How have the drawings changed over the years?

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Fireminer
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How have the drawings changed over the years?

Post by Fireminer »

Have you noticed any little changes to the style and method that anime is animated throughout the years? For example, how have the shapes of the noses been changed, or have color saturation handled better?

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Captain_EO
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Re: How have the drawings changed over the years?

Post by Captain_EO »

The most apparent difference is anime is no longer made with hand-painted animation cels - Although, I believe modern model sheets and initial frames are still drawn traditionally on paper, the coloring process is all digital. Lighting effects can also be added digitally now.

But as far as style is concerned, hairstyles had more volume in pre-2000's designs (Especially in the '80's) to reflect fashion trends of the time. Faces had cross-hatching lines on the cheeks, and the noses were more defined. Nowadays, designs reflect trends of the 2010's (and early 2020's if you want to get technical.) with a more focus on gradient shading and softer shapes.

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Re: How have the drawings changed over the years?

Post by davemerrill »

the weird little bow mouth, most prominent in "Pop Team Epic", used to be an occasional thing, and now it's just about everywhere. Nostrils seem to be making a comeback. Hair and fashion continues to be ridiculous, but it's hard to tell whether anime is driving real life, or vice-versa.

There was a period of five or so years when the studios were still getting the bugs worked out of the switch to digital production and there were many poor choices that haven't aged well in terms of backgrounds, CG vehicles, and the like.

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Re: How have the drawings changed over the years?

Post by SteveH »

To me the most obvious change is the loss of the big, heavy, rough ink lines. The kind of rough slash on the cel done with ink and brush instead of the clean, fine line of the photocopy.

Yes I know cels were always (or most always) shot from the pencils then painted, but that heavy line, inked over the pencil line really added mass to the image.

Dave can probably explain it better. But that's what I notice.

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Re: How have the drawings changed over the years?

Post by davemerrill »

speaking of CG that didn't age well AND heavy ink lines, we watched the Golgo 13 movie (free on Tubi!) last weekend and 1. the CG helicopters really take the viewer out of the film, and 2. there are gigantic brush lines inking those characters in some shots!

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Akage
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Re: How have the drawings changed over the years?

Post by Akage »

The process varies by studio. Not all studios are fully CG, even now. Many of them still opt to create hand painted backgrounds because CG still can't capture some of the richness and fine detail needed without spending a fortune. It's less common for a studio to still draw on paper for anything whether that be model sheets (settei), storyboards, timesheets or the actual douga that had been digitally colored to end up as the final product on screen. But it still does occur; I've seen auctions for artwork from more recent Pokémon and PreCure seasons with hand drawn shuusei and douga. And some long running series, like Naruto, never fully went CG.

Most of the artwork that is being produced for current series, if it exists on paper, is destroyed. There were some studios like Production IG that retained the artwork for up to 5 years after initial release in the event that the series becomes popular and they need materials to make mass production artbooks. After that, it's destroyed. Most studios destroy whatever exists shortly after production of the episode or series is complete. Up until about 2015, artwork routinely made its way out of studios and on to secondary auction sites where people like me would buy it. Many times, these douga, genga and backgrounds looked like they were folded so that they would fit into circular trash bins. The volume of artwork from newer shows has really diminished in the past 5 years, which to me indicates that studios are really cracking down on this.

One area I do know a lot about is backgrounds and how those have changed over the years. I own a ton of backgrounds from Cardcaptor Sakura (a cel based show) and Kobato (CG series from 2009). Both were produced by Madhouse. With CCS, multilayer backgrounds had to be completely set-up before the cel could be placed on top and the sequence shot. This mean that things would be drawn on different layers, cut out of the paper they were drawn on and then, using highly acidic tape, assembled. These sorts of backgrounds were time intensive to set up and thus not many were created. They also had the habit of making the screen look darker, especially if multiple cel layers were involved. For Kobato, because the layers could be scanned into a computer and digitally assembled, the amount of multi layered backgrounds increased.

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Re: How have the drawings changed over the years?

Post by DKop »

davemerrill wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 8:49 am
speaking of CG that didn't age well AND heavy ink lines, we watched the Golgo 13 movie (free on Tubi!) last weekend and 1. the CG helicopters really take the viewer out of the film, and 2. there are gigantic brush lines inking those characters in some shots!
The bluray looks phenominal to me personally form what I skimmed through since im using that for an AMV project I started. The Dawson Tower at the end is CG looking but that doesn't take me out of the film for me personally. I kinda get a good chuckle from the CG choppers, and it was the 3D animation department in Japan at that time fooling around with CG in animation like they did with the Lensmen film. This was happening the same time as the company who did work on The Last Starfighter, so i'm not sure if it was some kinda of competition between east/west studios to see what computer CG looked better than the other guys.

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Re: How have the drawings changed over the years?

Post by llj »

As others mentioned, there has been more of a 'clean line' aesthetic. This isn't just limited to anime. Much of mainstream media now features a 'cleaner' aesthetic, emphasizing uniform precision over linework.

Some of this is because of the change in tools, some of this is because it's a philosophy that has been popularized over the last 20 years. No extraneous detail. Clarity first. Leave negative space to let the art breathe.

There are still some anime here and there that occasionally attempt to revive the "sketchy" aesthetic, but they are usually done as inserts in anime gag sequences or as deliberate callbacks to an older era (Some of the last few Lupin movies and The Woman called Fujiko Mine comes to mind).

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Re: How have the drawings changed over the years?

Post by davemerrill »

DKop wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:02 pm
davemerrill wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 8:49 am
speaking of CG that didn't age well AND heavy ink lines, we watched the Golgo 13 movie (free on Tubi!) last weekend and 1. the CG helicopters really take the viewer out of the film, and 2. there are gigantic brush lines inking those characters in some shots!
The bluray looks phenominal to me personally form what I skimmed through since im using that for an AMV project I started. The Dawson Tower at the end is CG looking but that doesn't take me out of the film for me personally. I kinda get a good chuckle from the CG choppers, and it was the 3D animation department in Japan at that time fooling around with CG in animation like they did with the Lensmen film. This was happening the same time as the company who did work on The Last Starfighter, so i'm not sure if it was some kinda of competition between east/west studios to see what computer CG looked better than the other guys.
Actually, the CG work in Lensman was done by an outfit in New York, "Computer Graphics Laboratories, Inc." I don't know who did the work in Golgo 13, or for that matter, the very short CG scenes in the Locke The Superman movie (because I'm too lazy to look at the credits at the moment).

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Re: How have the drawings changed over the years?

Post by DKop »

davemerrill wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:09 am
DKop wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:02 pm
davemerrill wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 8:49 am
speaking of CG that didn't age well AND heavy ink lines, we watched the Golgo 13 movie (free on Tubi!) last weekend and 1. the CG helicopters really take the viewer out of the film, and 2. there are gigantic brush lines inking those characters in some shots!
The bluray looks phenominal to me personally form what I skimmed through since im using that for an AMV project I started. The Dawson Tower at the end is CG looking but that doesn't take me out of the film for me personally. I kinda get a good chuckle from the CG choppers, and it was the 3D animation department in Japan at that time fooling around with CG in animation like they did with the Lensmen film. This was happening the same time as the company who did work on The Last Starfighter, so i'm not sure if it was some kinda of competition between east/west studios to see what computer CG looked better than the other guys.
Actually, the CG work in Lensman was done by an outfit in New York, "Computer Graphics Laboratories, Inc." I don't know who did the work in Golgo 13, or for that matter, the very short CG scenes in the Locke The Superman movie (because I'm too lazy to look at the credits at the moment).
Ah, that explains why CG looked better in Lensmen than Golgo 13 ;) .

Doing a quick google search, this was the company I remember doing the Lensmen movie, but they're from Japan, not New York (kinda hard to be a "japan" CGL company and be in New York, that makes no sense to me).

https://youtu.be/5RaDIBXkU3U

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