Tuesday, 26 October 2010

William Kentridge Quote

On his drawings: " The drawings don't start with 'a beautiful mark'. It has to be a mark of something out there in the world. It doesn't have to be an accurate drawing, but it has to stand for an observation, not something that is abstract, like an emotion."
-William Kentridge by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (1998), Societe des Expositions du Palais de Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles.

I Am Not Me, the Horse is Not Mine

William Kentridge's unusual presentation related to his Opera-in-progress; a work inspired by Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich satirical opera The Nose based on the Nikolai Gogoi short story of the same name.

(Bring back the monocle)

William Kentridge on "a world fixed in time"

William Kentridge on his place in the art world

Quote of the day.

"The ability to deconstruct a movement and reassemble it in a new or convincing way is the animator's territory. Many artists have realised their visions using animation as a means to externalising their inner thoughts and unique points of view. Animation gives the viewer the opportunity to gaze at a frozen moment of thought and to experience another persons rhythm." -Christine Panushka, USC, 1997.

Monday, 25 October 2010

I am unable to post any of my film work due to my Macbook's breakdown! It is currently in therapy working out it's issues.
Kricfalusi, Ren and Stimpy, 1991

Uses animation of the childrens cartoon and the supposedly innocent environment of childrens programming to subversive ends because the seemingly unpalatable or challenging aspects of his work are dilluted by the assumption that this is 'merely' animation...

(Introduction to Film Studies, Jill Nelmes)

Fast Film

Virgil Widrich, Fast Film, 2003

The short film is composed of 65,000 photocopied stills from over 400 notable Hollywood feature films from the silent era to the present day (2003). Widrich and his team viewed over 1,200 films selecting images and sequences, which in their photocopied form were folded into three dimentional objects and recomposed and animated into a narrative about the 'codes and conventions of Hollywood narratives'.

Duck Amuck

Chuck Jones, Duck Amuck, 1953

"Duck Amuck is a cartoon which is wholly self-conscious and reveals all the aspects of its own construction. Consequently it is possible to recognise the cartoon as a mode of deconstruction" - Richard Thompson.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

How to make a Pinscreen board

Approximately 3,750 pins and caps are required per square foot. It is recommended that you purchase 10% extra for maintenance.

The most common pinscreen size is the 4' x 4' version, which is slightly larger than 120 cm x 120 cm. (1 ft = approximately 30.5 cm)

I may have to try to construct this at some point......

Exciting Love Story/Uzbudljiva ljubavna prica

Borivoj Dovnikovic Bordo, The Exciting Love Story, 1989
Cell Animation.

"The main impulse behind The Exciting Love Story (1989) was a play on the phenomenon of animated film" Says Bordo. Created as traditional cel animation, the screen is divided into various sections. This is a simple love story with the traditional happy ending.

Tales Of Mere Existence Protege (2000)

Lev Yilmaz, Tales of Mere Existence series, Protege, 2000
Consumer grade 3 chip DV camera, PC, Premiere

"I think a lot of the reason the series works is that from the first frames, the audience knows I'm making no effort whatsoever to impress them with technique or technology. It's like watching a sock puppet become very alive. The audience then focuses almost entirely on the stories, which is what this series is all about to me anyway."
-Lev Yilmaz

Using a DV camera and a basic computer to create the films, most episodes in the series 'Tales of Mere Existence Series' take about two days to put together.

Norman McLaren : Synchromy

Norman McLaren, Synchromy, 1971
Sound striations transferred optically from track to picture

McLaren spoke in 1959 about how music and sound greatly affect his work: "An artist may be like a person who hears music and just starts to dance. He may be dancing for his own satisfaction, but what motivates him to dance, also motivates hundreds of other people to dance. The artist is only speaking some kind of common language, speaking it to himself, expressing something; and yet, other people come along and recognise it and realise that in this person's dancing, there is something new and different."

Synchromy (1971) allows the viewer to 'see' music - the film's images generate the sound. McLaren achieved this by creating a set of cards with different patterns of stripes which, when reduced into the soundtrack area of a filmstrip, corresponded in different notes in the scale. The colour was added in the printing.

Direct Film

Drawn-on-film animation, also known as direct animation or animation without camera, is an animation technique where footage is produced by creating the images directly on film stock as opposed to any other form of animation where the images or objects are photographed frame by frame with an animation camera.

Caroline Leaf, Two Sisters, 1991
Drawn-on-film animation

Stan Brakhage, "Mothlight" (1963)

Stan Brakhage, Mothlight, 1963
Direct film technique.

Mothlight (1963) Brakhage pressed various objects between two clear strips of film and managed to persuade his local image lab to process this through the film printer. Half of the footage was processed and became Mothlight. Brakhage described the film as "what a moth might see between birth and death"

Pin art performance I

An unrehearsed demonstration of a giant Pinscreen istallation at the Sheboygan Childrens Museum (America) This is similar to the toy Pin Art, but this pad was 6 feet tall and the pins much larger than with the toy version.

Le Paysagiste (mindscape)

Jacques Drouin, Le Paysagiste (mindscape), 1976
Pinscreen Animation.

Pin-screen by Alexeïeff & Parker

This short film shows how 'Pinscreen' works. Demonstrated by Alexeieff and Parker to a group of animators at the National Film Board of Canada, 1972.

'Pinscreen' Animation makes use of a screen filled with movable pins, which can be moved in or out by pressing an object onto the screen. The screen is lit from the side so that the pins cast shadows. The technique has been used to create animated films with a range of textural effects difficult to achieve with traditional cel animation.
The 'pinscreen' device is a white screen that consists of thousands and thousands of pins in small holes. Light shines from the side of this platform causing each and every single pin to cast its own shadow. Each pin, being able to slide easily back and forth through the holes, can cast different shadows. The white screen becomes darker the farther the pins are pushed out. The more the pins are pushed in, the lighter the screen becomes, giving a grayish tone and eventually an all white screen again. The original 'pinscreen' by Alexeieff had 240,000 pins, this form of animation is extremely time consuming and difficult to execute, rendering it the least popular method of animation.
Several computer programs have been made with the goal of simulating the images generated by a physical 'pinscreen'. One of the advantages of using digital 'pinscreen' animation is the recovery of images. With the traditional 'pinscreen', there as no way to recover a previous image except for creating it all over again with no guarantee of precision, with digital 'pinscreen', the same image can be retrieved and altered without having to recreate.

Prism Archives Presents: Chevalier's Budoir: Le Nez Alexander Alexeïeff ...

Alexeieff and Parker, The Nose, 1963
16mm black and white using the pinscreen technique.

The Nose (1963) is based on a surreal story, written in 1836 by Nikolai Gogol. It tells of a barber who discovers a disembodied nose in a loaf of bread. The film was made using the 'pinscreen' technique invented by Alexeieff and Parker.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Home movies

Some movies I made 'blowing bubbles'. I am going to try to capture a film of a more successful attempt as the bubble solution was rubbish and no bubbles were made, they just kept popping.

Monday, 18 October 2010


Semiconductor is artist duo Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt. Through moving image, sound and multi-media installations they explore the material nature of our world and how we experience it, questioning our place in the physical universe.

Magnetic Movie, 2007 is an animated project commissioned for channel 4 in association with the arts council England. It is a project created from highly scientific information filtered through everyday logistics to arrive at a shared and multi-faceted language. Being confronted with unseeable and the unknown challenged the artists to make sense of such an experience. Through there desire to find meaning they began to devise their own imaginary interpretations of what was expressed to try to find a way to comprehend and picture this world that exists beyond sensory perceptions. (Animation in Process by Andrew Selby.)

To view their work go to semiconductorfilms.com

Male Restroom Etiquette

Phil Rice Male Restroom Etiquette, 2006

Male Restroom Etiquette (2006) is a short 'mockumentary' film, much in the style of an old Public Service Announcement. The film is a satirical look at some aspects of male attitudes in the modern age, poking fun at the habitual behaviours that rooted in irrational phobias and paranoia. These were formed out of observations and comments made on the Everything2.com website in 2000. The internet is not just for the discovery of information, but may also be harnessed for contemplation, manipulation and distribution of materials. By default, the thinking process from conception to consumption might be connected. (Animation in Process by Andrew Selby.)

Deborah Harty and Phil Sawdon

To view the film go to https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/dspace-jspui/bitstream/2134/2942/1/pivot.mov

Deborah Harty and Phil Sawdon, Pivot, 2006 documents an act of drawing; drawing that is dynamic, physical and progressive. The process is expressed as mechanical, repetitive and methodical. The tone is robotic but reflective, darkly poetic and thought consuming. It communicates at a multi-sensory level, is over-stimulatiing, invasive and repetitive. The sound is descriptive of the action of drawing but is unpleasant and confusing. Dark crowded and chaotic feel of a horror movie.


Rotoscoping is the rotated projection of a sequence of usually photographic action image frames so that the artist can trace from the frame or create an image to superimpose on it. It can be thought of as "painting on movies" efficiently. Prior to computers, an animation stand called a Rotoscope was used to project a sequence of action frames against a surface so that a set of animation frames could be traced or created. The same work can now be done with digital images and special computer software. Tools that provide efficient ways to rotoscope include Digital Magic and Elastic Reality. Rotoscoping is frequently used as a technique for combining (compositing) cartoon figures with realistic settings in television commercials and is also used for special effects in feature-length films.
(technique invented by Max Fleischer in which live-action figures are cut out and re-drawn. This has historically been a valuable invention because animated figure movement could be much more realistic using a rotoscope.)

This technique was later used for A Scanner Darkly, 2006 directed by Richard Linklater

Naked: Ilham (13)

Mischa Kamp Bloot (Naked), 2006

Is a series of six short films documents the change in adolescent bodies of some Dutch teenages who are going through stages of puberty. Using a technique of 'rotoscoping'. The source material for 'Bloot', comes direct from stories shot on digital film.

The Aroma of Tea

Michael Dudok de Wit, The Aroma of Tea, 2006

Created by a brush that has been dipped in tea.

Koji Yamaura A Child's Metaphysics Animated Film, 2007

A child's metaphysics attempts to explore the ecology and philosophy of children with a melancholic humour that entertains but ultimately questions the audiences perception of the seemingly happy childhood world, using meticulously crafted drawing. Koji creates a child whose head is constructed from numerals, and another child who winds up his own faces and carries it under his arm, which is quickly followed by a child whose eyes are depicted by fish and a child who lies on the floor, head-butting hid own identity.

Run Wrake - Rabbit (2005)

Run Wrake Rabbit film, 2005

"A trawl through a junk shop resulted in finding a collection of envelopes stuffed with 1950s educational sticker sheets which were in surprisingly good condition."

Rabbit (2005) is, in many senses, an adult fairytale using nostalgic visual treatment of vintage educational illustrations to tell a story with altogether more complex connotations. The insatiability of nature coupled with the naive images of childhood are at odds with the random violence frequently displayed through the films narrative, creating an uncomfortable and challenging viewing experience.
Rabbit (2005) was an all-consuming piece of work and Run spent a full 12 months animating the scanned stickers in After Effects. ( The full write up can be read in 'Animation in Process' by Andrew Selby.)

Another film I've made

My film is made up of a number of photographic stills, which I've put onto a timeline to create a sequence of movement.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Trying to re-create Eadweard Muybridge's Galloping horse

I'm starting to think I'm a bit crap really..... I shall persist in spite of all my failings, maybe it'll be a case of its crap but its good ???? Lets see.....

As that bloke William Blake said "If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise".

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Storyboard (Bubble Bursting Sequence)

Bubble bursting sequence 1

Edited using Final Cut Express, I dropped stills onto a timeline to get the movement. I have a Final Cut workshop tomorrow, so hopefully will learn more about the editing process on speeding up the sequence etc....

Michael Jackson Tween Animation NYIT CGL 1984

The In between in Animation.

Inbetweening is the process of generating intermediate frames between two images to give the appearance that the first image evolves smoothly into the second image. Inbetweens are the drawings between the key frames which help to create the illusion of motion. Inbetweening is a key process in all types of animation.

Typically, an animator does not draw in-betweens for all 24 frames required for one second of film. Only very fast movements require animation 'on ones', as it is called. Most movements can be done with 12 drawing per second, which is called animating 'on twos'. Too few in-betweens distort the illusion of movement, such as in cheap TV animation series where there can be as few as 4 drawings for a second of film.

Motion Blur is the apparent streaking of rapidly moving objects in a still image or sequence of images such as a movie or animation. It results when the image being recorded changes during the recording of a single frame, either due to rapid movement or long exposure.

Onion Skinning is a 2D computer graphics term for a technique used in creating animated cartoons and editing movies to see several frames at once. This way, the animator or editor can make decisions on how to create or change an image based on the previous image in the sequence.

In traditional cartoon animation, the individual frames of a movie were initially drawn on thin onionskin paper over a light source. The animators (mostly inbetweeners) would put previous and next drawings exactly beneath the working drawing, so that they could draw the 'in-between' to give a smooth motion.

Tutorial on Tweening in ActionScript 3 http://www.flashcomponents.net/category_tutorials/page/1.html

A set of graphs showing 30 different easing curves http://hosted.zeh.com.br/tweener/docs/en-us/misc/transitions.html

(Images both source from wikipedia.com)

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Animation = Artforms?

Norman McLaren is most often cited for his motto: "Animation is not the art of drawings that move, but the art of movements that are drawn. What happens between each frame is much more important than what exists on each frame. Animation is therefore the art of manipulating the invisible interstices that lie between the frames."

Animation is the art of the in-between of the interval.

Could it be acceptable to consider Martin Creed's work No 227, 2001 as a form of expanded animation?
(To view Work No 227 please go to the following- website http://www.martincreed.com/works/workno227.html)

Marcel Duchamp The Large Glass, 1913 to mentally animate the suggested movement. Duchamp also cultivated the notion of the in-between.

Movie Motion Zoetrope

An animation toy which was invented in the 19th Century.

A little Film

To illustrate how the praxinoscope works in relation to animation.

Animation Praxinoscope (KidzLab Science Kit)

Animation is a moving action which is a sequence of still pictures. Each of these pictures depicts a part of the whole action at one time. When these pictures are run and viewed in sequence at high speed, they produce an illusion as if they are moving in a continuous sequence.

I have made a toy version of a praxinoscope to illustrate the idea of animation and also to give me something do post onto my blog whilst awaiting my workshop for Final Cut.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Amber Boardman My Room Zoetrope, 2007

Amber Boardman Untitled, 2007 watercolour on paper and digital photographs (youtube.com)

How did she do that?

The animations has a very sinister feel to it. I especially like the zoetrope idea.

The Life Size Zoetrope

Mark Simon Hewis Futureshorts, 2008

One man's life told on a giant zoetrope (fair ground ride)


An animated film found on youtube.com. The animator is looking at the principles of a Zoetrope, using a record player turntable.

My first Animation

My very first animated film 'Floating Bubble.'

Just figured out what went wrong with this film, I used imovie not ideal I should have used Final cut pro =/ Ok lesson 1 learnt ......

Thursday, 7 October 2010

13 (short film commissioned by Channel 4), Simon Faithfull

Simon Faithful 13 is a short film commissioned by channel 4.

His work explores the extremities of the world and its relation to the everyday or mundane. His animations are created on a palm pilot, he is interested in how ready we are to perceive movement and to see a mechanically produced drawing as life like.
I especially like the use of sound and how it travels from scene to scene in a similar way to Delicatessen.

Tim Hope - Wolfman *Good Quality*

Tim Hope Wolfman, 1999

A layered, textured animation film created using 3D studio Max to create cut out characters.

a clip from «Forest Murmurs» by Jonathan Hodgson

Forest Murmurs, 2006 is an animated exploration of Epping Forest's sinister past, which sparks off a journey into the dark side of the film makers mind. To view the full animated film go to http://www.hodgsonfilms.com/ and click on short films.

"No one is entirely evil, it's circumstances"
Quote from Louison Delicatessen, 1991 film.

Forest Murmurs is a film made in response to an idea about a concept rather than a process. While Jonathan freely admits that technology has helped create significant parts of the film, he is also very aware that a fertile imagination and a need to inform through animation fuels his work. He believes that films that "experiment with narrative to create a sense of authenticity that is closer to real life experience and feel more believable" are of more interest to him.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Bubbles ....

I'm trying to capture the movement of bubbles.

I want create my first animated film using a very basic idea.

Mary a Max trailer HD

The feel of Delicatessen

I am interested in the colour schemes (cartoon style) each scene is unnatural and tightly controlled, there is something sublime, artificial and unreal. Rooms cluttered with kitschy nostalgic brick-a-brack. It's not consistently funny or consistently dark. Mary and Max animated film by Adam Elliot springs to mind.

Delicatessencontains surprising moments of tenderness in the midst of all the madness. Pinon’s hangdog features and gift for physical comedy infuse many of his scenes with a quiet poignancy. He mesmerizes two little boys with a bubble-blowing exhibition, plays the musical saw in a haunting duet with Clapet’s daughter on cello, and, in the film’s most quietly affecting sequence, bounces on squeaky bedsprings with the butcher’s mistress (Karin Viard) in rhythm with a Hawaiian musical number on a nearby television set.

Bubble Clip from Delicatessen

Delicatessen Trailer

Enter Louison, an unemployed circus clown whose late partner was eaten recently by cannibals, who moves in and soon develops a romantic relationship with Julie the butcher's daughter.

Delicatessen, 1991 Directed by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

Set in a post-apocalyptic version of 1950's France. Delicatessen takes place in an apartment building which is situated on top of a butcher's shop. A contrasting group of bizarre neighbours eek out their sustenance in this famine-plagued world depending mostly upon the butcher Clapet who regularly murders the handymen he hires.