The second part of this task was to explore the technique of stop motion. In an online article Dermy O Reilly (2007) discusses how originally stop motion involved animating movement of any “non-drawn” objects such as toys, blocks or any other rigid inanimate object you care to mention, cel animation followed quickly. The Adventures of Mark Twain (1985) directed by Will Vinton was the first stop motion/ clay animated film. Stop motion is seemingly becoming less popular due to the development of 3D animation. However, there is still one popular animation company that produces full-length stop motion films to this day, Aardman; they are known for producing the iconic children’s animation Wallace and Gromit. This successful clay stop motion animation has won Oscars with 4 30-minute films, 11 shorts and a feature length movie. (The Welsh Animator, 2013)
With the theme of ‘cycle’ in mind I decided to recycle everyday objects such as sweets and pencils into short stop motion animations. I feel both animations are effective, however, the concept is fairly basic. They are conceptual and fit well with the task of experimenting the stop motion technique.
To take this further however, I have animated the formation of a card house. I adjusted the images on Photoshop by changing the background and adding a filter to create a much more professional and pleasing animation.
O Reilly, D. 2007. A Brief History of Stop Motion Animation!. Stop Motion Central. http://www.stopmotioncentral.com/articles-5.html
The Welsh Animator. 2013. A Brief History of Animation. http://welshanimator.wordpress.com/a-brief-history-of-animation/
Whilst still focusing on the animation task I wanted to look further into the different techniques and formats. Our lecturer introduced us to Mclaren and his short film ‘Blinkity Blank’, which he created by directly engraving onto the black film leader. To which he then built a soundtrack of improvisational jazz. Mclaren managed to construct a minimal narrative within an ostensibly abstract work; it follows two birds that are seen to fight but eventually come together to produce an egg. (Rist, 2001) I used this to inspire me to create a short sequence following a firework night. Using Photshop and the various paintbrushes available I created a simple firework display on a black background, similar to McLarens work. However, to further improve this piece, I could add a suitable soundtrack and a more complex narrative. Possibly involving conflict between ‘characters’, like ‘Blinkity Blank’, speeding up the soundtrack to resemble the emotion in the narrative.
Furthermore, I have also looked into Josef Albers and his colour theory. I was particularly interested in our perception of colours and how colours that are the same, can look different when placed in front of a lighter and darker version of a similar colour. (Price, 2013) I wanted to experiment with Albers theory and therefore created a short sequence that displays this approach.
Rist, P. (Ed.). 2001. Guide to the Cinema(s) of Canada. Greenwood Publishing Group. Pg.18
Price, J. 2013. In Josef Albers App, Colors Interact. MuseumZero. http://museumzero.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/in-josef-albers-app-colors-interact.html
The first entirely animated film was J. Stuart Blackton’s ‘Humorous phases of funny faces’ in 1906, where the drawings were done on a chalkboard and wiped off. However, animation was born way before this; some argue as early as Paleolithic cave paintings as there is evidence of portraying figures in motion.
However in the early 1800s the invention of the magic lantern gave drawings the illusion of motion. In 1824 Peter Mark Roget discovered the principle of ‘The persistence of vision’, something that led the invention of various other optical devices such as the Thaumatrope and Phenakistoscope. (Screen, 2006) However, there was something missing… sound. The first animation to have synchronized sound was actually not until 1928, with Walt Disney’s Steamboat Willie. Disney was then the first to create a sound and colour animated feature film with their classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937. Animation is widely known to be for kids, however, the creation of The Simpsons in 1989 unleashed the era of adult animation, with popular shows such as, South park (1997), and Beavis and Butt-head (1993).
There are many animation techniques and formats, which have evolved from the early flick book and drawing on paper methods. However, drawing will always remain an important skill. In our seminar we had the chance to hand draw 12 frames to then use a Praxinoscope to see whether it worked; it was a chance to experiment. Here I decided to draw a bouncing ball, focusing on one of the 12 principles of Animation: Squash and Stretch.
I then decided to draw it up onto Photoshop using my Wacom tablet to create a digitized animation. I wanted to carry on experimenting with motion picture so I decided to create a short sequence of 20 hand drawn frames based on the movement of shapes. Matthias Brown, TraceLoops on Tumblr, influenced me, as his work is abstract and experimental. Something I hope to carry out in my future pieces.
Screen, A. 2006. A Brief History of Animation. ARTD 2022/3022 Two-Dimensional Digital Animation. Pg.2
Brown. M. 2014. TraceLoops. Rotoscoping. http://traceloops.tumblr.com
This week we are looking at animation. The task consists of two parts. The first being to explore the first principles of motion picture creation and the use of drawing to generate a simple animated sequence. We should generate a 12-frame hand drawn sequence to then digitize it to create a gif. We were able to start drawing our 12 frames in our seminar, as our unit leader brought in a praxinoscope for us to experiment with. The second task requires us to create a short experimental sequence, which explores the technique of ‘stop-motion’ animation and/ or pixilation. Similarly to the previous task our work should meet the theme of ‘cycle’.
For this task I will research into animations history, whilst looking into some of my personal favourite pieces.
In this weeks workshop we started to look into motion picture creation in Photoshop. As this was an introduction we were given the necessary images to create this running man gif. The following seminar however, helped us draw each picture in a sequence, to which we then checked our work using a Praxinoscope. We were told to convert each layer into a frame slightly nudging the following image in order to create the illusion of the man walking. Here we could play around with delay time until we were happy with a smooth motion. To save as a gif I then clicked ‘save for web’. This workshop was very helpful as it targeted this week’s task of creating a gif. I hope to practice further by drawing and finding walk cycles online to improve this skill.