[Other] Mecha Anime by Me project

Randolph 02-15-2006 01:52 AM
My original post did not quite achieve the effect I desired, so I shall try again.
Clearly, I didn't provide the proper information. Here's what I meant:

I am working on an animated mini-series of six episodes.
Currently, I'm at the phase of writing scripts and mecha notes,
brainstorming character designs and personalities,
and planning out my methods for creating the cel animation itself.

The problems I've run into are these:

* A number of cliches have appeared in my scripts, and I cannot for
the life of me find better replacements.
I have a main character with spiky blue hair, an alien invasion,
and a villain who has long purple hair, elegant gloves and a brain-control
chip embedded in his spine. Not to mention the female lead
looks too much like Excel Excel. Only slightly healthier. And calmer.

* I am having a very rough time trying to design mecha. The whole useless
decorative doodad thing is lost on me. The best thing I have is a monotone
Megazord. Which, with all due respect, is not very appealing.
Also, I seem to have subconsciously ripped-off most of the gimmicks
from Big O. Our main machine has rotating machine-gun lasers inside
the arms, the second machine is red and can fly, and the third machine
has a tall head and guns that come out of the chest. Although, it is
black and gold, not white.

* I have already conquered sound effects and music, having made
more or less everything I could ever need from scratch in advance.
However, the art process itself is getting rather intimidating.
Scribbling a thousand 80x60-pixel cells with my mouse and calling it
animation feels rather presumptuous.
Also, I have depressingly little practice in this field, having never animated anything over than six frames at a size of 24x32.

This forum no doubt is home to many a savant in animation, it's history
and mechanics. If anyone here has any insight on how to ease this
process to yield the finest possible result, I would be very thankful.

Thank you for you time.
Randolph 02-18-2006 09:15 AM
Sincere apologies for the double-post/bump, however I have something
for you.

http://www.rocketsoft.gm-school.uni.cc/uploads/animusic.rar

Here we have three of my songs which I have composed for use in the
project. I still hope to do more work on them, so these aren't final.
They are a bit short, usually averaging a bit less than one minute,
and in some places a bit repetitive. Again, not final.
Ace378 02-18-2006 10:02 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Randolph

* I have already conquered sound effects and music, having made
more or less everything I could ever need from scratch in advance.
However, the art process itself is getting rather intimidating.
Scribbling a thousand 80x60-pixel cells with my mouse and calling it
animation feels rather presumptuous.
Also, I have depressingly little practice in this field, having never animated anything over than six frames at a size of 24x32.
Thank you for you time.


Wow your project sounds like a great idea! Now then im not sure how much help I can be but ill try as best i can at any rate. So for starters I would think the most important thing to figure out is how fast do you want your animation to play at? What should the frame rate be? The project I and my team are working on is going to be playing at 30 frames per second and it ensures that there is no choppiness in the animation. However it is kind of overkill. I believe you could get away with a lower frame rate and save yourself some frames of animation.
After you decide what the frame rate will be you should then be able to get a rough amount of the frames you will need to complete an episode. @30 frames per second 1000 frames will only get you 33 seconds of animation so the lower the frame rate the lesser amount of frames you need.

Now that you know what the frame rate is you can move onward to deciding the pixel size of your cells. Generally as you probably already know it looks a lot better whenever your shrinking a larger picture as compared to enlarging a smaller picture so you don't want your original pics to be to small. Of course with cell shading stuff like that doesn't really matter since the color doesn't degrade with enlargement or shrinking.

Whenever I start any kind of animation those two are basically the first two things i think about. I know where to go from here but I think you already may know what i know in those terms so I will leave this post here. If you don't know where to head from here I would be more than happy to list a few more steps. Depending on the length of your miniseries (in total) and also depending on your frame rate 1000 frames of animation may or may not be enough even for one episode.

Thanks for your time,
Ace378
Randolph 02-18-2006 11:04 AM
Talking about the number of frames needed, one has to consider
the actual amount of drawing called for. One drawn cell doesn't always count as one frame of animation. Animations can be slowed down to speeds
below the actual frame rate, or simply used as stills that add up to any number
of frames.

Let's say I have a punching animation of ten cels. The drawing back of the fist
would be slower than the framerate, the fully drawn-back pose could
be held for at least half a second, and the punch itself would run at full speed,
slowing again after connecting and sliding off.
The ten cels could add up, reasonably, to at least fifty frames of animation in all.

Also, just for your knowledge, the framrate I intend to use is 24fps. Although,
I have gotten away with 15 or less in the past.
Ace378 02-18-2006 11:15 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Randolph
Let's say I have a punching animation of ten cels. The drawing back of the fist
would be slower than the framerate, the fully drawn-back pose could
be held for at least half a second, and the punch itself would run at full speed,
slowing again after connecting and sliding off.
The ten cels could add up, reasonably, to at least fifty frames of animation in all.


Yea I know what your talking about. However instead of changing the framerate you could add more frames and the same effect would be obtained. That way you can keep a constant framerate.
Randolph 02-18-2006 11:31 AM
Actually, using the methods I have, I can change the speed of the animation
of every individual item in the shot.

If I have the Bruin monster on the left, Exus Animus on the right,
Monolith Barathrum in the background and a city foreground, I can have
all of them running at a different speed with a different motion.

I don't have to adjust the framerate of the entire device at once.
I can pick it apart. Consider that, also.