i had it nicely colored with a minimal amount of frames

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ANIMATION AND THE POWERPUFF GIRLS

Okay, it’s time for me to talk. I know, right? My stupid ass just got BACK from a trip and the first thing I do is go and TALK more? What a dweebo.  

But there is something I would like to discuss from an animation perspective. And that is, essentially, what the Powerpuff Girls reboot lacks visually. And one of the major complaints people have had, aside from the writing, HAS been regarding the numerous animation mistakes that the show has. Like the reboot or not, it has been noted for having several extremely sloppy errors per episode that would have been considered unacceptable even in a beginner’s class. 

But I don’t want to focus on the reboot or the way it chooses to animate things. Rather, I’d like to focus on the original show and how it choose to animate things. I opened up this with a clip from the Powerpuff Girls movie made in 2002. Now I know what you’re thinking, its unfair to compare television animation to movie animation, but we’ll get to the television animation in a bit. Let’s take a look at this clip for a minute first. 

First thing you’ll notice is that compared to modern animation, or even other cartoons of that age outside of Tartavosky and McCracken cartoons, the animation is surprisingly minimal when you really inspect it. There’s a lot of repeating loops, frames where only a single part of the character moves, freeze frames, and even shots where the character limbs aren’t even moving. Now its easy to consider this lazy until you really look at how the animation utilizes it. Picture a slingshot, pulling back as far as it can, until it finally fires in a sudden snap. That is how a lot of the animation in this is. It takes advantage of those freeze frames and minimal animations by using them as the SNAP of the slingshot, having the other more vibrant and extreme actions of the animation act as the pullback–thus, said freeze frames and minimal actions allow the scene to have more weight. They make the scene feel important. 

For example, when Jojo pushes Professor Utonium so he hits the Chemical X, the animation jolts to a stop. Everything focuses on that one frame of Utonium and Jojo, hovering by the broken Chemical X with Utonium staring at it in shock. Add to this the music escalating and the animation quickly shifting back and forth between Utonium stirring and Jojo running before this frame happens. Once all put together, this puts so much emphasis on that one moment that it conveys its message to the viewer: something important and major just happened. Even if you don’t know the show at ALL, you know that some serious shit is about to go down because of what just happened. It is big. There is no denying it. And the animators honestly did not have to do much to achieve it. It is made up of two loops (Jojo running and Utonium stirring), a short motion, and a single frame of animation. But because of the way the animators FRAMED it, this minimal way of approaching the scene made it have a massive amount of weight and buildup. 

Which leads to the second thing you might notice: colors. Something I’ve always noticed and admired about McCracken and Tartavosky’s work is that they both have a great grasp on color and how to use it. Let’s backtrack to the scene with Jojo and Utonium breaking the Chemical X. The entirety of the opening, while very aggressive in its mannerisms, keeps to the standard color scheme of the characters and backgrounds–UNTIL that freeze frame of Jojo and Utonium.

Immediately on that frame, the color scheme shifts to a red palette. And as simple as it seems to use red to indicate danger, the use of this color change puts even MORE emphasis on how very important that scene is supposed to be. You feel more weight in this scene in this red tone than you would in the standard palette, because red is a color that indicates danger. Stop signs are red for a reason–it is a color that can incite rage and fear. If this was being viewed by someone who was not familiar with the property of the Powerpuffs, they would be on the edge of their seat wondering what horrifying creation this man had made. Interestingly enough, this is also the first scene we see Jojo with red eyes–an subtle indicator of what’s to come and that this lab monkey may be more than meets the eye. 

And consider: this was all carefully constructed with motion and colors. A person standing to the side saying “We might want to worry about that guy, he might be a problem later” is not needed. We as viewers can gather that all from the animation and subtle queues given throughout a piece entirely fueled by its intense soundtrack…until it comes to a jarring stop, visuals disappearing and music stopping to emphasize the laughter of little girls. Well, what does THAT mean? The un-introduced viewer will not know. But the intensity presented in the scene will prompt them to continue on instead of leaving the theater or falling asleep. 

“Yes, but this is all the movie. Movies have bigger budgets. What about the show?” 

You have a point. So I’m gonna look at one of the earlier episodes of the show regarding this. Specifically, the classic introduction to one of the classic Powerpuff villains (despite not showing up much), Sedusa…or Ima Goodlady, if you will. Specifically, I’d like to focus on the use of colors–both black and red. One of the first scenes is when Ima, or Sedusa if you will, slams the door on the girls when they’re going to sleep (contrasting an early scene, but that’s more writing related so we won’t discuss that). The viewer is greeted with complete darkness, which one could easily argue is not too difficult to animate. However it ends up looking VERY good, because the dark screen is contrasted with the flashing ring from their phone. The darkness is given a reason to exist, and is utilized. 

This is utilized again twice more in the show: when they sneak back home, and when they finally catch Sedusa. It involves an almost film-noir esque setup with the accuser sitting in complete darkness and turning on a lamp when they catch the accusee, all shaded in a red palette against a solid black (along with a later scene including light blue). You get almost an art deco-ish feel from the layout, but more importantly, the weight of the scene is back. The viewer feel like something big and threatening is going to happen when the girls are caught by Ima, and similarly the viewer feels like something big and revealing is going to happen when Sedusa is caught by the girls. It builds up expectation of the following scene, thus leading the animation to assist the writing in its execution. 

One can tell that the people working in creating the episode genuinely knew not only about animation, but art as a whole. You feel the strength of the choices they made in movement, but you also feel the strength in the choices they made in color theory. Some of it is undeniably minimalist but the final result is that despite having perhaps not a stunning budget to work with at first, they did in fact manage to make something that looks very nice despite that. They had the knowledge to create something that had impact even without a massive amount of money not via cutting corners, but via directing the animation in a more experimental way that allowed more of the budget to go towards specific parts of the animation while still making the prior scenes look good. 

Ultimately what I am trying to say is that budget is not an excuse. Both the movie and one of the earliest episodes for the original look great, even when Mommy Fearest probably didn’t have the same budget as the whole movie. People have made masterpieces on minimal budgets, hell, people make masterpieces on zero budget. It is a result of how much the creator and the team actually care, not how much money went into it. And in thus, budget should most definitely not be an excuse for this: 

if the creators and team members truly believe and want others to believe that they care about the quality of their product. And to make this clear I mean this not just about the Powerpuff Girl reboot but about ALL cartoons regardless of when they were made, who they were made by, and the audience they are targeting. 

Yes, all cartoons have problems. Yes, the original had errors. But you can feel a heart, soul, and effort that went into making the animation for the original that more often than not makes up for those errors. I don’t feel that in the 2016 animation. I more get the feel that it was rushed out, as quickly as they could with no thought whatsoever in an effort to make themselves look good and to put some cash in Cartoon Network’s pocket. And that’s just sad.

anonymous asked:

Hi! Big fan of you cfau fic! Was just wondering if you have any detailed descriptions of the clexa apartment? How many bedrooms, which kids share rooms, if they have bunkbeds, which room was originally the nursery, do they share a backyard/pool/common area with the rest of the building, how big is Lexa's office, does Clarke have her own studio inside the apartment.. from what I can imagine, it seems massive and hella expensive? Thank you for your time ❤

Hey! Sorry that I didn’t have a chance to reply to this yesterday. Yes, I obviously know exactly what this apartment looks like. I actually have a pretty clear layout of it in my head, but seeing as I can’t draw and I’m not an architect who can do it digitally either then pictures will have to do. 

I’m approaching this as I would if I was having this conversation with my production designer, set dresser, art director, and prop master for one of my films. I’m going to pull up references with the caveat that each individually aren’t exactly The Look, but if you take pieces from all of them and add a few original touches then you can kind of figure out what these sets are like in my head.


APARTMENT BASICS

The apartment is fairly big. 6 bedrooms (1 master bedroom, 4 for the kids, and the other one is Lexa’s office) and there is a back room/laundry room thing by the kitchen that Clarke also uses as her home studio. That one is not huge, but it does the job. If she has bigger commissions for paintings or the rare sculpting/installations she does, then she has tons of artist connections and friends that let her use their bigger studio spaces as needed. 

  • How can they afford this in New York? 

Clarke’s family has never been Rich, but they’ve always been well off. On top of that, Clarke was the person named in Jake’s life insurance policy and his sole heir. All of that was in a trust until she was 21. Lexa was already around by that time and if there is someone who is stingy and good with money it’s Lexa Woods. Lexa, being the perennially responsible one, insisted Clarke was careful with that cash. They got a professional to manage that money and do some investments for them. They live in New York after all and no city has a surplus of finance guys like NYC. They never touched any of the money and on top of that saved for like five years before they decided to become homeowners. Between all the money/assets Clarke inherited, plus Jake’s life insurance, plus their savings, plus the fact that Clarke makes GOOD money working at the gallery not only selling her own stuff but being Dante’s main art dealer, they were in a pretty comfortable place when it came down to actually buying an apartment. Knowing that Clarke also sells a considerable amount of pieces through commissions for the private clients she has, Lexa sort of gave in when Clarke insisted they splurge and get a really fucking nice place. They were buying. It was their forever home, so why not go all out? That was Clarke’s sell. 

Keep in mind though that Clarke and Lexa have always had starkly different approaches to money. Lexa grew up poor and logically she’s very careful with it. Lexa’s not like a cheapass, but she’s very measured and pragmatic about managing money and finances. Typical Lexa. Lexa is also a public servant. She isn’t getting rich out of working in the DAs office. Lexa could go work at any of the private firms that try to reel her in constantly and make as much as what Clarke makes (if not more), but Lexa loves what she does where she does it so she pays no mind to the fact that Clarke’s checks put hers to serious shame. Clarke can make as much as Lexa does in a year if she has a good couple of months worth of sales commissions at the gallery. Easily. It actually happens more than anyone would think. Because of how she grew up and because she knows she’s in a very comfortable place at the gallery and her career in general, Clarke sometimes borders on reckless when it comes to spending. Just another way in which Clarke and Lexa balance each other out. 

So yeah, it took a lot of convincing, but they had the money to put a really nice amount up front which meant the mortgage wasn’t going to be outrageous. Lexa also made Clarke promise that if there were some good sales of her work throughout the year it was all going to the mortgage just so they could pay it off sooner and get it off their plate. Clarke agreed and they started looking for places in the best parts of Manhattan. They found one they both fell in love with and they bought it. They didn’t move into the new place until Anya was around eleven months old. The apartment was paid off around the same time Costia left for college, meaning they kept to their plan and got done with that in less than half of the 30 years their mortgage was for. 


COMMON AREAS

The apartment has the typical Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen areas plus Lexa’s office. 

Lexa really couldn’t care less about furniture or what pillow goes with what couch so Clarke obviously takes point on all the styling/interior design/decoration of the place. She only really has two parameters: not too many colors because Lexa really is a fan of simplicity and to not make Lexa cry with the number of zeroes on things. More than once Lexa has been known to utter “That chair cost HOW MUCH?!!!” to which Clarke usually has a “Don’t worry. The designer is a friend. He’ll give it to us for half.” reply all ready to be fired. And Lexa has an aneurysm because “Half is still more than I make in a month, Clarke!”. Sometimes it takes a little smooth talking (and by that I mean Clarke asking while they’re having sex) but Clarke always gets the things she wants. 

Clarke tends to keep the furniture and the walls pretty neutral. Where the bursts of color come in is in the art she picks for the apartment. The walls are covered with really strikingly vibrant pieces that make every room rich and feel thoroughly alive.

Here are some references for what I see the Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, and Lexa’s office looking like:


BEDROOMS

  • CLARKE & LEXA

Like I said, Lexa is a fan of minimal and clean. In the chapter where Clarke wakes up in her bedroom after they have sex for the first time I believe I described Lexa’s bedroom as “monochromatic” and that is so accurate for Lexa. She’s a fan of white, black, greys, and browns. Unless Clarke is the one who buys her something, Lexa would stick to wearing those colors exclusively. That translates pretty clearly to the decor around the house, but specially their bedroom. Clarke knew she could go crazy anywhere else, but she would give Lexa the simple black and white bedroom. 

There may be a pop of color with a piece of art or a new duvet or something, but overall, Clarke keeps it pretty sleek and minimal.

  • THE KIDS

Clarke spends A LOT of time making sure each of the kids gets the room they want. They all have some sort of mural or intricate wall design that Clarke spent hours doing specifically for them. 

    • Costia

Costia’s room is all about music. It has a lot of personality even though it doesn’t have a lot of color except for the collage wall that her and Clarke put together. Being Lexa’s mini me as she is, Costia is really into greys and whites and black. She doesn’t necessarily stick to them when it comes to her wardrobe, but her room has always been fairly muted in regards to furniture, bed dressings, and general decor. 

    • Anya

Anya is OBSESSED with neon. To like a crazy and absurd degree. She’s also an Aesthetic Hoe so her room is probably the most unique one. They let her put neon signs all over her room and Clarke painted a mural with glowing UV paint on her walls so during the daytime or if the blinds are open her walls look plain and white, but once the lights go off they turn into this crazy ridiculous thing and Anya adores every bit of it. Needless to say, the sun doesn’t shine much in that room because she keeps those blinds closed as often as possible.

    • Jake

Jake’s room was about baseball. They got him a custom made bed frame and custom made furniture to fit the theme. His is probably the room that had the most external influences because everyone got stuff that was already made for their furniture but Jake’s was unique. All Clarke did there was the mural. 

    • Roa

Roa’s room is worthy of a kid with her imagination. It’s bright and colorful and fun. It’s also about her favorite thing in the world: The Lion King. Clarke paints murals on each wall AND on the furniture to make every single thing in there jungle themed. 

    • Aden

Jake’s room eventually turns into Aden’s nursery. Clarke keeps it pretty simple yet classy blue and grey for the little dude. 


I think that should cover all of it??? Hopefully I touched on all the info you requested and that this helps picture the living spaces better! We spend a lot of the story here after all. :)

anonymous asked:

Write a Tomarry thing centered around the dinosaur in a dress PLEASE

I fucking love you guys so much you have no idea.

I hope a modern, non-magic au is okay because there’s only so much ridiculousness I can shoe-horn into this.


“Well, what do you think?”

Tom’s eyes flicked upwards from the canvas, meeting brilliant emerald green and quirking lips that fought against widening into a grin. His neighbor, Harry Potter, held the painting in his hands, eyes gleaming with mirth from behind wire-rimmed glasses that slipped down the bridge of his nose.

Tom rose a brow, pursing his lips. He meant to say that it was good- even if it was an absolute lie, the thing was horrid- but when he opened his mouth the only word that came out was, “Why?”

Harry struggled to maintain a straight face, lips trembling now with the sheer force it took for him to clamp tight over the bubble of laughter. “It came to me in a dream,” he managed to say in a leveled tone.

‘A dream you had while dying of pneumonia?’ Tom thought, bringing a hand to his chin and cupping his thumb underneath it as the knuckle of his index finger pressed into his mouth. Surely, the delirium of fever mixed with the nebulous presence of death served as the inspiration. Or some rather intense medications. “It’s certainly unique,” was the only criticism he offered of Potter’s painting.

“My therapist suggested painting, and I think she may have unknowingly unleashed the next Rembrandt on the world,” Potter said with mock pride.

He had known the younger man fairly well for him having only recently moved into the flat beside him, intriguing in and of itself since the old and charming building was typically too expensive for someone so young. But he had soon learned that he had inherited a sizable amount of wealth from his parents upon his eighteenth birthday, and had been drawn to the flat by the its superb location within the city and to his university. He was quite sociable, and never hesitated to chat with Tom when he saw the older man in the corridor, no matter how stoic or sour his expression.

And yet, despite his amicable nature, it still seemed odd that he would visit Tom to gift him a painting of a velociraptor in Victorian garb. What sort of impression had Tom given off that made Harry think this was something he might enjoy?

Harry took advantage of Tom’s silence, brushing past him and stepping further into the immaculate flat, chewing his lip as he looked around him, the painting held to his chest. He hummed in thought before his eyes widened, and he strode over to the fireplace, settling the canvas atop the mantle. “You should hang it here. In can be your- what do they call it? A focal point?” he asked, unable to contain himself further as a wide grin split over his face.

Tom pinched his lips into a thin line. The painting looked absolutely absurd among the cool grays and minimal décor of his sitting room. He had exactly one painting on the walls- a somewhat prized collection he had purchased from a gallery opening- that hung above the clean and simple silhouette of a black leather sofa. And even that painting maintained the monochromatic and minimal theme he was drawn to, with the brightest color on the stretched and starched canvas being navy.

This thing was garish- with forest green scales wrapped within a flowing pink gown, the bodice embroidered with multiple colored daises. Ringlets of blonde curls cascading from the head of a dinosaur as its jaw was practically unhinged in a roar.

He’d be damned if that thing ever saw the light of day.

“Well, I should get going then. Enjoy your friend- her name’s Patricia, by the way,” Harry said, practically skipping as he left, closing the door behind him.

Tom sighed, rubbing a hand over his face as he made his way to the mantle and removed the painting, looking at it with derision. Technically, it was well done, he begrudgingly admitted. But it was a dinosaur. Dressed like it had waltzed off the screen of a second-rate Disney movie. He would be out of his mind if he left it sitting there any longer.

He tossed it into a closet, deciding to get rid of it properly later.

-xXx-

Tom opened the door on the second knock, causing Harry to startle from the opposite side of it, his hand raised and poised to rap against the wood. “Oh…hello!” he said, rather cheerily as he smiled. “Sorry to bother you-”

“I doubt you really are,” Tom interrupted, gesturing with a wave of his hand to the table behind him, a bag of take out placed upon it.

Harry continued speaking as if he hadn’t heard him. “I thought I heard you out in the halls, and I was wondering if you wanted to come over. My roommate and I have some friends and family over for a game night and I we wondering if you wanted to join us?” he asked.

Tom leaned against the frame of his door, crossing his arms over his chest as his lips twisted into a crooked smirk. “We?” he asked, knowing it was an embellishment. His roommate- Ron or Rob or something of the sort, he couldn’t really be bothered to remember it- hated him. ‘The blokes a bit funny is all,’ he overheard him say when he didn’t hear Tom leave his flat, approaching behind him.

Of course, he was hardly perturbed by the redhead’s aversion to him. He was never keen on company or making nice with the neighbors, as it were.

Harry shrugged, running a hand through his untidy hair. “Don’t mind Ron. He’s a bit of a prat when he wants to be, but he’s been my best mate for as long as I can remember. His little sister has a thing for you is all, and he’s a bit protective,” he said, looking away sheepishly to glance at the apartment behind Tom.

“Hey,” he said abruptly, frowning as he turned his gaze back to the man in front of him. “What did you do to my painting?”

Tom hesitated for only a second before saying, “I was robbed.”

It was an obvious lie, and he really didn’t even intend to come up with a more believable one. It was a terrible painting, and there was absolutely no shame in him confessing to never wanting to display it.

Harry’s brows rose, disappearing into the ebony locks that fell to brush along the curve of his spectacles. “Is that so?” he asked, his voice heavy with skepticism.

“It was the only thing they took, actually. They were burglars of very particular taste,” he quipped.

Harry laughed, a lopsided smile brightening his face. “Well, perhaps they saw the value in it. Certainly worth more than all the other junk you’ve got in here,” he teased, leaning forward to look pointedly around the flat.

Tom scowled, unfolding his arms to grab hold of the doorknob. “Enjoy your night, Harry. And do tell Ron’s sister I said hello,” he said. The last thing he saw when he closed the door was the smile fall from Harry’s face, looking somewhat crestfallen as the light in his eyes diminished.

He was terribly easy to read, like one of the many, many books lining the shelves that flanked the fireplace. A curious story, however, and Tom could hardly stop the slight smile, the chuckle that vibrated within his throat. He didn’t really care for company or his neighbors, but there was something incredibly delectable about making Harry squirm in discomfort.

-xXx-

Tom slammed his door, huffing in annoyance as he shrugged his jackets onto his arms. He should have known he wouldn’t have a peaceful night. All he wanted was to spend a quiet night in, reading some of the new case studies and research papers he had gotten his hands on with a glass of brandy, but it was simply too much to ask. He was really beginning to grow irate with the familiar tone of a call coming from work- something of a surprise considering his colleagues tended to refer to him as a 'workaholic’.

Though he supposed anyone would be considered a workaholic to that lot, preferring to hover within the realm of mediocrity instead of actually using those brains of theirs for something more productive than gossip. It was hardly a crime to be ambitious, to crave knowledge and authority and influence within a desire field.

He was interrupted by his thoughts as a door opened behind him, a voice calling out after him. “Hey! Tom!” He came to a halt, sighing in impatience as he turned to face Harry, his head poking out from the door to his own flat.

His hair was even more disheveled than usual- an impossible feat, really- and his chin and jaw were coated in short, black stubble. It made him look a bit older, and a bit handsomer if he were being honest. In a rugged sort of way, not at all like Tom’s own polished and well-kept appearance.

“Yes, Harry?” he drawled, lips slipping into a smirk as Harry’s jaw clenched at the sibilant lull of his voice.

“Where are you headed this late at night?” he asked, swallowing thickly as he shifted his weight from one foot to the other.

Tom regarded him for a moment. “If you must know, to work. Emergencies hardly wait for appropriate office hours,” he said with a dismissive wave of his hand.

He made to turn around again, his head twisted away when Harry stopped him. “Oh good, you can bring it to your office then!”

Tom sighed, closing his eyes in reprieve as he took a deep breath. He really considered just walking away, leaving the younger man behind without even a farewell. After all, there were far more important matters to attend to. Namely, an A&E overfilled with victims of a mass shooting. But he found himself turning back to face Harry, brows knitted. “Bring what to my office?”

Harry ducked back into his apartment for only a second, returning to the corridor with a canvas clutched in his hands. “I made you a new painting! And I thought that perhaps it would be safer in your office at work,” he said, taking several steps until he stood directly before Tom, gripping either side of the painting as he held it in front of his chest.

He practically gasped at the horrendous things, dark blue eyes widening as he skewed his lips in unmasked disgust. Three velociraptors sat around a table, tufts of hair below bonnets. An elaborate spread adorned the table, flowers within a glass vase in the center as trays of biscuits and scones  and a large, floral tea pot sat around it. Long claws emerged from lacy and billowy sleeves as they wrapped around delicate tea cups.

Harry was grinning in almost manic delight, shoulders shaking with just barely disguised laughter. “Well, do you like it, Tom?” he asked.

Tom pursed his lips, jaw clenching in annoyance. “Actually, if I’m being perfectly honest, Harry, it’s absolute rubbish,” he said, speaking in a voice that was colder than ice, as if his words were venom. The sudden and unexpected malice within them was enough to make the joy slip from Harry, his mouth falling into a frown as green eyes wilted.

“Oh,” Harry said, reeling from the cruelness.

“The only thing that you are worse at than painting- and by a large margin, though that is in no way a compliment to your artistic abilities,” he began, actually struggling to keep the smile from his face as Harry continued to sulk, shoulders slumping. “Is flirting.”

He snapped forward at that, cheeks burning into a bright crimson as he stammered. “I am not flirting!” he lied, eyes darting to the left for a brief second.

Tom chuckled at the obvious tell, taking a step forward so that he loomed over the shorter man. “Oh, but I believe you are, and between you and me, your hands are better left for more…arousing activities than arts and crafts,” he purred, mouth pulling into a smirk as Harry’s eyes widened at the insinuation, his jaw slacking open.

Without another word, Tom turned, striding down the corridor as his neighbor gaped unattractively in his wake.


I want to abandon all my stories and just write this. I want to write a sequel, and a sequel to the sequel, and just never stop writing about the gloriousness of Harry painting awful dinosaur portraits in a terrible attempt to flirt and Tom tearing him down with his suaveness.

Also, I always headcanon Tom as a surgeon in non-magic AU’s (it’s a field that requires a lot of study and determination, can be very rewarding in terms of professional achievements and recognition, and I imagine holding someone’s life in his hand satisfies his God Complex)

Also also, I’m sorry if you’ve sent me a prompt and I haven’t gotten to it yet. I promise I will, but sometimes it takes a bit for the prompt to speak to me, and this one sang at me like a soul singer pouring her heart out.