Monday, 29 November 2010

Yet more decisions

Quotes of the day

"In the animation world, people who understand pencils and paper usually aren't computer people, and the computer people usually aren't the artistic people, so they always stand on opposite sides of the line".

"It just seems like the whole, overall animation world is trying to go where maybe animation doesn't belong".

-Don Bluth

More decisions

92 drawings, unable to upload the film at this time.

Final decisions on what to exhibit.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Spider murder sequence with added scream

I have added a scream to this animation.

Sound with animation attempt 2.

I am exploring with sound on my animations and seeing what sounds work best. I want to use sound that may or may not be associated or expected to go alongside the visual.

The sound is from a recording by Jim Fassett (The Symphony of Birds recordings) which I found via the internet.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Selected drawings from 'The Spiders Murder' animation.

Sound and Animation Attempt.

My very first attempt at sound. I drew each frame by hand using pen on printing paper, the idea came from a video I saw on youtube, the sound is from the Alfred Hitchcock Movie Psycho, 1960 which was found via the internet.

Plaster Casting Birds (Sparrows)

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

A little bird animation I've made.

I made this animated film from a sequence of film stills. I used pencil on printing paper.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Flight of The birds (my failure and efforts to detect motion)

In my investigation of animation I have become preoccupied with movement, or the illusion of still images having movement.

Looking at the subjects of flight and soaring as a point of possible investigation...

Here are some drawings of a bird in flight. I attempted to make a animation using these drawings, which you'll find below.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Walt Disney - 1924 - Alice's Spooky Adventure

Walt Disney, Alice in Cartoonland, 1924. Film and Animation.

Live-action cinema has inspired numerous debates about what may be recognised as 'realism'. This is really a consideration of what may be recognised as the most accurate representation of what is 'real' in recording the concrete and tangible world. Clearly the animation form in itself most readily accommodates 'the fantastic', but Disney prefered to create a hyper-realism which located his characters in plausibly 'real' worlds which also included fantasy elements in the narrative. Crucially, Disney's version of 'realism' sought to properly reproduce perspective illusionism in the frame, and not the surreal and 'eccentric mise-en-scene of the Fleischer Brothers' films. Overall, animated films have a tendency to create their own realms which obey their own 'inner logic', however, and though a film may be fantastical, abstract, non linear, surreal and so on, it will probably obey its own codes and convention which establish its own authenticity and plausibility (Paul Wells)

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Going back to Francis Alys his work starts with a simple action which is then documented in a variety of different media, he realises the monumental with minimal actions. I need to read more on Francis Alys. Researching animation is easy but finding the connections within my own practice is proving quite difficult.

(Minor events of everyday life for example sleeping, the blinking of an eye...)

The Animated Reflex (by Karyn Riegel)

.....Reflexivity is perhaps the most essential impulse in both classic and contemporary experimental animation. After all, animation is the after image of material truth and chimerical optics: single frames in rapid succession fuse into a kinetic illusion made in the mind's eye. While frame by frame construction is the obscure basis of most filmmaking, it is a conscious activity to the animator, who crafts each still frame as a fraction of cinematic time. Perhaps this heightened awareness of process can explain why self-referentiality surfaces as a perennial subject in animation. The history of studio production recalls the pre-modern painter's quest to acheive realistic perspective. Through invention such as the rotoscope, the cel process, and digital modeling, animation erased its own traces and evolved as a fantastic imitation of life.....

Robert Breer suggests: "....time doesn't move forward, things are going, but sideways, obliquely, down and backwards, not necessarily ahead. The sense of motion is the issue. That idea seems hard to define, because our locomotion drives us forward with our faces looking at new things. But since that movement is toward oblivion, in my philosophy anyhow, it might well be backward. It's a delusion to think you are getting anywhere."

Animation Meaning

The verb 'to animate' is derived from the latin anima, meaning 'life' and the suffix 'ate', meaning 'to give'. Therefore 'to animate' is 'to give life' or to enliven.

Railings by Francis Alÿs (1)

Francis Alys, Railings, date unknown ( Go to website to view full film, it's amazing, well worth a look.

A random post but I feel it significant to motion/movement and sound an almost expanded piece of animation.

Francis Alys / Interview

Francis Alys Interview

Monday, 1 November 2010


Don Hertzfeldt, Everything will be ok, 2006

"I shoot everything on a beautiful old animation camera that was probably built in the late 1940s. Now I guess I'm one of the last people on earth shooting animation traditionally on 35mm film like this, which is a scary because I simply could not have made my last few movies without this camera. Many of the visuals, not just all the experimental shots, would have been impossible to capture digitally and extremely difficult, if not impossible, to simulate in a computer." -Don Hertzfeldt

Herdzfeldt plays out his deep-rooted anxieties, fears and passion in Everything Will Be Ok, which expresses psychological and emotional states in a range of vignettes and abstract designs. The panels represent the sense of multiple impressions and thoughts that simultaneously visit his central character and convey the increasing lack of control and coherence within the character as he tries to maintain his focus and indentity. As in all Hertzfeldt's work, this becomes both a tragic and comic experience. (Re-Imagining-Animation, The Changing face of The moving image, Paul Wells and Johnny Hardstaff)

Don Hertzfeldt's REJECTED (HD)

Don Hertzfeldt, Rejected

Hertzfeldt's Rejected makes a stinging comment on the banality and facile nature of American commercial culture and its implied moral and ideological agendas.

In light of the rise of corporate idioms and the expectations implicity at the heart of this, the personal responses and outlooks of individual artists become increasingly significant and valuable. While this is not necessarily political or aesthetic resistance as such, it is, nevertheless, a necessary response to dominate models and the intrinic conservatism of supposedly progressive imagery. Don Hertzfeldt represents an excellent example of positive engagement with this climate of creativity. (Re-Imaging Animation, The changing face of the moving image, Paul wells and Johnny Hardstaff)

"I love drawing and always had a very lively free style to my line, so it felt very natural to make my drawings move. It seemed an easy step to take. I like the freedom animation gives - no rules of the real world. I increasingly like the aspect of working with sound - at first I didn't spend much time on soundtracks (limited by knowledge and technology), but now that side of film-making excited me almost more than the drawing. I like the fact that animation can be such a complex process because it forces simplification - it is similar to poetry in that respect, that a short, apparently simple film can be full of ideas and meaning - they can be intense experiences to watch." -Rachel Bevan Baker

DUCK Studios: Maureen Selwood: "Hail Mary"

Maureen Selwood, Hail Mary

Maureen Selwood's work is constantly exploring the relationship between traditional concepts and techniques, and the modernity of the form. This is partly in the desire to extend the artistic parameters of the form, but also to look at the art as a system of ideas. This philosophical approach can then be extended to alternative forms of exhibition, as well as validating the purpose of the art.

The Emperor

Elizabeth Hobbs, The Emperor, 2000

"The is a clear connection between the production of artists books and animation film, the joy of working in a time-based medium is the drama of screening the film to an audience. I also enjoy animated film, in particular I value the experimental films of Robert Breer, the invention of Caroline Leaf and the legacy of Norman McLaren." -Eliabeth Hobbs

"I used wet watercolour on paper as part of my ongoing exploration into directly bringing a drawing or painting to life. I used a smooth-surfaced print-making paper of 220gsm in weight so that it would endure the multiple applications of paint. Using one sheet for each shot, the background was painted in watercolour and left to dry. The animated elements were then painted, filmed whilst still wet and then lifted off the page and repainted in their next position. The technique is fast to execute, though over the production period each shot might be filmed many times to get it right." -Elisabeth Hobbs

Hobbs sees an intrinsic link between the technique employed and the narrative themes and issues she wishes to explore. It is important to note that this deliberate engagement with technique as an expressive methodology should be understood as a model of applied research, and usually comes out of an on-going engagement with a core aesthetic principle or thematic concern. Hobbs has been continually preoccupied with the notion of 'fine art motion' and the ways in which a drawing or painting may be best represented as such through the animated medium. (The Fundermentals of Animation, Paul Wells)

The Auteur in Animation

Live-action cinema has a canon of directors defined by the critical community as 'Auteurs' -Across a number of films, with a recognisable signature style or preoccupying theme. Animation, especially in the context of 'alternative methods' is the most auteurist of media. Often films are made by one person alone expressly dealing with specific and complex themes; a new technique; or using an experimental approach to a dominant method or extending the parameters of fine art in animation.

Experimental animation as a term has become more associated with non-objective, non-linear works - which some claim are the purest form of animation - but in other ways it misrepresents a whole range of work that is not necessarily highly progressive in its experimentation, but merely of a different order to classical or traditional 2D cartoons or 3D animation. It is essentially developmental animation in the sense that it is often a response to and a resistance of orthodox techniques, in a spirit of creating a personal statement or vision not possible in a big studio context, or within the field of popular entertainment.
(Alternative methods, The Fundermentals of Animation, Paul Wells)


"The art challenges the technology and the technology challenges the art. Technical artists are coming from computer graphics schools, and learning sculpture, drawing and painting, and traditional artists are learning more about technology. The more we get their cross-pollination the more we will stretch the boundaries of this medium"
-John Lasseter, PIXAR Animation.

"The act of drawing empowers the artist to look at the world, to deconstruct and rebuild it. Drawing as a discipline will enable the maker to develop a visual memory, meaning that past experiences and observations can be used in informed, insightful ways that, in turn, change the nature of what is created and communicated. In truth drawing has much in common with text in it has rules and these rules can be broken. The basic rule if construction to drawing are: grammer (mark making), syntax (composition) and meaning (content, subject). In drawing we use media, process, techniques, craft, methods, mark making, compositions juxtaposition, context, gesture, atmosphere, character development and description."
-Mario Minichiello