Turn around…great turn around animation process.
Turn around…great turn around animation process.
Anime is quite different from its counterpart in America. For example American animation usually uses 24 FPS for the entire animation. Avatar: The Last Airbender is an example of that. It has very fluid and consistent animation throughout the series. They also had a 2 million dollar budget compared to a usual 200-300,000 per Episode budget of an anime series if that. I’ve seen much lower.
With such low budgets there is a need to take some short cuts to animation while still making it look good enough to watch and in most cases still look beautiful.
A few years back I found this great cheat sheet breakdown over at Celshader.com. I love that site. Check out these awesome anime cheats that you could use in your next video.
Here are some essentials, some check boxes and some tricks to keeping your anime awesome but your animation time lower.
Essentials (present throughout the entire animation. DO NOT skimp on these)
- Story — the foundation of your animation. If this fails, it all falls apart.
- Direction — a good director can wring more out of less, in my opinion.
- Storyboards — because good storyboards save you $$$.
- Art Direction — present throughout the entire piece.
- Character Designs — make those held cels works of art.
Next Level (try to make these as high-quality as possible)
- Color Design
- Voice Acting — carrying the weight of the character’s emotions.
- Music — film-quality music lends a cinematic feel to the animation.
- Sound FX
- Backgrounds — the more detail, the more “expensive” it looks.
Scene Level (reducing the amount of total character animation work)
- Convey Complex Actions Off-Screen — using editing and sound FX
- Reduce the Number of Characters On-Screen
- Reduce the Amount of Character Interaction
- Intercut Complex Character Animation with Simpler Shots
Shot Level (aka: “If It Moves, It Can’t Possibly Be A Comics Panel!”)
- Camera Moves
- Rack Focus
- Background Animation — ’cause you got to animate something…
- Life Cycles — minor animations that dress up a “held cel.”
- Light FX — easier than character animation
- Specular Animation
- Cutting Animation with Held Cels — stretching your animation dollar.
- Hide-the-Mouth — to cut down on the amount of lip-synch work
- Hide-the-Feet — eliminate “foot slide” with creative cropping
- Held Cels
- Strong Poses and Facial Expressions
- High Illustration Quality — don’t let it look “cheap.”
- Glow — a relatively inexpensive enhancement.
Watching this video reminds me of the time I started using Flash and that Ifinally had the ability to do what I always wanted to do and that was make animation.
Looks like I was not the only out there. Enjoy this little documentary about the Rise of Animation.
Here is part 1 by the way!
I loved watching this tutorial. It was pretty neat seeing how things are done in the making of this show.
Again the same techniques can be used for creating your own anime. You could go about making an anime puppet in 2d similiar to what they do here. Remember story is important. I hope you enjoy this little workflow video.
MaStar posted this really thorough tutorial on animating a good ol fashioned Goku Fight!
One of my favorite aspects of the creation process is to create characters. For me I use them to drive my story. For me characters come first. Usually I’ll scribble up some character and then it inspires me to think about that characters life.
Below are some of the characters I have created over the years.
One key for me when creating a character is to keep them simple. For example the guy below. Not much to him but a humanoid snail. But for me I think he is awesome. When I see him I start thinking about what he is like, where is he from, what kind of life he would lead, etc.
Personally I like characters out of the norm. I get tired of the good looking guy or girl being the main hero ALL the time. I always wanted the monsters to be the good guys. I wanted the little side kick like character to be the main hero and so for me I’ve always designed characters that were a little off and I would give them a weakness of sorts. That weakness would be part of their character.
Another thing I think about when I’m creating a character is to give him a goofy name that just fits. Here are a list of some of my characters names.
Kalimar, Sasquatch named Joe, Snailo (pictured above), Flog, Alienboy (Raimi is his real name) Low-Key, Spoon, Taco, Soft, Poke, etc.
While some are stupid they are recognizable and say something about the character.
For example SOFT. Pictured below. Soft’s father gave her up when she was only around 2 years old. She was bought by a robot from a planet similar to Cybertron. Basically it is a planet that was taken over by robots. Being advance technologically they joined the Galactic Federation as any other alien race would. This robot is a criminal and has brought Soft to his home planet as a show piece and to have fun torturing her. She endures being frozen and released for over 100 years. However being the daughter of her powerful father she escapes the clutches of her robotic owner, she wreaks havoc on the planet and ends up taking over the robot planet all on her own. Her name is Soft because she is a soft thing in a hard world. This is really where her story begins. She learns her father has taken over several planets over the years and has put her younger siblings in charge of these planets. Her goal is to undermine her siblings to make her way to her father and prove she was the daughter that should never have been thrown away.
All that just to tell you why her name is SOFT.
SOFT is actually a part of my Bigfoot Vs Nerd Universe. I’m thinking big. LOL. Make sure when creating characters that you also copywrite them.
That is just a side note.
Now if you can tell I’m about to start creating my own anime and show you step by step how to do it. Step 1 is creating great characters. Some folks go story first but I go character and let it organically go from there.
I’ve been also keeping up with this guys tutorials. I’m always looking for easier and faster ways to animate an entire film. This guy has it right.
Here are Animation principles 3 and 4