A Scanner Darkly (Richard Linklater, 2006)
Firstly, some observations from the film:
Just as much detail in the background as the foreground
Strong, black, defining outlines
Scramble suit - 1.5 million fractions of men, women and children all interchanging on these suits that undercover agents wear to protect their identity while in headquarters, must've taken a long time to put the animations of the multiple suits together
The colouring of a person shifts as they move according to the lighting of the scene, the animation is constantly moving
The shading creates lines and definition without the need for thick, black lines all over the place
Stationary background where possible, makes the foreground stand out more
Handwritten letters on signs as opposed to typed letters, keeps with the all drawn/created perspective
Un-outlined backgrounds where they want you to focus on the foreground more and not be distracted by the details of the background
The further an object in the background, the thinner the black outline
This film helped me realise the minimum amount of lines/detail needed to make the people in my animation identifiable as them, that I don't need to add lots of detailed patterns to outfits or every strand of hair - just the minimum required, and if I want to I can create this 3D-depth through the colouring process. The colouring process is where I believe this film will become most influential.
Contextually, I struggled to understand it to be honest... what I got was the consequences of addiction as the overarching theme from the film, which was confirmed for me by the ending. I guess the way your suddenly just thrown into these group of friends who are hooked on Substance D (which causes it's users to develop split personalities through a disconnect in the hemispheres), one of which being the character Bob Arctor, who is also Agent Fred - someone trying to take down Bob... so yeah, there's a bit of a trippy loophole in the film - but I guess that fits with the story? And again, this hyper-realistic, other-worldly rotoscoping fits into creating a drug-induced perception of the reality for the audience... so in a way, maybe I did understand it by not understanding it?
The ending (as in the very end just before the credits) goes like this:
This has been a story about people who were punished entirely too much for what they did. I loved them all. Here is a list, to whom I dedicate my love: To Gaylene, deceased To Ray, deceased To Francy, permanent psychosis To Kathy, permanent brain damage To Jim, deceased To Val, massive permanent brain damage To Nancy, permanent psychosis To Joanne, permanent brain damage To Maren, deceased To Nick, deceased To Terry, deceased To Dennis, deceased To Phil, permanent pancreatic damage To Sue, permanent vascular damage To Jem, permanent psychosis and vascular damage … and so forth. In memoriam. These were comrades whom I had; there are no better. They remain in my mind, and the enemy will never be forgiven. The "enemy" was their mistake in playing. Let them play again, in some other way, and let them be happy. - Philip K. Dick
I would like to do something similar at the end of my own animation, a dedication to those who have contributed to helping me understand my gender identity, and supported me on this journey of discovery.