Flick-man Animation Cuts Through Page

As anyone who's bought the book knows, the samurai animation on this site appears as a flick-man animation in the corner of the book. In fact, the little samurai slashes into the page, and then steps through the cut. If you then flick the book from behind, of course you see him emerging into the cut on the other side of the pages, just as you'd expect — you can't accuse Fudebakudo of not being thorough in the world of flick-animation.

Japanese postcard Anyway, years later our fine proofreader Judith (assisted by our US despatch ninja Eric) spotted this historic precedent from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and sent it to me. In fact it's from their postcard collection (of over 20,000), just a few of which are shown online. It's from the Meiji era, probably between the world wars, and represents Japan's nationalist fervour and a return to past glories. But never mind that, hey, he's going through the page!

As you may have realised, the Fudebakublog doesn't shy away from technical, nerdy details, oh no. So . . . the flick-man animation in the book was created by René and Raúl Carbonell by drawing (on paper) all the separate component pieces of armour, then scanning them in and compositing and manipulating them in ToonBoon. They were restricted to doing the whole sequence in 64 frames, because that is the number of facing pages in the book. This then went into Flash and was exported (as numbered TIFFs) for inclusion in the final proofs that went to the printers. What this means is that if you flick the little flicky flick-man animation in the corner of the book, you really are looking at a Flash movie, on paper. Ooh!

Now, the Flash movie you see here is exactly the same Flash animation, but coloured and with the paper cut replaced with the computer background. But even that is more nerdy than you'd expect. We couldn't find an appropriate picture of the innards of a computer (revealed when he slashes the screen) so the boys hooked their digital camera up to the machine by USB, took the side off the PC (don't try this at home kids) and took a picture of it while it was running and connected. This picture was then squirted down the cable into the PC and tickled in PhotoShop. So, that really is the inside of the very same computer that the samurai was cutting at the time he was being filmed, if you see what I mean. Like I said, you can't accuse us of not being thorough.