Archive for the Paper topics Category
Contexts for Caricaturing: the spectrum of expressing
Abstract: What guarantees that an animated expression will be “read” correctly? What standards about the degrees of caricature guide both the animator and audience? This paper explores conventions from caricature and animated films: 19th-Cenury “big-head” portrait charge cartoons; the near-faceless doll heads of puppet animation; the Disney standards; the simplified heads of independent animators; the steady evolution of CGI “heads.”
As context, I will review systems of facial depiction: facial recognition software; nonverbal signage; symbols for autistic education; a training manual for carnival caricaturists; and the homunculus, which visually registers sensory and emotional extremes.
I propose to survey these possible ranges for both minimal and “over-cooked” expressive caricature, hoping to discover universal principles across animators and traditions.
Biographical Statement: Since 1979, I have been a Professor in Liberal Arts at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, teaching animation history and analysis, film history, writing, media analysis, history of jazz, and ethics and aesthetics. From 1978 to 1999, I was also a freelance writer and critic, primarily for City Pages alternative weekly, where I interviewed, among others, Chuck Jones, Robert Breer, Osamu Tezuka, Paul Fierlinger, Andreas Deja, Glen Keane, Bill Plympton, and Sally Cruikshank. I am especially interested in cross-pollinations of media, arts and cultures — in keeping animation understood within the wider contexts of other art forms or historical developments.
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.
Towards a Forensics Theory of Animation
Abstract: This paper proposes a forensics theory of animation. It will consider firstly how animation has been extensively used as model and simulation of invisible or past events. Secondly, it will consider how animation can be used to directly cogitate and analyze the world.
This paper will draw upon concepts of process philosophy, animation theory, cognitive science, forensics science, and documentary film theory. It will also feature a number of relevant animated films including some of the author’s own experimental animations which seek to forensically investigate aspects of the actual world.
Biographical Statement: Dan Torre, an American-born animator, researcher and university lecturer, currently resides and teaches in Australia. He has been lecturing in animation at universities in Australia for the past seven years, currently at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. He has been researching and writing on animation history and theory for a number years, presenting papers at a number of academic conferences in recent years, including two SAS conferences. His primary research interests are animation theory, Australian animation history, the animated documentary and process philosophy. The current proposed paper draws from his PhD thesis and current research.
Splash Pages and Freeze Rays:Stasis and Speed in Superhero Media
Abstract: All sequential art creates the impression of animated spaces using only still images, but superhero comics have further developed their own hyperbolic mechanisms to show motion. I will explore what formal effects superhero narratives have on sequential art, and how the peculiar spatial and temporal aspects of the medium best represent the impossible abilities. I will explore the conceptual cues designed to illustrate super-speed on the comic book page, as well as how recent animated and live-action superhero narratives must replace motion created in the non-space of the “gutter” with new narrative conventions and special effects.
Biographical Statement: Martyn Pedler is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Melbourne, currently completing his interdisciplinary thesis on superhero narratives. Since receiving his Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne in 2003, his work on the transmedia incarnations of superheroes has been published in The Contemporary Comic Book Superhero (2008), Overland journal (2008), and the forthcoming Visual Crossover: Reading Graphic Narrative and Sequential Art. He has published widely as an arts critic, providing material for Senses of Cinema, The Australian Ballet, Madman DVD’s “Directors Suite” releases, and Lounge Critic: The Couch Theorist’s Companion (2004).
Manuel Moreno: Animator/Director at Universal, 1929-1937
Abstract: The Universal cartoon studio, headed by Walter Lantz, employed the most significant Mexican-American animation artist of the 1930s: Manuel Moreno. He was chosen to be Walter Lantz’s own assistant director and then, by the mid-1930s, he became the director of the Meany, Miny, Moe cartoon series. He redesigned Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in 1936 and remained a figure of great creative authority at the studio, rising in stature alongside Tex Avery, yet Moreno’s contributions remain largely overlooked today.
Biographical Statement: Tom Klein is on the faculty at Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television, in Los Angeles, as an assistant professor teaching Animation. He catalogued the Walter Lantz studio archive while a graduate student at UCLA, and has since presented and published numerous articles on the Universal/Lantz cartoons. He has been a consultant to Universal Cartoon Studios and served as an Animation Director for many years at Vivendi-Universal Games.
From Toy to Foil : Tex Avery’s Female Characters
Abstract: Tex Avery’s distinctive style in storytelling and humor, with its relation to freak shows and burlesque cinema, played with the notions of Disney aesthetics and Hollywood conformism. This is seen in his representation of female characters (and femininity itself). The Saloon Girl in the fairy-tale wartime cartoons, is the only anthropomorphic character in these freak shows, and as such stands as a cornerstone in Avery’s comic language and discourse. However, she can be already traced back in his early cartoons; and she can be “unveiled” under the disguise of tamer female characters in his post-war films.
Avery matches the evolution of American society, and adapts to the changing parameters of censorship. As it is, such representation of femininity may be perceived as one view of America’s coping with gender and taboos in the years 1935-1955.
Biographical Statement: Pierre Floquet teaches English and is associate professor at ENSEIRB, Bordeaux University. He wrote his PhD thesis in 1996 on linguistics applied to cinema, focusing on Tex Avery’s comic language. Since then, he has organized several Avery retrospectives and conferences at the Annecy Festival, France (1998), in Italy (1998, 1999), Norway (2001), Morocco, Trinidad, and the Netherlands (2008). He has been a juror at festivals in France and abroad. He has also widened his interests to live-action cinema, participating in books and journals in Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain and the United States. He edited a book called CinémAnimationS (March 2007).
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.
Kinesic constructions: an aesthetic analysis of movement and performance in 3D animation
Abstract: The issue of movement is central to any discussion of the nature of animation. This paper will neglect abstract movement, focusing on performance in narrative animation and considering this concept in animation films expressed in the kinesic performance of the character(s). The analysis will focus on 3D digital animation, specifically Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and Final Fantasy VII Advent Children. The paper will draw on the work of Gunther Kress and Theo van Leeuwen, utilizing their lexicon for reading images, considering the appropriateness of their use for the moving image in general and the animated moving image in particular.
Biographical Statement: I am presently completing a PhD in Film Studies focusing on animation theory. My interest lies in understanding the nature of animation as and in film and how this is aesthetically interpreted. My focus is on narrative animation and the various forms and styles that can be applied to this type of animation. The analysis in this paper uses the work of Kress and van Leeuwen. Their work, discussing two and three dimensional imagery, is central to my thesis.
Balancing user driven pacing and narrative control in Animated Graphic Novels
Abstract: How can the auteur evaluate the importance of narrative purity versus the experiential benefits of interactive viewer experiences?
Utilizing a case study of Maintenance (currently in production), this paper investigates methods for evaluating and balancing the issues of narrative pacing and audience empowerment in the medium of interactive graphic novella animation. The project documentation explains the author’s method for gathering user pace-preference indicators, used to adapt the animated experience for customized delivery, while maintaining narrative direction and plot. The method addresses and attempts to negotiate the imperfect balance of narrative pacing preference between creator and viewer.
Biographical Statement: Andrew Buchanan is an award-winning animator, digital artist and educator. His previous productions include explorations into the space between 2D and 3D animation, and his research areas include facial animation and user response. He is fascinated by the idea of paper-craft in animation, and is the creator of Looking for Joe, a pop-up-book style animation. Andrew is currently teaching in the UAE, and working on independent productions, with on-going digital art exhibitions in his native Australia.
Note:Andrew will not be coming to the conference because of problems with funding.
Musical Time with Moving Type
Abstract: Moving type, also known as kinetic type or motion graphics, involves graphic design principles applied in time and usually seen as animations of text, alpha-numeric characters and graphics. Principles of temporal design, well understood in music, are often applied in motion graphics to ensure that time passes dynamically. These principles support a variety of animated expressions. This presentation will outline the principles, illustrating them with various animated examples, from web-based banner ads, to main titles for television and film, to the growing discipline of electronic poetry.
Biographical Statement: Brian Evans is a digital artist and composer. For over twenty years he has been experimenting with the integration of image and sound. His artwork and music animations are exhibited and screened internationally. He also publishes and presents extensively on the theory and practice of abstract animation (visual music). Evans holds a DMA from the University of Illinois and an MFA from CalArts. He teaches the digital media and design at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.