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Am currently reading up on animation, and doing rough tests. Here's some of the things one has to keep in mind when animating:

1. always do a rough draft first

2. anticipate every movement

3. accentuate poses by going past and then slamming back into position

4. lots of overlapping action

5. always do follow-through on hair, clothes, etc.

6. apply squash and stretch to every moving object/person

7. use exaggerated foreshortening whenever possible

8. change pace frequently

9. do holds at important moments

Of all the anime series I've watched recently, Samurai Champloo is by far the best animated. The character design as well as colour and set design already do a lot, being absolutely fresh and unique. But the animation is what makes it really brilliant, visually. The pilot was absolutely striking, and while no other episode so far has managed to reach quite that level of quality, most of them have been very good nevertheless.

I've watched some of it in slow motion, and there's something nearly Disney-esque about the movement. The exaggerated anticipation, the extreme squash and stretch in fast actions, particularly during fight scenes... it's not classic anime style at all. Even the way Mugen's and Jin's and even Fuu's mouths actually shape sounds now and then -- it breaks with what I have perceived as anime norm so far.

The angular character design reminds me a little of Disney's Hercules, a movie I loved, personally. It's a very expressive style although I doubt the similarities are intentional. I wish I will someday be able to reach something that's even close to this level of artistry.

In other news, I'm nearly aching to see the Naruto movie although I know it won't happen in a while. The DVD will probably need at least half a year to come out, and I don't think it will be subbed in any language I can understand. But at least it will be Region 2, which means I will be able to see it on my dvd player as opposed to my DVD drive. But... I need my Kakashi fix now, dammit!

And in yet other news, I've got two new cel-shaded drawings up at DeviantArt: [Sesshoumaru attacking] and [Kurz and Melissa kissing].



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 2nd, 2004 04:21 pm (UTC)

You did a FMP cel!!! You're my hero. It's gorgeous. You could *so* be an animator if you wanted to.

::sigh:: I wish I had as much talent as you where art is concerned. In any case, I love your work (as always). I hope the animation you plan on doing will turn out beautifully.
Sep. 3rd, 2004 01:40 pm (UTC)
Heh. I just did another FMP cel, buut DeviantArt is doing system maintenance right now, so no upload. :( Grrr.

Thanks a lot for the encouragement anyway... I really hope I'll get to finish this project someday, even if it won't turn out very professional.
Sep. 2nd, 2004 04:38 pm (UTC)
animation is a tricky thing that I fear I will never quite get the hang of ^_^ but good luck to you ^_^

And thank you so much for reminding me to go download the latest episode of Naruto...I need my fix too, haha.
Sep. 3rd, 2004 01:42 pm (UTC)
Animation is indeed tricky, and there are so many things to keep in mind in addition to perspective and anatomy... *sigh*

Still, I'm doing this for fun, so I suppose it doesn't need to be very professional, just as good as I can make it.

Heh. Naruto *is* addictive, isn't it?
Sep. 3rd, 2004 12:48 am (UTC)
FMP art! Sesshoumaru in action art! Naruto movie! SQUEE!

I can't wait to see the movie either, there are all these screencaps of the movie special - it makes me so jealous!
Sep. 3rd, 2004 01:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the special made me crave the movie even more. Because, Kakashi pwnage! :P No, really. I miss seeing him in action.
Sep. 15th, 2004 06:35 am (UTC)
mmmm. The scarf! The scaaaaarf!
Sep. 3rd, 2004 07:50 am (UTC)
Oh, I can totally commisserate with this entire post except for the technicalities. S. Champloo is beautiful; it's so incredibly vivid and vibrant that I feel like the episodes are much longer than any other anime I've watched lately. Also, I long for the naruto movie as well...sniff.

I'm super excited about your animation. MAB sounds intriguing, and I have faith in your art. But the FMP made me really excited. I adore FMP, and Kurtz and Melissa are practically canon. So cute!
Sep. 3rd, 2004 01:48 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Samurai Champloo is *pure* art. I'd watch it for the animation quality alone, but the stories are so wonderfully innovative and crazy as well, so it's a double treat.

I'm crazy about Kurz and Melissa too, by the way. They're perfect together. Heh. I'm *such* a fangirl sometimes. :D
Sep. 4th, 2004 08:48 pm (UTC)
They're absolutely beautiful, technoelfie. The Sesshoumaru one just blends *so* nicely. I'm going to be so impressed with what the final products that will come with your animation.

BTW, my suggestion for another great animation series are Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust and X/1999, especially the former. Most of the backgrounds and special effects are CGI, but all the character animations are hand drawn cels. They have some of the smoothest, prettiest art I've seen in awhile. In fact, SC is probably the first series I've seen meet it in quality in a long time.
Sep. 5th, 2004 03:40 am (UTC)
Thank you! I really, really hope this will be good enough to actually put it up for downoad when it's done (a zillion years from now :P).

I might get to watch Vampire Hunter D if my anime crazed friend buys the DVD. X was on TV over here, but I didn't find it very enjoyable. It was beautiful to look at but the character designs were too static for really good animation. You are perfectly right about the art being very pretty though. :)
Sep. 6th, 2004 02:34 pm (UTC)
Mmmmmm, animation. *is so looking forward to this*

I hadn't noticed before, but now that you pointed it out, SC really is a blend of western and eastern animation styles. (I was always the dork who liked to go through animations frame by frame, just to see how it was done.) It's a high-quality production, and clearly has a lot of money behind it, unlike some of the lower budget animes that tend to use a lot of still frames.

(Love the Sessh cell. It looks quite detailed and would be very pretty in motion; have no idea who Kurz and Melissa are, but thumbs up on that as well.)
Sep. 7th, 2004 02:13 am (UTC)
I was always the dork who liked to go through animations frame by frame, just to see how it was done.

Heh, me too! It's incredibly fun, and one can learn so much from it about timing and what is needed to create the illusion of flowing motion.

Kurz and Melissa are two characters from Full Metal Panic!, one of my favourite series ever. He's a hentai and she's really quite abusive to him, but I kept thinking they're always just a tiny step away from having wild, hot sex. :P
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )