January 10 2022

Reflection

Before starting this semester, I knew absolutely nothing about animation. I have always had an interest in it, but I didn’t know any of the theory behind it and had never actually tried to animate anything. However, now I have created an animation, which although it isn’t perfect, is impressive to me as my first attempt at a proper one.

I think that my grasp on perspective has definitely improved as I was previously absolutely clueless on how to work with it, and frame things correctly. The parts of my animation that worked well in my opinion were the backgrounds, the colours, and the staging of the scenes. I’m impressed by the backgrounds I created for the animation, as I had believed I hated working on them before this and usually left them out or made them very simple. However, I enjoyed creating them and I’m quite proud of them.

There are a few areas I think I still need to improve in. Colour theory is something I’ve never really considered before this semester, as I usually just picked colours, I thought looked nice for my art. Now that I have learnt more about it, I would like to continue practising so I can use it effectively in the future. I also think that I need to practice inbetweening and cushioning with my animations, as I feel like some parts are still very jumpy and may need extra frames to make it smoother. I also don’t completely understand what should be a keyframe and what shouldn’t, so I will study and practice this more.

I think my animation process needs revising as I drew out two roughs, one in less detail, and one with more before lining my art. This was effective but very time consuming, which was not good when I was already pushed for time. I think I also need to split things up between layers, for example, the necklace and hair should have their own layer, so I can add more accurate secondary action without erasing my line art.

Creative teamwork was an issue for me at the beginning, as I am not very comfortable talking to people I don’t know and am not used to teamwork. My groups had their ups and downs; however, my last group was an absolutely amazing experience, and I have found that I actually enjoy certain aspects of teamwork. I have learnt that I need to communicate more, as at the beginning I only communicated when necessary due to anxiety, although later I began interacting and it improved things immensely.

In conclusion, I know what I need to spend time practising and the areas that I have almost no knowledge of. I absolutely need to work on my time management, although a lot of the issues this semester were caused by personal issues that I couldn’t control. I do think that with everything considered, I managed to create something impressive despite my lack of experience.

 

January 10 2022

Spirit Sky Fish – Final Animation

Finished Animation

Animatic

I took out a scene from the animatic, of Amka coming back through the portal. I did this because it was a very short clip, that required me to animate another walk cycle and her coming out of the portal. It also required another background to be made, of the portal. I just did not have enough time to be able to do all of that. Additionally, I don’t think it was really necessary, as the background, the colour palettes and the previous parts of the animation will show that she is no longer in the spirit world.

January 7 2022

Spirit Sky Fish – Backgrounds

I’m not very experienced in background or level design and have very little knowledge of perspective aside from trying to make things look correct to my eyes. However, I tried to make some interesting backgrounds for my animation, although I can definitely see some issues with it now that I’m looking back at it.

Our group had agreed towards the start of this task that the overworld would be more of a dark colour palette, so I was trying to keep the colours more muted and dull than I usually would. I also had a look at the main colours used in Manny’s animatic so that I could try and keep mostly in theme with the background colours that the rest of my group had used for the overworld, so mine wouldn’t make it look like a completely different place.

Background 1

Background 2

Background 3

References for background 3

December 10 2021

Spirit Sky Fish Progress Presentation

We had to make a little presentation about what we had done of our animation so far, to show our progress to the rest of the class and learn more about the other group’s animations as well.

This is my part of the presentation for the Spirit Sky Fish group.

This is the whole presentation for my group.

November 18 2021

Spirit Sky Fish – Rough Animatic

Animatic

Animatics are sequences of frames or shots, that are used to see how effective the pacing of the storyboard and scene is. It also allows you to see if something won’t work, or if a character needs to do something else instead. This is the first attempt at an animatic for my scene in the overall animation, to help me figure out the timings and spacing needed in the actual animation. It’s VERY rough and sketchy, but I will clean it up and add more detail to it as I continue refining and changing it. It’s still missing some things, like backgrounds that have been thought out and drawn properly, and small details. However, it serves its purpose of allowing me to figure out how I want to transition between frames from my storyboard, and how the character moves, and where they need to be at what times. I did communicate a lot with my group so that we could figure out the transitions between Jorja’s scene and mine.

I actually found it quite fun to do, although I had to take a while to think about how to continue it at some points. I’ve never attempted anything like this or tried to animate at all, so this was a new experience. I used Krita’s animating platform to make the animatic and even though my only experience with it was in class the other week, I found it quite easy to navigate and use. Although I haven’t attempted to use any complex features.

Overall Animatic

Manny had taken the storyboards that were finished and started to put them together so that we could see if the transitions worked and that it flows well. The music and sound effects that were added were also done by them, and the music that is used in the video was suggested by Charlie. Some of the animatics are still missing, but they’ll be added as they’re finished.

November 18 2021

Spirit Sky Fish – Storyboard Work

Storyboards are a way of visualizing the scene you’re working on, planning out the narrative of it, and how the characters or transitions need to work. Last time we had split up the animation plotline into different sections last time and gave everyone part of the animation to work on. This week we were working on the storyboards for our sections of the animation project. This is the first iteration of my storyboard, it is very rough and sketchy as it was just me trying to get my ideas onto the page in a clear way, and figure out how the camera and characters would move from scene to scene. Next time I come back to this, I will draw it up in more detail digitally, and add notes on the movements, so it’s clearer and more professional-looking.

November 18 2021

World Of Animation – Group Presentations (Group 5)

Paranoia Agent (2004) –

Paranoia Agent is a psychological thriller depicting fear, repression, and mental illness. It was the only TV series that Kon directed, with 13 episodes. The animation was done by Madhouse studio, who he has worked with since Perfect Blue. The story of Paranoia Agent was created from recycled ideas that hadn’t fit into his other works.

Kon stated, “I wanted to do something that allows me to be more flexible, to realize instantly what flashes across my mind.” The series, therefore, follows a large cast of characters, with no real protagonist. Instead, you follow different characters, learning their stories and finding links between them. The only constantly reoccurring characters are a dog mascot called Maromi, who represents denial, and the antagonistic figure, shonen bat.

The colours used in the anime series tend to be more muted and dull which helps portray the constant feeling of unease. The dark colour palette is pushed to the extreme in scenes of emotional duress. However, the colours used in the delusional visions of the characters are bright, along with the backgrounds appearing surreal and fake to highlight it’s not reality. This plays into the motif of reality vs delusion which is a key theme. You are shown what the character is seeing, delving into delusion as well as seeing reality.

Each character is dealing with a different overwhelming problem, the looming sense of fear, stress, and paranoia begins to greatly impact them, fraying their sense of reality and causing a mental breakdown, resulting in Shonen bat appearing and attacking them. The style of the animation changes in some of these scenes where they are unable to cope, using exaggerated facial expressions and different art styles on occasion.

For example, one of the characters, Yuichi, happens to resemble the description of the antagonist and begins to lose his popularity. As he is bullied he becomes so paranoid and desperate that he wishes he were to be attacked so everyone would know it wasn’t him. The style becomes wavy and unrealistic to portray his loss of clarity as he becomes overwhelmed by his own paranoia. This contrast to the detail shown in the normal style highlights the psychological theme, by showing the difference between reality and delusion or paranoia.

 

Outro –

Satoshi Kon was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in May 2010, and he chose to spend his remaining time in his house. He died on the 24th of August 2010 at the age of 46. The news of his death was a surprise to the public as he had chosen not to release any news about it until a blog post he wrote was published by his family once he had died.

Before Kon’s death, he had been working on another film called Dreaming Machine. It was to be aimed at a younger audience, and had a cast of robots, with no human character to be featured in the movie. During the months that Kon battled with cancer, he had spoken to Masao Maruyama, a co-founder of Madhouse Studio and a friend to Kon, about his fear and regret that the movie wouldn’t be finished. After his death Maruyama made it his personal mission to get the movie finished, however, he eventually decided not to finish the movie due to his concern over finding a director that was as talented as Kon.

Kon left a lasting impression on Japanese Animation and played a key role in creating interest for animated movies and series in the west. His interest in blurring the lines between reality and fantasy is seen throughout all of his works and portrayed with clarity. He was featured in the Time’s people of the year 2010, along with having many documentaries and books about his animations published. He received the Winsor Mckay Award on January 25th, 2020, putting him up there with other Animation legends like Walt Disney.

 

References – Paranoia Agent

Paranoia Agent | ENG SUB FULL // 妄想代理人. 2021.

Directed by S. Kon. Musashino, Tokyo: Madhouse Studio.

May, A., 2014. Paranoia Agent: A Case-Study of Fear and Repression. [online] The-artifice.com. Available at: <https://the-artifice.com/paranoia-agent-a-case-study-of-fear-and-repression/> [Accessed 6 November 2021].

En.wikipedia.org. 2021. Paranoia Agent – Wikipedia. [online] Available at: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoia_Agent> [Accessed 5 November 2021].

  1. Paranoia Agent Explained – It’s All In Your Head.Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDjt4YZyuUE> [Accessed 8 November 2021].

25YL. 2018. Paranoia Agent: Waking up from the Modern Nightmare. [online] Available at: <https://25yearslatersite.com/2019/04/24/paranoia-agent-waking-up-from-the-modern-nightmare/#comments> [Accessed 7 November 2021].

  1. Satoshi Kon Interview – Paranoia Agent (2004).Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-R4r2vG6_s> [Accessed 6 November 2021].

Schindel, D., 2020. A Mind-Bending Cultural Critique From One of Anime’s Most Influential Directors. [online] Hyperallergic. Available at: <https://hyperallergic.com/564335/paranoia-agent-satoshi-kon/> [Accessed 6 November 2021].

Hana Ga Saita Yo. 2020. [Analysis] Paranoia Agent. [online] Available at: <https://hanagasaitayo.wordpress.com/2020/03/22/analysis-paranoia-agent/> [Accessed 4 November 2021].

References – outro

Dreaming Machine. n.d. [film].

En.wikipedia.org. 2021. Dreaming Machine – Wikipedia. [online] Available at: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreaming_Machine> [Accessed 5 November 2021].

Little White Lies. 2020. Inside Satoshi Kon’s unfinished meta-nightmares. [online] Available at: <https://lwlies.com/articles/satoshi-kon-dreaming-machine-unfinished-meta-nightmares/> [Accessed 5 November 2021].

Rundle, J., 2021. Fantasy, Reality, and Interpretation: The Life, Work, and Legacy of Satoshi Kon | Oglesby Union. [online] Oglesby Union. Available at: <https://union.fsu.edu/movies/blog/SatoshiKon> [Accessed 6 November 2021].

En.wikipedia.org. 2021. Satoshi Kon – Wikipedia. [online] Available at: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satoshi_Kon> [Accessed 6 November 2021].

  1. The Life and Works of Satoshi Kon.Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4qZauV-wYA> [Accessed 7 November 2021].
November 18 2021

Flour Sack

I decided to put all of the flour sack related work in one post, instead of it being spread out.

We had to make an animation of a flour sack, so before going straight into this, I decided to sketch a few quick flour sacks to try and get a good understanding of it’s ‘anatomy’.

 

This week’s lecture was about storyboards, as we were beginning to layout our animatics in storyboard form. We were given a storyboard format, with the script filled out, and we had to create the visual part. I enjoyed this exercise, as I felt I could work a little roughly and leave some loose lines which I felt added more personality.

I liked trying to come up with the visuals to a scene, although I definitely struggled with perspective when trying to add more details to the background, like the table beside the cauldron. It’s especially noticeable in the second scene. I need to practice with perspective some more to improve my drawings. I also think I’m still struggling with the values, the tones are too similar a lot of the time, although it had definitely improved.

November 18 2021

Week 8 – Animation practice

In this week’s lecture, we were shown how to use Krita’s animation features. The first one was just to make a ball move across the screen, to learn the basics of how Krita works. It took a little bit of time for me to become comfortable enough with Krita, but once I figured out the basics of how to make frames and move drawings, it became easier.

For the second exercise, we were asked to make the ball move along a line, paying attention to the acceleration and deceleration of the ball. Looking back at this now, I think I may have needed to slow the ball down more at certain points by leaving some frames in-between or moving it less. I think I’m comfortable enough with the weight of the ball though.