Use your Soundtrack
as a 3-D Animation Shortcut!
Watching a ton of Anime over the years has shown me an easy animation shortcut: Let complicated 3-D animation sequences take place OFF-SCREEN!
Watch an old “Ranma 1/2” episode … or most any “ink-&-paint era” Anime … and you will see that, quite often, the drama, or comedy, leads to a high-point … and you JUST KNOW what is about to happen … and then the scene cuts to someone’s face and you watch their emotion while the soundtrack tells you all about the big explosion, or whatever it was. It’s a great gimmick and it is used all the time on TV and in film, too!
In THIS video, I don’t have a bat; Kaito is only seen from the shoulders, up … we have no idea of his pose or, really, anything about him. But NERU tells the story … “Hey … what is that you are hiding behind you?” … So now we know something is suspicious. “Is that a plastic bat” … We do not see a bat, but we all know what a plastic bat might look like … and we want to know more! … “Man … If you hit me with that I will be SO TICKED!” … We can hardly wait! … BONK! … “Arrrrrrrgh!” … We get our satisfaction and a smile upon our face … and we didn’t really see a thing!
The mind’s eye is so much sharper than a clumsy animation might be. We KNOW there’s a bat … I think it’s yellow, but I don’t know why … we KNOW the sound of a hit with a cheap plastic bat … We KNOW she is going to be TICKED-OFF if she is clobbered … and … IT HAPPENS … and we enjoy it!
I have a favorite “Ranma 1/2” where the whole family is on a vacation in Okinawa … and, for some reason, a couple of feuding young ladies, U-chan and Shampoo, are along for the ride … so there is tension. The fiance, Akane, is about to strike her betrothed with a mallet, and he unknowingly moves out of the way. We see his face, we hear “SMACK!”, we see some playing cards triumphantly smacked onto a game table (but the “SMACK!” we hear is way too loud for it to have been those little playing cards!), we see other faces in the room look up …
and then the camera swings around to show Akane with her mallet firmly pressing against her very sore hand. Again … we know all about the scene. We see Ranma move. We hear the SMACK! We see the pain … but we didn’t have to watch the actual motion of Akane smacking her hand with a hammer.
Use a detailed soundtrack as a 3-D animation shortcut as you work and create with MikuMikuDance!
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