This animation task has thrown up some interesting design choices and questions. At the start of the project, upon receiving the brief, it was suggested that we make our animations in an abstract style. This, from some of the examples shown from the early days of animation, might be most commonly interpreted as consisting of simple shapes, colours and lines with no real structure or meaningful progression throughout the animation, other than variation with the beat or melody of the accompanying music track. This sort of style can be seen for example in the short animation “A Colour Box” by Len Lye (accessed at: http://vimeo.com/6276547).
This style is all well and good, and certainly has its merits in experimenting with animation techniques and music synchronisation, however, it did not really interest me enough to pursue it for this task. I instead opted for a more (albeit very loosely) plot-driven piece, with a defined character and progression through the animation. Where I brought in the abstract ideas, then, was with the events of the animation. Rather than seeking to animate this character going through some ordinary task or activity, I chose to portray a scene based more around the emotions or feelings associated with a specific activity (in this case, listening to music).
I went about this by having a clear transition from the character simply walking along, to the activity taking place. This transition was primarily achieved by the initial lack, and then introduction of, the music track. I also added some visual cues such as a pair of headphones being dropped on to the character.
The music that I created for the piece is meant to convey a sense of joy, and a carefree attitude that the character is portrayed to be feeling during the activity of listening to the music. The character is then animated moving around the screen in a way that is greatly exaggerated, and which defies the normal rules of motion and gravity. I have used this motion as a visual representation of the mood being represented, which in this section is meant to suggest an elation at the music which removes everyday worries, and therefore physical restrictions on the animated character.
I also tried to make the piece humorous in nature, as it is quite a light hearted subject matter and I think that the humour works well with the exaggerated animations.