Over the course of the semester, I have been improving my skills as an animator. Using the Norman character rig in Maya, I was tasked with animating him for different scenarios. When I first began, I wasn’t sure how to create the ideas I had into the program. I also relied too heavily on the reference footage in the beginning, trying to follow it every step of the way rather than as just a guide. I learned the importance of camera angles and what it can convey to the viewer. One of the things I need to continue to improve upon is using the principles of animation. I understand the concepts of each one and have seen each technique used in the works of others, yet I struggle with using the right amount of each in my works. The main ones I have to focus on are ease in and out, timing, and staging. In order to further improve myself, the best way is to experiment with the different techniques to find my own style in animation and to closely examine other works to find what works.
For this project, I created a short manga. A girl is taking pictures with her camera at Nezu Shrine. When she lowers the camera, she sees a yokai known as the Kuchisake-onna that attacks. I was drawn to this area because it’s beautiful scenery makes for fantastic photography and the torii gates seem enchanting. I decided to add the yokai into the comic because I like Japanese mythology. The woman is said to have been mutilated by her husband. In the older stories, she would usually cover her face with a fan, scarf, or cloth mask and ask people whether or not they thought she was pretty. She would then reveal her face, cut across from the jawline and repeat the question. Regardless of the answer, the victim usually wound up dead come next morning. I thought this tied in with the concept of beauty from the scenery of the shrine.
For this project, I plan on doing a short comic, based on manga-style. I chose the Nezu Shrine to include in my work. This shrine is located in the Tokyo Metropolitan area and is well-known for it’s torii gate tunnel and the viewing platform overlooking the main shrine and a beautiful pond with koi. Every April, the shrine holds a festival when around 3000 azalea bushes of different species are in bloom. The beautiful scenery makes for perfect photography shots.
“Nezu Shrine: Tokyo’s most beautiful shinto shrine (with azaleas).” Exploring Old Tokyo, 13 Aug. 2017, old-tokyo.info/nezu-shrine/.
For my final project for Production 1, I want to base my video on depression and intrusive thoughts. I plan to base my story on a teenage girl that slowly shows the symptoms of depression and as the days go on, it becomes clearer and more obvious. I want to use two main voices in the girl’s head to represent her dark thoughts and anxiety. She slowly starts to care less and less about her appearance, her room becomes messier and she prefers to spend her time alone in her room. Anything hurtful and insulting sticks around her mind and the voices just remind her that it’s all true. She becomes more and more enveloped by the darkness. Wanting the pain to stop, she starts self-abusing herself physically; to take her mind off the emotional pain. Her sisters and mother don’t understand why she’s acting this way. They just call her lazy and make fun, not realizing this only makes it worse.
For the ending of the video, I want the girl to be in her room, completely taken over by the darkness. Her door is locked and her phone is receiving messages from concerned family and friends but she doesn’t reply. She screams “Leave me alone!” but her mouth reads “Help me.” Her family and friends are able to break through the wall she put up and offer their hands to her. She looks up and slowly grabs the hands. The scenery starts to looks a little brighter. The screen cuts to black but the voices start laughing saying “We’re still here…”
Also, I want to use symbolism throughout the piece of a glass of water. As the bad thoughts appear more often the glass fills more and more until it begins spilling over. When she gets help from her family and friends, the cup spills over, emptying.
For my video art project, I plan to use the aesthetic of time and the idea that “time is an illusion.” I was inspired by a poem written by Lang Leav.
I want to make an interpretive video with little sound so I can focus more on the visuals. I’m going to use different objects pertaining to time such as clocks and time lapses along with video editing to portray the idea.