Research on animation

Stop motion animations

Nightmare Before Christmas

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This movie is another of Tim Burtons early creations while working for Disney. The movie start was in 1991 at the start of the year and September/October was the time when they were suppose to start capturing the frames for the film itself. The filming/capturing process lasted for close to 2-3 years and in 1993 was released to the public.

The crew while creating the story sketched out hundreds of detailed storyboards without added script to know the sequences of events and even separated them to not get them mixed up or something.

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For the movie animators used 24 frames per second and as they said few minutes of film could take a week or a bit more to finish and if something goes wrong like the camera moved or so the scene would have to be re-taken.It would be a huge burden for the animators to not make a mistake, to check that the cameras and puppets are in place and the scene is captured from the right angles.

The set for example for the Halloween town was firstly drawn by the designers as maybe 1/2nd or 1/4th of the original scale to then make a smaller replica to figure out how things would work. As one of the designers spoke that they had to divide the set into pieces which each would be 2feet that animators would be able to reach with their own hands and work smoothly. The original set one way of another would be around 24 feet so it wouldn’t have fit into one room and let a couple of different animators work on the same set on different scenes.

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In terms of creation of the puppets ,each individual character had its own hand made exo-skeleton that would fit with the mould of the character, later the mould would be hand painted and the body would be ready, while the heads of characters would be made a couple of hundred of times that each head would represent an individual sound and would be used while capturing. Later when the songs were brought into the animators grasps one of the people working on the film made animators jobs easier by syncing the song with the heads and were later taker pictures and numerated then animators would simply switch between heads and continue their work.

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The music as for most known was composed by Danny Elfman. While mid creation Burton didn’t have solid script that would help Elfman work on the music but as Elfman told that Tim would  explain the scenes that Danny would be working on and talk about the characters, whats happening , the mood and other, every few days there would be progress and chats between the two while both of them were busy in making the movie and composing music for it. I guess it could be called blind composing which payed off and made the movie great.

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3D Animation (CGI)

Big Hero 6

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One of Disneys’ 3D movies re-created from a 1998 Marvel Comics “Big hero 6” comic , the rights to it was later bought by Disney in 2009 and released the Big Hero 6 movie in late 2014.Main Directors of the movie were Don Hall (Directed Winnie the Pooh and Big Hero 6, part of the storyboard group for Tarzan(1999) ,The Princess and the Frog (2009) for story supervision, and voice acting) and Chris Williams (was a part of the story department for Mulan(1998), Brother Bear(2003)).

The creation of Hiro and Tadashi was a slightly difficult task because the creators wanted both of the main characters to be relatable and still appealing to youngsters, teens and parents. Baymaxs’ design was mainly inspired by soft robotics as a recreation of Baymax is now tried to replicate in the real life and soft bells . The bell holes being the eyes and line in between the mouth.For the wobbly walk that Baymax has was created by looking through penguins and human toddlers walk and later made into the walk that the fans find irresistibly adorable. With the chosen designs designers later on  had a tough task portraying emotions through something so small in detail comparing to Hiro or other characters by simply making the character models and actors walk into a cafe and show their characteristics simply by movement and no dialog.

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The creative process for most movies just like this one would start with the storyboard team to sit down and cover the main concept first before bouncing ideas from each other , as the directors themselves said that brainstorming would last for a few days at least in a room full with people talking ,re-writing ideas over and over and also a vast pile of drawings that will help later on in the model and animation processes. Later sequences of moves would be drawn to have the key frames of action being shown , possibly the main things that happen in the movie or possible Easter eggs hidden in it through out  the length of the movie.

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Moving on after the story is developed the 3D modellers start working on a software “Maya” to create rough and final designs for the characters, buildings, backgrounds and etc. The crew managed to rebuild San Francisco and give it the Tokyo feel all on their own, no pre-built buildings used and everything was made by them for that movie. San Franstokyo itself has 23 districts and is the biggest city built from scratch with 83 thousand buildings, quarter of a million trees used asnd approximately 200 thousand background characters (or background people) used to give the movie a little bit more life .

As the creation process continued when the models and environments were created the animation stage began and every scene was pretty much hand animated by the animators and then rendered in into the movies world with shading and special textures , before so the scenes would have basic colours and shapes for the animators to orientate themselves around the scenes and make fluent animations without possible clipping through mesh objects.115949385Big-Hero-6-Animation-Showreel-and-Shot-Breakdown-7f0064229_1932599

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2D animation (Cell shading)

Spirited Away

Hayao Miyazaki is best known for his imaginative movies , most popular and most recognisable around the world is “Spirited Away”. As the creator himself admitted be never had a script when he decides to make a movie he simply lets the ideas take over until they make a stories that most animated movie fans come to love over the years.

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The thing about Spirited Aways idea Miyazaki was inspired by his friends 10year old daughter who was innocent and funny. As he said himself that kids in movies these days pursue love but nothing that actually represents a young child’s thinking while being young. While animating the crew takes great care of small details that make the movie seem more alive and realistic would it be dirt on the legs or little movements while putting on shoes. Those little key moments make Studio Ghiblis movies unique and inspiring to all aspiring animators or movie lovers.

In terms of animation process every main storyboard would be drawn by hand , cell drawn, page after page till giant piles fill up from one scene. As mentioned earlier the storyboarding process goes along with drawing the movie itself instead of planning it before getting to work on the movie and knowing the story by heart. Also Miyazaki implements events from real life that happened to him but applies to the world that he has created like the scene where a dirty river god wants to be cleansed and young Chihiro (The main character) pulls out a bicycle and releases the river god from his dirt. That scene was from Miyazakis’ life only without he river god being released from his pain.

In terms of character creation for Chihiro for example Miyazaki wanted to make her into a normal stubborn young kid that would look average and not stand out from the crowd that many girls could possibly imagine themselves being Chihiro and having these kind of adventures.

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