Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Physics of Animation, A. Garcia
Animatrix: Final Flight of the Osiris
"Final Flight of the Osiris" is one of nine animated shorts from the “Animatrix.” It is a CG, Computer Generated, animation containing scenes that manipulate physical laws. The ship, Osiris, is under attack and Jue, the female lead, must enter the Matrix to deliver a letter before the ship is destroyed. The scene in analysis is of Jue jumping off a roof and doing many acrobatic tricks before she lands on the street. Unfortunately, many details were left unnoticed in the animation and manipulation of gravity. For instance, the path of action of falls, momentum and reactions from landings were not being accounted for, and the timing of a fall was completely incorrect. Jue can manipulate the laws of physics while in the Matrix, yet there are many inconguencies in how the artificial environment reacts to her and how she responds to it.
The Matrix is a world generated by computer programs. Robots that were created to help people eventually dominated the earth and gained control over the human race. The machines captured all the humans, gained control of their entire physical being, and created the Matrix so their minds would be occupied by a world they assumed was real. Few humans managed to escape the clutches of the machines, and were able to tap into the Matrix in their attempt to fight against the machines. While in the Matrix, those humans can defy real world physical boundaries because they know they are in a computer program, not reality.
Jue is one of the humans that have this mental power over the Matrix. Therefore she can program herself to have super strength, which makes her appear indestructible. In the “Flight of the Osiris,” Jue is the lead character that performs powerful acrobatic stunts while jumping off a roof to get to a mailbox. When Jue finally lands on the ground, giant shock waves are sent through the earth’s surface in a rippling effect and Jue remains unharmed. Because Jue can send a shockwave through cement by landing on, we can assume she is made of a dense mass like steel and cannot break. Therefore she should have the same intense reaction everywhere she lands because her momentum is higher. However, at the very beginning of the scene Jue jumps out of a window and lands on a roof, but there are no shock waves present. If Jue had landed on the roof with the same momentum as her final landing, then the roof would also have shock waved and possibly collapsed on her. These two landings simply do not match up and therefore the audience is unsure of what abnormal powers Jue has in the Matrix. Obviously she has heightened strength and athletic ability, but none of those powers would give her the kind of mass that would cause a shockwave wherever she lands.
The animators did not consider the right reaction, due to her heightened momentum, of her first landing on the roof. Therefore, lets assume that she has the normal mass of a woman her size. If Jue were to jump out of a window and land on a roof, her reaction impulse would be higher on her because the force of the roof is larger than her own. For example, if one were to throw an egg against a wall, the egg would smash and the wall would stay the same, just be dirtier. Jue is the egg in this example, and although parts of her are dense enough to not shatter, she would at least have some broken appendages. But of course, the animators of Flights of the Osiris must manipulate physics in order to keep the viewer believing that Jue has super strength. However adding a simple crack or shatter on the roof when Jue lands on it, would only add to the story by further suggesting Jue’s abnormal strength.
The animators not only manipulated reactions in the Matrix environment, they bent the rules of timing as well. The correct timing for an object to fall is to start slower after leaving the apex, then gradually gets faster overtime. When Jue jumps off the first roof she landed on, the apex of the jump is slow, but afterwards she propels like a rocket with even timing. Timing for falls was not invented for animation, but actually follows the laws of gravity based on video evidence. Given the perspective of the fall, an angled up shot from the viewers point of view, I can see why getting the timing correct would be confusing for an animator. But because of this mistake, Jue appears to have more powers in the Matrix than even the director realizes, like propelling her speed in mid-air. If she did have that power, then that would mean she could defy gravity and fly.
Another detail that the director left out in that same fall is the momentum of Jue’s landing on the balcony railing. This ties back to the incongruency of her landing on the roof compared to her landing on the ground. If Jue were the dense super human that she appears to be, then once she lands on the railing the balcony would either shake or break off the building. This shows that once again, the animators/director did not consider momentum and reaction caused by force. The only place the director put a reaction of Jue’s force on the environment is in her final landing. However, if Jue were to destroy or hinder everything she landed on, then she wouldn’t be able to pull off the strong, confident, acrobatic moves that happen in that scene.
The director and animators do take into account what kind of setting Jue needs to pull off acrobatic stunts and impressive dives. They placed her in an environment filled with sturdy metal beams and pipes. That way, Jue would not have to worry about destroying everything she landed on because of her high momentum. Through out this entire scene of Jue swinging her way through a jungle of pipes and beam, there are many instances where gravity is defied.
If the director did not break some physical laws, than a flip, jump, or landing would not look as interesting. The untrained eye is might not decipher which moves completely break the laws of physics, because of the many intricate dives, tumbles, and extreme camera angels, editing cuts, and convincing sound effects. All these details add to the story telling effect of the scene because it amplifies every jump and flight through the air. She conveniently dodges pipes and rails while flipping in the air and also uses them as her acrobatic poles to grab and swing off of.
However, many of the fancy camera angles and tumbling tricks did not disguise the fact that they exaggerated many lifts, jumps and landings. For instance, when she lands on her hands before making that final jump to the ground, it is physically impossible for her hands to support her weight given her center of gravity and the distance of the fall. Jue’s hips are her center of gravity, so if she were to land hands first onto the railing, than the rotation of her body from the fall would have propelled her off the balancing beam. Since Jue was diving straight down into the railing, it might be possible to land there in a balanced position, but her wrists would have broken and her head would have been pulverized. Good thing Jue can manipulate her strengths while in the Matrix, because then she can make her arms have more mass and power than her legs to be able to balance in a headstand-land. What is successful about this stunt is that it confirms to the audience that she can survive a big fall because of her abnormal powers in the Matrix. Therefore it sets up the final fall where she practically dives to the ground, shatters the earth, and gets up unharmed.
People like Jue can bend the laws of physics while in the Matrix because they know it is not reality. However, they cannot control how the Matrix reacts to them. Therefore, much incongruency can be found in the actions of the environment around Jue. This proved that the animators did not consider those details while making the scene. It is important to remember including cause and effect while animating because it adds character to a scene. The audience may not always notice those tiny details at first glance, but it creates a realistic feeling that is usually only noticed by the subconscious. Unfortunately, if all the correct reaction details, such as the roof collapsing and the balcony railing breaking or shaking, were added to the scene, it would have taken away from the story. That is why anything is possible in animation because if it is entertaining and tells a good story, the movie is successful.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Animatrix: Final Flight of the Osiris
Analysis of Jue’s, lead female character, action scene in the Matrix on the way to the mailbox. Three laws of physics are defied during her jumps, falls, and landings:
a. Jue jumps out of a window, falls a long distance, and lands on a roof yet momentum is not shown because there is no reaction of her landing on the roof, or on her.
b. First jump from roof to balcony railing does not follow correct timing for a fall because she is propelled to a higher speed in the middle of the fall.
c. Defying gravity while also not following through with the path of action and rotation of her center of gravity when Jue does a headstand in a land on top of railing .
Jue can manipulate the laws of physics while in the world of the matrix, yet there are many inconguences in how the artificial environment reacts to her and how she responds to it.
A. Lack of momentum in the roof landing
1. Momentum of Jue is amplified because she does not have the expected mass of a normal woman while in the Matrix. (more dense).
2. Impulse should be higher on the landing because the force of the roof is larger than Jue is. The egg demo: Jue would smash like an egg on the wall.
3. When Jue lands on the ground at the end of the falling scene, a shock wave hits the earth, yet the same thing does not happen to the roof on the landing.
B. Incorrect timing in a fall with lack of momentum following.
1. Jue’s body propels like a rocket in the fall right after a very slow slow out into the fall. Defies the laws of gravity.
2. Also does not show the reaction of the momentum in the landing. The balcony railing does not shake or react at all when Jue lands on it.
C. Defying gravity
1. With Jue’s center of gravity being around her hips, if she were to land on her hands from that high of a fall, her body would propel her to topel over and fall off the railing.
2. Physically impossible for her arms to save her from a fall that large, which defies gravity in itself.
People like Jue can bend the laws of physics in while in the Matrix because they know it is not reality. However, they can not control how the Matrix reacts to them and there are many incongruences in the actions of the environment around Jue.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
In these videos, I am imitating, or attempting to imitate student animations of walks with character. By doing this, I realized how much character is pushed in animation, and why the ability to act is very important.
As a student at San Jose State, I understand the university's Academic Integrity Policy (http://info.sjsu.edu/web-dbgen/narr/catalog/rec-2083.html)."
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Art 123, Alejandro Garcia
1st Term Paper, Spirited Away Analysis
October 14, 2009
Spirited Away, by renowned animator/director, Hayao Miyazaki, is one of many Studio Ghibli films that are animated with highly accurate detail. Hayao Miyazaki puts a lot of time in studying the motion and secondary actions of his characters before he animates them. This ensures that all the laws of gravity and physics are portrayed correctly under “everyday” circumstances through out the movie. However, because there are magical creatures and spirits in an enchanted bathhouse, physics and gravity are compromised. Also, there are moments throughout the film where exaggerated expressions defy the laws of physics to enhance the playful aspect of the animation. This can be seen in many of the falling scenes, however they are convincing because of the laws of gravity that are followed. Spirited Away was an intelligent and highly detailed film in terms of understanding basic laws of physics enough to make the movie highly realistic, and only manipulated those laws when it was necessary for story telling purposes.
The opening scene in Spirited Away had so much life in just a simple animated car ride, because of the correct physical laws of motion. Every time the car hit a bump in the road, all the items in the car jiggled; the lighter objects, such as the paper bags and flowers, have more acceleration because they need less force to move. Chihiro, the main character, was sitting in the back seat and stood up to get a closer look at where at the path in front of the car. As soon as her dad, the driver, sped up and also hit a bump in the process, Chihiro fell back into her seat. This scene represents Newton’s law of Inertia, which states and object will be in constant uniform motion unless and outside force acts upon it. Because Chihiro was standing with little support in the car and the floor and seat moved forward, she was forced to fall backward.
The area around the car represents correct laws of physics along with the objects inside the car. The environment is animated to travel past the car at the correct speed to indicate how fast the automobile is moving. This is also done well in the train scene at the end of the film. Basically, objects that are closer to the moving vehicle move faster, then ones that are farther away. It is a visual trick that Miyazaki reproduces well in all his films. He observed a movement that most people do not notice when they look out a car window. The framing of the animated background is so precise, judging by how far the objects have moved in each frame, we can figure out the speed of the car’s uniform motion. Given that there are several layers of animation in one scene, and that the background is animated on “one’s” (one new drawing per frame) and the vehicle is animated with one drawing every other frame, it is difficult to judge the speed. However, if we look at the leaves moving past the car and judge the distance they have moved, but skipping a frame in-between, one could estimate that they are 15-20 inches apart. Therefore, Chihiro’s dad is driving about 20-30 MPH on cobblestones in a dense forest.
Miyazaki animates well due to intelligent observation and a strong understanding of physics and it is not only evident in the car scene, but also in the little actions that are constantly repeated in Spirited Away. For instance, Chihiro’s ponytail experiences centrifugal force. Whenever she turns her head, the ponytail spins outward and extends further away from her head. This is also a good example of follow-through because the ponytail continues to spin, even when the head has stopped. Scattered through out the film, objects such as food, dishes, or tiny bits of gold are being dropped. Miyazaki perfects animating falling objects, because they are all done with the correct timing arcs. There is anticipation at the beginning of the fall and afterward the object accelerates as it gets closer to the ground. The attention Miyazaki and his animators pay to the tiny details, adds to the quality of the entire film.
To make a quality animation, along with knowing the correct laws of gravity and physics, one must also know how to defy those laws in order to make the film more entertaining. Miyazaki masters bending physical boundaries to add magic to his movies. For instance, towards the end of the film a giant baby turns into a mouse, and a crow becomes a fly. The two characters stick together as they are being chased by the evil “No Face.” To move fast, the fly carries around the fat mouse, which is physically impossible, but also very funny and entertaining to look at.
The setting of Spirit Away is a giant bathhouse catering to spirits of Japan. The boss, Ubaba, and her assistant, Haku, have magical powers and always know what is going on inside the bathhouse. Ubaba is known for her ability to fly like a bird, and levitate anything she wants, including written words on a paper. Obviously, her powers defy the laws of gravity, but even so, they are animated to look as if they are floating through water. For example, when Ubaba destroys her office in an angry fit, she cleans up by making everything fly back to the respected places. As all the papers, coins, necklaces and other items fly through the air, they all seem to swirl and follow one another as if they floating on magical ribbons. This has little to do with physics, but it represents a beautiful solution of how to animate tiny objects floating through a room. Once again, Miyazaki proves his brilliant creativity.
Often times, for dramatic purposes, Miyazaki will defy the laws of gravity to help dramatize a certain emotion. Hair will suspend in mid air when the character is angry, excited, surprised, or any other wildly enthusiastic emotion. For instance, when Ubaba is poking Chihiro in the stomach while telling her “ I will work you until you breath your very last breath,” Chihiro’s ponytail levitates like a sticks poking out of her head. This trick of Chihiro’s hair emphasizes that she is “scared stiff” of the giant Ubaba. Another situation showing Chihiro’s hair standing on end is when she encounters the “Stink Spirit.” The horrific odor of the mud engulfed spirit makes Chihiro tense up, her shoulders are up to her ears, her pupils shrink, and her hair sticks out like spikes, and remains so for about 30 seconds. When the body stiffens, Miyazaki likes to exaggerate that physical sensation by making the character’s hair act as if it can be as straight as a board as well. This makes the character’s emotions clearer to the audience, even though it defies the law of gravity.
There are a few moments through out Spirited Away, where Miyazaki decides to not physical laws because of artistic expression, and to further emphasize a scene. One such technique can be slow motion. In the beginning of the film, Haku takes Chihiro’s hand and flies her through a crowd of people quickly. As they fly under women’s kimonos, the cloth floats in the hair like Marilyn Monroe skirts. Miyazaki animates the kimono gowns floating a bit longer then they should because he gives them a very slow settle. Hair tends to settle a bit slower than it should as well. Air resistance can explain why these light objects fall slower than others, but I believe it follows the whimsical style that Miyazaki constantly portrays in his films. It adds beauty to a scene that could be very fast and overlooked.
The scenes that test Miyazaki’s problem solving skills for believable physics and motion are the ones with the fast action. In Spirited Away, Chihiro encounters a lot of death defying stunts that she survives thanks to manipulating gravitational boundaries in animation. Most of these action scenes consist of long falls, or the prevention of them. A great example of this is when Chihiro is crawling down the stairs on the side of the bathhouse slowly at the beginning of the film. She gradually puts all her weight on one step and it breaks. The force of the fall propels her to run down the stairs at an extreme pace. This animation followed the laws of gravity well because the sensation Chihiro felt running down the stairs is the same we humans feel running down a hill. We run faster and faster and lose control of the speed in which our legs are moving because the gravity is rolling our body down a hill. But, instead of wheals or a tumbling body, our sense of balance keeps us upright as our legs accelerate from the downward slope.
A scene where Miyazaki bends the laws of gravity for dramatic purposes is when Chihiro, the mouse, the fly, and Haku the dragon are falling. When a small object is on top a larger one as it is falling, it will stay attached to that item like glue because the bigger object is blocking all the air resistance. However, although the fly and rat are above the dragon during the fall, the fly and rat slowly float up in the air, as if it takes them more time to fall because they are smaller objects. Even though most people won’t recognize this flaw, it goes against physics. But the little interaction of Chihiro pulling down the fly and the rat floating in the air to protect them adds character build up to a scene that could easily just be one simple falling motion.
Spirited Away is a high quality film that has a lot of evidence proving the laws of physics and gravity were well understood. Even when those laws are manipulated, their consistency through out the film proves Miyazaki directs and animates a movement with intention. He studies the best possible way he will manipulate reality so that it is congruent with the rest of the movie. Miyazaki is an amazing storyteller who knows how to relate to an audience with his observation to even the tiniest details of life.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
a. The laws of gravity and physics are portrayed correctly under “everyday” circumstances through out the movie.
b. Physic and gravity is compromised because of magical powers in the bath house, dragons, and exaggerated expressions.
c. Analyzing what was correct about the falls in Spirited Away and pointing out which details did not follow physical laws.
d. Thesis: Spirited Away was a very intelligent and highly detailed film in terms of understanding basic laws of physics enough to make the the film highly realistic, and only manipulated those laws when it was necessary for story telling purposes.
A. Evidence of correct laws of physics.
1. In the car, Chihiro is pulled back when the car is moving fast.
2. Things off in the distance move slower than ones that are closer.
3. When Chihiro turns her head, hair spins outwards, following centripidal force.
4. Objects such as gold and plates of food fall with the right timing.
B. Laws of physics and gravity compromised
1. A tiny fly is lugging a mouse five times its size.
2. General magical powers of levitation of Ubaba and Haku.
3. When Haku runs, it is unrealistic, almost levitates.
4. Wind blows through skirts, they float back down too slowly.
5. When Chirio is angry, surprised, or struck with sudden emotion, her hair stands on end, and often holds that position.
6. Haku and Chihiro walk through flower bushes, they move to fast past them for the pace they are walking.
C. Dramatic falls that obey and disobey the laws of gravity.
1. The force of the fall on the steps propels Chihiro down the stairs, running at a high speed.
Chihiro runs across the pipe and they brake off the wall they are nailed to, but instead of falling because of the weight of Chihiro they propel horizontally away from the wall.
2. Chihiro and Haku the dragon are falling, the mice and fly are getting lifted up in the air, even though they are on top of them.
a. Repeat thesis.
b. The point this paper is trying to make and what is the purpose for writing it.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Here is an analysis of the path of action of me doing a jump after a running start. I had thought the camera was shot 30 frames per second but it looks as if the frames were shot uneven, in neighboring pairs. Here is the reference video for the analysis. Unfortunately the tracker software did not allow me to record a Quicktime of the image with the tracks in motion. I believe it is partially due to the age of my Mac computer, and the unwillingness to accept Tracker as a compatible software.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
This is an analysis of the rate of a falling orange per second, using the Tracker software program.
The video is shot at 30 frames per second, and it takes about 9 frames for the orange to travel from the apex to contact.
The new video reference shot for tracker.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
"Worm out of Sight" is an animation final I did for my Intro to Animation/illustration class back in Spring 2008. Since then I have learned a bit more about animation through some of my 112b classes, where we learn life drawing from a former animator, Sheldon Borenstein. The Animation Podcast is a great show I listen to, where famous animators are interviewed about their lives and movies they've worked on. I also like to absorb knowledge from my peers as I watch and listen to them struggle on their animations. I am currently in Art 114, my second animation class.
Illustration is my primary focus in the A/I program at San Jose State. Painting has become my new love since taking Art 113a with Cameron Chun. However I love the acting and story telling aspects of animation. I appreciate how exaggerated and loose the drawings are in each frame, which are good skills to have for illustration. Some of my favorite animated films are Ratatouilli, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and Tekonkinkreet.