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June of Westlake . Yue Zhou. Thesis Statement. Research Question How past critically acclaimed pieces of water-ink animation can be combined to form a digital template that emphasizes the use of rice paper as background?. Proposed Project.

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thesis statement
Thesis Statement

Research Question

How past critically acclaimed pieces of water-ink animation can be combined to form a digital template that emphasizes the use of rice paper as background?

proposed project
Proposed Project

This thesis focuses on the art style, story, length, and technique analysis of past water-ink animations.

Based on the reported research, an art piece to produce a digital water-ink animated with rice paper environment is offered as my MS project.

thesis statement1
Thesis Statement

Research Question

How past critically acclaimed pieces of water-ink animation can be combined to form a digital template that emphasizes the use of rice paper as background?

water ink animation
Water Ink Animation

- Produced time (1960-1988)

- Art Value: evolved from traditional Chinese aesthetics of water-ink painting.

- Technique: translucent characters are hand painted on different cels by using Chinese water-ink painting style or combine with paper cut technique with hand painting background .

introduction
Introduction

It is one of unique art styles in Chinese Animation industry. It is distinguished from other animations by its use of brushstrokes, ink spread, and color gradients which create a much more complex image than simple solid colors.

Water-ink painting

Animation:

The Cowboy’s Flute

introduction1
Introduction

Data from Shanghai Animation Film Studio shows that a production of water-ink animation costs four times as much as the average traditional animation. After 1979, the Chinese government policy change allowed individual and foreign animation companies to enter into the Chinese animation industry. Around the 80’s, water ink animation’s popularity and development declined due to the high development costs. The last water ink animation from that era was made in 1988.

Chinese opening and reforming policy(1979)

Before: National Animation Studio After: National Animation Studio

National financial support National financial support

National Animation Release National Animation Release

introduction2
Introduction

CG Water-ink Animation

At the beginning of the 21st century, technology has advanced across the globe, Chinese water-ink animation has been adapted and tailored to fit in the digital world. Digital water-ink animations produced in the style of traditional Chinese ink painting provide excellent examples of how technology has merged with old media.

cg water ink animation
CG water-ink animation

In the past, water ink paintings and animations’ background were always drawn on rice paper. However, recent digital work have neglected to add rice paper and deviated from representing water ink’s effect on paper.

Ode to Summer

The Legend of Shangri_la

INK

slide10
INK

New York Festival’s Gold World Medal of 2010[38] & Singapore's PormaxBDA’s Best Out of House Station Image Promo and Best Animation Award 2009[39]

ode to summer
Ode to Summer

This film was the first CG animated short from China and was selected to be shown at the Animation theatre of Siggraph in the same year [37].

the legend of shangri la
The Legend of Shangri_la

The highest honor at the Awards, the DIGICON Grand Prize was conferred upon China’s IDMT (Institute of digital media technology) for The Legend of Shangrila

thesis statement2
Thesis Statement

Research Question

How past critically acclaimed pieces of water-ink animation can be combined to form a digital template that emphasizes the use of rice paper as background?

difference
Difference

Main art style: Digital water-ink animation with rice paper background.

Selected the past successful pieces to the project.

list of successful art pieces
List of Successful Art Pieces

Water-ink Animation(1960-1988)

Tadpoles looking for their Momma (1960) - Character design

The Cowboy's Flute (1963) - South China landscape background and elements

Bamboo shoot grown in the house (1976) - Ink spread effect test by paper cut technique

CG water-ink animations:

Ode to Summer (2003) - Ink texture created in maya software

The Legend of Shangri-la (2006) - The story is adopted from the poem of the same title by the famous poet Tao Yuan Ming of Dong Jin Dynasty over 1000 years ago.

INK (2009) - Combine Fluid effects to water-ink style

animation analysis
Animation Analysis

Tadpoles Looking for Their Mom (1960), by ShangHai Animation Film Studio.

Film length: 14 mins

Story: Depicting Huizhen Fang and Lude Shen’s fairy tale story. About a school of tadpoles that were born and were looking for their mom.

Art style:

- Character: Chicken, tadpoles, shrimp, goldfish, crabs, tortoises, catfish and frog. The inspiration of character design from the legendary painter QI BAISHI. (images)

- Composition: Multiple perspectives

- Color: Ink and low contrast colors.

Technique(Cel water-ink animation)

Spark to the project: Character design

animation analysis1
Animation Analysis

The Cowboy's Flute (1963), by ShangHai Animation Film Studio.

Film length: 21 mins

Story: Simple story of a cowboy losing a buffalo, looking for the buffalo, and finding the buffalo. Shows the close relationship of cowboy and buffalo.

Art style: The film captured the natural light in the Southern China as the background, portraying the interactions between the shepherd and cows with nature.

- Character: Cowboy and buffalo, inspired by the Character & landscape painting style of artist Keran Li.

- Composition: Multiple perspectives

- Color: Ink and low contrast colors.

Technique(Cel water-ink animation):

Spark to the project: Landscape of south China

animation analysis2
Animation Analysis

Bamboo Shoot Grown in the House (1976), by ShangHai Animation Film Studio.

Film length: 18 mins

Story: Bamboo grows inside the house, the little brother wants to dig it out and eat it. The older sister wants to give the bamboo to the government.

Art style: Mimic the effects of water ink interacting with paper.

Character: Older sister and her brother

Composition: Multiple perspectives

Color: Ink and low contrast colors.

Technique(Paper cut water-ink animation):

- Drawing characters with water ink on paper and then ripping off the edges to show the fuzziness of ink spreading.

- Traditional chinese scenery as background (hand drawn water ink animation)

- The final composition is completed by shooting everything sequentially with a camera.

Spark to the project: the directors used new technique to mimic the ink spread effects in the rice paper.

cg water ink animation1
CG Water-ink Animation

Ode to Summer (2003), by Institute of Digital Media Technology Ltd.

Film length: 3 mins 50 seconds

Story: The story mostly fishes are swimming in the water lily lake and revolves around a female character reading by the lake.

Art style:

Character: Classical beauty lady and fish, dragonfly.

Composition: Multiple perspectives

Color: Ink and low contrast colors.

Technique:

Digital softwares:

3D maya software, by adding nodes to the surface shader to imitate the ink textures

Spark to the project: Technique of maya material creation.

cg water ink animation2
CG Water-ink Animation

The Legend of Shangri_la (2006), by Institute of Digital Media Technology Ltd.

Film length: 20 mins

Story: CG Animation Short Film "The Legend of Shangri-la" is adopted from the poem of the same title by the famous poet Tao Yuan Ming of Dong Jin Dynasty over 1000 years ago.

Art style: The environment of scenes are created imitate the style of Chinese painting, but the Character they selected the style of use digital to mimic paper cut.

Character: Fishman

Composition: Multiple perspectives

Color: Ink and low contrast colors.

Technique:

Digital softwares

Spark to the project: the story adapted from the poem, the beautiful scene of plum blossom.

cg water ink animation3
CG Water-ink Animation

INK (2009), by China Central TV.

Film length: 1 mins 50 seconds

Story: The main theme of INK is to represent the modernization of Chinese citizens.

Art style: This film focuses on the diffusion and free movement of ink as it spreads throughout the water and firmly establishes the ink as the main focus. The elements of fish, dragon, great wall, characters, and architecture have all been magically represented through the dancing collaboration of ink and water[40]. All of these topics contain Chinese elements, seek to showcase Chinese culture, and represent the country’s identity through art.

Character: Human, fish, dragon, bird.

Composition: Multiple perspectives

Color: Ink.

Technique: Digital softwares, 3D max

Spark to the project: Technique of fluid mountain.

analysis conclusion
Analysis Conclusion

Story:

  • Simple story with a few Character conflict.
  • Depict topics centering around traditional culture; the stories are often derived from myths, fairy tales, poetry, or religion

Art Style: All the elements are closed with Chinese culture.

  • Character: Many of the objects portrayed in ink animation exist in the real world.
  • Composition: Multiple perspectives
  • Colors: Chinese water ink focuses strongly on using monochromatic color schemes(Black color). The ink is used as the base color and augmented with other colors of low contrast.

Time : No film over 25 mins, belongs to short animation.

Technique: Hand drawing, celluloids, paper cut and digital softwares.

thesis statement3
Thesis Statement

Research Question

How past critically acclaimed pieces of water-ink animation can be combined to form a digital template that emphasizes the use of rice paper as background?

methodology
Methodology

Approach

Using Digital softwares to create a new form of CG water-ink animation with rice paper background.

- 1 min and 30 seconds story, depicting the poem of At Dawn, See Off Lin Zifang at Pure Benevolence( Jingci) Temple by the famous poet Yang Wan-li of Song Dynasty over 850 years ago.

- Maya work of models, texture, Fluid effects and animated.

- Nuke and After Effects for compositing the Maya work into rice paper background .

Analysis

The referenced work include shorts from 1960-1990 done by the Shanghai Animation Film Studio such as Tadpoles Looking For their Momma (1960) ,The Cowboy’s Flute (1963), Bamboo Shoot Grown in the House (1976).

Also, representative pieces at the turn of the 21st century done by Chinese and European studios such as Ode to Summer, The Legend of Shangri-la, and INK are also referenced.

methodology1
Methodology

Work Process

Digital softwares: MAYA, NUKE and After Effects, etc.

Maya: Models(not including background)

Water-ink Material creation (by adding code to the surface shader or RGB render in the object)

Animation work(TO SHOW 3D OBJECTS IN THE DIFFERENT ANGLES)

Nuke: Effects work on ink spread in the rice paper and ink spread timing control.

After Effects: Compositing all scenes, camera work and 2D background image compositing.

proposed project1
Proposed Project

The June of West lake

Film length: About 1mins and 30 seconds

Story: the story adapted from the poem At Dawn, See Off Lin Zifang at Pure Benevolence( Jingci) Temple

Yang Wan-li

Now it comes, mid June on West Lake,

Displays a scenery to other months unknown.

Green lotus leaves outspread as far as boundless sky;

Pink lotus blossoms take from sunshine a new dye.

timeline
Timeline

Fall

Week 8- week 9: Confirm the story with advisor and committee members.

Week 10: Listing the effects are used in the animation work.

Week 11: Confirm the storyboard

Winter:

Weeks 1-3: modeling work confirmed story.

Weeks 4-5: Ink material creation

Weeks 6-7: RGB material creation

Week 8: RGB material render work and maya effects work.

Week 9: Maya Effects work

Week 10: Maya Effects work and animation

Week 11: Animation work.

Spring:

Weeks 1-3: Nuke compositing work.

Weeks 4-5: After Effects work

Weeks 6-11: Refine thesis proposal.

reference
Reference

[37] G.D.C. (2003). 3D movies. Available: http://sz.gdc-world.com/szidmt/szidmt_en/case/case_3d_summer.htm

[38] Television & film awards - 2010 Winners and finalists index[online].Available:http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/res/pdf/2010TVFWinners.pdf, pp.4.

[39] Trouble Makers.tv, “rewards”[online], Available: http://troublemakers.tv/en/who-are-we/