Fluorescent Black was a roller coaster of ups and downs and although I couldn’t achieve the entire song as predicted, I am still overwhelmingly satisfied with seeing my vision play out before my eyes. I experimented with complex camera angles in cel animation form, which was an extremely tedious process, reasoning the half-way finish of the song. Animation techniques such as zooming (figure 1), scale (figure 2), rotation (figure 3) and panning (figure 4) were all movement oriented techniques which were all time-consuming elements to draw out however I believe it helped succeed in the overall demonstration of skill in my cel animation design.
Smaller more detailed animation techniques such as anticipation (figure 5 & 6) were easily drawn out and delivered in cel animation. It drove home the effect of conveying emotion and realism in my protagonist.
The design and aesthetic vibe of Fluorescent Black was precisely as I had envisioned it. The symbolism from the simply drawn, sketchy start of the video slowly growing to a slightly more detailed scenery assisted in conveying the point of the animation of accepting something that is unseemingly unacceptable. Cel animation was a perfect decision, albeit a time consuming one, to convey the animation that was playing in my head since I was 14 as it is the superior animation choice for fantastical or unrealistic themes.
I did not achieve my project goal of completing the animation which I realize is a prominent ‘crucial moment’ in my design process. However, I reached the crux of the song and just before the climax of the animation (huge cliffhanger!)The scenes that were most pivotal to me when I was younger made me feel the animation was thoroughly successful. Overall, I believe my project’s strongest aspect was the symbolic narrative it drew out in addition to its evidence in my skills progressing in cel animation from novice to intermediate. I enjoy seeing the video unfold from the jerky background of the first scene (figure 7) to the scenes of the underwater lake (figure 8), the orchid with the archer (figure 9) and the protagonist running through the woods (figure 10).
Correspondingly, I believe my decision to leave the jerky background from my first learning curve as a pivotal decision in my design process. Although risky I believed it was an evident demonstration of my developing cel animation skills. I decided to shape this animation as a proposal to what the music video would look like, an advanced storyboard, “The process begins with producing a series of storyboards to map out what the film will look like. These are then synced with the film’s pre-recorded soundtrack to ensure that the animators know precisely when a character is speaking, or bursting into song”. (IntoFilm, n.d) this crucial decision was pivotal to contextualize the project with a “what it should look like” heading.
Additionally, as previously stated, the decision to deliver my cel animation vibe as sketched and simple outlines to more detailed backgrounds was paramount in illustrating a symbolic evolution of acceptance to the inevitable before oneself. I believe this design decision was critical in the narrative and thus message impacted from my cel animation, a deeper symbolism will always enhance an animations quality “The local visual image modeling of animation character’s style is also of great significance. The local image is the symbol of animation character, in other words, the partial form of animation character has very important symbolic meaning and indicating functions and also has strong aesthetic function.” (Jia. 2014).
I am determined to finish Fluorescent Black’s storyboard proposal and will do so after the submission of this task. I cannot wait to see it finalized all together and have a tangible, visual version of the animation that has been plaguing my mind since I was 14 years old. I believe it will increase in quality with having more time to tediously increase the detail of the drawings as previously decided to further the symbolic heart of the animation.
The Continued Portion
TBC: the protagonist chases after the orb at the edge of the cliff, jumping off but reluctantly grabbing a ledge before falling into the unknown darkness that the orb retreated to. The sky begins to fold and shows a night sky full of stars which fills the protagonist with understanding and they jump into the darkness after the orb. The perspective switches to an elderly person shedding a tear just before the protagonist reaches the orb. Inside the tear falls the protagonist and orb. As the tear shatters on the elderly person’s hospital gown, the hand of the protagonist can be seen reaching the orb in one of the droplets, dissolving into blue. The sky folding was actually the elderly person closing their eyes, and the journey to find the ball, death, was within their last fleeting moments of life. Death came sweetly.
- Petrovic (2000) Shadows for Cel Animation Princeton University https://dl.acm.org/doi/pdf/10.1145/344779.345073
- Jia (2014) Analysis of Visual Symbols Application in Film and Televisions Animation Creators Shool of Art and Design
- Ward (n.d.) Cel Animation Inspiration: Hand-Drawn Motion Design School of Motion Design https://www.schoolofmotion.com/blog/cel-animation-inspiration
- Wood et al (1997) Multiperspective Panoramas for Cel Animation University of Washington https://dl.acm.org/doi/pdf/10.1145/258734.258859