I’ve expressed this to Jenna, but I want this project to get its look from its processes and materials. Obelisk was a weird project where I strained to make unity look like a 1 bit Mac with some kind of big monitor and great processor and it was obviously dishonest, the comments on the itch page that I asked for where obviously fake, there was a winking fakeness about it that came from not having the resources to just write a Taskmaker-style game in Pascal or whatever on an actual old Mac. It’s ok to straddle time periods and refer to things, but I think there’s a way do do it, even with humor involved, that honestly inherits an aesthetic from actual processes instead of straining to make something look like what it isn’t.
That’s why I am thinking about final pass on animated sprites with pencil on paper. It’s the aesthetic other than Atari 2600 art that I think about when I think about the time period this work is blooming from. I am also thinking about the feeling I will get from the software of the presentation layer, the processes I am learning and using now. The combination of the drawings and the software will result in something new that I arrive at, rather than something that I anticipate, mock up and then build. There’s a ‘materiality’ to software and a feel to interactions. If there’s a networked aspect to it that will have an effect. If it runs on low powered computers, that will have an effect. The choices in the software stack I use will have an effect.
HERE’S A PROBLEM THOUGH-
Pencil animation is appealing because it’s one of two aesthetics that fits with my memories of childhood, but is it an honest representation of the process? I am much more comfortable animating in software these days and all of these animations are going to start on the computer (the little bits of placeholder animation I am working with right now I make in the iPad app Looom, which I love and work quickly in). Is finishing with pencil just adding a layer on top? is it important enough to keep, even if it’s covering for more computer-y looking Looom animation? I think that since it uses my eye- a redrawing, not an ‘effect’ or a layer of fake film stock damage or whatever, that it’s still an important step and not just a veneer that covers up a process. In effect I’m animating twice, rough work with software and then redrawing with pencil.