IanH – Preliminary Research

September 17, 2019

IanH – Preliminary Research


For this project, I plan to create a 5-10 minute short animation using software such as pencil2D and possibly DigiCel Flipbook. These are both more traditional 2d animation programs that focus on rasterized production, rather than vector. The main difference here is vector has more computer influence, which smooths out all your lines. Raster does not do this, and is primarily focused on representing what you are drawing as accurately as possible. As for hardware, I recently purchased an XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro, which is a sizable drawing monitor that will hopefully decrease the amount of time it takes for me to produce a drawing. The goal here is to force me to practice with a difficult form of animation in order to gain a better understanding of the medium, as well as try and show the world what I can do with traditional animation.

Image result for xp-pen artist 15.6 drawing tablet
XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro

To break things down, the main goal of this project is to show:

Traditional Animation Talent – I will try my hardest to create a piece of art that will really impress those who watch it, even if they don’t have an understanding of the medium. I will do this by animating primarily in 2’s and 1’s at 24FPS. This means that each frame drawn will be held on-screen for the equivalent of either 2 or 1 frame. My hopes here is to show that I can make high quality work at a decent pace, as 2’s and 1’s take a considerable amount of time.


Storytelling and Direction – Since the story will be written by me, I’m hoping to learn how to create an effective and impactful story. Again, this will help me on my journey to one day join this field of work. As for the direction, this ties into the animation as well, I wish to be able to create unique shots that will add to the emotion and tension of certain scenes. Something that is a necessity to animation.


Master Studies – In order to gain a better understanding of this medium, I’ll do master studies. Meaning I’ll be looking at current and past greats in the animation business and re-create some of their shots. Some examples of these artists are James Baxter, a Canadian animator who worked on Beauty and the Beast as well as The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Keiichiro Watanabe, a Japanese animator who is focused on background animation, and is currently one of the best in the modern industry. Naotoshi shida, another Japanese based animator who is a fantastic character designer, who simplifies designs to allow for a more pleasing look that is easier to animate.

Keiichiro Watanabe example: https://sakugabooru.com/data/25b2b3061aa83783a11cfb231d07f586.mp4

animated beauty_and_the_beast genga glen_keane james_baxter production_materials western
Example of a James Baxter pencil test for Beauty and the Beast

To Teach the West about Animation – We have built this culture around animation in the west, that it’s primarily a medium for children; which couldn’t be further from the truth. Due to the fact that most all animation produced for an older audience is generally shows such as “Family Guy” or “Rick & Morty” or something with extremely similar direction and hideous art style, we have created a perpetual stigma around animation where it’s really never taken seriously. I want to change this, or at least help change this. I want to improve the culture surrounding western animation, and create a short or show that has unique and attractive art with a strong story that will be aimed at an older audience.


A fantastic recent example of western animation really showing fantastic art style, animation, direction and story telling is the fifth season of Samurai Jack.

Poster for Samurai Jack Season 5 Here’s a video example: https://sakugabooru.com/data/2b2bdde1658c0bf2573e785f2d27d72f.mp4