February 3, 2009

a Notch Up

I'm thinking out loud about how far to take the Bullies concerning design. The amount of animation increases with this new look at the Bullies and would it simply be worth it? My conscious forces me to not just move stuff around, it all needs to have meaning, but animator's might disagree heavily. From their perspective, every movement needs to be multiplied by at least 12 and the pace is killing anyway, so maybe it's all not rewarding enough.


  1. Animation anismation, this design is the awesomeness!
    My toes are curling up in my shoes to see what you guys bekokstoof next

  2. My feeling is that it does look complicated to animate, but if the story and design are strong,and this is good, the animation can be more economical. If I think of animating this in Flash, I would have to simplify the designs but is definitely worth trying :)

  3. What in this design for example would you simplify exactly?

  4. This is a beautiful picture. Great for the film poster. But I get the impression (from the little hop-figure for instance) that Cesare is totally ready to animate full force. As in...let's bring some inanimate objects to life. Now it's important to deliver a design that is obviously strong, fantastic and well equipped, but rather simple and utilitarian to the animator. Strip it of everything that has no direct purpose.
    I didnt think these http://lunarcactus.blogspot.com/2009/01/eating-and-flying.html were so far off actually. Some work on the faces maybe, less abstracted, and I think you're there. What do you think?

  5. Well, I was thinking to get the animation focused to meaningful places. And lock all the rest. Japanese style :) Like this, the 'only' full force animation would be the heads inside the stiff suits (who needs to be delicate), the two arms (functional) and parts of the display (decorative and SciFi). The strong part of the team still is that it's all designer's (who can go bonkers on details for all I care :) and the animation would be hard enough like this right? And there will be enough other places for this total full-force animation, for example the shot where the hairy alien get's ripped of his coat, or entering the disco.

  6. Completely understand your point. But, designing it like this is a garantee that it won't be animated. Just moving around is the only option. Considering the experimental character of this project, and the fact that people are supposed to learn from the process on all levels, I would argue in favor of "options". Build in the possibility of this to be animated, so that when a scene requires it, you won't have to hold back storyboarding it as such, and cesare&co will actually feel encouraged to take on the task, instead of breaking their brains over the complexity of the designs. But...it's a choice.. :)

  7. Well, I am very encouraged by Fons'comments, and very grateful. Yes! I am dying to animate, M-J designs are brilliant, but how to make sure it is possible to animate?

    the only way I believe to find out is testing the designs, even trying the previous version, what Fons suggests, or a in-between version of the two, and see how easy/difficult it is. A small loop of the flying spaceship, a little sketch between the aliens, or something like this can give us confidence to go ahead. Is that an option?

  8. I just got mail from animator Viktor Venema with insightful comments on this topic. I'll try to sum it up:

    -Good news: all indeed is possible, it doesn't matter which path to follow. The choice is more about working happy than it is about technical stuff.
    -This clip being animated with Flash is a fact. The problem with Flash always is the preparation before you actually can start having some fun: to animate! There is no satisfying shortcut to escape this and the best way is to get this preparation as smooth as possible.
    -The prep-time depends on the amount of meshes, gradients, outlines, even the amount of vectors (but that would be with old machines and extreme complex design :). Flash STILL isn't trustworthy enough to NOT have to check up ALL of the imported design before animation. And 'happy' design needs to be neatly ordered in 'animation-' and 'non-animation'-layers (with names) and clean before animation can start. Also something to think about in keeping the animator your friend ;)

    The rest of the mail was about how to go around this obstacle and get a design like this to, ehm, fly. But all the animation-time I thought I saved by this design-approach (less, but focused animation) got back in nagging lost prep-time, so I'm starting to lose motivation to play advocate of the Devil in this :)

  9. Yeah. I'm not a big fan of the saying "everything is possible"..unless used to describe a somewhat broader existentialistic state of being. Or something.
    Animation, whichever technique used, happens to be a medium where the technical aspects are completely intertwined with the creative aspects. There's no way around that- don't seperate technique from process. If there's doubt...keep in mind that in terms of "dressing" your images..it's easier to complicate things afterwards if you feel they are lacking texture. But essentially..get the pencil tests right :)

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  11. Hi everybody! Just commenting on the everything is "animatable" quote I made to Maarten... this depends completely on the time you want to spend on things of course.

    I totally agree with Fons on the notion that "dressing up" comes way after your animation, which should be clean and simple from the get go. Essentials first, details later! Look at all the classic pencil tests of old! Timing and spacing is always done with simple basic shapes, dressing up and applying secondary or overlapping action can be done later if needed... it's silly to think you have to start with the detail just because you have a finished design at you're disposal.