ANIME VS AMERICAN ANIMATION Essay Research Paper — страница 3

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comparison. VISUAL QUALITY There are several elements to look at when reviewing animation. The first I will discuss is visual quality, since this is the first which people will usually look for. We must first realize that animation is a totally different art form than other art forms such as drawing, painting, ect. Those are all used to depict still pictures. The concept of animation is not about conveying pictures; it is about conveying motion. When you examine a painting, the actual strokes of paint are not important; it is how those strokes combine to form their work of art. A similar concept applies to animation. Even though animation is made of pictures, it is not the pictures which are important but how they’re used to make the animation. We must distinguish these

different art forms first and foremost and judge them separately. This leads us to the first rule any budding animator must know. Each cel of animation must be easily distinguishable at an eye’s glimpse. This is because the animation goes by so fast at many frames per second. You do not want the viewer to miss an important detail because it went by too fast. Here, I will bring up the most noticeable difference between Japanese and American drawing styles. Japanese anime tends to use a style which has sharp and jagged lines, whereas Americans use a style which has smooth and curvy lines. There are benefits to both of these styles. The most obvious benefit to using the Japanese method is that the sharp lines stand out very easily and thus overcome the problem of having to be

distinguishable to the viewer. On the other hand, the smooth curves of American animation are more life-like and natural. In fact, if you look in nature, you will see that anything organic is formed with curves. Not only that, but as I will attempt to explain later, animation itself is based on the mathematical principles of curves. The problem of course is that it is not as easy to produce something as distinguishable using curves as it is with sharp lines. This makes Japanese animation a lot easier to produce than American animation. The Japanese are able to highlight the details that are important by their usage of actual lines, whereas the American animators must focus on the picture as a whole. To help aid themselves with this problem, American animators often use something

known as a “silhouette test” on their drawings. The test is to see if the drawing is as easily recognizable as if it was to be totally shaded in (like a silhouette). This is because a person’s mind must be able to register the outline of the figure they see and associate it with the action taking place as soon as it’s flashed in front of their eyes. Japanese animation works quite differently, because the sharp and jagged lines make it seem very unnatural. In this case, your mind is telling you that there is something very wrong about the picture. That causes your eyes to focus on it. It also gives this artificial-feeling to anime that some people seem to like, but in my opinion, it designates anime as a lesser form of animation. It should also be noted that the root

definition of the word “animation” stems from a Celtic word which means “to be life-like”. May I also note, that up until modern times, this concept was so foreign to the Japanese that they did not even have a word for it in their vocabulary. That is why they had to borrow the word “anime” from the French. Sometimes in anime you will see little lines sparked across the screen when a character’s expression changes suddenly or some form of action is taking place. These lines are called “action lines” and are strictly prohibited in the American school of art. The idea, once again, is that the action should speak for itself and not need some fancy lines to guide the way for its viewers. It should be able to grab the attention of the viewers by itself. That is not

always as easy when you’re making an animation as it is when you’re making a comic book, because the animation must run at a certain pace. Fortunately, the American animators have a bag of tricks to help their viewers stay on course. The number one technique used in American animation to draw a viewer’s attention to the action that’s about to take place is known as anticipation. What this does in effect, is it warns the viewer’s mind before hand that a certain action is about to take place so it can register in the viewer’s mind before it actually happens. If you watch American animation, you’ll notice that often times a character may anticipate that he’s going to be hit in the face by reacting before he’s actually hit. Or he may anticipate that he’s going to