Saturday, May 24, 2014

STUDY: Dragon Ball Z scene from episode 157


 So I'm doing at least 1 study per week..this could be an analysis of an animation, study of a painting, illustration, photo..anything.

My main objective would be to study animated sequences, since I really want animation to be my number 1 skill. I guess I'm mostly interested in animation with semi - realistic characters and lots of action. (Legend of Korra, Black Dynamite and the like).

For this study I picked a sequence from Dragon Ball Z. If you know anything about DBZ, then you'll know that you shouldn;t study it for HIGH STANDARD animation. This is early, low budget tv animation afterall. BUT! ...if you're looking for tricks on how to get the most out of the least amount of drawings, I figured DBZ is the perfect place to start looking.

This little flash video below is a rough version of the scene I looked at. As soon as SC001 pops up in the left hand corner, you'll see the same number of drawings as there were in the actual version aired on tv. We're not talking 2's, 3's....this goes as low as 1 drawing every 7 frames!

So...most importantly...what have we learned?

1) The Power up FLASH!

One thing that was always so cool about the show, was the energy when they powered up. I might do my own version if I have the time. but this is how it happens on the show:

a. KEY drawing (no animation)

b. KEY drawing with no lineart, but just blacks held for 2 frames

c. Black screen held for 2 frames
d. Same Drawing as KEY 1, but energy animated on top on 4's
2: Character animation on 4's, special effects on 2's.

In the images below you can see KEY drawing #1 (start pose) and KEY drawing #2 (end pose). For the animation they broke it down using 3 inbetweens.

- First inbetween (a) right in the middle held for 4 frames
- Second inbetween (b) in the middle of that inbetween and KEY #2 held for 6 frames
- Then one more inbetween spaced very closely to KEY #2 held for a whopping 7 frames.

The reason this actually works on the show is because the aura (FX animation), animates at twice the speed, giving the impression that there is actually more movement than there really is. This actually happened in pretty much the entire sequence.

(KEY #1)

(KEY #2)

I'm sure nobody except for me really gets anything out of this, but writing things down is a way to internalise the information. Apparently the founders of Gainax, spent a lot of their days frame by framing animation, and look at what those guys achieved!

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