|My Listening Habits While Animating|
I tend to fall into a sort of "flow-chart" whenever I work on animations. This list is basically a summary of the type of music I tend to listen to throughout the process of animating a short film/cartoon. For this list, let's say I were to create a short film. This would be how my musical journey would go:
|1||Ralph Vaughan Williams|
A Pastoral Symphony [No. 3]
The beginning phase of conceiving an animation requires an optimistic and content mindset. Basically setting the mood for what exactly I would be creating story and character-wise. Classical music is a great supplement for this since it helps me imagine various story concepts and landscapes without deviating too far from the realms of possibility.
|2||William Ryan Key|
Putting the concepts into execution is tough, but calming vocals tend to help guide me through the layout phase of creating an animation. Folk/IDM would go into this category. Sometimes, the down-to-earth storytelling of some folk artists helps me formulate ideas for how the script would play out in the animation.
The (Cintiq) pen finally hits the canvas and now I have to set a visual blueprint for the entire animation. This phase is ultimately a mixed bag for what I chose to listen to, but most of the time, I tend to lean towards Jazz Fusion or Progressive Rock. Sometimes, both!
This is when things start to get a little heavier. Not necessarily the hardest part of the process, but it can get a bit tedious nonetheless. Laying out the foundation before creating hundreds, if not thousands, of cel drawings. Something in the middle ground of heavy and melodic to have a sort of Yin & Yang before heading into the hell in the next stage. Suppose progressive metal (and to an extent, death metal) would work here.
The heaviest part of the animation process deserves the heaviest music. Drawing a bunch of in-between frames for hours can be mentally draining. While more mellow music may be an apt alternative for something like this, it tends to lull me to sleep. That's no bueno when it comes to a heavy workload. To fix this issue, I listen to this sort of music to both invigorate me to work and to serve as an auditorial palette cleanser. Usually abrasive and hard sounds help me stay up long nights to finish this arduous process. This won't be the only thing I would listen too, but it would usually take up 60% of my usual listenings.
You Won't Believe What Happens Next!
Once that nightmare is over, progressive rock/metal is what I usually lean towards as the process of animating is finished. Basically to segue from the type of music I played previously. This process is relatively short, but also requires precision since one mistake can lead to someone's OCD getting triggered by a slightly off-model color. Regardless, I find something to give me that boost in motivation after countless drawings of a similar character/thing I had to do. Rock and metal, again. Sometimes Math.
[Compiling/Post-Production, Excluding audio editing]
Nearing the end of an animation process, it's best for me to not listen to the heavy stuff. Jazz/Jazz Fusion in this scenario is perfect for assembling and composing all of the files, ideas, etc. Certainly keeps me focused throughout this latter half of the process. Sadly, I have to see this message dozens of times while compiling the entire thing: https://i.imgur.com/K2oQ8GY.png
Pretty much one of my all-time favorite albums that I play just before releasing said animation. Generally, a progressive structure would suit this since it encapsulates the "journey" that I took creating the entire thing. Sometimes, what I like to do to add that sense of catharsis is release it right when the finale or the highest point of the album hits. Doing so helps me remotivate myself to do a similar animation task another day.
After the catharsis has ended, I have to recycle the hundreds of water bottles I had to down throughout the months it took me to complete the animation. Lather, rinse, repeat; Animation is suffering.