Monday, April 1, 2019
Characterisation in 2D Animations
Characterisation in 2D AnimationsThe main problem that lifetime faces is that it is an overtly pull wires diegetic flesh. The attestator is presented with a constructed reality of drawings and paintings, which whitethorn represent the real world, but inappropriate photographic film, does not tincture give cargon it. The challenge therefore is to pee-pee offices that may believably inhabit their particular diegetic reality. Animators contract strived to find a way to resolve this issue with their credit design and an cognizance of how to de lodger tarradiddle data with their characters. This stress give decorate the solutions that vitalizers engender found to make their audiences believe what is put in mien of them.In 1914 Winsor McCay took up the (self-imposed) challenge of making dinosaurs live again via animation. The resolving was Gertie the Dinosaur a semi-live act with McCay performing onstage with the projected film underside him. Gertie herself was obvio usly an inspire projection and to make her thinkable she had to have a grueling individual character.McCay achieved this through his own inter exercises with the character of Gertie. He dialogue to her and asks her to perform tricks, which she obliges to do. We are in like valetner drawn attention to the fact that she is athirst(p) and she drains a lake. The performance would climax with her picking up McCay (as he exits the stage.) and bounding of the screenland with him on his back.Through this series of call and response amidst the live action McCay and the animated Gertie, McCay creates the illusion of clement arrest within the animated dinosaur. at that place is overly at one point a look of glee in her face after a fight cyclorama when she throws the defeated mammoth into a lake. Through the human interaction and the animation McCay has anthropomorphically endowed the animated creature with human emotions he has make her plausible to the audience by giving h er recognizable human traits.In his check Understanding Animation Paul swell recognizes that the substance abuse of attributing animated sentient being characters anthropomorphic signs has become a mainstay of character study. It will be discussed in march on detail later in the essay.The basic principles of photograph as a narrative strategy in animation have been summed up by Wells. The character may be understood through its costume or construction, its ability to gesture or move and the associable aspects of its design. It is pertinent at this point to discuss these aspects of character design.Regardless of if an animated character is an puppet or human, animators rarely try to completely retch natural form. As such the problem is that they are presenting viewers with supernatural looking beings. If the viewer is to accept the characters shown before them, the characters themselves must be presented as believable. This is why animators rely on exaggeration of indiv idual features to suggest definite character types. Halas and Manvelldescribe this in their keep back the technique of film Animation. Characterization is achieved by the distortion of shapes and forms big eyes, big emit, big nose, large judgement drink down in the mouth remains etc.What is stressed by animators is the gesturing parts of the system, particularly the features of the head. The eyes, nose, mouth and ears are all vital in creating the illusion of human emotion. There is a general rule of thumb with regards to which shapes go with what characters kind accommodate characters tend to have soft move faces with wide smiles and large go eyes. Porky Pig is a great example of this principle. He is the embodiment of the delighted fat man. Villains on the other hand are much much(prenominal) angular. They often have a sort of sharp chin and low-pitched eyes and a crooked mouth that somehow lends itself to a distasteful smile. They are often presented as grotesque , much like the Evil top executive in Snow White and her incarnation as the senescent crone. These generalizations practise as visual soonhand for the viewer they optimise the impact of the character through deliverance and allow the viewer to make connections and process narrative information about the characters more than quickly. In the words of Wells, animation manages to shrink a high degree of narrative information into a restrain period of time through a process of condensation.This method of economy and condensation was born out of functionality as much as anything. partly it was due to the fact that cartoons are usually very short. As such narrative information has to be delivered with great speed. Also when television became the dominant allele domain of the animated short, characters had to be easily recognizable on the low-pitched screen. Its much easier to do this by recognizing one or two strong individual characteristics than several small ones. Most master (prenominal)ly however the simpler that a character is to draw, the quicker they become to reproduce. They rely on caricature and sort to relay narrative information quickly and succinctly.Halas and Manvell go on in their book to describe the visual sprint of Tom and Jerry in harm of the aesthetic principles of animation The drawing and coloring have an economy and a visual impact that matches the overwhelming vitality and sometimes the crudity of the action and characterization. This highlights the importance of economy. Extraneous details can confuse the situation and cut from overall characterization. What is needed is a just a couple of well-chosen details.In 1917 grievous bodily harm Fleischer invented the rotoscope. This device allowed animators to successfully mimic natural lawsuit by blowing up still frames of photography and allowing the animator to copy them exactly. Max and his brother Dave were both inspired by the scarper of Winsor McCay and between them were s ubmissive in the suppuration of both technological and character development of animation. The rotoscope worked by using a drawing board with a frosted wish-washful center. One frame of photography at a time was shone onto the glass and the image was traced. It provided an accurate reference of movement and articulation so that on screen movement could be replicated with a bulk more fluidity. By doing this animators were able to draw more complicated figures in a believable and convincing way. Richard Willams has drawn examples of some of these more complicated characters in his book the animators survival kit. The examples that will be discussed here are the representation of the juvenile and old woman as drawn by Williams. By winning two examples of opposing but similar characters, we can see how the rotoscope paved the way for the development of characterization in animation. The young woman is characterized in the first place be her curvaceous figure. She has a strong co nvex curve on her back and an hourglass figure that extenuates her breast, slim waist and shoulders. She stands upright and tall. She alike has sleek long legs and flowing long h tune. This form communicates her youth vitality and energy. The old woman by contrast has a much rounder concavo-convex curve of the back, which seems to curve round into her body giving her a rounded torso. The breast is also molded into this rounded torso that desexualizes her. Her hair is also shorter. She is hunched forward making her look tired and weary. The lower body is also rounded and she wears a long skirt to cover the legs. In contrast we see sole(prenominal) the ankles and feet of the old woman and she is given short dumpy legs. These two examples show the importance of form and shape in delivering character information. These two figures could represent the same character at divergent ages but the presentation of form provides us with completely different information about the characters .Williams also stresses the importance of movement to illustrate character. As verbalise earlier this art of animation was greatly enhanced by the development of the rotoscope. The way that a character moves can be fluid and flavorless which would suggest grace or elegance. Alternatively movements can be arrhythmic or plodding, which will in turn infer characteristics of weakness or foolishness. Again he uses examples to discuss and illustrate the main differences between the male and feminine walking. The feminine walk is unperturbed and elegant. She keeps her legs close together and as such the footsteps run straight along the tilt of action. As a result there is very little up and down body movement. The feminine walk seems to glide along the line of action. The masculine walk however is much more aggressive. The feet are kept well apart, utter most(prenominal) out from the line of action. The masculine walk is a full on stride, which makes the character as wide as possib le. There is much more up and down movement on the body. This makes the walk much more kinetic and at the same time suggests power and strength. Much like the generalizations about character form, these conventions can be subverted to comic effect or to deliver more information. For example a Masculine walk may become a drunken walk if the feet are allowed to cross the line of action. (I.E. if the right foot passes across the center of the body and steps down on the left and vice versa.) Through these examples it is clear that the way that the animator makes the character move is vital to characterization.The Fleischer brothers were also responsible for two of the most beloved cartoon characters of the thirties Popeye and Betty Boop. These two characters are archetypes of hero and heroine character traits. It seems only fitting therefore to discuss how these characters are so distinct, and the methods apply to give them such strong individual identities.Popeye originally appeared i n suspect strip form some years before his screen introduction in 1933. During this time of American economic depression he was a figure of aspiration for the workingman. As a navy man he had a career that stood for American strength and pride this also made him stand out as the champion of the just causes. As such he was the embodiment of the strong everyman in times of hardship.He is determine as a sailor by the uniform that he wears with style and pride. He embodies the macho sailor stereotype by striding along with a sailors walk, feet apart rocking from side to side. He also has the iconic tattoo of an rachis on his arm this marks him out as a man who figuratively wears his heart on his sleeve. His physical appearance is defined by the exaggeration of his muscle importantly however Popeyes strength comes from eating spinach. Although he is endlessly strong and muscular, it is not until he eats the spinach that he has the strength needed to defeat Bluto. After he has eaten the spinach his forearms are inflated to appear three times the normal size. As Wells points out Popeyes masculinity is predominantly defined by the association between his own organic expansion and the strength of hard metal or machines. As his muscles grow they either transform shape into anvils or air brakes or we see moving pictures of locomotives or battleships on his form arms. Popeyes physical strength therefore is amplified by the imagery but he also associated with American mechanical or military strength.Popeye is remembered for his fights with Bluto but the important thing to bear in mind is that he is not a troublemaker and is usually a very amiable character. He has the characteristic rounded face of the jolly fat man. He walks around with a smile making jokes to himself and being generally full of life. There is also his voice that characterizes him as a salty old piece of seaweed. It is only when his girlfriend Olive Oil is put in jeopardy that he is called into fight thus he is characterized as a rescuer rather than a man of violence.Betty Boop first appeared in 1930 in the cartoon light-headed Dishes. Her Face and body defined her femininity she has a large head with huge childish doe eyes and full red lips. She also has the typical hourglass figure with a full bust that shows of a lot of cleavage. She was also a dancer and her movement and walk were characterized mainly by the feminine swing of the hips. After the first cartoon her skirts got little and smaller and she became much more overtly sexualized. She was an embodiment of femininity or at least the male fantasy of femininity. The blend of sexual charge and dim-witted innocence that came through mainly from her eyes and her distinctive voice affect the censors. Her raunchiness was toned down after the Hayes code of 1934.Now that the development of human characterization has been addressed it is important at this point to addresses the use of anthropomorphism again. The rise and s uccess of the animation of Walt Disney, Chuck Jones and Tex Avery are kick examples of how the lending of human characteristics to animals and vice versa has created some of the must vivid and persistent icons of animation. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck et al have become such strict images in the popular psyche that it is important to understand what made these characters so memorable.When dealing with animals we must bear in mind the association that good deal already have with those particular beasts. Any given animal will have a mythology and literary tradition that comes with it by being aside of these traditions animators have been able to associate these ancient traditions with their own creations. For example foxes are sly and cunning sharks are ferocious and unforgiving clam and lions are heroic and noble creatures both ferocious yet majestic. When an animator is making a character they tend to marry the preconceived ideas that people have about a p articular beast with the traits they desire for their character. This is what wells calls associable traffic and opens the form of animation into a narrative dialectic that requires an extra-textual understanding on behalf of the viewer.A good example of how the principle of associative relations works would be Kaa from The Jungle Book. The snake has a literary report that dates back to the story of Adam and Eve. It was the seductive yet untrustworthy snake that facilitated mans fall from paradise. The snake is sly professing friendship but always has his own agenda. The snake glides along the flow in a smooth fluid motion, which is at once deadly and seductive. Kaa is attributed with these characteristics through legend and association. This is further illustrated by his ability of hypnotism, which is of course a human discipline. He talks to Mowgli and soothes him to sleep with soft words and hypnosis in order to eat him. In dealing with associations that are so deeply rooted in the mutual psyche the characters themselves become instantly memorable.Animal characteristics can also be applied to human characters. Heroes are often seen riding horses the horse itself is a creature of nobility and heroism and the tradition of the hero on horse back is one that has permeated every folklore around the globe. The human therefore basks in the reflective glory of its animal companion. The best way to summarize the use of anthropomorphism in characterization is to say that the human in the animal identifies the human character within. In turn the animal in the human illustrates and enriches the character of the human.Animators create artificial worlds and diegetic domains for characters to inhabit. As mentioned at the outset of this essay the problem is that the animated world we are presented with is so overtly fake that it is a challenge to make the characters believable. Animators exploit the fantasy element of their work they draw attention to the fact that we are presented with talking pigs and indestructible heroes through comic exaggeration of their abilities and their follies. However what Animators do manage to do is enter enough natural movement and recognizable human emotion into their creations that we pretermit them fully as real believable characters within their own right.BibliographyBordwell and Thompson. (2001) call for Art An Introduction, New York McGraw Hill. Canemaker, J. (ed.) (1988) Storytelling in Animation The Art of the Animated mountain range Vol. 2, Los Angeles AFI. Griffin, H. (2001) The Animators guide to 2D Computer Animation, Oxford Focal Press, Halas, J and Manvell, R. (1968) The Technique of take Animation, Norwich Focal press Limited. Wells, P. (1998) Understanding Animation, New York Routledge. Williams, R. (2001) The Animators Survival Kit, New York Faber and Faber.