Dynamic visualisation and the powers of observation: drawing for animation in the digital age
Abstract: A decline in the skill of observational drawing by students of animation has produced would-be animators generally ill equipped to deal with the dynamics of human motion. Since active, flamboyant human(oid) characters are the mainstay of much contemporary animation, this does not bode well for students who seek work in the field upon graduation.
Enamoured of the power of computers, students typically begin to visualise their animated characters and scenes directly on the computer rather than on paper, in what might arguably be a dynamic and therefore rewarding experience. However, the dynamic “visualisation” afforded by the computer masks an inherent restriction of observational perception and understanding. This has negative outcomes on the quality and scope of the work.
Biographical Statement: Rose Woodcock lectures in Animation & Digital Culture in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. Areas of particular focus are stop motion animation, model making, and special effects. Rose’s approach to teaching emphasises experimentation through an informed exploration of both digital and analogue techniques. Of particular interest is the connection between observation and visual expression of forms in motion.
Rose is currently completing a PhD in experimental stereography. The PhD investigates phenomenology as an approach to understanding the possibilities of “virtual reality” imaging systems. This research is the culmination of a long interest in the “presence” of depicted objects in visual imagery, from high end VR to the humble landscape painting.