Friday, March 18, 2016

what is 'clarity'... 'freedom'... and 'fun'?

you can skip to 6:00 ish for his thoughts on animating... or just watch the whole thing : D

storyboards vs actual animation.

i been thinking a lot lately about whether to have tight boards, or be loose and leave it to the animators to interpret.
since i've done both as well as making mistakes dues to mis communication or enjoying the freedom to animate loosely and miss the mark.

lets just say for action sequences,
if you board out every single pose for the fight choreography, the animators will probably copy the poses and inbetween accordingly. but if you want something FRESH like 'sword of the stranger style' sequences, it is much better to figure out the framing of the shot, and leave the fight pacing to the animator to go wild. (lets just say the animator is highly skilled)...
but, what if you don't have the knowledge of who will be animating the scene, or the animator isnt skilled enough to pull it off, the loose boards are but thumbnails and stick figures like panels. without proper layout beats, or fight choreography? Many things can go wrong when it comes to guessing what the scene should be. what if there need to be different styles of movements? or story elements to it? when the boards are loose, and the animator isnt skilled enough, the director will end up correcting the drawings themselves, and basically reposing out the board panels that are missing. when you outsource animation, you dont know who will animate what, and the storyboards are the only blue print to base off from.

now as animator, if you are ambitious, and wants to express yourself. sometimes the board artist may not have the cool poses you wanted to do, or you feel lack of energy in the scene, you might have your own ideas to how to execute or what movements to make in a scene. you might just be able to pull off a 'sakuga' moment! but what if your scene stands out too much and it doesnt match the rest of the sequence or style of the show? what if the board artist have different intentions and you miss the direction on your shot? then who is to blame?

I do not have 50 years of experience like Ohashi-san, but I do think tight storyboards can at least, provide a bottom line to whats required in a scene, but not so tight as to restrict animators abilities to 'plus' it. sometimes, the animation comes back (from overseas) same as the drawings from the boards, traced over and inbetweened. the movements are mechanical, and very boring. 'well you said to follow the boards right?" No, I believe the animator's job isnt to directly COPY the board drawings to the teeth but to use it as a guide and animate to their own artistry.

Satoshi Kon's storyboards were used as layouts for animation, and he also knows how to give proper direction to execute his ideas, same as Miyazaki, and many great directors from Japan who animates their own boards. There are also very rough boards from shows such as FLCL, or works from Gainax. the animators and the director work closely going through many level of checking to produce the end result.

 In my opinion, there isnt a absolute right way, but whichever that's more efficient for the best outcome. Deadlines, budget, artist skills, all play a factor in deciding what method to use... wouldn't you agree?

(and yes... i thought of quit animating as well haha it's tough...)