Sunday, 21 November 2010

My Understanding of Computer Animation Limitations

Computer animation has revolutionized the animation industry, virtually replacing the older types of animation, like cel drawn or stop motion. But notwithstanding its appeal, there are limitations an animator faces when using this process. The animator has to keep in mind the limits when planning the project so he can deal with them.
The character hair design doesn’t always look too realistic because of its blocky shapes, sometimes it looks more like a hat than a hair.
One of the limitations of computer animation is seen in the area of hair. In early animation, stop-motion or cel (and still occasionally today) hair was used on mesh models that had hair texture images and transparency maps applied to them. These made it look unrealistic, more like a hat than hair. Now a day’s people stimulate hair on a figure is called hair dynamics. Using this approach, the animator defines an area in which he would like hair to appear, as well the length and other characteristics of that hair.

Another limitation of computer animation is in the area of motion. Most animators are expert at creating a pose for a character, but not as good at creating realistic believable motion frames. To overcome this limitation people used motion capture files (MoCap) Those motions are based on actual people and applied them to the characters. A good example of a Computer animation motion-capture is ‘Happy Feet’ some approach can't achieve completely accurate motion, it will require allot of tests to perfect it but will loose allot of time to complete.

Another problem when creating a computer animation is the texture resolution. All 3D models, moving figures or background objects like tables and chairs, have texture maps applied to them to provide the colours that you see. Otherwise, the models are just colourless masses. These textures come in different sizes, this will depend on how detailed the object needs to be. It will take a great deal of computer power to render a large file for a moving figure like a person.

A foremost difficulty with computer animation is the difficulty of the process (coordination). There are many different fields and subfields within the industry. For example, the average animated movie will have texture painters, modellers, riggers, audio specialists, matte painters, MoCap, story-boarders, technicians etc... Because the director and producer would spend allot of time coordinating all the parts to make a whole, they have less time than they might otherwise have for other aspects of the film, such as the story.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

History and Development of animation

The earlier attempts of animation were really experiments. First animation discovered was from the still drawings of Paleolithic cave paintings, where animal legs and arms change position on different frames, almost like a story board. An example from 5,200 year old earthen bowl found in Iran in Shahr-i Sokhta. It has five images across showing a goat leaping to a tree.

Another good example of an early experiment of animation is the famous Vitruvian Man by Leonardo Da Vinci where the limbs swings, showing movement.

Animation has then been developed through the years, such as zoetrope which was created in China by Ting Huan 180 AD. It is a device that cycles many individual images and created the illusion of a moving image.
The zoetrope first gave rise to the concept of moving a physical object to create the illusion of animation. From here, people were inspired to develop the technique and make animations by taking still images and play them in quick succession in motion.

By the year 1868 flip-book was discovered by Joseph Barnes Linnet. Flip-book brought us closer to the modern animation like the zoetrope which creates the illusion of motion by flipping the book with squealed images at a particular speed.
As animation develop through the years, Charles – Emile Reynaud, the inventor of the praxinoscope (a sophisticated version of the zoetrope) created the first animated film using loops of 12 pictures on 1892.

In my opinion throughout the years, people wanted to give life to art, and animation was born: traditional, stop-motion, 3D animations.

James Stuart Blackton was one of the people that invented Stop-motion animation, he created the first American animated film ‘Humorous Phases of Funny Faces in the 1906 where he made a time lapse drawing his character on a blackboard and used camera trick to animate his illustrations by rubbing and redrawing the character in a different position. There was this particular scene in his video where he had to draw a champagne bottle and he pulled out a real bottle from a board which suggested magic, this shows appeal to the audience to entertain them like what all animators aim to do so people would want to watch it more.

Rinpa Eshidan means Art crew in Japanese. Basically they are heavily influenced by the work of James Blackton. They are very famous in Japan for their street art animation by using time lapse much like Blackton. they basically paint images on wall and fusing with patterns to relate it with the music, much like a music video.  One thing they rarely do is to do camera tricks like Blackton to animate, make the patterns move, they like to keep their work natural. as the music beat changes every patterns will change.

They have worked for tv adverts in Japan like honda, music videos, house decoration, etc...A good fact about them is that they are not afraid of erasing their work

By the year 1911 Russian Scientist Ladislas Starevitch created a stop-motion animation ‘The Cameraman’s Revenge’, he was inspired by James Stuart and Emile Cohl’s stop motion illustration, he decided to further develop stop motion by using dead insects with wire limbs as his character puppets. His animation has showed a story of a dramatic complexity of feelings and desire on how the puppets acted in the play which makes it entertaining for the audience to watch. Ladislas Starevitch influenced other animators and film makers by the use of puppets like in the 2000’s Nightmare before Christmas, Wallace and Gromit, King Kong, Star Wars etc...

By 1914, the famous Winsor McCay has released his Cell animation ‘Gertie the Dinosaur’ which is the first animation that feature a character with an appealing personality which could relate to modern animations such as ‘Simon’s Cat’ in 2010
In 1934, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first feature length film that was based by the Brothers Grimm fairytale. It was the first full length cel-animated feature in motion picture history and produced in full colour, produced by the famous Walt Disney (founder of the greatest animation company Disney) Disney has become very successful by their animations such as Snow White, Pinocchio and Dumbo in the 1940’s.

Disney has inspired many animators around the world especially in Japan Mitsuyo Seo, the creator of the first Japanese feature length anime film ‘Momotaro’s Divine Sea Warriors’ was a propaganda to support the war by the Japanese Naval Ministry. Osamu Tezuka developed the animation into a Japanese style and was referred as Godfather of Anime and Godfather of manga. He was also considered as the Equivalent of Walt Disney.

By the year 1990's Pixar has created the first CGI film called Toy Story. It is a 3D modeling almost like a vitrual stop motion that combines the two worlds can be considered to be computer aided animation but on 2D computer drawing. This has been a big hit in animation because it is like characters are coming to life.

History of Animation (google word document)-
Youtube -

Thursday, 18 November 2010

I have chosen this animation 'Crayon Shinchan' because this is one of my favourite anime titles during my childhood even now. I love this anime because mainly of its storyline, most are the catchy jokes which makes me burst out laughing. As I grew older and became more interested in animation, I began to admire the character design. The characters dont look very great but you can tell by its style, that it is targeted on children because of its child like drawing, and exaggerated like when the character's mouth is out of place. In my opinion this animation suits for people 12 and above because Shinchan is a bad role model for younger audience because of its explicit jokes, inappropriate use of language and mild nudity on it.

The first story of this animation was written by Yoshito Usui (Lived April 21, 1958 – September 11, 2009) was done in manga (Japanese comics) then made it into an anime during 1992 till 2010 and currently have 700+ episodes

Shin is a 5-year-old boy who is constantly doing and saying inappropriate things, with hilarious results, much to the dismay and annoyance of those around him. Shin, along with his family, his friends from kindergarten, and some annoying neighbors, ends up turning every day situations into funny adventures.

Yoshito Usui the creator of shinchan died on September 11, 2009 after a fall at Mount Arafune. After Usui died, Futabasha originally planned to end Crayon Shin-chan in November 2009. Upon discovery of new manuscripts, Futabasha decided to extend the comic's run until the March 2010 issue of the magazine, which shipped on February 5, 2010