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CS294-7 Presentation A Comparison of Animation Techniques Between American and Japanese Animation Overview American animation techniques are very broad, impossible to generalize, but best known for full animation.

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cs294 7 presentation

CS294-7 Presentation

A Comparison of Animation Techniques Between American and Japanese Animation

overview
Overview
  • American animation techniques are very broad, impossible to generalize, but best known for full animation.
  • Japanese animation, or “anime”, is not as well documented in the Western world, but best known for limited animation.
  • Differences seem to be more style and plot devices than technique.
brief history america
Brief History - America
  • 1900s to 1920s
    • Silent age cartoons such as Felix the Cat, Mighty Mouse, and Betty Boop.
  • 1930s to 1940s
    • Golden age of Disney cartoons.
  • 1950s to 1980s
    • Television era dominated by Hanna-Barbera Productions.
  • 1980s to present
    • Decline of Saturday morning cartoons.
    • Resurgence of adult-oriented animation.
    • Mainstream popularization of “anime” in American culture.
brief history japan
Brief History - Japan
  • 1900
    • First known animation of a boy wearing a sailor uniform saluting the camera (50 frames).
  • 1963
    • First popular anime series, Astro Boy.
  • 1970s
    • Anime develops, separating itself from Western roots.
    • Emergence of “mecha” anime genre.
  • 1980s
    • Golden age of anime.
    • Rise of “otaku” subculture.
    • Mainstream acceptance of anime in Japan.
    • Akira sets record for production costs in 1988 with over 160,000 cels and meticulously lip-synched dialogue.
  • 1990s
    • Anime economy bubble bursts in Japan.
    • International growth, such as Pokemon, Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, etc.
limited animation
Limited Animation
  • Emerged in 1950s.
  • As opposed to realistic animation championed by Disney.
    • For example, rather than lip-synching every word, just create certain mouth shapes and re-use them. Rather than animating each walk cycle, just animate one cycle and repeat it.
  • Pioneered as a result of low budget television cartoons.
    • Hanna Barbera Productions and United Productions of America.
    • Seen in most Saturday morning and prime time television cartoons.
  • Heavily utilized in anime.
    • An extreme example is Dragon Ball Z.
    • Philosophy that more time should be spent doing few good animations than spending time doing many mediocre animations.
    • More effort placed on animating “money shots”.
wild takes vs face faults
Wild Takes vs Face Faults
  • Wild Takes
    • Well known in Looney Tunes
    • Exaggerated facial expressions
  • Face Faults
    • Symbolic things representing certain emotions.
    • For example, sweat drop, nosebleeds, forehead veins, large shining eyes, flames in eyes, giant hammers.
  • Commonalities
    • Hammer space: pulling ridiculous objects out of thin air
physics and timing
Physics and Timing
  • American Animation
    • Gravity is negated by fear.
    • Prolonged death scenes.
    • Everything falls faster than an anvil.
    • Arms and necks holding heavy objects can stretch to infinity.
  • Anime
    • Dramatic moments distort time.
    • Also prolonged death scenes.
    • Scenes repeated in different angles for emphasis.
camera
Camera
  • “Anime regularly uses close-ups of faces, establishing shots, background shots, rack focus, over the shoulder shots, low and high angles, long takes.” http://www.animenation.net/news/askjohn.php?id=1352
anime influenced animation
Anime Influenced Animation
  • Styles and techniques are recently influencing American animation.
  • Examples: Teen Titans, The Boondocks, Aeon Flux
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