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I just finished episode 24 of EVA, and I noticed that the last two previews I'd seen looked a lot "rougher".

  • The preview after episode 24 consists of a series of what seem to be rough drawings or sketchs over a voiceover.

  • The preview after episode 23 was animated (in that there were some "moving" frames), but looked unfinished - the colouring and lining looks incomplete. Moreover, some of the images look like they come from a manga (in terms of, for instance, speech bubbles, or hiragana/katakana given for some kanji - although it seems possible to me that the bubbles might just have been taped on so as to give people involved in production some idea of the dialogue in each scene). For example:

    enter image description here

Comparatively, the artwork in prior episode previews seemed somewhat more "finished", and, at least in my memory, was usually animated. This I presume is probably because of the fact that EVA had production issues toward the end of the anime run.

But less obvious to me is this: what are these speech bubbles that show up in the episode preview for episode 24 actually for? Are they something that feature in preliminary anime sketches?

  • Update: there isn't much animation in the preview for the last episode (we just pan across an image), but the drawing at least looks pretty "finished" compared to the previews for 24 and 25. – Maroon Jan 6 '15 at 15:10
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    It's probably a bit of being behind schedule and an artistic decision, how much of each I don't know. Note that there are 2 different previews at the end of episode 24, one for episode 25 (On-Air/Video) and one for End of Evangelion (Director's Cut). – Jon Lin Jan 6 '15 at 15:26
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The shots from the episode 25 preview seem to be shots from the storyboard, an artifact created in an early phase of animation production.

After writing the script for a scene, the next step in the production of an animated work (and sometimes also in live-action movies) is the creation of a storyboard. A storyboard shows the scene similar to a comic. The purpose is to give the animators instructions how the individual shots of the scene are going to be arranged (during this line close-up on character A, this line reaction-shot from character B, this showing both in a wide-angle shot etc). For dialog scenes it is not uncommon to add speech bubbles so the animators know which line from the script corresponds to each shot (although it is more common to place the dialog below the panel and focus more on the visual arangement).

The "barely animated" pictures from the episode 24 preview seemed to be from one step further in the animation production process: The keyframing phase. During this phase the animators only draw the most important frames of the animations in a very rough manner.

What follows then is the inbetweening phase where animators draw the frames between the keyframes to create fluent animations, and then the inking and coloring where the rough scetches are redrawn properly to production quality.

During the last episodes of EVA, the production drastically fell behind their schedule. When the last episodes finished, some WIP artifacts seemed to be the only parts of the next episode which were ready to be shown.

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