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Principles of Animation: Analysis of Adventure Time by Pendleton Ward

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History of the piece of work

At the request of Eric Homan (the Vice president of the development of Frederator Studio), Adventure Time was created by Pendleton Ward to enter a Nickelodeon short showcase Random Cartoon in early 2006. Because it went viral after its first released on the internet, they decided to bring the concept to Nickelodeon in 2007 but got rejected twice. When Nickelodeon no longer had the rights to produce Adventure Time series, Frederator Studios quickly brought the concept to other channels. Fortunately, in 2008, Cartoon Network, where Pendleton Ward worked as a storyboard artist and writer at the time, showed a huge interest in making it into a full series. However, they would only do that once Mr. Ward could prove the Adventure Time short “wasn’t a one-hit wonder. ”

With the help of Mr. Ward’s college friends (Patrick McHale and Adam Muto), they developed ideas to make a rough storyboard and sent it to Cartoon Network. Their first attempt was failed, but their later attempt “The Enchiridion” was approved and became the first to enter the production stage. In April 2010, the series’ first episode “Slumber Party Panic” is officially debuted. Pendleton Ward was the showrunner for Adventure Time until he resigned during the fifth season and worked as the show’s storyline writer and storyboard artist instead. Consequently, the new showrunner role was given to Adam Muto.

Animation workflow

Because an episode of Adventure Time usually takes around nine months to produce, several episodes are worked on simultaneously. Most cartoon shows have a writers’ room where a new idea is developed and written as scripts, but in some rare cases like Adventure Time, it is written as storyboards. In an interview with the A. V. Club in 2012, Ward said: “We start off by just shooting the breeze and telling weird stories about what happened to us during the week. ” Once the basic storyboards or plots are made, a simple two-to-three-page outline is written and handed over to the storyboard teams, who have two weeks to roughly visualize the outline, write the dialogue along with the jokes, pick all the camera shots, and edit the outline. Then a rough storyboard is given to Kent Osborne (one of the producers), and he will write down a note of what needs to be changed or improved to the storyboard teams. The teams will have an extra two weeks to change it up. This process is repeated until Osborne approves the storyboard. Following some preparations, voice actors get their jobs done. Afterward, an editor assembles the final storyboard frames into an animatic and times it so that it matches the voice recordings.

The animatic goes through some revisions and changes. Then it is given to the cleanup artists who redraw every sketchy frame into a clean and tidy frame. At the same time, background and layout artists draw and assemble backgrounds. Shortly after that, the final animatic gets animated. Even though each episode’s design and coloring are done in the US, it is animated in South Korea in three to five months. The fully animated episode is sent back to the US for revisions and changes. During this time, some scenes might need to be re-animated, an additional dialogue might be recorded, and some effects are added. Finally, an episode is released.

Styles of Animation

“Adventure Time pays attention to articulation and quality animation. Each second of the roughly eleven-minute episodes features smooth animations full of fluid movement, point of view shifts and the key frame frequency that lets your mind relax and enjoy the show. The animation in Adventure Time is smooth and more stylized than schlocky animated tv shows from a few decades ago. ” While the backgrounds are usually complex and colorful with tone and shadings, the characters are drawn with simple shapes and colored with just base colors. The purpose of this is to help the animation process goes quick and simple. The series focuses on the appealing principle of animation because its target audience is children. To make it appealing to the children, the characters’ design often has simple round and curvy characteristics.

Application of the principles of animation

Exaggeration: The scene in figure 3 is an exaggeration of Finn’s face where it clearly exaggerates his mouth and big round eyes to make him look much more scared of what is happening in front of his eyes. Similarly, for the scene in figure 4, the exaggeration of her curved down mouth which exposes long sharp teeth, bright red eyes, frown eyebrows, and blowing hair undoubtedly makes her look furious.

Appeal: Both characters’ emotions are easy to read and have their own personality. With the help of exaggeration, the characters look more dynamic and appealing to viewers.

Staging: After a wall in Marceline’s house cracked open into a new intimidating place in figure 2’s scene, instead of his usual black eyes, we could see a reflection of what is going on in his wide opened eyes: a silhouette in the middle of a chaotic fire. The purpose of figure 3’s scene is to guide the audience’s attention toward Finn’s emotion and why he is scared.

Secondary action: In figure 3, the primary action is Finn’s wide opened eyes and mouth when he is scared. The secondary action is his hands on the sides of his head that shows Finn’s confusion and cluelessness. In figure 4, the primary action is Marceline’s intense facial expression when she reminds Finn that her father steals her bass guitar. The secondary action is her blowing hair which emphasized how angry she is. Both of the secondary actions give the primary actions more depth and meaning.

Squash and stretch: The cloud-like character is light and soft, so it bounces back when it makes an impact with Finn. Because it is important to keep the character’s volume, when the force of the motion squashes the character, it gets a little bit thinner and longer. When the character bounces back, its volume returns to its normal state. Arc: That character floats in a curvy line (arc). This brings a real life feeling of a floating object/action.

Timing: The cloud-like character is timed to mindlessly and steadily floats towards Finn but immediately bounces back when it touches him. The timing of the floating gives the illusion of the character’s lightweight, how fast it moves towards Finn, and how the impact makes it bounces back. The purpose of timing is to apply the law of physics in the natural world to the animation world.

Solid drawing: From five figures above, the drawing style is very consistence. Even though there are some exaggerations scenes, they are still in their own style without looking out of the place.

Straight ahead and pose to pose: This animation gives fire a fluid and random movement. This animation has more control over Finn’s movement.

History of the piece of work

At the request of Eric Homan (the Vice president of the development of Frederator Studio), Adventure Time was created by Pendleton Ward to enter a Nickelodeon short showcase Random Cartoon in early 2006. Because it went viral after its first released on the internet, they decided to bring the concept to Nickelodeon in 2007 but got rejected twice. When Nickelodeon no longer had the rights to produce Adventure Time series, Frederator Studios quickly brought the concept to other channels. Fortunately, in 2008, Cartoon Network, where Pendleton Ward worked as a storyboard artist and writer at the time, showed a huge interest in making it into a full series. However, they would only do that once Mr. Ward could prove the Adventure Time short “wasn’t a one-hit wonder. ”

With the help of Mr. Ward’s college friends (Patrick McHale and Adam Muto), they developed ideas to make a rough storyboard and sent it to Cartoon Network. Their first attempt was failed, but their later attempt “The Enchiridion” was approved and became the first to enter the production stage. In April 2010, the series’ first episode “Slumber Party Panic” is officially debuted. Pendleton Ward was the showrunner for Adventure Time until he resigned during the fifth season and worked as the show’s storyline writer and storyboard artist instead. Consequently, the new showrunner role was given to Adam Muto.

Animation workflow

Because an episode of Adventure Time usually takes around nine months to produce, several episodes are worked on simultaneously. Most cartoon shows have a writers’ room where a new idea is developed and written as scripts, but in some rare cases like Adventure Time, it is written as storyboards. In an interview with the A. V. Club in 2012, Ward said: “We start off by just shooting the breeze and telling weird stories about what happened to us during the week. ” Once the basic storyboards or plots are made, a simple two-to-three-page outline is written and handed over to the storyboard teams, who have two weeks to roughly visualize the outline, write the dialogue along with the jokes, pick all the camera shots, and edit the outline. Then a rough storyboard is given to Kent Osborne (one of the producers), and he will write down a note of what needs to be changed or improved to the storyboard teams. The teams will have an extra two weeks to change it up. This process is repeated until Osborne approves the storyboard. Following some preparations, voice actors get their jobs done. Afterward, an editor assembles the final storyboard frames into an animatic and times it so that it matches the voice recordings.

The animatic goes through some revisions and changes. Then it is given to the cleanup artists who redraw every sketchy frame into a clean and tidy frame. At the same time, background and layout artists draw and assemble backgrounds. Shortly after that, the final animatic gets animated. Even though each episode’s design and coloring are done in the US, it is animated in South Korea in three to five months. The fully animated episode is sent back to the US for revisions and changes. During this time, some scenes might need to be re-animated, an additional dialogue might be recorded, and some effects are added. Finally, an episode is released.

Styles of Animation

“Adventure Time pays attention to articulation and quality animation. Each second of the roughly eleven-minute episodes features smooth animations full of fluid movement, point of view shifts and the key frame frequency that lets your mind relax and enjoy the show. The animation in Adventure Time is smooth and more stylized than schlocky animated tv shows from a few decades ago. ” While the backgrounds are usually complex and colorful with tone and shadings, the characters are drawn with simple shapes and colored with just base colors. The purpose of this is to help the animation process goes quick and simple. The series focuses on the appealing principle of animation because its target audience is children. To make it appealing to the children, the characters’ design often has simple round and curvy characteristics.

Application of the principles of animation

Exaggeration: The scene in figure 3 is an exaggeration of Finn’s face where it clearly exaggerates his mouth and big round eyes to make him look much more scared of what is happening in front of his eyes. Similarly, for the scene in figure 4, the exaggeration of her curved down mouth which exposes long sharp teeth, bright red eyes, frown eyebrows, and blowing hair undoubtedly makes her look furious.

Appeal: Both characters’ emotions are easy to read and have their own personality. With the help of exaggeration, the characters look more dynamic and appealing to viewers.

Staging: After a wall in Marceline’s house cracked open into a new intimidating place in figure 2’s scene, instead of his usual black eyes, we could see a reflection of what is going on in his wide opened eyes: a silhouette in the middle of a chaotic fire. The purpose of figure 3’s scene is to guide the audience’s attention toward Finn’s emotion and why he is scared.

Secondary action: In figure 3, the primary action is Finn’s wide opened eyes and mouth when he is scared. The secondary action is his hands on the sides of his head that shows Finn’s confusion and cluelessness. In figure 4, the primary action is Marceline’s intense facial expression when she reminds Finn that her father steals her bass guitar. The secondary action is her blowing hair which emphasized how angry she is. Both of the secondary actions give the primary actions more depth and meaning.

Squash and stretch: The cloud-like character is light and soft, so it bounces back when it makes an impact with Finn. Because it is important to keep the character’s volume, when the force of the motion squashes the character, it gets a little bit thinner and longer. When the character bounces back, its volume returns to its normal state. Arc: That character floats in a curvy line (arc). This brings a real life feeling of a floating object/action.

Timing: The cloud-like character is timed to mindlessly and steadily floats towards Finn but immediately bounces back when it touches him. The timing of the floating gives the illusion of the character’s lightweight, how fast it moves towards Finn, and how the impact makes it bounces back. The purpose of timing is to apply the law of physics in the natural world to the animation world.

Solid drawing: From five figures above, the drawing style is very consistence. Even though there are some exaggerations scenes, they are still in their own style without looking out of the place.

Straight ahead and pose to pose: This animation gives fire a fluid and random movement. This animation has more control over Finn’s movement.

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GradesFixer. (2020). Principles of Animation: Analysis Of Adventure Time By Pendleton Ward. Retrived from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/principles-of-animation-analysis-of-adventure-time-by-pendleton-ward/
GradesFixer. "Principles of Animation: Analysis Of Adventure Time By Pendleton Ward." GradesFixer, 14 Jul. 2020, https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/principles-of-animation-analysis-of-adventure-time-by-pendleton-ward/
GradesFixer, 2020. Principles of Animation: Analysis Of Adventure Time By Pendleton Ward. [online] Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/principles-of-animation-analysis-of-adventure-time-by-pendleton-ward/> [Accessed 18 September 2020].
GradesFixer. Principles of Animation: Analysis Of Adventure Time By Pendleton Ward [Internet]. GradesFixer; 2020 [cited 2020 July 14]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/principles-of-animation-analysis-of-adventure-time-by-pendleton-ward/
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