Animation Directors- A Dying Breed
The last of a dying breed. That is what you get when you search the word ‘hero’ online. But I beg to differ. Especially since you are reading this article which automatically makes you a hero and nobody should tell you otherwise. However, let us look into another type of hero; Animation Directors. An Animation Director is the person in charge of the production process of an animated film. Directors and Animation Directors. Traditionally, for an animated film, the Director micromanaged the entire process. They came up with the vision and decided how the characters will look and sound. They also decide who to cast for the different roles. With regard to how the characters would look, they met with artists and gave them a brief description. The artists would then come up with sketches and upon approval, develop the final look. In modern times, these roles have been distributed all about- and the Director's responsibilities watered down. During the development process of the film, the director worked closely with the animator. They would go back and forth tweaking what was not okay as per the Director’s wishes. This process would usually take months depending on the nature of the content. It is important to note that these scenes were drawn typically frame by frame.
Once the film was in its final phase, changes were no longer permitted and the sound effects designer was brought in. Their task was to record background noises and music which was then laid over the cast dialogue. The Director was once again in charge of the entire process to ensure that the overall vision was maintained. The decline of practical animation skills can be attributed to the emergence of new technology. CGI takes a shorter period of time to develop and can add more effects. It also offers flexibility in that changes can be made even in the final phase of the production process. The main difference between CGI Directors and Animation Directors is the role they play in the film's development process. While the Animation Director is in charge of the entire process, the CGI Director is not necessarily in charge. Their main task is to ensure that the images generated is to the liking of the overall Director They are free to add any effects that may improve the overall outlook of the characters as long as it does not negatively affect the overall vision.
In conclusion, you can see that the demand for an Animation Director has reduced hence the term a dying breed. Technology has made it easier for CGI Directors to accomplish the work of Animation Directors at a faster rate with better quality results. But, dying breed or not, they are undoubtedly heroes.