Week 6

Practitioners Report

This week I will be doing a report on two people within my chosen discipline (animation) so I can look at their work and learn from them, this will allow me to apply that knowledge to my FMP, such as I can learn specific techniques and methods in animation, I can learn from simple mistakes they have made and can take inspiration from their work to create an animated scene, trailer, etc.

Plan

  • Create a mind map of what I know about animation
  • From the mind map, create a list of people I want to look in to
  • Decide the main person and why?
  • Look into the person, how they got to where they are at now, what they have worked on, what they are working on right now, etc.
  • Collect examples of their work and look into them detailed
  • Why does this interest me?
  • What Have I learnt? Reflect

 

List of people and companies:

–          Madhouse

–          Hayao Miyazaki

–          Adam Reed

–          Kenneth Muse

–          Disney

–          Studio Ghibli

–          David Productions

–          Mamoru Hosoda

Who I have chosen?

The Studio/person I have decided to base my report on is Animation director, Mamoru Hosoda, this is because he has done a hand full of films in which I have found that the animation in some points are amazing, with both character animation and environment animation.

Another person I have also decided to do research on is Hayao Miyazaki, a Film director producer, screenwriter, animator, author and manga artist. I chose Miyazaki because he is well-known for his animated films and has been working in animation since 1963, which will allow me to compare his animated films to the modern films created by Mamoru Hosoda.

Researching

Mamoru Hosoda was born in September 19th, 1967 and began his career in 1989, the public first gave their attention to him in the early 2000s for his first two films in the Digimon Adventure series and the sixth film in the One Piece series. He worked for MADHOUSE from 2005 to 2011 and in that time he created “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” in 2006, “Summer Wars” in 2009 and the last film he created with MADHOUSE is “Wolf Children” in 2012. When he left MADHOUSE, he went to create his own studio, Studio Chizu which created his most recent film “The Boy and the Beast” in 2015.

Hayao Miyazaki was born in January 5th, 1941 and began his career in animation in 1963, when he joined Toei Animation. He first worked as an in-between artist for “Gulliver’s Travels Beyond the Moon” and worked on many other things after that, like co-directing Lupin III with Isao Takahata, provided the screenplay and key animation for Panda! Go Panda!, provided key animation for the first episode of Tokyo Giants, provided the original concept for Jungle Kurobe, provided the director role for Lupin III: Tales of the Wolf and more. He later directed his first featured film, “The Castle of Cagliostro”, a Lupin the Third story that was released in 1979; after that he worked on his next successful film, “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind”, released in 1984 and with that he created Studio Ghibili where he continued to work and release very successful films.

 

Looking at their key works and comparing them

I will be analysing Hayao Miyazaki’s film, “The Castle of Cagliostro” and Mamoru Hosoda’s film, “The Boy and the Beast”, this is because I will be comparing the old animated films done by Hayao Miyazaki and the newer modern animated films done by Mamoru Hosoda. This will allow me to see what has changes have been made when creating animated films, this will also allow me to see what works with animated films and what doesn’t, such as certain techniques and methods used to create animation.

The Castle of Cagliostro

I will be looking at certain scenes within both films and will analysing the animation, sound, colours and art style. The scene I will be looking at is the car chase scene at the beginning of the film The castle of Cagliostro:

Edit. The video was taken down however here’s a link to the video on a different platform: https://vimeo.com/39790868

From the start you can already recognize this is Miyazaki’s work, from its art style to the way the characters move, full of life; the character art style is a mix of the manga creator of Lupin the third and Miyazaki’s art style, that way the characters are recognizable from the manga.

The colours used in the animation are bright, however it is also controlled by what feeling they want to communicate to the audience in a particular scene, such as in peaceful scenes, the colours are bight and also light, and in dark scenes the colours are dark and well shaded. The first part of the chase I will look at is when the cars are driving by Lupin; you can clearly see when looking at the footage frame by frame that the car and the background are two separate things as the car would stop some frames and the background would move, then back to the car. This effect makes it seem that there is an actual camera there following the red car as it drives by.

example-of-car-and-background

They also begin to slow down the car as it approaches Lupin by adding more frames of the car and background being still. This is probably because they want to allow the viewer have to process what is going on, on the screen; along with that they have more frames of the car passing by to allow the viewer to get a good look at the character driving the car, introducing her to the audience.

 car-passing-frames

The clothing of the character is also done very well, you can clearly see that the wedding dress veil is fluttering in the wind as the car drives past, this to show that the car is moving fast. It also gives the character an elegant look as she drives past, making her look beautiful and captivating the audience attention towards this character.

If we go further into the scene when the chase begins, we hear the music suddenly pick into a funky rhythm that uses trumpets, drums, piano, etc. The music fits right in for the chase sequence, giving it an action feel to it whilst also making feel quiet fun and lively.

 

The Boy and the Beast 

The scene that I will be looking at in this film will be the first fight scene in the movie, when Kumatetsu and Iozan fight for the first time on screen. I’ll be again looking into this films animation, art style sound, etc.

The first thing I noticed was that this scene uses both 2D and 3D animation, as you can see when the crowd is backing up from the fight, they are all 3D models of characters; the only two characters that aren’t 3D are Kumatetsu and Iozan. They probably did this because it would be a lot easier and less time consuming to use 3D models of characters for the crowd as the crowd isn’t really drawing the attention of the audience, it’s the two characters in the centre.

example-of-3d

Looking closer at the animation, to create the illusion of something moving fast, they blur out the lines or even remove them completely on some parts and just leave the colour to be blurred. You can also see that they paid close attention on how a body moves and what rules apply; this can be seen when either of the characters are punching, the fist and arm stretch all the way out when punching, then the muscles retracted the arm back a little and finally the arm is pulled away. This can also be seen in the wrist and hand as the hand gets pulled back by the wrist.

tbatb-example

The characters also are moving independently from each other, which means they are timed differently, a couple frames one character moves, then the next couples frames the other character moves. This creates the feeling that they are both individual beings that act independently, making the scene feel more believable.

example-of-2-characters-moving

When looking at the art style and colours used in this scene, you can recognize Mamoru Hosoda work, the colours are bright on lighter colours and darker colours seem to be more saturated. The art style used for humanoid characters sticks closely to realistic proportions of a human body, unlike “The Castle of Cagliostro” who sometimes exaggerate specific features, like long limbs.

 

Comparing

When comparing these two films, they are similar in colour scheme but are quite different to each other on other things, this is because of the obvious age gap, however you can still see some techniques being still used in the present. The first big thing is that Castle of Cagliostro doesn’t do use 3D animation due to lack of technology back then, however Studio Ghibli do begin taking advantages of modern technology and use CG in their later films.

In Castle of Cagliostro, they don’t seem to use the blurring technique that The Boy and the Beast use to create the illusion of speed, this is probably because those kinds of techniques came later after The Castle of Cagliostro was created. However, this does not make the film any lesser, instead gives them a somewhat charm to it. For The Boy and the Beast, this technique makes action scenes like fight more intense as it makes the characters and objects look like they are moving very fast and have a lot of power behind, making them seem a lot more dangerous.

When looking at the characters, they are very different, The Boy and the Beast focuses on more realistic proportions, whereas Castle of Cagliostro is more cartoony such as elongating limbs or making parts of the body extremely thin. This is because they have two different themes, Castle of Cagliostro is supposed to be fun and comedic, whilst also being action packed and having adult themes, that is why the characters have that kind of art style, to both keep to the adult themes whilst being light enough to have comedy in some scenes.

The similar technique they use for both films is that they both have the background and the character animated to look like it’s being recorded by a camera, a lot of animated films and TV series also do this, however there are still some that do not due to lack of time or production.

Reflection

After doing this report, I have discovered many more things about frame by frame animation, such the techniques and methods used to create specific feelings or create illusions of movement and cameras.  I have also discovered that I am more passionate for frame by frame animation than vector based animation, this is because the characters feel more fluid and alive in frame by frame animation than vector based. I can apply what I have learned from this report into my FMP by using it to make the final decision on what I am going to and if I am going to use frame by frame animation in my FMP, I can use the techniques and methods I have learnt from this report to create my own animation.

 

Harvard reference:

Mamoru HOSODA – Anime news network: UK (no date) Available at: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=4068 (Accessed: 20 February 2017).

2017 (no date) ‘Mamoru Hosoda’, in Available at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0396074/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm (Accessed: 20 February 2017).

Hayao Miyazaki // Nausicaa.net (no date) Available at: http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/miyazaki/ (Accessed: 21 February 2017).

(No Date) Available at: http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/miyazaki/miyazaki_biography.txt (Accessed: 21 February 2017).

Anderson, K. (2014) Miyazaki Masterclass – THE CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO (1979). Available at: http://nerdist.com/miyazaki-masterclass-the-castle-of-cagliostro-1979/ (Accessed: 24 February 2017).

Bruschkov (2011) Castle of Cagliostro – char chase. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxbum3is6G0 (Accessed: 24 February 2017).

IGN (2016) The boy and the beast – clip #2 (English Dub). Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Yp92Mq2GdE (Accessed: 26 February 2017).

 

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Week 5

Experimenting frame by frame animation

For this experiment, I wanted to do something around frame by frame animation, this is because my main interest is around animation, especially 2D animation and the main two types of 2D animation are frame by frame animation and vector based animation, so I intend to do experiments on both of these types to learn more about them for my FMP, that way I can decide on which type of 2D animation I want to do.

Examples of people with similar discipline

Adventure time

I chose this cartoon because it is a very successful frame by frame animated show that has a big fan base. I knew it well however I have never really done research into how it is created, so I saw it as a good chance to do research into something I already knew, allowing me to understand the process a lot easier.