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2D Animation Case Studies
Transcript of 2D Animation Case Studies
Ring Around the Collar
In this first clip you can see the title sequence. I was animated with traditional cel animation and you can see the animation style is "rubbery' in style. This is similar to older animations such as Steamboat Willie and other early Disney films.
Influences on Future Animation
The Modern Flintstones
The company was formed in 1957 by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera who set up the Hanna-Barbera cartoon studio.
Their most famous animations include The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo and The Smurfs.
In 1991 the company was bought out by the Turner Broadcasting System. Hanna and Barbera carried on working as consultants for Turner.
In 1996 they merged with Time Warner and became part of Warner Brothers Animation.
In 2001 Warner Brothers focused on using the Cartoon Network Studios name for all new animations and stopped producing animations under the name Hanna Barbera.
Early examples of Cartoon Network's animations were, Dexters Labroratory, Johnny Bravo and Cow and Chicken.
The Flintstones was an animated cartoon series created by Hannah Barbera and first aired in 1960. The Flintstones was animated using cel animation. in addition to this the Flintstones use the "ring around the collar technique".
So in a scene where the character was just talking only the head needed to be redrawn. This technique saves time and allowed Hanna Barbera to produce animations quickly and cheaply. In some instances on the main characters Fred and Barney the line where they have stubble around their mouth meant just their mouths could be animated separately from the rest of their face. His made things even easier, especially when animating dialogue. You can see in the video example here that the characters faces and mouths are animated when they speak but their bodies do not move. This technique meant animations could be produced very quickly so lots of episodes could be created for TV viewing.
Cel animation was first used by Earl Hurd in 1914. It is the process wheres images are drawn onto transparent sheets of celluloid (cels) and these are layered on top of a background. This allows parts of the animation to be animated separately and also means the background does not have to be redrawn over and over. The image below shows an Image from The Jetsons you can see how the character stands out form the background. The character and background were drawn on separate cels. The character was painted with special cel paint so often looked flatter than the more illustrated style of the background.
Cel and hand drawn animation are still used occasionally when animators or directors want to give the animation a unique look so it stand out from the mass market of digital animation. An example of this is Persepolis made in 2007.
In traditional animation the key animator (usually the more experienced) would animate the key frames while an inbetweener (usually an newer, less experienced animator) would draw the in between frames. This terminology is adopted in modern animation software.
2D Digital animation uses a computer to create the animation. Software such as Adobe Flash or Toon Boom allows the animator to animate key frames then the computer fills in the movement using a tween (short for in between) Digital software replaces the cels with layers. Separate parts of a character can be animated on separate layers instead of the transparent sheets in cel animation. As computers and the software used on them has become cheaper and more sophisticated digital animation has taken over from cel animation as the main form of commercial animation. You can see the layers in the image below.
Hanna Barbera used several limited animation techniques. These quick, low budget techniques allowed them to produce cel animations (see definition below) very quickly and fit in with TV schedules. As you can see in the image on the left Yogi Bear is wearing a tie even though he has no other clothes on. It was a common characteristic of Hanna Barber characters to have something round their neck like clothing or a tie or necklace, so their heads could be animated separately from their bodies. This technique was known as "ring around the collar".
Hanna Barbera contributed towards Saturday Morning Cartoons becoming so popular. So much so that their cheap animation influenced others to produce cheaper quicker animations. This led to what was called the "Dark Age of Animation" because these limited animation techniques were perceived to be low quality .
The Flintstones were an early example of an animated sitcom. Just like a live action sitcom the comedy revolves around the lives of the characters in the situation. The Flintstones were creates using cel animation. An example of an animation that was influenced by the Flintstones is The Simpsons, which has similar family themed story lines and humor.
In the early days the Simpsons was also created using cel animation. However in season 14, in 2002 this was replaced with CGI as this technique became cheaper and quicker to produce.
In the two Simpsons clips on the right you can see the difference in the animation style.
As you can see in this clip on the right the characters are animated using limited animation. The movements have big jumps between frames and as a result are not that smooth. At certain points only the mouths of the characters move. In this way The Flintstones and Family Guy are similar even though they were made decades apart using different techniques.
Family Guy is a more recent comedy animation based around a family. Like the Simpsons it is originally made for TV. The animation is even similar. When the characters are talking only their mouths move and their bodies are still. However Family Guy is animated digitally. Even the storyboards are done digitally. The animation is completed in Korea as this is cheaper than making it in the USA or Europe.
Hanna Barbera-Cartoon Network
The Animated Sitcom
2D Animation Case Study
In this second clip you can part of an episode from season 14. You can see the animation is much crisper and clearer. The movement is also smother and more realistic. You can see this crisper clearer style in other more recent animations such as Family Guy.
Along side their TV shows cartoon network also have online games and mobile phone apps. They publish animated games on the App Store. These animated apps and games all involve digital animation. The animation is generally created using a game engine that contains code. This runs the animation in the game which is interactive so changes depending on the actions of the player.
Web/Mobile Apps and Games
This image is from Ski Safari Adventure time is one of Cartoon Networks animated Games. It is based on the Adventure Time cartoon TV series. As you can see the graphics are cleanly drawn digital images.
You can see more examples of their online games here. http://www.cartoonnetwork.co.uk/
Hanna Barbera/Cartoon Network