This is part animation test and part rap video:
download Katana (Beat by Mike Kalombo – remixed by Historian).mp3
(right click to download)
One of the challenges inherent in animating really big slow moving characters in hand-drawn animation is that in order to make them look like they’re moving slowly, one must either draw a lot of drawings, or hold on each drawing for longer than one frame. If you hold on a drawing for more than one frame, the animation will look choppier than if you draw every frame… But drawing every frame takes a very very long time.
Most of the character in the above video is made up of cut out layers that are moved around and rotated in the computer, but for the perspective change on the bobbing head and neck I needed to draw the rotation of the characters face (well, faces in this case). So, in an attempt to get smooth movement in the slow parts of the walk-cycle without actually having to actually draw all of the in-betweens I drew ‘active holds’ on the key poses, and then deformed the key poses into each other using digital deformation tools. An ‘active hold’ in animation means drawing the same pose several times, so that even when the pose is held, the line continues to jiggle and pulse as a result of being drawn a bunch of times. By deforming active holds in the slow parts of the walk-cycle, I was hoping to achieve the look of individually drawn in-betweens while economizing the actual number of drawings I had to do. It sort of worked in some places, and but looks kind of wonky in other places due in part to the limitations of the deformation tools and due in part to flaws in my drawings. Anyway, it’s just a test, and what I’ve learned from it will effect workflow design for future projects (giant sauropod dinosaurs, of course).
Thanks for watching!