Survey to Visual Effects and Animation
For my flipbook project, I attempted to imitate the art style of Otto Mesmer, the creator of the Felix the Cat cartoons. For my background research, I watched the following clips: Felix the Cat – Woos Whoopee, Felix the Cat – Arabiantics, Felix the Cat – Eats are West, and Felix the Cat – Ducks his Duty. There were a few influences on my design that I drew from the Felix cartoons. One major influence I had was the humor, the idea behind my flipbook story was humor; content wise, I tried to imitate a lot of the eye movements I saw in the Felix cartoons, such as in Felix the Cat – Ducks his Duty, when he ran away from the house of the girl he married, and turned around and gave her a look. This is something I tried to imitate on slide 38 of my flipbook when the man turned to see the moving balloon.
Some particular frames in the sequence of my flipbook where I felt the motion to be quite smooth would have to be between frames 14 and 32, where the balloon was coming to life. I believe the way the motion became so smooth was because I had to correct the slide a couple times to get the face the way I wanted it to look. A part of my flipbook where the motion did not come out as smooth as I’d hoped it would are about the 10-12 frames, the idea behind the man’s movement was that he was meant to be performing a dance while whistling. I’m considering inserting an extra slide to provide more movement, and perhaps the dance will be clearer after that, I am also considering removing the dance completely for my second attempt at the flipbook.
The most difficulty I found in animating the characters were definitely the faces. The faces are as simple as I could have made them, so I believe it will become easier as I repeat the process over and over. The only action I felt that might be unclear to a 3rd person viewer is the man’s dance in the beginning of the flipbook, I’m still uncertain how I could make this clearer, but I’m positive that it will clear up on my second attempt. In terms of making the man look “shocked” by the balloon coming to life, when he turned his head, I made his hair stand up on edge and drew him open mouthed. I felt this got the point across that he was shocked; another technique I tried was allowing the man to look out to the viewer to express his shock, turning to the balloon, then turning his head back to the viewer in disbelief.
In all, I feel it was a solid attempt for a first flipbook, and I’m both excited and intrigued to see how the second one will turn out.
For my second flipbook, I changed my flipbook slightly from the original. Instead of the man’s dance which is what I had in the original, was eliminated, and instead replaced with a foot tap to accompany the man’s whistle. I also added a couple extra slides to the sum of the flipbook to make some moments of the animation more clear.