For my final major project, I have chosen to use animation as a medium to create a short 1-2 minute film. I’ve decided to research various artists and studios who focus on animation. Analysing and exploring their style and methods will allow me to take inspiration and understand the animation medium more, helping me when I will eventually get round to developing my short film.
I’ve decided to choose a studio, an animated film or series and an individual animator to research about.
Studio Yotta is a group of freelance artists and animators based in the US that work to produce various works of 2D animated media. The studio was founded by Jake Ganz in 2012 and hires mainly animators, but also background artists and concept artists online from all over the globe. They mostly aid in creating games, cartoons and other forms of 2D animation by contributing with assist animation, concept art, character designing and background production. Their clients and partners include Lab Zero Games, whom Studio Yotta helped produce the DLC characters for the 2D fighting game Skull Girls co-published by Autumn Games and Konami in 2012. They’ve also participated in creating several music video animations for various artists.
They’re art style in animation is generally very cartoony and simplistic, but also really smooth and colourful. They animate at 24 frames per second and predominantly use Adobe Flash to animate with. Other programs I could imagine them using could be TVPaint or Photoshop, but I understand that Flash is the most commonly used platform in which the majority of their animators use to animate in.
Their backgrounds are very stylistic and funky, complementing the simple animation really well. I’m assuming that these backgrounds would have been produced in programs like Photoshop. The colours range from being harmonic to contrasting to match the mood of the scene, and the composition not only works well with the animation but also stands out really well as it’s own piece of background art. The lighting is also well used, with many light sources being shown to add to the idea of dimension in a 2D environment. The scenery and background objects are well rendered and the solid cell shading helps give everything a clear sense of shape and form. Nothing commits to any painterly, brush like strokes or outlines in favour of perhaps focusing the attention on the 2D characters put in front of them.
Yotta’s characters are simple yet very appealing. Because of their simple shapes and clean lines, it’s easier and quicker to draw over and over again meaning that they can draw more in-betweens to create some really smooth motion. This also means that they can afford to put time into animating other details and polish facial expressions.
The colouring on their characters are also generally simple block colours with no shading, which is commonly done with many cartoons such as Steven Universe. The only time when shading is used is for close-ups and special scenes to add effect and give the characters more dimension. Having said that, Studio Yotta has make animated videos which have cell shading in every scene. Even the shading itself is kept simple and cell-shaded to once again, focus more time on the motion and fluidity of action. This approach to animating is pretty much industry standard in today’s western cartoon animation. The lighting from the scene’s environment will affect the colour of the shading as well as sometimes affecting the overall appearance of the character’s colouring.
The simple animation style from studios such as Yotta will inspire and help me to produce efficient and effective animation.