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Nephtis
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Joined: 21 Jul 2005
Posts: 138
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 5:44 pm Reply with quote
Another most interesting video. Basquash! looks somewhat crazy, might have to give it a go. Really appreciate these studio visits/interviews, they open up the process of actually creating anime so much more, especially for television. We rarely get this type of content as DVD bonuses, you should attempt to sell this off to someone if Basquash! ever gets licensed...oh wait basketball and mecha together. Gotcha.

Interesting to see the co-pro idea between France and Japan too in more detail. Thanks all!

Side note: I thought you guys couldn't get Australian ads? Seemed like this video had no problem finding some.
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Frazmataz



Joined: 30 May 2010
Posts: 99
Location: Sheffield, UK

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:29 pm Reply with quote
Wow, Kawamori designs mecha with LEGO... I can definitely see how that would help to design the thing to be marketable as a toy Razz Most interesting.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 8020

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:08 pm Reply with quote
I appreciated the art and design of Basquash!, but wow, that was one horrible plane crash into a trainwreck off the deck of a sinking ship as far as story and characters in the second half. Shame, because it did have potential to be really good in all aspects.
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Macron One



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
Posts: 123
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:24 pm Reply with quote
These animation studio interviews/behind-the-scenes videos are great and really informative. Keep 'em coming!

The process of animation interests me particularly, as i collect original anime production art (only Satelight thing i own is a few Shugo Chara layouts though). If you should get an opportunity to do more such videos, i hope you'll take plenty of time to show the animators at work. Those men and women work long hours for terrible pay, so they deserve every bit of recognition they get.

BTW, I've always wondered if animation studios have any particular policy of what to do with production art once it's done its job. I know that in some instances all production sketches are incinerated, because the production company doesn't want original series art circulating randomly, but in cases where no such stipulation is made, is there a general procedure? Do cel dealers contact the studio and pay X amount of money for X number of boxes of genga/douga/layouts? Do the studios contact the cel dealers once they run out of storage space for production art from previous projects? Does the animation studio look through the boxes of sketch-sequences, let their employees choose a few as a reward for their work, select the best of what remains to sell to cel-dealers and then trash/burn the rest?
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GeorgeC



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 231

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:02 am Reply with quote
I can answer the question about production art from the American perspective...

At the major studios like Disney and Dreamworks (when they were doing traditional 2-D animated films back in the 1990s), artists were permitted to keep a certain percentage of their work to do with as they pleased. I'm sure there were some restrictions but, for the most part, they could keep it for themselves (possibly to sell in old age like some of the artists from the Golden Age of Animation did) OR sell it to an art dealer. A lot of the Disney production art did go back into Studio archives for use as reference material for future films. This has an important use in solving problems in future films and reducing production time when said-problems were already resolved before.

(A lot of the production drawings that I've seen show up in galleries from features are actually clean-up drawings. These are the final 'trace' drawings that get ink and paint for the final film images. Animation drawings tend to be a lot messier and many animators like to keep their drawings for reference and sentimental reasons.)

With the advent of digital production, there's generally a lot less artwork produced in production for films since inking and coloring is all done on computer now. Hardly anybody aside from older studios and some schools uses cels for animation anymore. Cels tend to be the most collectible bits of animation art since people love color.

(I prefer line drawings myself. They may get yellow with age but at least they don't have paint and ink lines that drop off plastic with age and don't have the tendency to crinkle up. I've seen cels from Disney feature films from 70 years back that are in horrible shape. Production drawings by comparison hold up well if they're not constantly exposed to light and stored in sleeves. Every cel deteriorates bit by bit over time regardless of storage.)

The last American feature production that used cels was The Little Mermaid (1989). Since then, cels have been discontinued in American feature production. When you see a cel in from American features (post-1989), you're actually seeing a sericel --- ie, basically silk-screened, mass-produced/glorified photocopy that may or may not have been colored by a human being...

Anime features and most TV productions continued using cels all the way up through the late 1990s. Around the beginning of this century, pretty much everybody has gone digital and cels are a thing of the past. From what I've heard, digital ink-and-paint is roughly 8 times faster than traditional cel ink-and-paint. Also, you don't have to keep mountains of cels around to dispose of, store, and reuse.

Production drawings are still scanned in and inked. Within a decade or two, production drawings (aside from storyboards and development sketches on paper) may be done away with all together and films may really become as paperless as possible. There's actually some savings in time and money to be made there. The main issues are the sensitivity of drawing tablets --- they're still not quite as good as pencil --- and the cost of redoing studios to be all-digital when many artists feel the technology isn't quite there to do truly paperless films... Many people still prefer to work on paper first before transferring to computer for final inking and coloring.
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pajmo9



Joined: 24 Feb 2005
Posts: 332

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:15 am Reply with quote
Thanks ANN.

Satelight has done some great work. That studio looked like it had a ton of cool stuff lying around. Was that a Sazabi model at the beginning? Smile
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Macron One



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
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Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:37 am Reply with quote
GeorgeC wrote:
I can answer the question about production art from the American perspective...

At the major studios like Disney and Dreamworks (when they were doing traditional 2-D animated films back in the 1990s), artists were permitted to keep a certain percentage of their work to do with as they pleased. I'm sure there were some restrictions but, for the most part, they could keep it for themselves (possibly to sell in old age like some of the artists from the Golden Age of Animation did) OR sell it to an art dealer.


While that's interesting, it doesn't really answer my question about what the anime studios tend to do, which i suspect is very different.
If the original anime sketch-artists retained a significant amount of their own drawings to keep or sell, we wouldn't be seeing so many anime productions where literally nothing is available to collectors.
It is also very common for certain cel-dealers to be the main source for production art from a particular series making its way onto the market, suggesting that they purchased nearly all available production art of that series directly from the animation studio.
Furthermore, sketch art from recent series is often sold in the form of complete sequences of genga + douga or layout + background.
Genga and douga tend to be done by different artists, as do layouts and backgrounds, so we're not talking about a case of an original artist selling only those drawings he personally worked on.

Anime studios also don't typically have the luxury of being able to keep a large amount of the production art from past projects in storage. As the studio Satelight interview mentioned, 90% of anime studios are located in Tokyo, where space is limited and land is expensive. There simply isn't enough room in a typical animation studio to store hundreds of boxes of layouts, genga and douga. At some point, the studio has to get rid of the stuff, be it by selling it or by disposing of it.

Quote:
Anime features and most TV productions continued using cels all the way up through the late 1990s. Around the beginning of this century, pretty much everybody has gone digital and cels are a thing of the past.


Yeah, as a collector, i think it's a shame that cels have gone the way of the dodo, but it's obvious that digital painting has made cel animation obsolete and financially unviable. The last anime TV series familiar to the US that used cels would probably be InuYasha, which went digital in 2003. Last i heard, Sazae-san was the only remaining anime series to still use cels. I'm not sure if it's switched to digital yet.

Quote:
Production drawings are still scanned in and inked. Within a decade or two, production drawings (aside from storyboards and development sketches on paper) may be done away with all together and films may really become as paperless as possible. There's actually some savings in time and money to be made there. The main issues are the sensitivity of drawing tablets --- they're still not quite as good as pencil --- and the cost of redoing studios to be all-digital when many artists feel the technology isn't quite there to do truly paperless films... Many people still prefer to work on paper first before transferring to computer for final inking and coloring.


I'd really hate to see the day come when there's no more original production art for collectors to acquire. I agree that there's a strong possibility that drawing tablets may eventually replace paper sketches, but i hope it won't be soon. There's nothing like owning an actual drawing from one of your favourite anime.
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rti9



Joined: 08 Jul 2007
Posts: 1240

PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:41 pm Reply with quote
Really interesting the part with Thomas Romain. I would have liked to hear him talk more about Oban Star-Racers and other differences between French and Japanese productions. Whenever I get to see the latest French animated shorts and ads it's always impressive how cutting-edge their works are.

Looking at the stacked up computer towers it's hard not to compare to the Pixar "making of" videos where they show those huge rooms filled with super computers that need to be refrigerated or else they start to melt.

Kawamori's concern with the models also working as commercial products might come from the toys of the original Macross series. The lego scene reminded me of a thread I read about Valkyrie figures and toys. In it, enthusiasts were explaining which models were the best for each mode (fighter, gerwalk, and battroid) because there was hardly one specific that could depict all three satisfactorily.

Satelight's encyclopedia page sort of makes me conclude that they focus much more in assisting other studios rather than devote themselves to their own titles. By the way, incredibly bold their position of wanting to keep creating original works instead of adapting from manga and light novels. Maybe they could work together with video game companies to animate cutscenes or creating anime based on games.
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