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The Space Dandy Interview: Part II - Bahi JD




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Knoepfchen



Joined: 13 Dec 2012
Posts: 450
Location: Catalonia

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:59 pm Reply with quote
Thank you for the great interview. Those technical details were especially interesting.
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daichi383



Joined: 16 Sep 2009
Posts: 237
Location: England

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:44 pm Reply with quote
Another great interview. I'm almost surprised to see he uses the pencil tool in flash though. I've been trying to make that work for me for a while but can't deal with its restrictions. All in all looking forward to Bahi's work in the next season seeing as his work on season 1 was so good.
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neshru



Joined: 25 Oct 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:55 pm Reply with quote
Always nice to hear from one of the most talented young animators in the industry. There never seem to be enough of them, and the way Bahi got to where he is makes him all the more amazing.
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Happiness for Subaru



Joined: 24 Feb 2011
Posts: 206

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:19 pm Reply with quote
I loved reading about the technical stuff. Thanks!
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 2715

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:07 pm Reply with quote
Drawing on 1s is very rare in anime though. But understandably so since it's considerably more expensive. Drawing on 3s (8 fps) seems to be more standard practice. Production I.G. animated Sengoku Basara on 3s for example. However, it's very obvious Studio Pierrot goes below that for low budget, non-canonical scenes in Naruto/Bleach (but 2s on canonical/high budget scenes).

Quote:
I went straight into key animation and skipped inbetweening. If someone wants to take the same path as me, I think they also need to go into key animation right at the beginning. That can be a little difficult, so they have to prepare a lot first. You need to start off with strong artistic skills, and impress them with your work. I was rejected many times at the beginning because my work was not strong enough. That was when I was 17

Shocked
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:37 pm Reply with quote
Really great interview. It's amazing to think that someone could go from creating Internet .gifs to doing freelance key animation for BONES just a few years later; it really speaks to Bahi's talent. I know far less about the technical side of animation than I'd like, so it was fascinating to get a professional's take on different segments in the series, as well as that really in-depth breakdown of the End of Eva sequence. It's cool to know that he worked on one of the sequences at the end of episode 1, since that entire scene just made my jaw drop from the raw visual creativity going on.
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neshru



Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:00 pm Reply with quote
configspace wrote:
Drawing on 1s is very rare in anime though. But understandably so since it's considerably more expensive. Drawing on 3s (8 fps) seems to be more standard practice. Production I.G. animated Sengoku Basara on 3s for example. However, it's very obvious Studio Pierrot goes below that for low budget, non-canonical scenes in Naruto/Bleach (but 2s on canonical/high budget scenes).

While animation done on 3s seems to be the average, the peculiar thing about anime is that the number of drawings per second is never fixed. Different cuts can be animated on 1s, 2s or 3s to convey different effects. At any rate, the number of drawings used in a scene is no indicator of the quality of the animation. Limited animation is just a style of animation, the skill of the animator is what sets animation apart. Great animators will do animation that looks amazing even on 3s, while the work of mediocre animators will look bad no matter how many drawings they fit into a second.
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reanimator



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 845

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:03 am Reply with quote
neshru wrote:
configspace wrote:
Drawing on 1s is very rare in anime though. But understandably so since it's considerably more expensive. Drawing on 3s (8 fps) seems to be more standard practice. Production I.G. animated Sengoku Basara on 3s for example. However, it's very obvious Studio Pierrot goes below that for low budget, non-canonical scenes in Naruto/Bleach (but 2s on canonical/high budget scenes).

While animation done on 3s seems to be the average, the peculiar thing about anime is that the number of drawings per second is never fixed. Different cuts can be animated on 1s, 2s or 3s to convey different effects. At any rate, the number of drawings used in a scene is no indicator of the quality of the animation. Limited animation is just a style of animation, the skill of the animator is what sets animation apart. Great animators will do animation that looks amazing even on 3s, while the work of mediocre animators will look bad no matter how many drawings they fit into a second.


Just commenting on configspace's post, I think fans shouldn't judge quality by studio/company but as who is involved in the production. It bothers me when western fans make offhand remark about visual quality based solely on studio. I'm not a fan of Naruto and Bleach franchises, but their feature films have great animation because talented animators participate in those films.

I totally understood Bahi's description of End of Evangelion technical details. I'm not expecting every fan to understand technical details, but just looking at thought process involved in a certain scene, it's not easy to overlook animation appreciation when people take anime as granted.

Bahi JD wrote:
This is why I came to this industry, because as a key animator you can have a lot of control over your scene. Animators should discover the world of filmmaking and expand their knowledge; we are not just drawing pictures, we are filmmakers. Even a painter is not merely painting, you have to put more into your experience into your work and understand what you are doing. Otherwise, it will feel empty.

Sorry, I think I went too deep into animation techniques! But I think it's a shame that these advanced timing techniques aren't written in any popular English-language animation books. Young people who enter the animation world think that traditional animation always has to be in 1s. I don't know why some people set such strict animation rules, maybe they just do it so we can break them.


Bahi has great point. It made wonder what kind of education that animation department in art schools teach for hundred to thousands of dollars per semester.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:38 am Reply with quote
reanimator wrote:
Just commenting on configspace's post, I think fans shouldn't judge quality by studio/company but as who is involved in the production. It bothers me when western fans make offhand remark about visual quality based solely on studio. I'm not a fan of Naruto and Bleach franchises, but their feature films have great animation because talented animators participate in those films.

I wasn't judging based on studio at all, but rather using evidence from the creators themselves to support claims, in this case about the number of frames used. In fact you can do so yourself just by frame analysis, but it's just easier to have it straight from the horses mouth. In this case 3s were used for the action scenes in Sengoku Basara, not 1s. Personally I would rather people not judge based who the animators are either, just with their own eyes. Of course some staff have certain key signature styles or only specialize in certain things, so it's rational to have certain expectations in that case.

Regardless of the studio or staffers, it is very noticeable to any viewer the HUGE discrepancy in animation quality between different scenes in Naruto. The filler, non-canonical action scenes are treated like crap, while the canonical big battles are animated beautifully. One can use reason and logic to determine that budget and time must play a role, and given fixed, scarce resources, it's obvious where the money and time goes.

You're right that the feature films of Naruto and Bleach look great. And it looks great not because of specific people working on it, but because they're paying professionals and giving them enough time to do the job. I'm sure if each episode or two of Naruto and Bleach had the budget of their movie versions, the TV versions would also look just as good.

I made this case recently in this Attack on Titan post, which has links highlighting comparisons between TV and BD, as well as other threads for other anime showing differences. My point there and my point here, is that one cannot assume everything you initially see on screen is ideal or intended, or that there are no mistakes or short cuts taken. There's the ideal, like being able to animate on 1s whenever you want without stress, and being on-model all the time, then there's the reality. The fact that nearly all anime has a TON of animation corrections or completely revised scenes for home video points to budget and time constraints impacting animation quality during TV production.
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sunflower



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 537

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:34 pm Reply with quote
This was a really interesting interview. I just watched Space Dandy and loved how imaginative and beautiful how many sequences are, but I have no idea of the techniques behind them. This gave me a much better appreciation of that, and a starting point for looking into and understanding them more.
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