The animator I choose to study for this project was Otto Mesmer, deciding that Felix the cat was something that seemed to be up my alley. Thus, I watched “Felix comes Back” (1922), “Felix the Ghostbreaker” (1923), “Felix Revolts” (1923), “Felix Goes West” (1924), and “Felix Lends a Hand” (1922). Since all of the videos I studied were Felix the Cat videos, my character named Fred the Dog is heavily influenced by the designs and poses of Felix the Cat. For my dog’s run at the end of my animation, I looked at 6:50 in the “Felix Lends a Hand” video. I also looked at 0:22 in this video to see how Otto Mesmer presented dialogue in his shorts. Along with this short I looked at “Felix Goes West” when animating my dog’s shocked expression, specifically at 3:57 and 5:37.
As for my animation itself, I thought that the walk in animation between frames 1 through 6 was fairly smooth but could still use some work. I achieved what I have by taking my time with it and giving it a few frames to happen instead of rushing it. On the other hand at the end of the video, specifically frames 42 to 51, I wanted a fast movement, so the smaller amount of frames helped there and I feel that I still had some fairly smooth movement. On the other end of the spectrum, the movement to sniff the fire hydrant and the sniffing itself, which happened from frames 24 to 29, felt off to me. I think that they are too stiff, if that makes any sense, and not as smooth as I wanted it. This could be fixed by adding more motion, more frames, or maybe just changing the movement in general.
In terms of difficulty, the hands gave me some difficulty when creating my animation. Partly because I couldn’t seem to make up my mind on how many fingers my dog had. I also found myself having to go back and fill in the ear and tail of my dog as I forgot to do this initially in some frames. To make it easier I could have taken the spots off the character or I could have taken some time to make a mini reference sheet to help keep things consistent. Along with these character inconsistencies, the sniffing action that happens between slides 25 through 28 I believe is kind of unclear. This could be fixed by maybe adding sound effects or making the nose move more obviously.
In the case of my character being chocked, I tried to make my character lean back with its mouth open. Along with this I added exclamation points and moved one of its paws closer as to seem if it is instinctively trying to protect itself. Overall I think the reaction turned out fairly well and is easy to understand for a viewer. To create even more shock, I could have opened their eyes even more and maybe fluff up their tail al little bit in the same way my cats at home do when they are spooked. In the end, I noticed a few times my character made a “jump” in animation where I must have missed an in between frame so something like that. There was also the inconsistencies in my character such as the number of fingers they had or suddenly the ear that is a darker color is on the wrong side. Although overall I like this animation and I know it was a good start and first attempt.
When it came to my second animation, I finally made a decision on how many fingers my dog was going to have, eventually settling on three, and made some more concrete decisions on the design. I made a mini reference page and gave definite numbers to things such as, there should only be two fluffs on either side of his head and his tail will only have three fluffs at a time. As for improving the animation, I feel like the side to side animation between frames 11 through 21 were much cleaner as compared to the first animation. The animation and steadiness of the fire hydrant as a whole is much cleaner as well, specifically the movement that happens during frames 31 through 38.