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Jordain Project Three write up

Arts 1601
Jordain Chinander

Final Project write-up

I signed up for this class because I wanted to learn how to create a cartoon animation and I knew that at least one of our projects was an animation project. I learned a lot from my first project and that project gave my enough confidence to try to make a fully cartoon animated project. Having had some experience from my first project that I decided to make my final project a cartoon project inspired by early Disney cartoons. I began this project knowing full well that it was going to be very difficult and time consuming, and yet it has been a dream of mine since childhood to create a cartoon animation, and so I accepted the challenge. Despite the inability to apply the music I would have liked without compromising the quality of the cartoon, I was very satisfied with the final outcome. I think with more time I will be able to further push this cartoon and so I think I will continue to develop this project over my Holiday break. Cartoons, though difficult they may be to create, I have found to be a real passion for me. I believe there will be several more projects like this one in my future.

I initially signed up to be in this class because I wanted try my hand at creating cartoon animations. I wanted to first see if I liked to make one and if so I planned on signing up for the animation class during one of the semesters to come.

I was indeed able to make a couple of cartoon animations in this class and they were very fun and also very difficult and time consuming to produce. I began by creating a sort of ‚Äúcomposite‚Ä? animation for my first project and I found that I really liked to process of creating it.

Based off of the insight I gained from my first project I decided to use the skills and methods I learned from the first animation and push them a little further for a final animation project.

My final project I decided was going to be a cartoon starring myself as an early Disney-esque styled cartoon character. I created the cartoon in a more or less traditional cartoon manner, however I set it in a modern setting as a reflection of my own frustrations with work and the pressures I have felt in today’s poor economy. It was a bit of a challenge to blend the two worlds and still stay true to an early animation style.

I knew based upon how much work the first animation was, that this project was going to be a lot of work. I soon found out after I began, however, that this project was quite a bit more difficult to produce than the first.

The first project was a visual collage of still images/photos and drawn then imported characters. These elements were then animated in Flash on the computer. This project was composed entirely in Flash. First the characters were hand drawn and then imported into Photoshop and then into Flash. Next in Flash I re-drew the characters and gave them a set also drawn in the Flash program. Each character and set component was laid within it own layer built up one on top of another. This allowed me to individually move and alter each figure keyframe by keyframe without disturbing any of the other images.

Though the animation was only some thirty seconds long, it was composed of hundreds of keyframes set in many layers. It was quite a feat just trying to keep all of the layers straight, let alone alter each one in appropriate succession to give the appearance of fluid movement. On a positive not however, I found that even though it was confusing and a lengthy process, as I continued to add on to the animation I became quicker and quicker at altering each keyframe. I believe that with more practice at this process I will become much faster and more efficient at making cartoons.

I initially wanted to lay a soundtrack in this cartoon, although I found that Flash would not recognize the song I had selected from my iTunes. I was able to import the song into Final Cut, however when I exported the Flash cartoon into a QuickTime and then imported that QuickTime into Final Cut, I had lost a considerable amount of visual quality from my cartoon. After the cartoon had been exported from Final Cut then quality of the project had dissipated tremendously and was no longer worthy of submission.

I felt upset at this setback at first and so I went back to my inspiration for some reflection and answers. I re-watched the original Disney cartoons and found that none of them had a soundtrack either. Next I looked to see if they incorporated any sort of text, and there was none. As a result I ultimately decided not to add in text either. Instead I wanted the outrageous facial expressions and the exaggerated gestures of the characters to tell the story.

I think despite the shortness of the animation, it was a success. I am very proud of this project and I think it demonstrates how far I have come since that first project I created. I have strong hopes to continue working on this project during the holiday break and further develop it. I also intend to create many more cartoons from here on out. I would very much like to figure out how to remedy the music and soundtrack issues that I have been faced with in Flash and once I have found a way around it to use music and dialogue in my cartoons in the future.

I have learned so much this semester and I plan to take this knowledge and use it to make many more video and animated projects in the future. I am proud of the work I have created in this class and I know there will be even better projects to come.