Initially daily but now sporadic blog about anime and world animation with a specific focus on the artists behind the work. Written by Ben Ettinger.
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Archives for: January 2006, 31

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

11:20:15 pm , 486 words, 4468 views     Categories: Animation

Iso Fun Pack

As a thank-you to readers I wanted to upload a little something I threw together for my own edification some time ago - the key animation for one shot from episode 19 of Evangelion, drawn by Mitsuo Iso, an animator about whom I'm kind of passionate, as most people probably already know. I meant to do this for New Years, but it's a little late, so I'll do it for the Chinese New Year instead.

Kung hei fat choi!

Inside is an image of each of the 24 keys in the shot; an swf allowing you to play or step through it; and the shot from the final product. A caveat: The swf doesn't play at the correct speed because I wasn't able to figure out the right timing from the copy of the episode I had, which was confusingly interlaced, making decyphering difficult. The Groundwork book didn't contain the time sheet for Iso's shots, which would have told me how long to hold each frame. The movie from the final product is there to help you see the correct timing, and of course to compare with the keys.

Well, enjoy. This is one of my favorite shots of animation. Of course, I could say that about many shots drawn by Iso, but this is one of the few for which I've found the keys, so I thought this would be ideal as a study item to see how one of the true greats active today works. (or worked - remember this is from ten years ago, and his style has changed considerably since)

As with the shots surrounding this one, I feel the shot shows how Iso differs from other animators. He seems to come up with the movement using the whole screen rather than simply plunking a character down in one spot, and draws most of the movements himself with very few inbetweens, leaving the movement less fluid but giving him more control and allowing him to fill the movements with lots of lifelike nuance. (the little hash marks you occasionally see on the keys are indications of where to draw the inbetween(s) vis-a-vis the surrounding keys)

Iso can obviously draw, but the forms are always supple and loose, and you never get the impression of Iso trying to 'fake' a realistic image, so to speak, by simply drawing it as perfectly and meticulously as possible. Just the opposite, Iso's drawings are always full of vitality and the unexpected. Though it's not as obvious in this shot, much of Iso's animation is full of deformations that help to give a feeling of weight to the motion. And yet he remains one of the most quintissentially realistic animators out there. It's a wonderful contradiction.

As a final bonus, here are the early designs drawn by Shinya Ohira for Junkers Come Here. Apologies for the low quality of the second tier. The source images were very small.