Scholarly article on topic 'Animation Modeling with Chu Art Characteristics Based on Flash Technical Design and Production'

Animation Modeling with Chu Art Characteristics Based on Flash Technical Design and Production Academic research paper on "Art (arts, history of arts, performing arts, music)"

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Academic journal
Energy Procedia
{"Chu art characteristics" / "animation modeling" / nationalization / "traditional element" / "China's animation" / "Flash technology" / "short film production"}

Abstract of research paper on Art (arts, history of arts, performing arts, music), author of scientific article — Deng Shiyuan, Shi Yujie

Abstract The development of China's animation should take some excellent artistic forms of our nation into consideration, only those animation works with national characteristics are precious. The designer should comprehend the essence of traditional cultures, combine the traditional artistic elements on modeling and can recreate. This paper creates animation images with Chinese culture characteristics through analyzing the Chu art characteristics and taking them as artistic reference of animation modeling. Its application in the FLASH software and some noticeable problems are considered; and the animation modeling has unique artistic charms and values.

Academic research paper on topic "Animation Modeling with Chu Art Characteristics Based on Flash Technical Design and Production"

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Energy Procedia 17 (2012) 1309 - 1313

Animation Modeling with Chu Art Characteristics Based on Flash Technical Design and Production

Deng Shiyuan, Shi Yujie

School of Arts & Design.HuBei University of Technology ,Wuhan, China


The development of China's animation should take some excellent artistic forms of our nation into consideration, only those animation works with national characteristics are precious. The designer should comprehend the essence of traditional cultures, combine the traditional artistic elements on modeling and can recreate. This paper creates animation images with Chinese culture characteristics through analyzing the Chu art characteristics and taking them as artistic reference of animation modeling. Its application in the FLASH software and some noticeable problems are considered; and the animation modeling has unique artistic charms and values.

© 20121 Publlshed by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of Hainan University.

Keywords:Chu art characteristics; animation modeling; nationalization; traditional element; China's animation; Flash technology; short film production

l.Artistic creation of China's animation modeling

What impressed us most in a good film is the extremely popular animation character models instead of plots or beautiful pictures or dialogues. Some people like loveliness of "Doraemon", some are fond of braveness of "Hua Mulan", others like "Tom and Jerry", and so on. It does not mean that other links are not important but the personality of the character and modeling style are more pervasive to the hearts of people. It is well known that a successful animation image can bring the development of a series of subsequent derived products and even promote the animation industry. It is a pity that we have not had a popular animation image that can represent the world and is enjoyed and recognized by the world at present. Three Monks, Nezha Conquers the Dragon King, Nine colored deer, Legend of Sealed Book, etc of China's animation were splendid at one time and became permanent classic works. The animation predecessors enable these models to have the characteristics of chinization and nationalization. The elements of shadow puppet, scissor-cut, puppet, black and white painting, decorative painting and new year paintings are combined into the creation to form the china school at that time which enjoyed high status and prestige in the temporal animation industry. After the reform and open to the outside world, a large number of foreign animated cartoons poured into Chinese markets, the China's animation industry did not know what to do all of a sudden; it seemed that the popularity of the foreign animated cartoons in China

1876-6102 © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of Hainan University. doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2012.02.244

became cultural aggressions; many teenagers were indulged in Japanese animated cartoons, adults and children like watching Disney animations. The animation icons are all from foreign countries. The China's animation seemed to fall into a low point from earlier heyday, which had the close relation with the market positioning of China's animation and the bringing principle in animation modeling creation at that time. The application of ethnic group and tradition did not follow the pace of animation development. Some creators even disliked traditional elements. The imitation makes the animation modeling at that time become Disney or Japanese reproduction. The problems can not be fundamentally solved only through limiting the play time of the foreign animated cartoons and chanting slogans of revitalizing the national animation industry. We have to solve them with actual deeds, get rid of the domestic Japanese style and domestic American style and initiate our own original route and are determined to create important animation modeling which belongs to us.

2.Traditional aesthetic spirits of national animation

The Chinese nation has accumulated and formed its own unique and great national character and national spirits in the thousands of years of development history. The tremendous vitality of Chinese cultures should become the powerful support for the animation, and the animation can absorb endless nourishments and referential artistic elements. Battle in Heaven, one of representative works of the china school, integrates Chinese culture essences, learns from the characteristics of ancient fresco, folk new year paintings and temple arts in the aspects of modeling design and color utilization and combines the performing arts forms of Chinese traditional operas. It made a sensation in Europe and the United States in the early sixties and was published in more than 40 countries and regions. The handsome monkey king became the eternal image of "Goku" in people's heart. The Beijing Opera facial masks features of its face, smooth lines of its body, the tiger skin skirt and golden cudgel in hand represent justice, braveness, power and contempt of authority and endow with the "super hero" complex of the Chinese nation, reflect the brilliance of beauty of human nature and is a perfect embodiment of human and god. The "Father" in Astro Boy, Osamu Tezuka, the earliest ancestor of Japanese animation and cartoon, abandoned medicine for arts after he watched the animated cartoon. Later, he specially came to China's Shanghai Animation Film Studio to visit and study. At that time, the China's animation was much stronger than the temporal Korea and Japan. Foreigners commented that the Battle in Heaven not only had the aesthetic feeling of Disney works, but also was beyond the Disney art in the feature of modeling arts, and completely expressed the Chinese traditional artistic style.

The Nine Colored Deer, another animated cartoon produced by Shanghai Animation Film Studio in 1981, was adapted according to the story of the fresco of Career of Deer King painted in the no.257 cave of Dunhuang. The materials are drawn from Buddhist stories of Dunhuang fresco, the distinctive styles of Northern Wei dynasty on the modeling design are well maintained. The Chinese animators made a screen version of the beautiful fresco, the animated cartoons with similar subject matters, forms and styles with the Nine Colored Deer have never occurred since then. From the beginning, people are brought into a profound traditional culture atmosphere, the film begins in the music performed by folk musical instruments of seven-stringed plucked instruments, flutes, Xiao, ballon guitars, cymbalo, koto, etc. Later, a national treasure of a Changxin palace lamp appears in the picture, a beam of light of the palace lamp shines on the Dunhuang map, which seems to shine the glorious and splendid history of Chinese civilization, the modeling borrowing from the Dunhuang fresco also reserves the style of Buddhism paintings, which is also another reappearance of the Dunhuang arts. It is a traditional story of good and evil comeuppance, the connotation of the whole film reflects the kindness and virtue of "great love" and "mercy" and embodies the excellent characters of the Chinese nation.

3.Exploration of Chu art characteristics in combination with animation modeling; exploration of treasury of animation image creation

Chu art is an artistic form with southern culture character in China's ancient times. As fantastic and rich arts creation of Chu people in the ancient times, it initiates aesthetic new vision of the ancient times using its outstanding creation stance and original romantic spirits. Along with the continuous excavation of Chu tombs in provinces of Hubei, Hunan, Henan, Anhui, etc, a mystical artistic world is revealed from the stratum two thousand years ago so that we fortunately appreciate the fantastic and rich arts creation of Chu people in south in the ancient times. People are amazed of the original untrammeled, dynamic, graceful and flowing romantic dispositions, colorful and dazzling, complex and rich beauty, strange and weird modeling characteristics with original arts and artistic conceptions with strong illusion, representation and metaphors. We are greatly shocked by the creation wisdoms of Chu people in the aspects of the fantastic forms, dynamic lines and gorgeous colors of the Chu arts. They generate the resonance with the ancient pictures, images, lines, colors and rhythms, which is the wonderful charm of the Chu arts and perpetually displays minds and spirits of human being in the ancient times. Their own characters and distinctive characteristics of regional culture are reflected in the three levels of national spirit, national psychology and materializing culture, for example, the symbolistic token of Chu culture is phoenix, only the Chu people adopt the image of phoenix to illustrate themselves, the phoenix is treated as a god bird of "flying in three years, soaring once flying; non-singing in three years, amazing the world once singing". Its image embodies courage and insight and bold vision of the Chu people. If these images with symbolic meanings are used as the sources of designing the short film, the possibility of repetition with other's ideas is very slim and extraordinary metaphorical meaning is reflected. Homage of the Chu people on phoenix is to respect their own ancestors. They also respect their nationality. The powerful bold vision of lofty ambitions of the phoenix and colorful graceful behaviors exquisitely symbolize the spirits of Chu culture and Chu arts. The sensibility inclining to emotions of Chu culture and Chu arts differs from the rationality inclining to law and discipline rite of culture in Central Plains. The Chu culture upholds the relation of "Nature and Man in One" and "human and divine merging" between man and nature. These plots and narration used in the animation conform with our national tradition and have "romantic sentiments" of arts. Therefore, the elements with the artistic features of regional culture can be used as the sources of animation creation, which is worthwhile for us to ponder and seek.

4.Comparison of traditional animation and Flash animation in design and production

Although the production of the traditional animated cartoons is ensured by a whole set of production system in the traditional animation, the traditional animation still has some defects difficult to overcome, such as, too trivial division of labor and higher equipment requirements. How many pictures are painted on earth for a short animated film? Several thousand pictures are painted for a common animated film in the short 10 minutes. The animated film of Battle in Heaven audiences are familiar with lasting for 120 minutes needs for more than 100,000 pictures. Scores of anime artists spend more than three years in finishing such heavy and complex painting task, which is the fruits of their hard working. The traditional animation is also complex in terms of the division of labor. A complete traditional animated film, no matter the short film for five minutes or the full-length film for 2 hours, can be smoothly finished through close cooperation with an appropriate division of labor in a dozen of processes, such as, script writing, direction, artistic design (character design (character design and background design), layout, original painting, animation, scenic painting, drawing line, coloring (referring to drawing line printing or computer scanning), proofreading, filming, editing, composition, imitating sound, dialogue synchronization, music recording, mixed recording, developing and printing (video transferring output), etc. Don't you feel terrible in hearing the above introduction? It's true that the animated films have been produced by the cooperation of a great number of staff with such complex processes for a long time in the past. With the progress of science and technology, some procedures in the current animated cartoons have been simplified, many processes are conveniently and intuitively designed and made by virtue of computer technology and finished by using

relatively less labors. However, the complicated degree and the professional degree of the traditional animation production are still considerable.

The outstanding advantages of the Flash animation are its simplification in the aspect of production procedure, whereas, there is sure to be some limitations.

4.1. The restrain in making and processing more complex animations

It is very arduous for me to produce some complex animations, especially the actions of the middle pictures which must be painted one by one, such as, face turning action; the face turning is usually confronted in the animation and means that the animation character turns to side face from the front face or turns to the front face from the back face, and so on. Therefore, it is more strenuous to paint compared with the traditional method because the mouse, the drawing pen and the hand-painting board are more difficult to use than the paper and the pencil. Whenever I come across the complex actions needing for the gradual change frame by frame or the true-life animation model, I can't stop thinking of the copy-board and the paper and the pencil utilized in the traditional method; no matter how complex, the actions can be painted.

4.2.Secondly, ¡imitation of vector drawing

In comparison with the drawing on the paper by the pencil, the running accuracy of strokes are hard to control for the painting in the computer; it is out of question to paint the cartoon characters with succinct style, but it is unable to draw the realistic character with fine style; the problem is more troublesome in painting the vector background. lven though the vector diagram has many advantages, for instance, endless magnification without distortion, small file size, fatal shortcomings still exist; its intermediate colors are stiff and monotonous and colorful and natural images are difficultly painted. In order to avoid this shortcoming, we have to use other software or manually drawing bitmaps, in this way, the file size is increased and the original advantage of the Flash cannot be displayed, which is the disadvantage difficultly overcome by the vector paint.

Since both of the traditional animation and the Flash are animations, we can borrow a lot of knowledge from the traditional animation when we produce animation by using Flash. My experience in production is as follows: technique basis still refers to the traditional animation as a reference; whatever the kinds of the animation, their principles, i.e. traditional animation principle, are the same. The traditional animation principle is the basis of all animations, including the three-dimensional animation which enables the object to move by using the traditional animation principle. The same is the case with the Flash animation. If a person has no knowledge of the traditional animation principle, it is impossible for him to excel in the Flash animation. Many operation mode of the traditional animations can be applied to the Flash, such as, separate camera shot. We can draw in the Flash scene instead of drawing on the paper so that the tendency of the whole film can be easily comprehended. The same is true for the layout. Accurate composition of a picture is firstly sketched, and the outline of the film won't change. When Flash is used to produce the animation, its advantages should be highlighted. The traditional animation techniques are diversified and cannot be entirely copied when making Flash and should be applied according to the Flash characteristics. After the actions and models which frequently occur and can be repeatedly used are finished by the traditional animation techniques, they are made into elements as best as one can so that they are called at any moment.

5.Production and application of images with traditional elements and Chu culture and Chu art characteristics in FLASH

The domestic generalization of the FLASH animation technology makes the animation production very simple, and the production period will be shortened compared with the traditional production way. The FLASH animation technology is a rising star of two-dimensional animation. The traditional animation and the FLASH animation are irreplaceable with each other within a short period of time. It is not important to

utilize what kind of production forms, after the earlier setting and planning are completed, the FLASH technology which saves time and labor is adopted for the animation production if there are fewer producers. If the design staff of the traditional animation design and paint a part of animated cartoons which cannot be painted by computers, and the other part is synthesized and produced by the FLASH; Our animation creation is finished by fully combining the comparative advantages of the traditional animation and the FLASH animation. According to my experience in producing the flash animation, the design of the image should be not complicated, but some complex actions are exhibited more or less in the making of the short film; the limitation of the flash functions restrains us in making the animation, or we spend too much time and effort on them. Therefore, it is necessary for us to simplify the main animation image at the time of creation, which can improve our working efficiency. Independent members are established for each split part of the model. In addition, it is also worth noting that these members can not be named as the same, which saves the trouble for production. If some elements of Chu art and artistic forms cannot be completely displayed from the main model, we can supplement them to the short film through details of scenes, some assisted patterns and textures, etc. What is the most important for us is to recreate, and the ancient and attractive artistic style is explained by using the modern visual angle so as to achieve the "neoclassicism" which has distinctive traditional form and accords with the modern aesthetic interest as well. Under the present status that the domestic animation is in the "shuttle shape", which is to say many producers attach importance to medium production but neglect the ideas in the early stage and the generalization in the later stage, we should think more about exploring the traditional culture and the originality and apply some valuable and excellent national art elements with regional characteristics which are not explored to our animation image creation.


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