“The Line”

Project 3 – ‘The Line’ : 2D Animation

  • Pitch/Presentation Deadline – Tuesday 24th November 2015
  • Final Submission – 7 pm Monday 7th December 2015

2D Animation is the animation technique that uses sequential drawings or paintings to create the illusion of representational movement.

Drawing is often as much about exploring ideas as it is making representational pictures. The images that the process of drawing creates can also depict ideas and feelings as much as images. Rhythm, texture, speed and temperatures are a few of the things that could be suggested by drawing. Our objective is to develop an understanding of how we can use these notions in helping you tell our story, additionally to develop an understanding of how audio helps in supporting your story.

Task: Using sequential drawings create a 30 seconds animation that tells a story using the three act structure of a character overcoming an obstacle in pursuit of an objective.

  • Final submission should be 30 seconds @ 24 fps, format MP4 H264 format @ 1280×720
  • A set of character sketches, designs and a storyboard clearly outlining your animation plan.
  • 4 High resolution stills in JPG format 1920 pixels wide x 1080 pixels high.
  • 3 Blog posts documenting and reflecting on your progress.

La linea – simple line animation. Everything is simple and drawn on one line using one line. The character is simple and the story is also pretty simple. The character is very demanding, and shouts at the person doing the drawings, who interacts with the drawings by drawing in lines and things with a pencil. The character wants to go fishing but keeps getting it wrong and messing up. Its a light-hearted comedic animation, which shows a character as they attempt to overcome different obstacles, like fishing with a baseball bat or fishing rod, or falling into the water. Its a good example of what can be achieved with very little on screen, and still tell a story where the character has a motivation we can see and things he wants and how he feels about it.

Man – still a simple animation, follows one man who kills and destroys his way across the land, taking or doing whatever he wants. He is selfish and takes what he wants (like man) he is dozy, unthinking, casual, he’s not nervous or anything – he’s just doing what he was made to do! Its just man ruining the planet, taking what he wants, etc. Its like the history of man. Then the aliens come down at the end and we are made to think, what would other beings think if they came to our planet, this video says that they would be angry at how we were harming the environment and everything. This video has a lot to say, without actually really saying anything relevant or interesting, but it is sometimes comical in how casual the character kills things and takes what he wants. It is a silly and bleak look at the world, through a polarising perspective though, someone was definitely trying to send a message about man.

Paperman – really good story, not so simple animation this time. The idea is a man and woman are brought together by paper.

Story things to consider with Jules and Phil:

What is the characters motivation? Why do they do what they do? How does your characters world view influence their actions ‘Why do they do what they do?’

What angle are you approaching life, and what view are your characters approaching life?

Is everything going to work out or maybe not? are u suspicious? benefit of the doubt? Do you want to in-still some worry or other feeling sin the film. it should say something about you, how does your particular overview shape your animation and story.

Is the story from a 1st or 3rd perspective. Or even a 2nd?

1st person – reliable/ unreliable (should we trust what they say or not)

3rd person – omniscient, limited, objective (often perceived to be harder to write from, because now you’re not just writing from your own pov but often multiple characters. Although first person doesn’t mean you can ignore other characters, it means you have to develop them all through one single viewpoint instead of multiple, or their own.

2nd person is the least used [perspective for narratives.

If they are objective the narrator has no insight. At the other end of the spectrum is a god like knowledge of what’s happening known as omniscient. In the middle of these is where the narrator only knows one persons thoughts and motives – the protagonists. This is the limited omniscient perspectives.

1st person examples:

  • Supersize me (most documentaries really)
  • Sunset boulevard
  • Fight club (unreliable)
  • Sixth sense
  • American beauty (unreliable?)

3rd person example:

  • Castaway (limited)

Are you an optimist? Will your story have a positive and happy ending?

More cynical? Would the story have a sad or bitter-sweet ending?

How many stories have unhappy endings?

The scarecrow – Chipotle advertisement animation (3:22)

Its trying to say that natural products are better than man-made ones. The animals are treated better in natural farms, and how their product is all natural and don’t do that sort of processing that they portrayed so badly.

City vs countryside. Its very obvious the symbolism, going out to the countryside, they are saying they are ethical and natural.

There’s a song from Charlie and the chocolate factory, talking about this magic world, but its corrupt and poisonous.  Very heavy handed but good example of something with a very particular angle and world-view and how they executed it.

Ideas for ‘the line’ animation:

  1. A character looks ahead and sees where they want to go (a door perhaps) or a goal of some kind. They walk towards the goal, until they reach a part of land that is a different colour, when they step on it – it moves! It bends and bows beneath them and they step on and off, afraid of what could happen if they move forward. They look and they cant go around or jumps over it, so they decide to be brave and move forward. They slide down and down and into the middle of the land which has bent underneath them so they are stuck in the middle. The character tries to get out but is stuck.
  • Perhaps they have been trapped by something here and its like a Venus fly trap, they are now digested by the trap.
  • Maybe they escape, Hollywood ending where they reach the goal.
  • Maybe they accept their fate and take 40 winks, maybe when they wake up something will have changed.

2. A sloth wants to move from one tree to another. As its moving it gets sleepy and takes a nap, every time it wakes up something significant has happened. At times it wakes to danger and perilous situations, but when it sleeps again the next time is wakes is worse and worse, until it wakes as king of the world, so it sleeps and wakes up on the branch again in the end. Was it all a dream or what? Does the sloth just always manage to survive somehow, because its not because its doing anything, unless napping is doing something.

3. A scientist picks up a baby and carries it to the start of a maze. the maze is revealed and there are spikes and fire and shark tanks and all sorts of dangers, the scientist opens the maze door the baby works its way through – we only see scientist as he jots things on his clipboard and reacts to the baby as it makes its way through the maze.

The  baby makes it through, the scientist rewards the baby and then starts it off at another maze.

4. A character needs to warm up – it goes from blue colours to red for cold to hot. It becomes hot when it is next to these flower things, but they deplete and he becomes cold again. The character cries when the heat runs out and is clearly very unhappy about it. they run to the next flower until that depletes,and then they cry louder!

They eventually find a way to be warm (orange/yellow) and in equilibrium with the next flower they see.

(Or they collect flowers together and live inside them, but maybe that doesn’t work for long either.)

*There could be a loop, where the character is born or appears and then must find warmth, they overcome the obstacle and find warmth, this causes the next character to be born or appear, etc.  So the cycle continues, round and round, cold animals needing to be warm, but its not that easy. One object needs another for life, when that other finds a way to coexist without destroying the object, they create life? Its kind of a metaphor i guess, but not just for love, for other things too..

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