Kyoto is now becoming a huge anime city!
Today, there are many art and art-related universities in Kyoto, and the animation productions and Kyoto city has been supporting creators in Kyoto.
Kyoto Seika University where the seminar had taken place is also one of the active supporters.
The speakers of this workshop were Yojiro Arai and Kentaro Kurisaki from Studio Colorido.Hiroyasu Ishida, who directed “Fumiko’s Confession, ” and “Hinata no Aoshigure” graduated Kyoto Seika University.
This event had two parts.
The first part was “Digital Animation Seminar” which was supported by Kyoto city, educational institutions, animation companies, and many other organizations in order to promote anime production in Kyoto. The second part was “The Conference of New Cel Animation Era” in which key members from many different areas, such as animation production, education, hardware and software development and marketing, discussed the theme of the conference, “New Cel Animation Era begins from Kyoto! The animation development of education, production, and business in Kyoto.”
- Part 1. “Digital Animation Seminar”
Part 1. “Digital Animation Seminar”
The event was held at Reimeikan of Kyoto Seika University. It is a huge facility where we can hold events with a large number of people.
At “Digital Animation Seminar,” Mr. Arai and Mr. Kurisaki who had been creating various works by digital animation demonstrated hands-on techniques of digital animation softwares and hardwares which they are actually using in their studio.
Mr. Arai had directed “Typhoon Noruda” and just received Animation Rookie of the Year Award at the 19th Agency for Cultural Affairs Media Art Festival. This news brought so many participants to the seminar.
Yojiro Arai and Kentaro Kurisaki from Studio Colorido
Mr. Arai and Mr. Kurisaki both started their careers from the analog animation productions.
At the seminar, they lectured the way to use digital animation tools. They also introduced the difficulties they faced through their experiences of analog animation production to show the benefit of digital tools. Drawing in large scale and adding camera scripts during drawing process are introduced as examples.
About the Trailer of PUZZLE & DRAGONS
The seminar started with the trailer of PUZZLE & DRAGONS. This trailer was produced by Studio Colorido and directed by Mr. Arai.
Mr. Arai had used CLIP STUDIO PAINT for the story boards and the layout, and he noted that the benefit of CLIP STUDIO PAINT was that we can mimic the analog pencil drawing.
This trailer was meant to have “comic-like depictions.” You may see analog-like warmth in depictions of this trailer, but as mentioned above, this is fully produced by digital animation. Studio Colorido’s policy is that “we do digital animation, but we also value the quality of analog animation.”
The core of Studio Colorido’s production is “STYLOS.”
In addition to the trailer of PUZZLE & DRAGONS, they also showed the production materials of “Poulette’s Chair” that was directed by Hiroyasu Ishida. Mr. Arai was the animation director for that production, and he prepared new cuts for this seminar and explained using how those cuts had been made by digital tools. The leading software was “STYLOS.” “STYLOS” is a digital drawing tool that is a part of the digital animation software package called “RETAS STUDIO.”
The true value of “STYLOS” is that it’s designed to be similar to the workflow of the commercial animation production. Especially rough key animations, key animations, and in-between animations are easy to manage under “STYLOS.”
The joy of creating “character’s movement” by digital animation.
Mr. Arai uses “STYLOS” to draw a rough key animation that sets up the character’s motion. Then, using the light table function (the previous paper in transparent appears under the current paper) and another function that you can check brief animation as if to flip through several papers. The motion of the chair in “Poulette’s Chair” had been made by reference to movements of animals.
In digital animation production, animators can check the character’s motion by generating quick animation immediately after drawing. Therefore, animators can test various motions of the character easily. Mr. Kurisaki said that he could focus more on the character’s movements since he started the digital animation.
Mr. Arai had experienced analog animation production before. Although he appreciates the value of the real paper to make animation, he expects that the growth of digital animation, in which creators can check the character’s movement easily, will increase the number of people who are interested in the origin of animation, “making a picture move.”
In commercial animation production, the production materials are handed from a creator to another creator through the production processes. (starting with key animation, in-between animation, cleaning up, and then photography.)
“The greatest benefit of digital animation is that we can deliver production materials more efficiently.” (It is obvious that sending digital materials is much easier and faster than handing papers.)
This is the main concept of Studio Colorido. As we introduced in the previous article, Studio Colorido is aiming for “all digital” animation production.
I thought the experiences shared in this seminar taught an important lesson for creators who were interested in starting the digital animation.
Wacom’s liquid crystal pen tablet (Cintiq) &CLIP STUDIO PAINT, and STYLOS.
There were several sets of Wacom’s liquid crystal pen tablet (Cintiq) with CLIP STUDIO PAINT and STYLOS, and the experienced staff was there to give us an individual lecture of how to use them. In the end of the first seminar, even Mr. Arai and Mr. Kurisaki joined and the lecture. It was great to get taught by people who just spoke in the event!
“Digital Animation Seminar” showed the students how professional creators make digital animation. I thought it attracted many students in this seminar. I think Japanese animation productions will need this type of event where people with different backgrounds discuss and share information.
The animation department of Kyoto Seika University focuses on “the theory of drawing animation” and educate students to build their fundamental skills of drawing with papers and pencils. I hope some of them will unite their drawing skills and digital animation and make new animation in the near future.
In the next article, I will report the second part of the event,”The Conference of New Cel Animation Era.”