Upon watching a few animated shorts in class and hearing our assignment I decided to choose Otto Mesmer as my animation inspiration, as his style feels very close to my own and I enjoy the cartoon nature of his work. In order to get a feel for Mesmer’s style I watched multiple Felix the Cat shorts, including “Halloween”, “Non Stop Fright”, “Daze and Knights”, and “Japanicky”, all of which date between 1927 and 1929. It is from these shorts I drew my general idea of design and posing for my character, giving them a Felix the Cat feel in my dog character. One of the main things I wanted to try and capture from Mesmer’s animations was the smooth yet flexible animation style, which I tried to replicate in my own animation. The sideways view was chosen as it makes it easier to see the movement of the ball toward the dog, and a front view might have made it hard to detect some of the smaller movements on the dog. The smoothest area of the animation seems to be the initial kick, so from frames 1 to 10. Afterwards things seem to become a bit choppy or sharp, particularly when the dog is backing up from frames 24 to 50, as at this time the body of the dog starts to distort. I feel as if the dog began to back up too soon, and a fix to that would be to wait for the ball to start flying towards him before moving the leg back. The largest errors in my piece is the ground, as it goes from a mostly smooth line to a very wavy sort of hill, and the dog growing smaller and moving back away from the viewer. In order to make the character looked shocked I simply dilated the pupils and had them back away from the ball, and I added a exclamation mark near their head as well. Perhaps to make the character look even more shocked I could have made them jump a big, or bulged their eyes out some, but I feel as if my current shocked emotion gets the idea across just fine.
I didn’t change anything about my character’s design to make him easier to animate, but I did try to focus more on consistency. I particularly like the smoothness of frames 20 to 40, as it isn’t as choppy as the first animation.