Monday, September 29, 2008

Animation Pioneers, Early Animation & Primative Forms

-This section will show some early examples of trick cinematography, one drawing/one shot animation, primitive cel animation and stop motion animation. We will also discuss early forms of entertainment that influenced animators.

The Animation Pioneers:

John Stuart Blackton
(born 1875 England, died 1941 Los Angeles, California, USA.)

-Began career as a lecturer/illustrator, then a reporter/artist at The New York World.

- Becomes interested in film upon visiting Thomas Edison's Black Maria film studio.

-Pioneer in early cinema, produced early trick films.

-Formed Vitagraph in 1897, which eventually merged with Warner Brothers.

Emile Cohl
(born 1857 in Paris, France, died 1938.)

-Well known as an illustrator before becoming an animator later in life.

-Belonged to the artist/political group The Incoherents
(Les Arts Incohérents), that celebrated insanity and irrationality in art and culture. This is reflected strongly in Cohl's work.

-Use of metamorphic sequences in work.

-Recognized as one of the first artist/animators.

John Bray
(born 1879 Detroit, Michigan, died 1978 Bridgeport, Connecticut)

-Established newspaper cartoonist who became interested in animation.

-Moved from multiple drawing animation to system where only moving parts were recreated.

-Established the division of labor style of production that is still used today.

-Patented his processes.

-Employed better marketing & distribution than other animation producers.

-Created the "Slash method", only redrawing what you need to.

Earl Hurd
(born 1880, died 1940)

-Bray's eventual partner/employee.

-Held the patent on the Cel animation technique which Bray incorporated into his patents.

Raoul Barre (born 1874, died 1932.)

-Developed "Peg System" for holding individual drawings in place while photographing, thus minimizing camera shake during projection.

Ladislaw Starewicz (born 1892 in Poland/Lithuania, died 1965.)

-Displayed early interest in photography and entomology.

-Attempted to make a documentary film on Stag beetles at an early age only to be frustrated by their constant movement.

-Made many films in Russia, best known for The Cameraman's Revenge - the classic example of Stop-Motion Animation.

-Left for France in 1918, during the Russian Revolution which ultimately led to the replacement of the old Tsarist autocracy with the Soviet Union.

Animation Pioneers

The Enchanted Drawing (1900), J.S. Blackton.

Animated Painting (1904), E.S. Porter.

Dream of a Rarebit Fiend (1906), E.S. Porter

Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906), J.S. Blackton.

Lightning Sketches (1907) J.S. Blackton.

Princess Nicotine (1909), J.S Blackton.

Fantasmagorie (1908) Emile Cohl.

Clair de Lune Espangnol (1909) Emile Cohl.

Colonel Heeza the Liar at Bat (1917) J. Randolph Bray, Bray Productions.

Cameraman's Revenge (1912) Wladyslaw Starewicz.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Scratching the Surface: Norman McLaren

Norman McLaren

This animation was created by Norman McLaren by etching (working directly on the film itself). The musical score takes the place of a traditional dialogue. Notice how the animated is timed to the score. The soundtrack was also manipulated on film. The production was funded by the National Film Board of Canada.

Blinkity Blank (1955)

Ready Set Zoom: Chuck Jones

Chuck Jones' Ready, Set, Zoom the 6th Road Runner cartoon, followed the hugely popular Stop, Look and Hasten, arguably one of the best cartoons of the series. Chuck Jones & Michael Maltese open this episode of the classic cartoon with a highly unusual sight... a stationary Road Runner.

Stop, Look and Hasten (1954)

Ready, Set, Zoom (1955)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

History of Animation: An Introduction

The objective of this blog is to create an understanding of animation:

Identify, evaluate and critique the varieties of animation.
-Identify, evaluate and critique the history of animation.
-Identify, evaluate and critique animation as storytelling devices.
-Develop a new vocabulary of terms related to animation.
-Demonstrate ability to offer informed technical and aesthetic criticisms of the work.

Lets start by watching a few short videos about the History of Animation:

History of Animation -
Part 1

History of Animation - Part II

History of Animation - Part III