(Image of Ward Kimball)
Animation is amazing and has effected each and everyone one of us at some point in our lives, whether you are an animation junkie (like me) or you’re not so into them (which is crazy!), no one is ever to old for a good animation and of course a great story.
From the beginning humans have always found a time, place and need to create, from cave paintings to drawing in the dirt. We have come a long way since then but it is amazing what we are capable of and what is achievable with knowledge and technology. We have many people to thank for the knowledge we have today about human and animal anatomy, how creatures move and of course how to animate.
Animation is much more then simply copying exactly how a creature moves or talks, as often it turns out far too robotic that way, animation involves a lot more imagination for it to be good. For example, Chuck Jones, a genius man behind the pencil who created beloved characters for ‘Looney Tunes’, showed us what animation can do and how far it can stretch with techniques such as Wile E. Coyote’s head staying in the air when he falls off a cliff with his neck stretched to the max. And the technique of blurring an image when a character is moving quickly, instead of having to draw the characters in-between movements, brilliant!
Of course I need to mention Disney’s Nine Old Men who are the spine of animation, they created some of the first and best full length animated films such as ‘Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs’, ‘The Rescuers’ and so on. These guys didn’t have fancy equipment and computers, they drew thousands of images step by step to create the films we all know and love.
Though I have mostly been talking about hand drawn animation, these talented people who started animation with just pencil to paper have shaped and grown animation for all styles for 3D, Stop-Motion and of course 2D.
2D animation is by far my favourite type of animating, and being able to bring a character to life through drawing is breathtaking. Any way that you can draw on a surface and animate it is classed as 2D, such as white board animations. There are also many options on how to animate in 2D now a days thanks to technology, one way is hand drawing straight into a computer by using a graphic tablet.
Classic hand drawn pen to paper animations include Disney’s ‘Dumbo’, Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘Spirited Away’, and so on.
Also known as CGI animations (Computer-generated imagery), is growing immensely popular as almost every animated film coming out is CGI animated. This does not mean that the computer does all the work, oh no, animators work and work on characters that are in a 3D animating program, clicking there mice away, then after hours of rendering, beautiful masterpieces are created such as Disney Pixar’s ‘Brave’, ‘Finding Nemo’ and Dreamworks ‘Rise of the Guardians.’
Stop-Motion is a very creative and fun, yet time consuming (as are all types of animating), way to animate. Stop-motion varies from Claymation such as ‘Wallace and Gromit’, to paper animation such as ‘The Adventures of Prince Achmed’ created by Lotte Reiniger, to anything you can move from place to place while taking images of the process.
Just the other day I read through our blog post, ‘Stop Motion Animation and Ideas‘, which lead me to a Stop-Motion website, ‘iPad Art Room‘, where I watched an amazing Stop-motion animation created by ‘Nepia’, they used tissues to create there film, yes, TISSUES, amazing!
Though most of these animation styles are kept separate, there are some animations that bring these styles together to create beautiful effects within the film. Such as this breath taking short film ‘The Bear & The Hare’ by John Lewis. In this masterpiece they interacted 2D hand drawn animation with Stop-Motion animation, on a 3D model made set, crazy I know but the end result is amazing, check out how they made it here, Creating ‘The Bear & The Hare’.