Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Sketchy Style Animation

These three animations are the ones that inspired me to go through with my idea of animating a dance routine. They all share a similar sketchy, smoothly animated style that stretch the limits of the human body, while still portraying a sense of believability that draws the audience into the story.

'Thought of You' is the first example I saw of this style. Back in my first year of this course, I was introduced to this film by my classmate, and I have admired this form of animation ever since. This particular film demonstrates how a finished animation doesn't have to be completely detailed or colourful to look good; for example the sketching marks that Woodward used to structure the figures are kept in.
He's good at giving the impression of different materials - at going from a human body to a wing for example. The dragged out body parts emphasise the exaggeration in the movements.
It's a single camera shot throughout with no background, which lets the audience focus on the dance routine.
The music here is very important to the storytelling process, since there are lyrics, which in a way makes it easier to decipher what the story should be. In my work, I could either use a song with lyrics or without, and either collaborate with a musician to compose a piece for me or refer to a song that's already released. Before this I need to meet with a choreographer to figure out what the dancer(s) want to do as well.

The second example I admire is 'Duet' by Glen Keane. He is a famous Disney animator, which is visible in the style of the characters and body proportions. The use of a lighter pencil to illustrate the animation over a dark background stand out to me as something different from most other films of its kind.
Though this isn't purely a dance routine, there are elements of dancing as well as a well illustrated story running throughout the sequence, representing the life of two people who fall in love. The body language of the characters demonstrate the emotions of the characters really well.
I like how there's no obvious background, yet you can tell where the characters are in the space with the hints of trees and the perspective of the humans.
The music played in the background is very theatrical and assists with the portrayal of emotions.
This film demonstrates my need to refine my drawing skills; if I'm going to draw the human body then I need  to get it right, so practice is required on my part.

The third example, 'Nephtali', is a perfect demonstration of an animator collaborating with a dancer. The first half of the video is a film of them working together to develop the dance moves and ideas that Glen Keane wants to do. Animated in a similar style to 'Duet', Keane shows off his skills in drawing the human body form in a traditional style, working from his references and creating an emotional story out of sketches.

All of these films work particularly well using an unusual colour scheme, and animating in a sketchy style smoothly. While going forth with my ideas, I really want to consider all aspects of the animation, to discover what will make it a good film; so considering colour, lighting, backgrounds (or no backgrounds), and music, as well as my quality of animation, should all come together to make one beautifully animated sequence.

My next step in the process is to decide if I want my sequence to be recorded at one camera angle, have the characters move around in a space, or have the camera pan across the screen as the characters move, as well as getting in touch with a dance school to see if anyone would be interested in collaborating with me.

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