Database for Animation Studies

10 Books/Articles to know Characteristics of Motions in Animation

Yoshimura, Hirokazu

There are quite a few articles examining motions in animation within the field of cognitive psychology. However, there are only a small number of books available. Here, I prioritized readability for non-specialists in motor perception and chose books that would provide a vehicle for people interested in motions in animation, including psychology books—as well as those authored by animation producers—and excluding research articles. Books on the “uncanny valley,” which has recently attracted attention of the selector, included one written in English.

Yokota, Masao, ed. Animēshon no shinri-gaku, Seishin Shobo, 2019.

This is a compilation of lectures delivered by different lecturers in a series of symposiums assembled under the supervision of the Japanese Psychological Association (as an editor of this book), with each lecturer in charge of a whole chapter. Four of seven chapters address motions in animation as a study topic. I was also responsible for a chapter entitled, “Animation no Ugoki [Motions in animation].”

Sasaki, Masato. Shinpan afōdansu, Iwanami Shoten, 2015.

“Affordance” is a term that people who are interested in motion perception would understand. Grasping what affordance is, combined with the explanation on “fuhenko [constants]” in this book, would provide clues to distinguishing motions of oneself and in the environment.

Osaka, Naoyuki. Kansei no kotoba wo kenkyū suru, Shin'yōsha, 1999.

This anthology collected studies on sensory languages and commonly termed onomatopoeia from a wide range of perspectives, including developmental, language, and cognitive psychology. Chapter 3, written by the editor of the book, presents comparative studies on the frequency of the occurrence of onomatopoeia used to express the speed of walking and intensity of rain.

Mori, Masahiro. Robotto kō-gaku to ningen, Ohmsha, 2014.

This book is useful for understanding characteristics of humans and robots in a multifaceted fashion. However, more importantly, the book’s author proposed the concept of “uncanny valley.” In the section entitled “Bukimi no tani gensho no hakken [discovery of uncanny valley phenomena],” the author mentioned repercussions of this concept in this century.

Tinwell, Angela. Uncanny Valley in Games & Animation, CRC Press, 2015.

This is a commentary on the “uncanny valley” in games and animations that incorporated psychological perspectives. The discussion takes place predominantly at the levels of still life, for example, regarding how facial expressions affect viewers’ emotions and the threats that facial expressions pose on viewers. Statements on motions are also included.

Sugii, Gisaburō. Anime to seimei to hōrō to, Wani Books, 2012.

Ryota Fujitsu, a planner and designer of this book, did an excellent job in drawing interesting stories from the author through the interview. Throughout the book, techniques for motion expressions are presented, such as a technique to express an emotion in the upward movement of the sword, rather than the downward movement.

Yoshimura, Hirokazu
Hosei University

He is studying motions in animation from a cognitive psychology perspective. In the Japanese Society for Animation Studies, he conducted a comparative study on the Obake technique and apparent movement, as well as a study that attempts to capture motions in animation from the viewpoint of the “uncanny volley.” Works on the current topic of “motions in animation” include Chapter 2 in Literature 1, “Eiga ya animation ni ugoki wo miru shikumi” [the mechanism of perceiving motions in films and animations] (coauthored with Sōhei Sato, 2014, Bulletin of the Faculty of Letters, Hosei University, 69, 87-105), and “Jissha eiga to animation no ugoki no chigai” [differences in motion between live-action films and animations] (2018 Bulletin of the Faculty of Letters, Hosei University, 77, 63-75).