Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Eastern and Western Animation

This lecture comparing western animation such as Pixar and Disney with Eastern anime such as Studio Ghibli mainly just inspired me to do more research on different types of animation. I also learnt that we should't always treat things with the newest technology as better than old, for the best art forms re-interpret the past to make something in their own form.  Whilst looking online I found an article about the animation Oscar shortlist. The list includes several clips you might already have seen like the short that was before Toy Story 3 called 'Day and Night'.

      There are some good clips on the page but my favourite one of all was "The Silence Beneath the Bark" directed by Joanna Lurie, (Lardux Films).

I really love the simple story going on between the characters who are exploring some snowcovered woods and just messing about with each other. The style is amazing with layers of colour and texture overlapping with sometimes whole areas of blank that make you really concentrate on certain parts of the screen. I really want to see the whole film.

Just as good but in a different 3D CGI style is "I Lived On The Moon" animated by Yannick Puig and music by Kwoon. 

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Another Suzie Templeton Film

This was her graduation film, released in 2001.

Other character creation people might find this bit of her website useful as well as it shows some of the designs and sketches for her work.


The main bit of this lecture was about freedom in animation with the example of "Duck Amuck" showing how the animator and character interact without constraints. An animated film I really like is Peter and the Wolf (2006) directed by Suzie Templeton.
  It is a modernised version of the classic tale set in Russia with the music Sergei Prokofiev wrote for the story in 1936 made in stop motion. The sets in this film are amazing, they built a 70 ft forest with 1700 trees in it so the scale of the forest seems real.
Building the set
The finished forest

       In the seminar we talked about the Fleischer Brothers film "Snow White" and the singer Cab Calloway's part in it. The animators used rotoscoping to translate his movements while singing and dancing into a an animated character. Translating the movements this way mean that the cartoon, although different in image to the real Cab Calloway, is still easily recognisable as him. 
Above:In the cartoon
Below:The real Calloway
A great skill in character creation comes in being able to transfer something real being demonstrated e.g emotion, expression, movement, into whatever you are creating e.g. mask, model, sketch. If you can convey this then the audience will really believe and connect with the character. 


Violence in the Media

This lecture was about the role of violence in games,film, and other media.  The thing I found most interesting in this lecture and seminar was the link between how the sounds of violence often affect you more than the sight of it eg. sounds of bones cracking, skin tearing etc. Listening to a radio play called "A Child Crying" was all about how a man hearing a child crying constantly in his head drove him mad.

  Sound effects in films emphasise the action that is taking place. The most famous sound effect is probably "The Wilhelm Scream" which was first shown in the Warner Bros film "Distant Drums"and has been shown in over 250 films and some video games. This is a compilation of some of the instances the scream has been used:

Sounds help create a sense of reality within a scene and by mixing sounds the effect can be made even more so. For example the sound of someone being shot in a film may be made up of 3 sounds: a pig carcass being shot, a melon being cracked, and a hammer hitting some wood. Individually the sounds may not have sounded at all effective but together they make the scene believable. Furthermore in real life people may not know the real sound of a bullet hitting a person but even so can recognise the sound of one in a film.