Archive for the Animation technology Category
Abstract:Australian Experimental Animator Neil Taylor’s (1945-) animated gestures repetitively inscribe the surfaces of flipbooks or note pads (Short Lives [1980-90]) and cash register rolls (Roll Film 1990 and Copy Copy 1998) and are often enhanced by ‘machines’ designed to facilitate such activity. These animations are informed by Taylor’s successful wire-based sculptural practice and his 20 years experience of teaching animation to tertiary students. For Taylor ‘the subject of the films was drawing, itself, and how animating over extended periods affects us.’ (Taylor, 1990: 15 in Cantrills Filmnotes).
Biographical Statement: Dirk de Bruyn teaches animation and digital culture at Deakin University. As well as sustaining his own creative experimental animation and multi-screen performance practice for over 25 years he has written about this area in Cantrills Filmnotes and Senses of Cinema. He is committed to documenting, promoting and presenting Australian animation in his teaching practice and national and international forums. More information on his practice and research is available at: http://www.innersense.com.au/mif/debruyn.html.
Illustrated Songs and Song Car-Tunes: Cultural Practices and Sound Technology in Early Talkie Animated Films
Abstract: This paper examines early Fleischer animated sound cartoons in the context of relations between cinema and other cultural practices. These Song-Car-Tunes encouraged audience participation through singing along with “the bouncing ball” and drawing conventions of vaudeville and early cinema exhibition, particularly in their adaptation of the pre-cinematic “song slides” or “illustrated songs.” Although they predated cinema, “illustrated songs” were the primary sound-and-image experience of the nickelodeon era. With standardization of musical accompaniment for films by the early teens, “illustrated songs” became obsolete. This paper proposes that in order to reconcile new technology with traditional exhibition practices, the Fleischer Song Car-Tunes adapted these earlier models of exhibition and reception to the new sound processes, through strategies drawing both on ironic and nostalgic re-workings of past conventions.
Biographical Statement: Mark Langer teaches Film Studies at Carleton University. He is author of The Fleischer Project, forthcoming from University of California Press, and has curated numerous Fleischer programs at venues such as The Museum of Modern Art, Il Giornate del Cinema Muto, the Cinematheque Francaise and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. His essays have been published by Cinema Journal, Film History, Animation History, Screen and others.
Double Take: Rotoscoping and the Processing of Performance
Abstract: In 1915 the Fleischer brothers developed a “rotoscope” which allowed the artist to trace over the original film footage to make more life-like drawings. Rotoscoping’s digital descendent, “Rotoshop” was used to style Richard Linklater’s animations Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly, but whilst rotoscoping may originally have been developed to help animators achieve greater realism, it has never just been about verisimilitude. The paper will consider two questions: What have been the consequences of this digital animation technique for screen performance, and what spectatorial pleasures does this means of storytelling afford its audience?
Biographical Statement: Kim Louise Walden teaches digital culture and discourse in the School of Film, Music and Media, in the Faculty for the Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Hertfordshire, UK. Currently her research interests revolve around the impact of new media on film. To date, she has presented conference papers and published articles addressing the following areas: the impact of computer games on cinema’s action heroines; the changing narrative habitats of film examining film web sites; the first generation of films made for mobile phones and most recently the consequences of digital technologies in animation for screen performance.
Vocalising the Image
Abstract: This paper reflects on the initial voicing of animation’s small worlds both within the framework of its early development and explores the new contexts that technological advances brings to the discourse of sound, vision and the political potential of the auditory. The discussion surveys the vocalising of animation and suggests the potential for exposing the sonic elements of the form to evaluation using means beyond accepted film sound theory. The paper also examines the centrality of the voice in the commercially orientated animated film and forms comparisons with other independent vocalisations of sound in animation outside of the mainstream.
Biographical Statement: I have a background in music, sculpture and animation. My research interests are centred on the sound to image conjunction in the animated form and the exposure of that relationship to exploration and location into my own practice and teaching of animation. The proposed paper will allow further exploration of the function of sound with special regard to the voicing of the form across comparative animated texts. It will permit a deepening of the historiographical contexts of sound whilst informing my own research inquiry, which aims to evolve new understanding of the sonic and visual in animation.
Currently engaged in PhD study at Loughborough University, I am also course leader in Animation at The School of Art and Design at the University of Wolverhampton.
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.
The Spiritual-Functional Animation: A New Paradigm of Animation in the Digital Age
Abstract: This paper uncovers the pursuit of liveliness and reactivity in many traditional media artifacts, especially those invented in ancient China, followed by the juxtaposition of a corpus of generative and interactive form of animation in the digital age. The author argues that the computer should be regarded as the new animatic apparatus constructing different instances of responsive experience for the viewer, and a new notion of animation about the illusion of life based on both lively movement and reactive function has been emerging from the pre-digital era to present day and will be pervading in the near future.
Biographical Statement: Kenny K. N. Chow is a Lecturer in the School of Design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Digital Media at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received an M.F.A. degree from the City University of Hong Kong in 2007 and an M.Sc. degree from the University of Hong Kong in 2002. His research interests are interactive narrative, generative art, film and animation, including latest publications in Leonardo and Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Besides, he has extensive practical experience in graphic design, animation, and film production. He is also an independent filmmaker.
“Legitimate Peripheral Participation”: Mitigating Digital Change in Traditional 2D Animation Production
Abstract: The period between 1994 and 2004 was a time of transition for the TV animation community. The introduction of digital tools caused irreversible changes to long-established 2D animation production pipelines. These new digital pipelines altered the time-honoured traditional roles of “old timers” (senior artists) and “new comers” (junior artists). This paper uses Lave and Wegner’s concept of “legitimate peripheral participation” and Basil Bernstein’s ideas on “trainability” and “recontextualization” to discuss the challenges experienced by a community of practice in flux. It analyses and evaluates the crisis during this period of time and describes the animation artists passage from resenting change to directing change within their industry.
Biographical Statement: Tony Tarantini is a 20-year veteran of the animation industry. As an artist, he has contributed to a number of animated TV series and features including Babar the Elephant, Pippi Longtockings, Rupert the Bear, Franklin the Turtle, American Tail, George Shrinks and Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus. In addition, Tony has worked extensively in curriculum design and development and in an instructional capacity at Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. At present, he teaches an animation production course in the Bachelor of Applied Arts in Animation. This paper contributes to his ongoing research into the future of animation production.
Gertie Meets Gertie: from animated film to entertainment robot
Abstract: In 1914, Winsor McCay’s Gertie the dinosaur transformed from a sketched character that was part of McCay’s vaudeville “chalk talk”, to become the star of one of the first character-driven animated films. In 2006, Ugobe robotics “gave birth” to their own dinosaur (with the generic name “Pleo”), but this one is a robot that relies on evolving behaviours and emotions. Using my own Pleo (who I have named Gertie after her predecessor) in this paper I will explore the logic that’s in operation when generating and interacting with these animating technologies. Walt Disney’s creation of audio-animatronics will be considered as a bridge that connects these animation media.
Biographical Statement: Angela Ndalianis is Head of Cinema Studies at Melbourne University. Her research focuses on entertainment culture, media histories and the cross-media collisions of films, computer games, television, comic books and theme parks. Her publications include Neo-Baroque Aesthetics and Contemporary Entertainment (MIT Press 2004) and The Contemporary Comic Book Superhero (editor, Routledge 2008), and numerous essays in journals and anthologies. She is currently completing the book Spectopolis: Theme Park Cultures, which looks at the theme parks and their influences, and is researching a new book about robots in the entertainment industry. She is editor of Refractory: a Journal of Entertainment Media and associate editor of Animation: an Interdisciplinary Journal.