Animation – Understanding Comics Response

The value of Understanding Comics in the context of Animation is multifaceted. On the one hand, the medium surpasses the technical capabilities of comics, as movement is more fluidly communicated. However, there are direct parallels between the process, or “six steps”, involved in creating any art form, outlined by the authors that are directly applicable to animation – particularly as these are both visual media. Iconography, distortion of reality, and closure (topics covered in chapters 2 and 3) are also directly applicable to animation, as they are narrative mechanisms unique to visual media, regardless of their fluid or disjointed use of time. In my opinion, the beauty Scott sees in comics, in their capacity to engage the five senses our emotions, are directly pertinent to animation as well. Scott’s trepidation for over-writing comics can be directly transposed to the sentiment that animation directors should not rely on exposition to tell their story (A brilliant example of this is Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal )- both should rely on their use of images to facilitate engagement, particularly through the use of color. Overall, I found Understanding Comics to be an ideological repetition of the tenants we learned in class – well packaged in an engaging comic style.

Comm Lab Animation – Perfect Pair

The purpose of this assignment was to strengthen our skills in Adobe AfterEffects. My partner, Hanwen Zhang, and I created Perfect Pair as a commentary on the normalization of excess in consumption, and the paradoxical judgment we impose on those who overindulge.

The most difficult element of this animation was the masking and rotoscoping involved with the character and bodily fluid layering. Most had to be done manually, frame by frame. Were there more time, I would have appreciated greater insight into how to make more realistic fluid textures, and make the transition between the “flood” and “kaleidoscope” sequences more fluid. I thoroughly enjoyed working on the sound design for this piece. I also enjoyed adding in the Kobayashi Television sequence based on feedback we had received on a rough draft – its concept integrates seamlessly into our piece’s larger message.

Stop Motion

the work documented in this post has gratuitous use of the middle finger. discretion advised I guess.

With my partner, Sarah Liriano, I shot a stop motion animation, set to Oliver Nelson’s Reuben’s Rondo. In it, my character struggles with his anthropomorphized middle finger, after being jostled by a colleague. Though the tone of the animation is light, I intended this piece to be a physical representation of the struggles individuals with obsessive-compulsive, mood, and pervasive-thought disorders may face in their day-to-day life.

We ended up using Dragonframe software and a Canon EOS Mark 3 camera to collect and stitch our stop motion images. I had anticipated how time-intensive the process of shooting the animation would be; approximately 5 hours in total. We planned well in ahead, writing our storyboard before the day we decided to shoot. However, because we neglected to mark up my finger in the shooting phase, editing the middle finger face (which Sarah created in Adobe Illustrator) required tedious, manual, frame by frame adjustment to overlay with my finger.