Behind The Scenes: How Anime Is Produced

1035 words - 5 pages

Anime is one of the few areas left where "traditional animation" is done. Traditional animation is a technique where each frame is drawn by hand. This method makes anime emphasized on how artistically it is made and allows more individuality to be expressed. Also, it clearly differentiates anime from cartoons, especially Disney animation which has more emphasis on the characters' movements. Even though computer animation is widely used these days as technology rises, the industry prefers traditional animation because the animators are generally more comfortable and able with this method, and it allows easier checking and correction of frames under sometimes tight schedules.[1]

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After creating the script, the next stage is storyboarding. Storyboards are like roughly-drawn blueprints, that are necessary to figure out how best to convey the ideas of the story through the “performance” of the characters, the number of cuts, camera angles, and time management. Because the number of drawings available for an episode is often fixed for the sake of budget management, the number of frames is also carefully considered in the storyboards. In order to continue any other work for the anime, it is necessary to complete the storyboards.[3]

When the storyboard is done, all the ingredients (including the designs of the environments and characters) are ready for art production, which consists of layout, key art and in-between animation. At this point, the director has the main role of making decisions about the compositions and angles. In the layout, the sketch of the storyboard is being drawn to the final size, referring to the designs made of the characters and surroundings, combining them into one picture.[5] After the layout is done, the key art or sometimes called key frames, key poses or extremes are made by the key animators. These can be imagined as the starting and finishing poses of characters during certain movements. In order to "fill the gaps" between the key frames or to create the missing drawings, the in-between animation is done. After finalizing the drawings, combining them makes the images move.[2]

Once the drawings are finalized, colors are added to them by the painting staff. Back then, it was a lot more difficult to do this because paint and brushed were used. But now that technology has advanced, the drawings are scanned and then colored digitally. By being digitalized, more interesting visual styles can be expressed easily.[1]

With all the drawings finally colored, the editing staff do the work of "filming" the anime or putting the numerous cuts in order of broadcast continuity with the help of computers. Filming follows necessary format strictly so that the anime runs perfectly during TV broadcasts. When the film is ready, the next stage...

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