Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Five Stages of Animation

We are PICTURE LOCKED on the new episode of Ronin Dojo Community College DX! All we have left to do is make some music and sound effects and we are good to go. Though this could possibly be done by next week, we're not quite sure what the release date will be- but it will be soon.

Now, this milestone has made me think back to a theory I've had about animation process- which this short along with all my past endeavors have definitely validated. My theory is that going through the process of animating a film is kind of like going through the Five Stages of Grief.

First, there's denial. You're thinking, yeah this isn't so many shots I can totally animate this in like a- month. It will turn out great, I'm going to really do it right this time, it's going to look so much better than my last short.

So you start animating and soon enough you find yourself behind schedule, and you enter the second stage of animation- anger. You starting yelling things like "WHY IS IT SO HARD TO ANIMATE HANDS?! I can't believe I thought this would only take me one night to do?!" and "What happened with this run cycle, it looks like he's going backwards- I CAN'T DRAW?!"

This is when you enter the third stage of animation, bargaining. You go back rearrange your schedule in order to compensate for all the trouble you've been having, and you say to yourself "You know what, this doesn't look so bad, I'll just move it around in After Effects and it'll work." And in a Jon Lovitz voice you say "Yeah, that's the ticket", expecting you're roommate to laugh, but your roommate doesn't hear you so you say it even louder, "Yeah, THAT'S THE TICKET." Then you're roommate asks why the hell are you talking about tickets. So you take five minutes to explain how it was this bit he used to do on Saturday Night Live and then you're roommate says "Oh, yeah. . ." So you respond "Whatever, it was funny" and go back to animating.

After going through the gauntlet of actually animating, you enter the fourth stage, depression. You're scanning and coloring and things are starting to come together, but they look a lot messier than you had thought they would. So you start getting all sad and hopeless, thinking you'll never really get any better and suspecting that all those legendary animators like Chuck Jones were actually aliens or at least time travelers.

Finally, after everything is composited and colored, the sound is all done, and all of the shots are all cut together- you have finished an animated film. Thus, you enter the last stage of animation- acceptance. You're proud of yourself for finishing the short, and it's really cool to watch the drawings come together to create the illusion of movement. Sure it's not as good as you thought it would be, but you know only jerks are completely satisfied with their work. If you're serious about your "craft" or whatever, you'll be able to pick out your faults. But seriously, you should be doing more life drawing- this time you're for real about that. Whatever, that's for later though, you've finished the short and now it's time to go outside and see your friends again.

Seeing The Light & Robot Rights