Basis in Cinematic film study


Sep 23, 2023
Since this thread is empty since reset and dev site port, I wanted to make at least one helpful tutorial. Been too busy till now and only reason available atm is I am statying up all night due to insomnia and have had a bit to drink, but that aside, I have been studying film entertainment from academic/creative direction peespective for about idk even, 22 years now.

I may not have jack to show for it portfolio wise due to poverty and wage slavery but despite these I do have a BA in game design and associates in traditional graphic design, both minoring in public relations/psychology and I studied film direction and concept composition long before both degrees. Point is, I have knowledge, knowledge is power, use of this power can liberate you, and I believe in net neutrality teir freedom of exchange of information. AKA that all knowledge aught be free to any whom seek it. That sharing this betters the community at large and aids in allowing those starting out to create and realize their dreams. A bit altruistic maybe, but just the same I am believer of "make the world that you want to see" so, figured I'd share.

So, to the first bit, if you want to start out in creative direction, I highly recommend the following resources:

The old school "How to Draw Manga" series of books, all 30+/- of them. This teaches you the traditional process of comic/manga production, various styles and how to draw many different applications from sports to martial arts to mecha to comic book VFX. In particular the costume encyclopedias (3 large volumes) and stuff like the Martial Arts reference book for showcasing how to draw ***accurate*** action sequences.

Next is the trifecta standard of the entertainment arts industry works on resources. 1) Disney's 1910s "animation: the illusion of life" 2) The animators survival guide kit 3) 30$ film school-> an indie self help text book.

While Disney may be the ultimate ebul, walt worked directly with the "father of anime" original artist that pioneered the industry. I forget the name but its not hard to google/websearch as broken as that feature is. The Disney animation text book is basically the animation 101 text book of western world since it's original publishing (and its 12 principals of animation influenced creation of anime), and has quite the plethora of usefull information. Including the fact, that one of disney's early animator artists was highly infamous within the industry for creating "cartoon pin-ups" and is the artist both behind tinker bell and later Jessica Rabbit was influenced largely from his pin-up style. That often many in the studio sought him out for creation of essentially the "first western hentai commissions" and that this interest though within the industry, was highly sought after. TLDR short, low key admission that even as early as 1900s to 1910s, commission of cartoon erotica was highly sought, though, niche demand even then. BTW this being 60 years before AoC laws so, you do the math on that....

In short, production value wise, Illusion of Life textbook will help you iron out the pipeline process towards animation as well as aid you in bringing realistic empathic identification towards your artwork. AKA it outlines the "science" behind the exaggeration of cartoonification to the teir of life like realism. To aid you in bringing believable life to your animated characters. Thing is whether DAZ or Koikatsu, most artists largely neglect the core principals of animation in their works which worsens the "uncanny divide" due to stock teir character design, and not capitalizing off of the most basic of animation fundamemtals.

By reading this book and applying it's learnings, you can create work which surpasses about 60% of what's currently available. (I say that having played 70% of itch's adult VN library to date since itch launch)

link for ref:

Next up is the Animators Survival kit. Both this and the Disney book are "recommended reading" industry wide. Whether you are in show biz, movie production, game design, or even TV commercials, both of these are prescribed basically as "mandatory" reading within the industry. While Disney's is highly antiquated but still fundamentally applicable, this 2nd book sort of modernizes the fundamentals and expands upon them. Both are done from traditional by hand animation medium perspective but the applications still apply towards digital animation. With the modern, this second book is a bit more helpful than the first.

If planning to break into an industry both the above two are basically going to be "required" reading so you might as well get those out of the way (especially since they are soo much more cheaper than any modern material and both provide crucial information towards the baser processes).

link (the authors website, note the dvd series is also subscription available on youtube but in truth here I am only talking about the base text book)

While more indie and abscure $30 film school is an indie "first" text book designed to teach those looking to submit to sundance for the first time. It is a sincere effort by a traditional AAA experienced professional to help give the "point and shoot" vid camera director, the tools and fundamentals needed to shoot the next "fight club".

Most prominent in this on fundamentals and reason for mentioning a) it teaches you how to be "innovative" on a high-8 teir budget. b) it teaches to remember that as creative direction, you are telling your story through the lens of the camera and to firstly and most prominently think of the camera itself as an actor. A lens of perspective told through an entity. You are sharing your vision through the lens either in your hand or your virtual sandbox of 3D dev software. I mention this, as having played many indie VNs and games, the perspective of the camera is either overlooked entirely or viewed as a purely mechanical means of delivering the story. A camera, real or virtual is much more than this. It is a unique observer, which if managed correctly, can capture both the emotive feel and inner truth of your work. Special care is needed in being able to engage direction and the camera to communicate your vision's truth and feel to your viewers.

As secondary mentions to this, the video games both Stuntman and Driv3r through their "cutscene replay" director modes allow you to play on a virtual set with virtual camera to capture and test in semi-sandboxed environment very easily and effectively with total film studio control including a highly crucial tool: time dialation.


ref stuntman:

ref driv3r

additional info that might be helpful:

yall new youths and devs might be oblivious but back in the day before 3D VFX we were educated in the art of "stop motion animation". Before 3D every major cinematic production whether through minature environment set design or "claymation" puppeteering, was done through stop motion photography of models, action figures and "claymation" dolls. What this in modern digital age can teach you is two fold a) the art of exaggeration---> designing key frame based movement to emphasize a wide variety of things depending on circumstance and style. b) the art of efficiency, when you have to manually set and photo each and every frame independently, you learn appreciation towards methods of optimizing efficiency in this process. This can show you short cuts and standard practices to reduce dev time and think about ways in which batch scripting and automation might be able to help you vs where it might hurt you.

for practice in stop motion, where I highly recommend one begins, is Lego Studio. Not just because the OG was endorsed by Speilburg and LucasFilm, but also because restricting to Lego in character is both a challenge and highly helpful. By restricting to highly limited movement of Lego, you a) have to rely on other methods to make the animation believable/interesting and b) the simplification of anatomy allows you to focus on set/environmental interaction which ultimately is far more important than sole dynamics of character anatomy based animation.

While original Lego Studio is largely no longer available, and thus you lose out on a highly cheap but top notch track based audio/video DAWs style editor software, there is now an app for it to convert your phone into a stop motion lite animation studio.

Lastly, From point of story telling, Joseph Campbell's works of "the hero with 1000 faces" and "the Hero's Journey" is and has been the modern culmination and extension of Jungian archetypal psychology and Fruedian/Ed Bernays methodological principals towards cross cultural mythological analysis. While that might all seem like obscure name dropping word salad to you, the take away you should impart is that every major director since 1970 and the success of Star Wars has taken note from Spielburg and Lucas in teaching this systematic approach as a standard industry wide. So, in short, every major successful film and TV show produced from 1970 to present has been influenced by this "cross cultural analysis" type system which was crafted as evolution of Jungian archetypal systems by combining it with the psychology of Frued and his nephew Bernays into a method form of story telling delivery.


though far as campbell is concerned a word of warning, while his works literally reshaped hollywood most notably with speilburg, campbell is an outed holo junk denier and anti sem junk. So, process is being done to auto correct them out of history and jus advanced warning to that note and that not every one will like utilization of the style even though everything from star wars to days of our lives is produced using that system.

Anyway I hope this helps any looking to produce their own works. Thanks and enjoy.
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