Dongning’s Reflection on Animation

I always enjoy watching Japanese animus, thus it is really exciting to make my own animation with After effects. Though it is much harder than I thought, I still enjoyed the process.

I chose to make an MV for one of my favorite songs, an ending music for the anime Hakuuoki. Last semester when I studied Interactions Lab, I made two funny games with my friend, thus this time I  wanted to kind of challenge myself, choosing to make something elegant independently instead of my usual style. Before making the animation, I have made a 3-page story board, setting a complete story. However, not until I started searching for the sources I need – the backgrounds, and characters – did I finally realize how hard it was to make such an MV. The MV relied too much on the backgrounds, and the elegance of the characters. Otherwise it might look weird and cause people to laugh. Thanks to Google and Baidu, I finally found enough backgrounds. For the character, I used the screen flow to get a part from the original anime, then Premiere to export an HDMI video, and finally the pen tool and color range in keying to get rid of the background in the video in after effects. I feel like the character and the backgrounds just worked as I wanted.

But the most difficult things are the details that seemed to be easy to make but were in fact complicated. There were two scenes that were especially hard. The first was where the tears should have been dropping on to the ground. But since it was really difficult to make the “black tears” look like tears and to make the tears drop like the first viewing angle, I finally changed it to the scene where the character lowered her head and the tears dropped. The other scene was when she should hold her hands with a flower in them. But because of the fact that I wasn’t able to use the pin or more photos to make her hands look like holding, I finally decided to use one hand to hold the flower and the other to cover it. From these two scenes, I learned that when doing the animation, it is not always wise to insist on finding out how to fulfill the existing goal – like the way you wants it to be like. Instead, it may be better to find a new way which has a similar effect. We should always broaden our mind.

There’s one thing I felt regret: I wasn’t able to finish all the anime I wanted to do on time. The animation was harder than I expected, but it was also interesting. Thus Marianne helped me to cut the music to make it shorter. If possible, I would like to try to finish my animation later in the winter vacation.

It is really a great experience to learn this course. Thanks to Marriane, I am able to know knowledge about Adobe Photoshop, Audition, Premiere, After Effects, Illustration (I used it in my animation), Dragon Frame and Audacity, from photos to music, from video to animation. It is also nice to have great teams working on the same project.

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