Reference List

James Ritchie (2017) The 12 Principles of Animation (With Examples) available at: https://idearocketanimation.com/13721-12-principles-of-animation-gifs/ (accessed 02 January 2020)

Dana Boadway-Masson (2017) Exaggeration: The Basic 12 Principles of Animation Available at: https://blog.animationmentor.com/exaggeration-the-12-basic-principles-of-animation/ (Accessed 02 January 2020)

Big And Little Wong Tin Bar – 大小黃天霸 – 1962 (2017) archive.org available at: https://archive.org/details/JackieChanFirstMovieBigAndLittleWongTinBar (accessed:30 December)

Biography (2019) Jackie Chan Biography Available at: https://www.biography.com/actor/jackie-chan (Accessed : 30 December)

Every Frame of Painting (2014) Jackie Cahn- How to Do Action Comedy 2 December Available at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1PCtIaM_GQ (Accessed:30 December)

TheJackieCHANnel614 (2013) Jackie Chan – Interview on “Miracles” and Filmaking 11 November Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ft43yyuuoYk (Accessed: 30 December)

Posted onDecember 31, 2019Edit”Cinematography in Fight Scenes, China and Jackie Chan”

 

MovieClips(2011) The Bourne Identity (7/10) Movie CLIP – Pen Versus Knife (2002) HD 16 June Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFnmq5PPScA (Accessed: 29 November)

RocketJump Film School (2015) Intro to FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY -With Yung Lee (GakAttack) 12 May Available at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZhks0_2mHM (Accessed at: 29 November 2019)

Steve Fritz (2008) Chatting with the Directors of Dreamworks Kung Fu Panda, P1 Available at : https://www.newsarama.com/88-chatting-with-the-directors-of-dreamworks-kung-fu-panda-p1.html (Accessed: 20 November 2019)

mayafair (2008) The Fight Master: A Documentary about Paddy Crean 8 March. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mW6P8bZADk&t=330s (Accessed: 13 November 2019)

Woropaew (2019) History of Computer Animation (CGI) available at: https://computeranimationhistory-cgi.jimdofree.com/ Accessed at 15 November 2019

Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse (2018) Directed byPeter Ramsey, Bob Persichetti, Rodney Rothman [Feature Film] United States:Sony Pictures Releasing

Big and Little Wong Tin Bar (1962) Directed by Lung To [Feature Film] Hong Kong Fortune Star

The Mark of Zorro (1920) Directed by Fred Niblo [Feature Film] California: United Artists

Orochi (1925) Directed by Buntarō Futagawa [Feature Film] Japan:Digital Meme

Mortal Kombat the Journey begins  (1995) Directed by Joseph Francis [Feature Film] New York New Line Cinema

Abstract

I chosen to Research into the development of fight scenes in animation. With this Blog I explore the vast process that film studios and Directors go through to creating a fight scene in live action film. I also had a look at how these live action elements could all be applied  a fight scene in an animated film. This blog will go over historic moments in creating fight scenes and choreography to show the milestone of it and represent the pinnacle of the revolutionary change

Choreography is such a big part in fighting as of course, the actors don’t actually fight so I researched into how the choreography for a fight scene in any film is created and how the process is made to then come out as it does. This process is one of the most important ones as learning how to make the fight flow and move each individual move fluently transition into the next.

I also research and explore the depths of different style on the cinematography side of it and how different places and people of the world do camera work and editing in fight scenes. On top of that, I look at probably the most important animation principle that implies to the entirety of fight scenes and the dynamic animation that I will hopefully be doing in future.

I hope that this will help in future for animations I would love to do as one of the biggest challenges of next semester I will face will be the Final Year Project where I will be doing a fight scene of some sorts and this research will help in the way of guiding me through the process of creating it and will be the steps i am taking to ensure its completion. This is also one of the things I have wanted to do since I started uni as these types of scenes have intrigued me the most and this will be my way to deep dive straight back into animations after modelling for such a long period of time.

Exaggeration in Animation

When it comes to fight animation, your key is going to be in the Animation itself. You have your idea, you have your reference, you have your camera shots and now all that’s left is animating the fight. This blog post will be about doing exaggerated animation and putting it to use and also about just how important it is even in fight scenes.

Exaggerated animations have been a key element since The 12 Principles of Animations were created by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas and it was then taught throughout Disney workers from the 1930’s till now and in 1981 they actually created the book “The 12 Principles of Animations” which is now the current way to Animate and of course it is slightly different for 3D but they are still vital nevertheless.

Exaggeration is the 10th Principle of Animations out of the 12 and it is all about dramatic action. It is added to make a singular action seem way more dramatic for some sort of effect like of course to add more drama, for comedic or just to amplify a movement. I’d say this is easily one of the most important Principles when it comes to fighting or just to dynamic animation as a whole because it also fits in to several other principles too like squash and stretch or arcing or secondary action as they all fit in with Exaggeration so well and that is the main reason I wanted to talk about it. At the core of Fight animation, I feel like exaggeration is a must as it is everywhere even in live action films. Punches are taken dramatically, throws are loud and brutal, wounds and blood are everywhere so at the bottom line, exaggeration is everywhere in fight scenes in movies, live action or animation so it is vital for the animation. Whether it be for comedic fights where they wind up punches ready to make them go flying or a kick coming in where the leg of the rig is stretched out 20 meters so it can kick someone in the face and crash them into 20 buildings. Even in realistic fight scenes there will always be some sort of exaggeration as a creative choice to make it more appealing to the audience as at the end of the day, that is the main aim so no matter what you’re doing, exaggeration is essential for animation.

Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse (2018) Directed byPeter Ramsey, Bob Persichetti, Rodney Rothman [Feature Film] United States:Sony Pictures Releasing

Image result for into the spider verse fight

James Ritchie (2017) The 12 Principles of Animation (With Examples) available at: https://idearocketanimation.com/13721-12-principles-of-animation-gifs/ (accessed 02 January 2020)

Dana Boadway-Masson (2017) Exaggeration: The Basic 12 Principles of Animation Available at: https://blog.animationmentor.com/exaggeration-the-12-basic-principles-of-animation/ (Accessed 02 January 2020)

 

Cinematography in Fight Scenes, China and Jackie Chan

When it comes to cinematography, China has done exceptional work for Cinematography as its style of editing and camera work is unique and is personally my favourite way to do fight scenes.

When it comes to China, they use cameras in a different way to the west in fight scenes as they will try to show as much as possible without cutting, unlike the western counterpart where they show nothing yet, you see everything you need to see. The fight scenes and choreography that have come from china are phenomenal as a few examples come from legendary people like Bruce lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li and more as all of these people have created brilliant Kung Fu movies and fight scenes in Hong Kong Film making.

One huge Inspiration I specifically want to talk about though is definitely Jackie Chan as he isn’t one of the first but he is one of the most brilliant Chinese Directors to come out of Hong Kong. His Film career started all the way back in 1962 with the movie “Big and Little Wong Tin Bar”  in which Jackie Chan was simply a child trying to learn Kung Fu and fun fact, this film was a lost film, a Film that is no longer known to exist in any studio archives, private collections, or public archives, until 2016 when it was found again.

Big and Little Wong Tin Bar (1962) Directed by Lung To [Feature Film] Hong Kong Fortune Star

Image result for Big and Little Wong Tin Bar

Jackie Chan’s big break though was just after Bruce Lee’s passing in 1973 and Jackie Chan was seen as the next big Kung Fu actor in Hong Kong. Jackie Chan didn’t actually do well trying to replace someone who could never be replaced as he worked with a Director called Lo Wei and they had a line of failed Hong Kong movies. After this, Jackie Chan started the transformation to turn into the Lovable Director, Actor and Stuntman that we love today.

Jackie Chan is a Genius when it comes to his films and the way he uses comedy in fight and his Cinematography is so unique and well done that he has a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star and has become one of the rare instances of a Hong Kong Director making it into Hollywood. Now it’s time to finally get into the main reason why I wanted to talk about Jackie Chan and that is his style of doing fight scenes.

After watching an analysis and also an interview with Jackie Chan, I learned about the techniques he uses to create all of these brilliant yet comedic fight scenes.

The first of his techniques is in every fight he is always at a disadvantage and so this gives the idea that he has to earn his way to a victory and rise above the problems he faces. To go along with this, he also makes it so he uses anything around him to win so all sorts of weapons and objects are used but they are all from around the scene and aren’t just knives and guns used but instead, ladders, buckets, even pencils and pieces of wood. A big technique from the cinematography side is definitely similar to what I said earlier but his camera work is perfect for what he does, like a lot of Chinese and Hong Kong movies, they like to show a lot of the action and Jackie Chan said in an interview that he prefers the Wide Angles and and little movement in camera shots as he prefers to show off the work in the fight as that man has the patience not only to perfect fight choreography, but to also tell a story inside the fight scene.

Finally, his comedy. It is spectacular how he can add such amazing comedic moments to well choreographed fights like his, it is exactly what I want in a fight scene so in conclusion, this man is a bit of an inspiration to me.

Big And Little Wong Tin Bar – 大小黃天霸 – 1962 (2017) archive.org available at: https://archive.org/details/JackieChanFirstMovieBigAndLittleWongTinBar (accessed:30 December)  

Biography (2019) Jackie Chan Biography Available at: https://www.biography.com/actor/jackie-chan (Accessed : 30 December) 

Every Frame of Painting (2014) Jackie Cahn- How to Do Action Comedy 2 December Available at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1PCtIaM_GQ (Accessed:30 December) 

TheJackieCHANnel614 (2013) Jackie Chan – Interview on “Miracles” and Filmaking 11 November Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ft43yyuuoYk (Accessed: 30 December)

Cinematography in Fight Scenes, Hollywood and the West

Cinematography in fight scenes is almost as important as the choreography itself because if you make a fight scene have well choreographed moves but then make the camera movement look still and have no direction with it, it can still make an amazing fight scene look stale. This is why while the choreography could be perfect, the camera needs to be worked on just as much as the fight to make it look as good as they vision it to be.

There are a few different styles when it comes to the cinematography in fight scenes. The first one were going to look at is more seen in Hollywood or Western Films. Western films these days when it comes to fight scenes, are filmed in a way that the blows are show and yet you don’t see them. What I mean is they show some of the blows but also hide a lot of the actual hits so that you don’t see them not actually hitting each other. The best example of this would be the films that revolutionised this form of camera work in fight scenes with The Bourne Trilogy. These fight scenes changed the way Hollywood looked at how most cinematography in fight scenes were, introducing shaky camera and tons of quick cuts and this has been used in a lot of Hollywood movies since. An amazing fight example from this trilogy is in The Bourne Identity where Jason Bourne is being attacked by an assassin that comes out of nowhere, Jason fights him in a one and one fight and the use of the camera is done really well. They use a lot of cuts and shaky cam to make this fight in such an enclosed space seem a lot more chaotic and brutal than it actually is.

This cinematography has led on to revolutionise the way camera work is done in western cinema fight scenes. Movies like Taken, Fast and Furious and even some of John Wick have taken this approach. This has been altered over the years of inspiration from Chinese forms of Cinematography, which we will get to next.

MovieClips(2011) The Bourne Identity (7/10) Movie CLIP – Pen Versus Knife (2002) HD 16 June Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFnmq5PPScA (Accessed: 29 November)

Making Fight Choreography Flow

The most vital part of any fight scene, animated or live action, is making sure that the fight scene is flowing correctly and assuring that the moves are fluently put together to make it an aesthetically fun fight to watch. So I will be going into how Choreographers put together these fight scenes and make it so it looks like a good fight scene.

I’ll be starting off by looking at an interview with Fight Choreographer Yung Lee and how he breaks down how to do Fight Choreography right. The top 3 things that are important when to start off is the Pacing and that fight has to be paced well, the performance of the characters and how they act in the fight scene and finally, a reason to fight and the characters drive to win and/or survive. These aspects of a fight scene are by far some of the most important when it comes to the scene although I haven’t gotten to the camera yet.

The first phase of figuring the fight and choreography out is the Pre-Vis of the fight, having to know what moves are going to happen in what order at what time is very important since you want it to flow well. Knowing what moves are being done is first, so looking at the footage of a behind the scenes in a short fight Yung Lee helped Choreographer, instead of having the actor do the moves to start off with, you see him getting involved while the Director gets the moves down so they know what they’re doing later on since at that stage, they’re just coming up with it move by move and they’ll figure out on the way, if it moves together well. After that, is the second phase where they rehearse and just learn the fight over and over until it is right.

The flow of the fight scene comes from all of the rehearsal and planning that has gone into it and with a well planned fight and a lot of training on the fight, all that’t left to do is make it look fluent with the cinematography.

RocketJump Film School (2015) Intro to FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY -With Yung Lee (GakAttack) 12 May Available at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZhks0_2mHM (Accessed at: 29 November 2019) 

Animated Choreographed Fighting Process- Kung Fu Panda

Of course in animation there are always different styles when you do anything like there are different styles of walking, expressions, throwing objects and just general actions. Some animations like to take the more realistic route with precise animations that really show how that action would be done in real life, How would the arm move? Would the elbow turn? How should the hips react? The realistic approach is challenging to say the least as you are having to make this rig look and act real when fighting another monster or person. this Post is gonna be looking at the more realistic approach to combat in animation.

My first example will be Kung Fu Panda as some of the fighting in that really reminisces Martial Arts and yes, some of it is a bit more cartoon and wacky but a movie with a panda and a tiger fighting with Kung Fu, there is bound to be some wacky stuff. Nevertheless, some of the fighting in this movie is outstanding, even for the animals like the snake and the crane, where they would have obviously had to think of something outside of the box to make them look like they’re doing Kung Fu. In an interview with some of the directors and co-directors, they talked about the process of how they actually got the Choreography to work with all of these different animals.

“He actually came up with a unique system for doing the martial arts in our film. Originally, when the film was starting to be conceived, we didn’t think should was ask someone like Jackie Chan to be our fight choreographer. We figured out that in doing an animated movie that it wasn’t going to work. We needed to come up with our own system. All of our characters were animals and some don’t even have legs. One was a snake. Another was an insect. We had to come up with something unique. That’s where we came up with our own system internally. I know when we showed Jackie Chan some of the sequences, he was thrilled personally. He was very complementary.” This was a quote from one of the Directors John Stevenson about how they had to do a workaround for the Choreography. “What we actually did isn’t exactly true monkey or crane style. We had to come up with our own version so we could maximise on each character’s physique. For instance, a crane actually uses his beak to jab with. Humans use a pointed hand to imitate this. But our crane doesn’t have hands for fingers, so we went had to come up with our own solution to it.” This is a quote from the Joint Director, Mark Osborne on how their thought process was when doing the fighting for some of the more difficult animals like the snake or crane. One of my favourite parts about all this is the fact that it is all keyframe animation and with how fluent with it, I was more impressed when re watching this film. They also had a Choreographer called Rodolphe Guenoden who also supervised the animators and story artists to really nail those fight scenes so when it comes to doing fighting and choreography, the Directors of Kung Fu Panda went hard to nail it and they certainly did.

Steve Fritz (2008) Chatting with the Directors of Dreamworks Kung Fu Panda, P1 Available at : https://www.newsarama.com/88-chatting-with-the-directors-of-dreamworks-kung-fu-panda-p1.html (Accessed: 20 November 2019)

1st Instance of Fighting in Film and Animation

Fighting in live action movies and TV has always been varied when it comes to the styles of combat going from John Wicks beautifully choreographed “gun fu” all the way to Fight Clubs gritty street fighting styles, there is a lot of ways and styles of combat that you can use to create a good fight scene as there are a lot of options including having weapons, fist fights, on or in vehicles, honestly the variety is endless.

The Mark of Zorro (1920) Directed by Fred Niblo [Feature Film] California: United Artists 

Image result for the mark of zorro 1920

The first choreographed fight scene in a movie though is actually going back to the 1920’s with “The Mark of Zorro” as it was done with fencing and so were a lot of movies back then since a choreographer Paddy Crean was revolutionising how fighting in combat was being done and especially with Swords and daggers. While this was happening in the west, Japan was producing their own movies with martial arts in, which started with Orochi and they put martial arts into the film industry but was yet not popular in the west until Bruce Lee started his career and paved the future of hand to hand combat.

Orochi (1925) Directed by Buntarō Futagawa [Feature Film] Japan:Digital Meme

Image result for orochi 1925

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it comes to the start of combat in animation, it’s more just cartoon violence with big exaggerated hits like Popeye or Mickey Mouse. The more realistic combat I am looking for hasn’t got a specific 2D animation as there is nothing cementing down what did it first but 3D computer animation wise, there was a Mortal Kombat movie that came out in 1995 called Mortal Kombat-the Journey Begins and after over 35 years of having computer animation, we finally got our first fight scene.

Mortal Kombat the Journey begins  (1995) Directed by Joseph Francis [Feature Film] New York New Line Cinema

Image result for "mortal kombat the journey movie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mayafair (2008) The Fight Master: A Documentary about Paddy Crean 8 March. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mW6P8bZADk&t=330s (Accessed: 13 November 2019) 

Woropaew (2019) History of Computer Animation (CGI) available at: https://computeranimationhistory-cgi.jimdofree.com/ Accessed at 15 November 2019

Introduction to Research

My research is going to based off the pipeline and creation progress of combat in animation. This will go into the many attributes that are contributed to creating a fight scene in animation and this will go from talking about live action fight scenes and the choreography that makes them good to how they are implemented into animation with research on how it is then implemented into animated films and some of the more important techniques to animating it.

Fighting in animation has always been a big interest of mine so I wanted to research how it was all done and maybe find some more information on how to best do it, especially key framing these scenes since this research will hopefully help with the final project that I am hoping to do and make the quality as best as it can be.

Flow Chart Plan for what I will Discuss in this Blog