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The War Beyond - TET's First Anime on GoAnimate

The more realistic Anime theme was introduced on GoAnimate back in June 2012. At the time I was very busy with creating business animations but I did take some time to try the theme out and started making The War Beyond.

The War Beyond by etourist

Like it? Create your own at GoAnimate.com. It's free and fun!

The premise of a war starting without the two main characters really being aware of what's been happening in the wider world around them was inspired by the film Tomorrow, When the War Began. In that film the group of teenagers take a camping trip to a remote location only to come back to an invasion of their town that no one was aware was going to happen before they left.

My version looks at the idea that teens are often so engrossed in their own world and circle of friends that they sometimes don't pay attention, or even just ignore, what their parents are doing as well as not knowing about news and current events affecting their community.

The style of the animation (apart from anime) was to try an look like a graphic novel with the choice of camera shots and placement of speech balloons - without actually being a graphic novel. I never considered using TTS voices or having people voice the characters.

I never intended to tell the whole story of the two teens. In fact I came pretty close to just deleting this animation as an unfinished project however I felt there was enough there it would have been a shame not to at least publish what I had.

Back in early November I revisited the animation and decided I had enough scenes to be an interesting narrative. I went through and refined them, then added sound effects and music.

Adding just the right word at the end to sum up what the viewer had just seen took some thinking. I had a few other words in mind but 'Hope' seemed the most appropriate in suggesting that maybe the two teens made it out.

There's not much in the way of technical details and tricks to relate. Most of it is quite straight forward. Of note though include:

  • The picture in the opening scenes falling to the ground from the vibrations of the helicopters. Details like this can really enhance a scene - especially if you add a sound effect to go with it.
     
  • The two characters actually enter the apartment without opening the door yet you hear a door close as the scene dissolves from outside the apartment to inside. This works because a dissolve in film 'speak' represents the passing of time. Even though, in my animation, we're going almost immediately from outside to inside, the dissolve suggests enough time has passed for us not to actually see the characters open and close the door.
     
  • Dialogue is kept short. You learn nothing about either character, not even their names yet, through their exchange, you learn that war has broken out and that the boys parents were at least preparing for it. Everything else is explained through the visuals... even that these two are probably a couple.
     
  • The closing scenes, with the two characters walking down stairs. GoAnimate's Anime characters walk and run in a slightly unrealistic way (you can see it when they run to the television). Originally I had them running down the stairs in a wide shot but it looked so terrible I changed it to two medium panning shots where you can't see their legs at all.
Having used the Anime theme I'm not a big fan. I like all the backgrounds, and the characters are great but the character creator for the theme is so limited right now. Though it's good the characters can 'learn' actions like the Lil' Peepz characters.

If GoAnimate adds more variation and particularly more outfits to the Anime character creator - and perhaps offers a bit more of the theme for gopoints rather than gobucks it could well take off. Right now it's a little expensive for the average user and doesn't offer enough free characters to be much more than a novelty for most people.

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