This was a rejected sequence for a bit of software coming from a software company in Japan (who are creators of, not coincidentally, Jam Sessions DS, another game in which some artwork of mine appears) called (I think) Bilingua, and it’s intended to help people learn a new language. Essentially we did a whole mess of various animations for various verbs, and the software plays the animation in conjunction with the words in order to help the user associate new words with visual terms. Hey, not everything an animator does is hot action excitement.
This one I rather liked, partly because we were able to design the animation with a grand total of about five drawings, not including the way the text itself is being “written”, which isn’t a series of frames so much as it is one drawing (the text line) which is gradually revealed frame by frame to create the illusion of being produced by the hand and pencil. The whole text block then shifts upward and the cycle begins anew.
The hand and the pencil are randomized and pushed from left to right… the end result doesn’t look like a randomized cycle (at least not unless you look closely), but it allows us to create a longer sequence with a minimal amount of drawings, and that’s usually a good thing. The final sequence as it appears in the software has several subtle differences from this one, but I’ll be danged if I can remember ’em all.
I think part of it involved not leaving the hand disembodied, which we were told is one of those subtle Asian cultural taboos that makes people slightly uncomfortable. I don’t know how prevalent that really is, but it came down from the Japanese clients, so I gotta take it at face value. You learn something new every day, huh?