Hi all! How are we today? Today, I want to talk about this short called ‘Pit Stop’ by Raship Trika!
It was part of a 4th Year independent film project at Sheridan College, Canada and has been nominated for numerous awards and festivals .
This playful, comedic film features two men in space – both with very different physical appearance as well as personalities. While one is trying to fix what seems to look like a toilet cubical, the other attracts multiple little aliens. In the end, the aliens fly off their spaceship and they’re stranded with just a toilet cubicle.
It is a 3D animated film, that is carefully planned from the storyboard stage. It gives a great example of how to follow through and really play in the storyboard stage. This is something that I want to improve on and be more organised in. In his ‘Making Of’ video, we can see how each stage evolves more and more into the final piece.
What I like?
– It’s an easy watch: nothing that requires too much thought. Just simple, character animation. Very enjoyable. – The overall look: At first i thought it was maybe 2D animation. I would love to achieve something like this, as I feel that 2D animation has a very unique charm in terms of aesthetics. – Characters are distinct. The narrative is clear and we understand what’s going on straight away. The director gives each character their own roles and uses visual cues to enhance the difference between the duo also. – It’s very short! I like that because it’s just a quick enjoyable watch. Given the story, any longer may have made it less snappy and effective. – Character animation: The performance is incredible here. Everything is very fluid and so much that I thought it was hand-drawn! Something I struggle within 3D animation, is that my animations often look very computerised and not organic. However, this is not the case for this film at all!
Here is the full video of the ‘Making of’ – it’s really useful for animators to watch and see how precise he progresses from each stage.
References:  Trikha, R., 2019. Pit Stop. [ Video ] Available at: <https://vimeo.com/331495729> [Accessed 30 April 2020].  Trikha, R., 2020. The Making Of Pit Stop – Student Film. [ Video ] Available at: <https://vimeo.com/405266016> [Accessed 30 April 2020].
During this season of animating, my lecturer Kevin pointed me towards this classic, that is Pink Panther. After viewing my current animation progress, he thought that I should take inspiration from Pink Panther for my character performance.
While the versions of Pink Panther has evolved through the years, I thought I’d take inspiration and share with you, my observations from the very first original season .
I’d like to break down my thoughts into 3 main headings: Visuals, Character performance and Story-telling.
The colour palette used in Pink Panther Season 1 Episode 1 stuck close to the classic pink, muted blue, black and white. Sticking to a limited palette not only simplified the colouring process in animation, but it also simplified the screen for the audience, allowing us to concentrate and immerse into this simple world.
The choice of colours is also important in this episode, because it is primarily a battle of colours between Pink Panther & Little Man. Pink Panther wants the world pink, but The Little Man wants the world blue.
Another effective way to help direct the audience’s attention to the correct place, we only see what’s essential on the screen. For example, there are no unnecessary props in the background that would not add any value to the scene.
As someone who is watching Season 1 Episode 1 in 2020 – I feel like this original aesthetic is really beautiful. The colours, drawings and performance is very suited to its age. In a special way, I feel like it shows me the world in 1960’s. I love the details such as the wired telephone (in later episodes)- they are all true to its time.
I personally would describe the (original) aesthetic of Pink Panther as simple, striking and strongly communicative.
The reason that Kevin recommended to me to watch Pink Panther was down to its particular character performance.
There is plenty of anticipation and overshoot to enhance their performance E.g. When the character looks left and right, there is overshoot in his head.
Follow through: Pink Panther’s tail and when The Little Man tries to shake open the door, there is follow through in his head and hat.
Reaction time: while keeping the upbeat pace of the animation, the animators also give the audience time to react with the character. E.g. when pink panther tastes the blue paint.
Speed: When Pink Panther runs, he slips and doesn’t move the first few frames – which makes him seem even faster.
Direction: the character leads his body with their eyes. E.g. when they are painting the walls.
For an animation with no speech, I feel that the body language and expressions need to carry the message. I personally understood the story with ease. I feel that the reaction times, simple colours, body language and expression carried the story so well that no speech is needed.
While it is a simple story of Pink Panther wanting Pink while The Little Man wants Blue, the pace and frustrations of the character make the story very interesting; it leads us to think why the characters want these colours?
Body language: The posture of each character and the way they move in space also tell us a little bit about their story. For example, Pink Panther walks with his head high, suggesting that he is calm and confident.
I hope you enjoyed this piece as much as I did! 🙂
Until next time,
References:  Edwards, B., 1964. The Pink Panther Season 1 Episode 1. [online] youtube. Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59lKdaXX6Eo> [Accessed 19 April 2020].