and fades to the next scene as the camera pans across.

I have already mentioned these previously but I didn't go into a lot of detail and I don't want them to be lost amongst my old posts (once I get further into this blogging malarky). I love 50's style animation and illustration which explains why I love cartoons such as Samurai Jack and the Star Wars:Clone Wars series, which both take influence from this specific era in exaggerating features and shapes that make up their characters and backgrounds. Genndy Tartakovsky has written, storyboarded, animated, directed and produced both of these as well as others such as Dexter's Lab and The Powerpuff Girls, but its Dan Krall and Scott Wills who's artwork features in 'Jack and 'Clone Wars which gives the characters many beautiful backgrounds to inhabit. I have recently thought character design only stemmed to characters/figures but each of the backgrounds painted by both these artists has more character and mood than all of the work I've created. Immediately you feel a sense of scale and space in each piece making you want to dive into them yourself and experience the environments whether they're futuristic cities or heavily wooded forrests, if i can achieve this once in my upcoming animation i'll be happy... but I wonder where to draw the line between stealing techniques and copying styles.

this is exactly what I meant about not being able to live up to the standards of animators I like, I have 2 weeks to create something in a program I've never used before... :/ if worst comes to worst... I'll make summat in I-Stop since I've done it before :P

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