7th to 20th September 2015
On our overseas immersion programme to Japan, 23 DDA students from Year 2 and Year 3 spent 2 weeks at Digital Hollywood University to learn about the process of 2D animation in Japan as well as create a 2D animated short film of our own as a group project. Before arriving in Japan, the students had come up with all the necessary pre-production for the film, including character, set and prop designs and storyboards.
On the first day of class we had our storyboards reviewed by renowned Anime director Satoshi Kuwabara, as well as a lecture on tips to drawing good storyboards and how to write the timing for them. For the subsequent lessons, we were taught by other fellow professionals such as key animators Mitsunori Murata and Tomoko Fukui about timesheets, layouts, key animation and in-betweens. At the same time we proceeded to work on our project during self-study sessions.
Attending workshops at DHU
DHU President Tomoyuki Sugiyama gives a talk to DDA
Being on this programme gave us a chance to learn and understand the workflow of Japanese animation, and we found things we could take and apply in our animation, such as their vertical storyboards.
While I had previously thought that all Japanese animation focused mainly on 2D animation (and hence had no place for us if we were seeking 3D animation employment), we were introduced to Kamikaze Douga – an animation company that focuses mainly on 3D animation rendered with a 2D look. Their works were stunning and my friends and I would love to work there if we could.
Throughout the trip, we also went to several meaningful locations related to animation. We visited J.C Staff, a 2D animation company famous for creating many well-known anime that the students knew and loved. Being able to tour such a company and seeing the staff doing what we learnt about in class was really an eye-opener and allowed us to understand the work and job better.
Posing outside J.C. Staff office
Suginami Museum entrance
We also visited Suginami Animation Museum, showcasing many famous anime works as well as interactive areas for visitors to get a feel of each aspect of creating 2D animation, from drawing to colouring to dubbing. Last but not least, we went to Ghibli Museum, an unforgettable place showcasing world-renowned Ghibli films and the various processes of their works and animation in the most creative ways possible. On top of all that we spent an entire day at the Tokyo Game Show 2015, where we saw sneak peeks and product launches of the latest games for both the Japanese and international markets.
Group shot outside the Ghibli Museum
The Tokyo Game Show 2015!
We did learn very helpful things and carted back to Singapore some useful and inexpensive art and storyboard books. This was a trip that was definitely well worth it, the knowledge gained and lessons learnt are definitely irreplaceable and overall was a great opportunity that one would regret not taking up!
This article is written by Choo Wen Xin, Year 3 student and Tan Yi Bing, Year 2 student from the Diploma in Digital Animation (DDA).