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Traditional vs Digital Animation

Compare and analyse traditional and digital methods of animation in sources relevant to your ideas.
My project - Animated WhatsApp sticker set based on quotes from Instagram personality, Anna Przy.
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Consists mainly of subtly animated text, with the exception several pictorial animations including anthropomorphised pasta, which flutter like butterflies and a brain who sits heavily in perturbed manner. Also, a floating pair of eyes with an attempted eye pop. For this small action I took inspiration from classic cartoons searching for ‘eye pop’ tropes [Trope a common or overused theme or device: Cliché] Many that I found were 2D created to look 3D whereas my image is flat and viewed straight on, but I applied the idea of the eye bulging, albeit very basic in comparison.   


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I found very few examples of anthropomorphic brains in animation, notably finding only Mother Brain for Captain N (1989). So focused my comparisons on animated and anthropomorphised food.


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Animaniacs, 1993


Vintage Animation 1 - "Let's all go to the lobby” (1957)

This animated short film from 1957 is a classic promotional piece designed to encourage audiences to visit the theatre’s lobby for refreshments. Targeting general audiences, including families and moviegoers. It has a light-hearted and catchy tone, focusing on entertaining audiences rather than conveying a deep narrative. It employs traditional hand-drawn cel frame techniques, with simplistic character designs. Due to the age and rarity of the film I was unable to find anything more than stills but cartoons at that time were made using limited or partial animation rather than full, due to the time, effort and cost it would take to produce by hand.


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Vintage Animation 2 - "The California Raisin Show" (1989)

This animated series features anthropomorphic raisin characters performing musical numbers and engaging in whimsical, comedic antics. Targeting both children and adults with its catchy songs and playful comedy, produced as a form of subtle advertising designed to reach a broader audience (children) through a more appealing method than traditional adverts. Originally the Raisins were Claymation characters animated in stop-motion giving it a distinct tactile and textured look, but I would assume, due resources (cost, time, labour) the series was produced in cel frame, partial animation for a cheap and quick output, to me it has a feel of a disposable commercial.


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Contemporary Animation 1 - " Sausage Party” (2016)

This animated comedy film is probably the highest budget of my case studies, created initially as a main feature for Cinema. The story is geared towards adults and features anthropomorphic food items in a raunchy and satirical storyline. 

This example utilises computer-generated imagery (CGI) to create its animated world, allowing for more intricate details and dynamic camera movements. It has full animation. If paying to see a movie, it is expected that the animation will have a much higher quality to it, it also needs to be in line with current techniques and much higher resolution if it’s being projected in a theatre.


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Contemporary Animation 2 - "Supertato" (2020)

This a 2D animated series, based on the children's book, follows the adventures of vegetable characters in a supermarket. It combines elements of humour, action, and friendship, targeting a young audience with its imaginative storytelling. Features CGI animation with vibrant colours and expressive character animations, appealing to its target audience of pre-school children. The expectation here is not of a high-quality full animation but to emulate the book’s illustrations with additional movement, bringing the characters to life.


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Like my animation most of these examples have rubber hose limbs, which involves simplifying designs by using cylindrical, hose-like limbs often these have exaggerated features, such as oversized hands and feet, and minimise the complexity of joints. I have simplified further by not bothering with hands or feet on my brain.

The audience's expectation for the level of complexity of animation varies greatly depending on the context. In 1957 there were limited methods and technology, so a hand drawn, part animated cartoon was permissible, however, unless stylised, retro was a deliberate theme contemporary animations are expected to employ much more sophisticated digitised approaches. Current expectations also vary on the context location. Cinema, or even small screen cartoon audiences would not expect the same level of complexity from social media animated content, there is an understanding that there is not the same budget and primarily scope for the program to be able to handle that much data required for a fast delivery.

In addition my animations are all approximately 2-3 seconds long (then looped) not a medium or long format film, they are also 512px square so comparatively tiny and much information would be lost if it was too detailed so simplicity is key.

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