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Old 2012-12-28, 16:20   Link #1
Sentilium
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What happened to animation in Anime?

I was watching some old anime and couldn't figure out why I didn't take my eyes off of it. It wasn't the story since the plot was cheesy. It wasn't the art because today's artwork is aesthetically nicer. What was it? It took me a bit of time but it wasn't until I watched a modern anime that I saw what was missing. The animation!

In a lot of the older anime, they spent a lot of time drawing transition scenes. They slowly drew how a character when from sitting to standing or how they went from standing to sleeping. Today, what I see is a shot of someone sitting then some still image then someone standing then someone sleeping. The animation between the scenes were gone.

I miss that subtle animation. When did subtle animation start disappearing?
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Old 2012-12-28, 16:52   Link #2
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As a Gradius player -- I am surprised and amused to learn about the Salamander OVA. So, I'll be watching that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentilium
When did subtle animation start disappearing?
Computer aided animation.

Basically, with cel animation, they literally had to draw every motion and all relevant in-between frames. To make animation as smooth as possible, they simply drew all that.

Nowadays, it's possible to skimp and still get away with similar aims.

Now, this is my guess.
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Old 2012-12-28, 16:53   Link #3
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Um........personally I think it got better?

I love 90s anime but.....gawd, does it look ridiculous sometimes....

I don't quite understand your point about standing-sitting thing. I've seen many a character slowly sit down in anime from nowadays....

Maybe someone can post .GIFs to explain a difference?
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Old 2012-12-28, 16:55   Link #4
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From what i could remember, some of the older animes that i used to watch had more stills and used effects like "speedlines" more than today's anime. So i am not entirely sure why you are saying that the animation have become worse.
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Old 2012-12-28, 16:56   Link #5
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Agree with Kyuu regarding the Computerization of animation but only half of it... Since quality animation are somewhat maintained in "animated movies".

Most animated TV series are done only in a 1 year period while others like Steam Boy which is is a movie took 10 years which the animation output was superb.

Regarding the "frames" most animes are done rush to catch up with schedules which is quite different from animes that are made 2-3 years in the process. Come to think of it... Time is also a factor.
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Old 2012-12-28, 17:14   Link #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyl View Post
From what i could remember, some of the older animes that i used to watch had more stills and used effects like "speedlines" more than today's anime. So i am not entirely sure why you are saying that the animation have become worse.
WAHAHAHA

Speedlines were so cheesy!

.....it's weird how they work really well in manga though....
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Old 2012-12-28, 17:15   Link #7
Xion Valkyrie
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Time and budget are big factors. Also, character designs seem to be more important nowadays than good animation, since a lot of the more moe shows are really just advertisements for games, LNs, or merchandise. There's also a lot more outsourcing of animation to Korean studios, so that's why sometimes the animation will drop a lot or look different.

If you look at some of the more big budget series from studios that are known for good animation the stuff they produce is easily as good if not better than the best animated stuff from years ago.
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Old 2012-12-28, 17:17   Link #8
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Budget is not always a factor, just look what shaft has done over the years
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Old 2012-12-28, 18:07   Link #9
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Shaft is able to hide their low budget well with supreme mastery in art style, but some of the pre-DVD Bake episodes were ATROCIOUS if you looked at it from a pure animation perspective.
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Old 2012-12-28, 18:40   Link #10
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In almost every non-Gundam mecha shows, they resort to use ugly CGI mechs instead of nicer-looking 2D ones. Muv-Luv and Macross Frontier are notable examples. It can be either cheap gimmick or easier to made. However the 3D objects don't work well in 2D world. I'm still glad that so far no Gundam shows(except SD ones) use 3D mechs.
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Old 2012-12-28, 20:58   Link #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NK_500 View Post
In almost every non-Gundam mecha shows, they resort to use ugly CGI mechs instead of nicer-looking 2D ones. Muv-Luv and Macross Frontier are notable examples. It can be either cheap gimmick or easier to made. However the 3D objects don't work well in 2D world. I'm still glad that so far no Gundam shows(except SD ones) use 3D mechs.
IMO, itís just a matter of execution and aesthetics. Hand-drawn 2D mecha can look uglier than 3D CG if the design is bad and the movement looks stiff and jerky. Regarding that, being a big fan of Gundam, I think the CG mechas and mecha battles in Macross Frontier and Total Eclipse look good (heck, that's the main reason why I watch those series). Also, I donít know if itís easier than hand-drawn, but well-made CG animation certainly isnít cheap.

As for how well CG blend with 2D environment, once again, it depends on the execution. One good example of "CG blends well" is Fate/Zero. Also, if you're a Gundam fan, you should've notice this: some scenes in Gundam Unicorn use CG (especially when Unicorn and Banshee are transforming) and it was well-made and blends well with the hand-drawn version of those mechas and others.
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Old 2012-12-28, 23:38   Link #12
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Funny. If anything, I'm inclined to think that the opposite is true: Character designs have become very simplified/streamlined, but animation has improved.

Just compare Legend of the Galactic Heroes to Chuunibyou.
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Old 2012-12-28, 23:48   Link #13
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That's what I thought too. Simplified designs and higher frame rates seem to be typical of modern anime. A lot of older anime have many, many still frames. Nowadays you don't usually see that, except maybe a Deen production.

I actually think early 2000s art has aged the worst.
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Old 2012-12-28, 23:55   Link #14
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Character faces are simplified but backgrounds, vehicles, mecha, weaponry(guns especially), clothing, and body structures have massively improved.

Camera angles are also much more dynamic and there's a lot more movie cinematography effects being adopted. Lighting especially has massively improved in the series that can afford to use them.
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Old 2012-12-28, 23:58   Link #15
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By any chance, maybe the OP made this thread after watching some 90s OVAs? I gotta admit, from my experience, some OVAs from the 90s have really fluid animation comparable to modern OVAs like Broken Blade or Gundam Unicorn.

As for anime TV series, I grew up in the 90s and I’ve seen a number of titles from the 80s, but I never seen any series that I consider awe-inspiring in terms of animation (counting out the OVAs of course), while I often impressed by the animation of modern series like animes from KyoAni and some fight sequences in Sword Art Online for example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
I actually think early 2000s art has aged the worst.
Yeah, series like Da Capo and Gundam SEED are prime example of that.
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Old 2012-12-29, 00:01   Link #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xion Valkyrie View Post
Character faces are simplified but backgrounds, vehicles, mecha, weaponry(guns especially), clothing, and body structures have massively improved.
I know one VERY FAMOUS SHOUJO (?) anime where ALL the GIRLS have boring designs but the background and special effects are astonishing! Wonder why? Loyalty to the original design?
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Old 2012-12-29, 01:35   Link #17
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Sometimes high-quality animation does not splash across the screen in scenes like epic space battles. Take a close look at the animation of Sentarou's drum solo in episode one of Sakamichi no Apollon (at 17:58). This sequence is animated on the ones, meaning that every frame differs from the ones before and after it. Much of modern anime is shot on twos or even threes, so a one-second sequence contains only eight frames duplicated three times each to fill a second at 24 fps. Even more remarkable is the claim made by people involved in the production of Apollon that the musical performances were not "rotoscoped" from a live human performance.

With today's limited budgets directors must pick and choose where to invest their funds to have the greatest visual effect. Seirei no Moribito is another excellent example. The occasional spear-fighting scenes are remarkably well choreographed, and any depiction of water with one early exception glistens and sparkles realistically. The shot of the rice paddies early in episode one sets the stage for the other aquatic scenes to come.

I believe that budgets have shrunk considerably over the past decade. Production committees have more limited time horizons, and shows turn over more quickly. Directors now get thirteen episodes to tell a story rather than twenty-six, thirty-nine, or more. Shorter schedules places a greater burden on the animators to move the story forward at the expense of set-piece sequences that largely constitute "eye candy."
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Old 2012-12-29, 01:44   Link #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obelisk ze Tormentor View Post
By any chance, maybe the OP made this thread after watching some 90s OVAs? I gotta admit, from my experience, some OVAs from the 90s have really fluid animation comparable to modern OVAs like Broken Blade or Gundam Unicorn.
Was going to ask the same thing,there's some 80s and 90s OVas and movies that have some real sweet animation but I really wouldn't say the same thing about TV shows.
Hell I'm watching a 90s shoujo show right now and it's almost a slideshow and the OST consists of one melody
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Old 2012-12-29, 02:52   Link #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xion Valkyrie View Post
Character faces are simplified but backgrounds, vehicles, mecha, weaponry(guns especially), clothing, and body structures have massively improved.

Camera angles are also much more dynamic and there's a lot more movie cinematography effects being adopted. Lighting especially has massively improved in the series that can afford to use them.
There have been some improvements, but there is almost no more 2D mechanical animation any more. This is most noticeable when you look at all the 3D cars out there. And the transition to all those 3D backgrounds hasn't been all that successful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by totoum View Post
Was going to ask the same thing,there's some 80s and 90s OVas and movies that have some real sweet animation but I really wouldn't say the same thing about TV shows.
Yeah, there are a lot more TV shows nowadays than there used to be in the '90s, and that can make for a huge difference in animation quality.

To take an example from the early '80s, the SDF Macross TV show had the occasional nicely animated episode, but a lot of them looked horrible. On the other hand, the DYRL movie looked amazing - one of the best looking anime of all time even though it came out in 1984. Ditto for the great bits of new animation for the Flash Back 2012 OVA.

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Originally Posted by totoum View Post
Hell I'm watching a 90s shoujo show right now and it's almost a slideshow and the OST consists of one melody
Hah! Dezaki used to do that all the time, and his work is still awesome!

A lot of the quality of older anime can be the way that they worked the solutions to the problem of limited animation quality into making shows more expressive. Some of that skill isn't present any more simply because those limitations aren't the same any more.
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Old 2012-12-29, 12:24   Link #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xion Valkyrie View Post
Character faces are simplified but backgrounds, vehicles, mecha, weaponry(guns especially), clothing, and body structures have massively improved.
I largely disagree. But to be as precise as possible, I'll discuss each of these items separately:

1) Backgrounds - This is the area where I'm most inclined to agree with you. I do think anime has improved in making backgrounds look nice, shiny, and generally beautiful. Nonetheless, some older anime shows from the 90s have some gorgeous fantasy and/or sci-fi settings with lovely backgrounds. I think the term "massive improvement" does a disservice to some of those older anime shows.

2) Vehicles - I've seen some bad looking cars in recent anime, and I've also seen some great looking cars there. I've seen some bad looking cars in older anime, and I've also seen some great looking cars there. I don't see much evidence of consistent improvement here.

3) Mecha - It depends on how far you go back. Has there been a lot of improvement since the original Mobile Suit Gundam? Yeah, definitely. But if we're just talking about how mechas look in still pictures, I think the mechas in Gundam Wing and Gundam Seed look just as good as (and in some cases, better than) more modern mecha. And Gundam Wing is now almost 20 years old of course.

4) Weaponry - I don't recall the weaponry of older anime looking bad. And I don't recall being blown away by how modern weapons look. So if there's been a change here, I certainly haven't noticed it.

5) Clothing - Student uniforms tend to look a bit better. But then they should given the amount of practice anime artists get on them nowadays. Aside from this, though, I'm not seeing any significant improvement here.

6) Body Structures - Here is where I disagree with you the most. The body structure of the characters in Legend of the Galactic Heroes is perfect. Excellent body structure. In many ways, it's superior to what we see in most anime shows today. I also don't see anything wrong with the body structure in older anime shows like Sailor Moon, NGE, Ranma Ĺ, Tenchi Muyo!, InuYasha, El Hazard, Magic Knight Rayearth, Fushigi Yuugi, and a whole host of 90s anime. Heck, I'd love to see the tall, voluptuous look make a comeback.
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