When Theory & Research Meets Practice Aside from the omnipresent narrator, what filmic devices and visual development techniques can be employed in animated films to convey a sense of character and progression of a linear narrative when there is an absence of a visually represented character or protagonist on screen?• Creating an animated short film with minimal character presence.• Transformative qualities of the background & objects of significance carry the narrative.• Visual Design: Background highly detailed, character designed to blend• Cinematography Choices: Point of View Shots & Voyeuristic style• Linear Narrative of a single moment in time- a day in the life.
Preproduction: NarrativeInitial Narrative:Story of a woman’s life told through the metaphor of a walk to the shops. When thecharacter sets out she is a young girl and as she journeys towards her destination thesuburb around her changes with time as she also ages. Significant life events arerepresented symbolically. http://memegenerator.net/Jackie-ChanCurrent NarrativeStory of an old lady whose daily routine brings back memories of ‘the good old days.’ Hermemories of a golden age (1930s and 40s) transforms the objects and suburb aroundher as she makes her way to the local shops. http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/35tv2h/
Preproduction: Character Inspiration ‘The Old Lady and the Pigeons’ Granny Sylvain Chomet (1998) Looney Tuneshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLcQEPYidPk http://looneytunes.wikia.com/wiki/Granny ‘Father & Daughter’ Mama Odie ‘Princess & The Frog’ Michael Dudock de Wit Walt Disney Animation Studios (2000) (2009) http://www.awn.com/oscars01/animfather.php3http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0167939/
Preproduction: Character Construction (WIP)Non-existent feet willcreate a shufflingeffect.Weight distribution is key ingetting the walk ‘right.’Balance line is forwardleaning which enhances thehunchback effect
Contextual Evidence: Practitioner Hans Bacher: Production Designer Who Framed Roger Rabbit Beauty & The Beast Balto The Lion King Lilo & Stitch Mulan What I’ve Learnt: • Importance of composition & framing in leading the eye through the narrative ; regardless of whether there is a character in shot or not. (Bacher 2008, p.120) • Study environments and backgrounds in films & on TV. • Avoid unnecessary detail but do include details that are important to the story. • Being aware that Animation doesn’t have to consider the lens but we do draw the result of employing various cinematography choices. • Led me to explore another practitioner: Antonioni – ‘master of the moving camera’http://one1more2time3.wordpress.com/tag/dream-worlds-book/ http://paperwalker.blogspot.com.au/2010/09/hans-bacher-goes-alps.html
Contextual Evidence: Practitioner: Michelangelo Antonioni Italian director 1912-2007 Famous for using the moving camera giving a voyeuristic sensibility to his films. The audience is always at the centre of the action. (Bacher 2008 p.22) L’ eclisse (1962) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-R-ZNYxGHM
Contextual Evidence: Key Institutions Walt Disney Animation Studios Visual Development Environmental Storytelling On site visual referencing The Old Mill (1937)http://one1more2time3.wordpress.com/2009/03/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYEmL0d0lZE
Contextual Evidence: Key IssuesBackground art is always secondary to character.Many of the cinematography choices I am making are more common inlive action than animation. This makes finding animation examples more difficult.Ensuring that my character remains in the background and that the backgroundtells the story- easy to fall into the trap. animationbackgrounds.blogspot.com
Developmental Accounts: Blogging In a word, prolific. nathonours2012.blogspot.com.au
Developmental Accounts: Planning Issues & Concerns: TIME http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TARDIS• Storyboards & Layout: Allowing the background to carry narrative• Animation: Transformation of objects and backgrounds• Sound Design: Finding a sound designer Oh and time to make a film and write an exegesis.
Experiments: Testing Testing… Quantitative Qualitative (Action Research)Observational Matrix & Vintage Ads Case StudyData from Ashfield Historical Society Production Design: Background Development Data from Ashfield Council Background Pan: Era Transitions Exegesis Project
Experiments: Qualitative: Background Production Design
Experiments: Qualitative: Background Production DesignFlat fill colours with heavy outline Tonal Shading with heavy outlineNot suitable match with narrative, too Shading gives more depth‘cartoony’
Experiments: Qualitative: Background Production DesignDesaturated Colour with Shading and Desaturated Colour with fine outlines heavy outlineDesaturation has potential for external Structure and detail can be preserved withoutmodern world. the feeling of containment
Experiments: Qualitative: Background Production DesignColour with Shading and fine outlines Desaturated colour with no outlinesBalanced and complimentary to character Potential to become muddy, details lost
Experiments: Qualitative: Background Production DesignBlack and white with Colour spotlighting Self Colour lines with block tonal shading Not applicable for the entire film, but Too bright and shiny effective for Flashbacks or old world memories
Experiments: Background Production Design: Inspiration 101 Dalmations Walt Disney Animation (1961) The Illusionist Sylvain Chomet (2010)https://vimeo.com/21829170 animationbackgrounds.blogspot.com
Experiments: Background Production Design Outcome = =
Experiments: Background Production Design Outcome Outcome: Selected application of thin hand drawn line gives a softer vintage appeal to internal shots.
Experiments: Qualitative: Background Era Pan Initial Outcomes • Research into the community from 1930s- present revealed only subtle changes that were not obvious when the backgrounds transformed, decision made to keep it to one era of flashback for maximum impact. • Cross fade transformations work well for the environment changes, but objects of significance will require hand animation to achieve a subtle ‘gentle’ morphing effect. • Heavy outlines help with continuity in ‘outside’ suburb shots.
Experiments: Future Testing• Transformation or morphing of objects and backgrounds from modern day to the past.• ‘Physical’ layout of the suburb and how it works logistically as an animated film• Quadruped walk cycle (cat)• Old lady walk cycle• Combining background and character- colour scripts. http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/subcultures/my-little-pony-friendship-is-magic
Reflection: So Far• Methodology as a tool (in so many ways) not an end in itself.• Research as practical, not just for research’s sake.• See the exegesis and the project as feeding into each other. www.tumblr.com/tagged/disney-memes
References In Order of AppearanceJackie Chan Meme:http://memegenerator.net/Jackie-Chan 101 Dalmations Backgrounds: animationbackgrounds.blogspot.comMy Little Pony Meme: My Little Pony Memehttp://www.quickmeme.com/meme/35tv2h http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/subcultures/my-little-pony-Chomet S (1998) ‘The Old Lady and the Pigeons’ friendship-is-magichttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLcQEPYidPk Mulan Disney Meme: www.tumblr.com/tagged/disney-memesWalt Disney Animation Studios (2009) ‘The Princess & The Frog’http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0167939Dudock de Wit H (2000) ‘Father & Daughter’http://www.awn.com/oscars01/animfather.php3Bacher H (2008) Dream Worlds: Production Design for Animation, Focal Press, OxfordAntonioni M (1962) L eclissehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-R-ZNYxGHMBacher H (2009) Artwork for Mulanhttp://one1more2time3.wordpress.com/2009/03Walt Disney Animation Studios (1937) The Old Millhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYEmL0d0lZEJungle Book Background animationbackgrounds.blogspot.com The Tardis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TARDISObservational Matrix Full Reference list:http://natshonours2012.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/observational-matrix-visual-reference.htmlAshfield Historical Societyhttp://members.optusnet.com.au/ashfield_dhs/index.htmAshfield Council: http://www.ashfield.nsw.gov.auChomet S (2010) The Illusionist