“To Write”

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.

:D 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.

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JiJ : Two Buckets “gun play”

This is a couple of strung-together cuts from the second act of the new short. Definitely up a notch from the last two, but now I’m disgusted by my complete lack of dynamic angles. So flat!!

THIS IS NOT JOE. Joe himself is not in this clip. These are, instead, Very Bad Men That Joe Has Known. There’s a lot of those, it seems.

It is, as far as I can tell, physically impossible to twirl a pistol like that. I know, I tried, I dropped a model Sig several times, I bruised my toes in the great pursuit of Art. But that’s the magic of animation for you… animation is all about the things that can’t be done, being done.

There’s two examples of staggered timing here (“staggering” is when you set the timing so that it goes 2 forward, 1 back). For instance the clutching hand in the third cut is seven frames that ease in and out of a closing motion, but by setting the timing as 1-2-3-2-3-4-3-4-5-4-5-6-7-6-7, you extend the timing from 7 to 15 frames without additional drawings, and create that clutching motion. The laugh cycles at the beginning are also staggered, but not so evenly (more like 1-3-2-1-2-4-5-4-3-2-5-4-3-6-5-6-7, or something like that, I don’t know). It’s not as good-looking as straightforward, properly animated action, but then again it’s a cheat.
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JiJ : Racing Crew

A series of racing-themed images for Joe is Japanese. This depicts pretty much everyone in the main storyline cast, something I haven’t gone into much up to now. The characters are (from upper left to lower right) our titular hero Joe and his femme fatale Miyuki, Mister Mountain and Koga, Victor and BJ, Island Masta and the nefarious Kawakami.

JiJ : Opening Animation “gung-fu”

This one is a bit unusual, in that it’s not a sequence from the narrative. This is, instead, a small piece of animation that appears in the opening sequence. It will likely be used as a masking element, though in what capacity I’m not sure… I just draws ’em, I don’t makes ’em up (sometimes).

I enjoy animating silhouettes ’cause they’re a lot easier than full character work… you can hide murder in that negative space. Ultimately it becomes a matter of just following the lines, but in fact the initial rough animation for this contained a full (if incredibly scribbly) character. It wasn’t until the cleanup phase that it became a complete silhouette.

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JiJ : Kenji Saga “legbreaker”

Line animation for the upcoming HTF project Joe is Japanese… one of many, many cuts, this one involves a story Joe tells his friend Koga in a bar about how his buddy Kenji maimed a guy in a fight once.

Needless to say, this scene won’t be truly complete without sound. MMMmmmmm… crunchy. :D

Koga at MySpace