Last month, I posted a link onto Ghibli Blog with some CGI/traditional commercials done by Studio Ghibli. I mentioned that this was the eventual route I wanted to take as an animator/filmmaker because it gives me the freedom of a CG-film (a la Pixar, especially Ratatouille) without sacrificing the simplicity and charm of traditional animation (which, for practical and artistic reasons, is the only way I shall animate).
But if I'm going to have that three-dimensional space, I have to use it, and I have to use it well, otherwise I might as well animate like everyone else, using static painted backgrounds and heavily simulated camera movements.
A few days ago, I posted on the AniPages Discussion Forum, asking if there was any definite definition of character animation. The answer was "no," and I also got a little clarification: whatever works. Not all animation has full character animation, and many of them I really love (i.e. very early The Simpsons). These shows and films somehow are able to compensate for that lack of animation and still be good entertainment. Whatever you don't use, you must find some sort of compensation so that the storytelling is still compelling.
That's all good and well, but now what if you have an additional tool, like space in my case? It's obviously there, which means if I don't use it, I'm wasting resources. And here's the other kicker: how do I use this space in an original way? A way that cannot be done in not only other animations, but live-action as well?
I've got a lot of preparation to do before I'm really to face that issue, though. Not only am I working on this Van Heist animation, but I'm doing an additional drawing project with a classmate. Plus, I need to start doing some construction homework from John Kricfalusi again (his posts from Preston Blair's book, which I desperately need to buy, are fantastic). I've got much work to do.