Meet the Team Project: Animation Research

In the first week of this trimester at SAE, in my Studio 2 class, we were told that our main assignment was to be a Meet the Team video that was to introduce new characters into am existing franchise. We were split into teams based on whether we had chosen to do 2D or 3D animation, and then we decided on a franchise to create these original characters for. My team elected the cartoon “Samurai Jack” as our franchise.

This blog post has been made to discuss how I am to be going about animating the shots I’ve been assigned, however to do that, I should first show and explain my character.

Samurai Jack MTT character model sheet FIXED

This is my character, she is an ice mage. Of our characters, she actually has the shortest screen time. In the video she will be the apparent villain. And though I have designed four different views, she will only ever be seen from front on.

One of the requirements of the brief is that we rig our characters so the group had to then research 2D rigging, or puppet animation. That required to break my character a bit, so that she could be rigged. Here is her sprite model sheet.

Samurai Jack MTT ice mage sprite sheet

Now she can be rigged. Currently, she is rigged in accordance to Robin Fuller’s video on puppet rigging, using the second technique mentioned; parenting.

It works for me, and is easy enough to use, and makes the most sense. The set up is easy to. At least, in my opinion, it is so. It does everything I need it to do for this animation. It most likely wouldn’t be the technique I would use if I had more scenes to do with my character, or if I needed to animate some more complex movements, however, and there are more efficient ways of setting up a 2D character rig. Like the Duik tool add on for Adobe After Effects, which contains many advanced tools to make for easy animating.

However, for this project, I shall just stick with my parent rigging, where I have attached all the pieces of my ice mage, in a hierachy, starting from the torso, working outwards to her hands.

Here we have some of my reference images of my own hand in the position that I was drawing my casting hand in. Twenty photos and two videos got me the movement and poses that I needed, to have the ice mage casing magic. I can’t embed my own video’s to my blog post however, so I can’t show you the video reference.

Another piece of reference I used, was Khadgar, from Warcraft, in the Warcraft movie, when the main characters have their first altercation with the Orcs.

khadgar-as-seen-in-the-warcraft-movie

Now that’s magic. It is a good example of the hand movements in casting, although with magic, it’s hard to come up with an exact casting stance, since it would rely on the character’s personality and the situation that which they are in.

And now that all of that has been adressed, I’d like to leave off here by sharing some of my thumbnails for a few of my shots that I will be animating. The order is up down, left to right.

MTT Thumbs

I didn’t feel like drawing the mage again, so I took her model sheet and reconstructed her in each frame. With the arrows, I think I’m going to have to discover a better way of representing the movement through the air.

Well that’s all I have to say on this. Thanks for reading! And I’ll see you all in my next post!

~Icetail~

Reference
Blackburn R. FrostieHeart on DeviantArt. DeviantArt. 2015. Available at: http://frostieheart.deviantart.com/
Duik – Rainbox. Rainboxprodcoop. Available at: https://rainboxprod.coop/en/tools/duik/
Fuller R. After Effects puppet rigging tutorial. YouTube. 2013. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsuOXXEo9qI 
Jones D. Warcraft. Universal Studios, Blizzard Entertainment, Atlas Entertainment, Legendary Entertainment; 2016
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Blog Task – Future Predictions for Media

Recently, I went to the cinema to watch ‘Warcraft: The Beginning’ with my mum. While there we noticed how many empty seats there were. This made me wonder, how often are movie theatres almost empty these days? How often does is the theatre empty when a movie is shown? While the next logical question from there would be; does the theatre even play the movie if there is no one there to watch it, that is not important. What the important thing is this; I predict that the popularity of cinema is falling.

Warcraft movie poster

Why do I say this? Well for first things,  movies from smaller producers aren’t as well advertised anymore. I saw no trailers for the Warcraft movie unless I went searching for them. I’ve seen plenty of ads on YouTube that are trailers for Marvel movies and movies from other big studios like Dreamworks, but nothing for Warcraft. Around websites with third-party advertisement, I only once did I see an ad that was for Warcraft. I love the game World of Warcraft, and I love trying to find out everything about the game I can, but I can say that I didn’t know that this movie even existed before my mother showed me the trailer that she had managed to find. With a monopoly on advertisment, smaller studios don’t get as much publication.

Angry Birds movie posterThis brings me to my next point; the length of time some movies stay in cinemas for and how often screening are. The Angry Birds movie is only shown in Event Cinemas in Australia  at around 9:30am each morning, and not showing at all in some cinemas.  This makes getting to movies hard, since with only one screening a day,while might encourage fuller cinemas, doesn’t give people many options to work with. Traffic issues can cause people to be late for screenings, and can also discourage people from wanting to watch movies at the cinema.

Another point I would like to bring up is Netflix. Netflix has its own original programming which has started adding movies to its lists. These movies don’t get released in cinema, therefore subtracting from the appeal of going to the cinema to watch movies. While not movies like Marvel or DC cinematic universes or Star Wars, it can only be assumed that eventually those aforementioned movies, or movies like them, will eventually become available on Netflix  or other web streaming providers. Why would someone go to the cinemas when they can just stream the movie at home?

Piracy_Its_A_Crime_WideAnd this brings me to my final point; piracy.  Downloading illegal copies of a movie for free.  Why waste money going to the cinemas to view something you can get for free later once it has been placed on a piracy website?  A sad but true that is that, yes, people do breach copyright laws just to save some money and watch their favourite movies. It’s a crime, (as the picture states) but some people don’t care. And it’s piracy that is killing the popularity of cinemas the most.

With all these pain made, I wish to reiterate what I stated before; I predict that in the near future, the popularity of cinemas will die. The price of watching movies at the cinema will increase and further discourage people from going, and the theatre’s seats will be emptier.It is strange to see the popularity of cinema fall after growing up around people always talking about when they will next go to see a movie. Not many people have conversation like that anymore, only talking about what the newest model of smartphone is or what the latest game releases are.  But this is the way that cinema popularity is falling. Perhaps in fifteen years its popularity will rise again.

~Icetail38~