HOMEWORK: LESSON 1
WHAT GOT YOU INTO MOTION DESIGN?
My interest in motion design stems from a love for animation and technology. My primary influence in animation was, and still is, Akira and Ghost in the Shell. For this homework assignment, I’ll focus specifically on the bike chase from the Otomo film Akira.
WHAT WAS THE GOAL OR STORY OF THE PIECE?
- Style, beautiful visuals
- This scene is early on in the film and sets the tone for the film both visual and narrative
- Establishing a relationship and tension between Kanata and Tetsuo
WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE DESIGN AND THE AUDIO?
- There is a strong juxtaposition between the action of the sequence and slow pans of the city
- There is a lot of anticipation in each scene. Whether it’s Kanata revving his bike before he takes off, the civilian's car getting blown up, or the clown biker crashing through the restaurant window
- The music is striking and creates an uneasy feeling through the scene
- The music changes throughout the course of the bike scene. It changes from a fast to slow but all the while it mirrors what is happening on screen. It never overpowers the sounds of the characters or actions. The music is a major part of the scene rather than just being a soundtrack in the background
- The music even echoes Kaneda and Tetsuo in the soundtrack to emphasize that this scene is about their relationship even as they are fighting a rival gang together
WHAT MOMENTS OF ANIMATION MADE IT SPECIAL?
- The entirety of the sequence is superb but the pay off and most iconic scene is probably when Kanata faces off with the head clown
- As I pointed out above, I think what makes the standoff between Kanata and the Clown leader so strong is the anticipation. There is so much buildup as the two bikers race toward one another, the impact of the two bikers isn’t even shown, and then we see the two bike slide and crash to a stop as the smoke settles
DO ALL ELEMENTS FIT TOGETHER?
- Yes and no
- All the elements work to create a beautifully cohesive scene but it’s the tensions between the visuals, timing, characters, colors, and sound that heightens the excitement and interest in the scene and film
In the example animations, the left version is superior. The ball conforms to the surface of the environment. The timing is much more fluid and each motion eases in and out, rather than each key being evenly spaced. The ball also is smeared across frames which emphasizes the fast motion.
My frame by frame animation is attached. It was a lot harder to plan out the proper trajectory than I expected. I think the results are OK. Hopefully, by the end of this course, I'll have a better understanding of the tools and timing though.