Monday, December 28, 2009

Planning for stop mo

In 2009 the first year animators showed a real interest for stop motion animation. The interest in animation styles varies from year to year.

The big question was; "How do you plan a stop motion animation?"

I noticed that in the process of discovering the joys of tangibility and sense of touch in creating animation that most of the animators had an idea in their head and animated straight ahead with it. And it worked. To a degree. They just wanted to get their hands dirty and "start animating".

It was a bittersweet scenario for an animation teacher who has the job of teaching 3D animation. It was sweet to see them dive in and imagine, discover and explore. It was bitter to see the concept of planning we were applying to our 3D work be cast aside for something that seemed more immediately satisfying.

It is all part of the evolution of an animator. The misunderstanding that animation happens in front of the lens is a magical dream created by watching beautiful finished work without ever seeing the evolution of it through planning. Eventually animators discover an important truth that good animation doesn't happen inside one's head. Often it remains trapped there. An animator has to find their way to get it out of their head and into the world. And good animation doesn't magically happen in front of the camera. Magic is a term for not fully understanding something. Sorry to be a wet blanket on anyone's Disney dreams. As an animator grows in understanding they realise good animation is crafted in the planning.

Planning an animation roughly on paper is such an important part of the craft for animators studying a course based on animation principles and the foundations of traditional animation skills.

To help illustrate this idea I have found some clips. The Big Story is a short film. It is directed by Oscar nominated, BAFTA winning, MAD magazine artist (pay attention to the cartoon artist use of caricature), film maker David Stoten.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tarboy (2007) - James Lee - QCA graduate

Each year 5 students apply to continue their animation education at a university level at the Queensland College of the Arts, Griffith University. This 6 minute film is the result of some very hard work and excellent planning. There is some sneaky undergrad humour such as lines like " Can't remember the last one." Most of the animators have probably already seen it, but I post it up just in case you haven't yet. Does anyone know what James Lee is doing now?

There is also some short online videos showing Tarboy concept art and the animatic for the short story.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Better Off Undead - Bobby Pontillas AND This One Time... - Nelson Boles

In 2010 the second years will be planning their major project narratives. I wonder if the "undead" will be a featured theme?

This is an interesting planning animation from an Animation Mentor student. At over 2 minutes it is more than twice as long as what will be recommended to build:

A short film made by Bobby Pontillas while at Animation Mentor.

Or there is this by Nelson Boles: