2D and Stop Motion animation TASK3 – Animated Alphabet

First Stop Motion animation ‘Angel kiss’:

 

 

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2D and Stop Motion animation TASK2 – Animated Alphabet

0Idea of a letter

For the animated alphabet I got an “X” letter. It was kinda difficult for me to find a word starting with an “x”. However, I thought that “x” could represent a kiss, which was used even in Middle Ages.
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The first written treatment of the animation:

Everything is happening in a starry background with a moon. In the first second, flowers appear from the sides.

At the second second, flowers start moving around which could be compared to “bells”, inviting the angel. As they are moving it also releases some starts into the sky for more interesting effect.

At the third second, an angel flies form the edge of the scenery across the moon.

At the fourth second, the angel is closer to the camera, we can see her from the profile angle. She raises her hand near her face and then blows a kiss

At the fifth second an “x” letter, which is represented as a kiss, flies towards the centre of the screen, getting bigger.

Storyboard:

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Changes:

-The animation will be black and white and drawn
-No flowers

Written treatment for alternate animation:

A little drop appears on the screen and flies around to the centre. In the centre it becomes a little angel. Then the angel get blows a kiss which appears as an x.

Soundtrack:

The soundtrack was made with garage band using a piano and bell instruments. The link to the audio:
https://soundcloud.com/user-84917705/alphabet-animation-audio

Sketches:

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2D and Stop Motion animation TASK4 – Sense of Hope

Evaluation

The animation creation

The character

To create the character I was using Adobe Illustrator and was using only pen tool. I’ve created different parts of body separately (hair, eyes, head, etc.) :

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It wasn’t easy drawing with a mouse using Illustrator. I thought Photoshop was easier to draw with and I also could add more shading and detail to my drawings. However, I think assets created with Photoshop have worse quality compared to Illustrator. For example, when I uploaded clouds created with Photoshop into Adobe Animate they were blurry and low quality, which is why I chose Illustrator.
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I created small bits of hair separately to make it move as she walks.  At first it was a bit hard to get her body proportion right – the dress was too wide or too small.

This is the the final look:Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 15.39.09.png

As we can see her dress is way lighter and matches the eye colour. I removed the stroke around some objects, because it made them too stand out too much.
The character is way less detailed than in the drawings because it was hard to do that using Illustrator.

Here are different expressions of her:

 

There are back and side angles too:

I didn’t have to draw the hair each time. I’ve got a layer of hair copy and pasted to create different looking hair.

To create the body I didn’t draw the whole of it. I only added legs which made it look like there is a whole body:

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Different angles and emotions of a standing character:

Silhouettes

These are the two people the girl was walking with:

Birds

There is also a scene of birds flying. I’ve also created them using Illustrator.

bird creation

 

Creating the scenes

At first. using Photoshop I drew the scenery with a brush.

background

It looked a little bit plain so I added some pictures with low opacity and erased some bits I didn’t want to see. This gave more detail:

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For each scene I was drawing a different drawing. Eventually, the weather became worse and worse so I added extra clouds and made the colours darker.

This is how I created the landscapes. The background layer is my drawing and each other different layer is a picture of something:

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Here are my all landscape scenes:

 

Animating

To animate I’ve used Adobe Animate. First of all, I would take the object I created in Illustrator and put it in Adobe Animate.

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This is a picture of animating the birds. I created two copies of them and used a bone tool to make their wings and bodies move. To use the bone tool, each part of the body I had to convert to a symbol and name it differently. I made the rotation centre in the middle of the body.

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This is a picture of animating the first scene of landscape. I’ve added the clouds and using motion tween I made them to move slowly to the right side. I made a transparent circle become bigger and smaller around the sun to make it look as if it was shining. Also I’ve made little circles move back and forth on the water to make it looks as if it was sparkling.

I’ve basically used the same method to all my scenes- using the motion tween made the symbols bigger and smaller, making them move different directions and etc.

In my opinion my animating method was limited and I couldn’t do more complicated animation. I found After Effects quite complicated at first, and there wasn’t enough time for me to learn it better so I chose Adobe Animate. With Adobe Animate I also didn’t know much things, just the basic stuff. I think if I had more knowledge with these programs I could have created a better animation.

Editing:

To edit the animation I used iMovie. I’ve created about 42 different scenes. After saving each other separately from Adobe Animate, I’ve moved them to iMovie. On each scene I applied a transform effect. There are fade in/out effects, slide in/out, etc.

Subtitles were also applied using this program. I think I should have done the subtitles a bit more visible and bold, because now it is kinda hard to read. Also, the subtitles are a bit too fast to read, but because there was a 1:30 time limit, I had to make it faster.

I tried to make the amount of scenes as less as possible, so there would be more time for reading, but I feel like if I deleted even more it would be even harder to catch the plot meaning or get involved into the animation.

Feedback from peers

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Most of the people said that the colours reflect the atmosphere and emotion, although it could be improved.

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The answers for this one are very different, some said that it was too fast or too slow. Other people said it was perfect.

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The same amount of people said that the amount of effects was perfect and that there could be added more.

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Almost half of the group said that the character was perfectly made, and others said that there could be added more detail to character or colours could be improved.

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The bigger part of the group said that the backgrounds we nicely drawn and others said that the art style of them could be improved.

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According to this the music perfectly reflected atmosphere, although for some people it wasn’t appealing. Also most of the people understood the storyline.

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According to responses, most of the people understood the storyline.

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According to answers I could have added a walk cycle and leg/arm movements. Also the subtitles could be more visible.

2D and Stop Motion animation TASK2 – Sense of Hope

Written treatment for “Sense of Hope”

A scene of a beautiful sunny landscape. Clouds are moving slowly and a lake is shining. There are hills and mountains at the back.”what a wonderful day”

Birds are flying. ” it’s so shiny and calm”

The girl is walking towards camera. ” I am so happy to be there, especially with people that I love”

Two silhouettes are walking at the front. “What could be better than being with people that mean everything to you?”

Two silhouettes are closer. One of them turns at the camera. “Hurry, there’s not enough time”

The girl lifts her hand. “Don’t worry, I am coming”

The girl looks down. “Eh?”

The camera is at the girl’s feet and a flower.

The girl picks up the flower.

She holds it in her hands. “This is the most beautiful flower I’ve ever seen. Why there is just one flower in these fields?”

The girl turns and notices that her people are further away. “What? Why aren’t they waiting?”

The girl throws the flower away. “Why are they always rushing somewhere?”

She runs towards them. “Hey! Wait for me!”

The girl is thinking. “I need to catch them up”

The clouds are flying and the sun is hiding underneath them. “It is getting pretty cloudy all of a sudden.”

The girl is standing and the wind is blowing. “And it’s getting so windy and cold”

The girl is walking to the right. “How can weather change so much that fast?”

Two silhouettes are even further away. “They are going away. Did they forget about me?

The girl starts running. “Hey! Do you hear me?”

There are more clouds coming to the sky.

The wind is getting harder.

People are slowly disappearing.

A scene with trees and grass swinging because of heavy wind.

A scene with mountain and a rough lake with fast flying clouds.

It starts raining.

The girl is still trying to catch them up. “Please, wait for me. Why are you leaving?”

A scene with an empty road. “They disappeared..”

Girl is looking at the side. “They left me alone when it became so cold and harsh.”

Scene with an empty road. “I will have to go this road alone. I have no other choice.”

The girl is walking on the road. “It’s so cold and tired. I don’t know how long it will take till I reach the end of the road.”

The camera is from a side, showing the walking girl. “I don’t even know where I am going. I just follow the path. Maybe it’s endless”

The camera is from a front, showing the walking girl. “Am I even going the right way? Maybe it’s not even the right direction?”

The camera is at the girl. “I’m so lost. So alone.”

The camera is at the road and the girl. “This road leads to emptiness.”

The camera is at the empty road again. “Is there a reason of following it? Or existing?

The road and background is getting darker. “It is getting only darker and colder”

The camera is at the girl. “Why? Why did they disappear?”

The camera is at the back. There is a black background. “Did they see the storm coming and left? Or the storm came because my precious ones have disappeared?”

The camera is at the girl’s face. “Now it’s a complete darkness. I can’t move. I can’t see where to go”

The wind is blowing and the girl is standing in the middle, crying.

The camera is closer and the girl is hiding her face with her palms. “I can’t take this anymore”

A black scene. “I can’t..”

A subtle light in the middle of black scene comes up. “Eh? What is that?”

The camera is at the girl’s face. “Light?”

The light is getting bigger. “There is a light in this darkness and it’s only getting bigger.”

The camera is at the happy girl’s face. “Will I finally escape?!”

The girl is moving towards the light. “I will finally escape this darkness and these feelings”

The girl is running towards camera. “I will finally live in the light again!”

The girl stops. “Eh? Wait..”

The girl is facing a light which is on a vehicle silhouette. “This isn’t an ordinary light”

The girl is standing on a train track facing a coming light in front of her. “This is a light of a train”

The camera is close at the girl facing the train. “And it’s quickly coming towards me”

The camera is close the girl’s eyes and the flower she picked up earlier is falling down from the sky.

As the flower falls down, she closes her eyes.

White scene.

Explanation

The road is like a representation of life. Every person since born has to follow a long path of life. It can be full of difficulties and storms, but it also can be beautiful.

The girl is going with the people she loves. The beautiful weather shows that she is happy and that everything is good in life.

The only flower in the fields represent something beautiful and unusual. In real life sometimes we encounter something so beautiful that we get fascinated by it and lose our minds. We dissociate from reality, drowning in our own dreams. After waking up we realise that it is not the same anymore.

Two silhouettes are slowly going further away, which in real life we start losing a connection between people.

The weather is becoming worse, which show that the difficulties appear in life. It’s getting colder and harder to live, when people you adore are slowly leaving you alone.

Finally those people disappear in the horizon. The girl feels that she’s wanted by nobody. It becomes really hard following the path of life alone. There is no-one to support you, no-one to help you to find the right direction. The storm shows the everything is becoming wrong in life.

The girl is starting to lose a will to live. The road feels endless, leading to nowhere. What is the point of living? We follow this road our whole life, but at the end, what is waiting?

The storm is becoming bigger and bigger. The girl’s depression is growing. Finally, complete darkness. No point in living, no hopes and expectations. It feels like you are a dead person living in this world.

But finally, a glimpse of light. Hope. It feels like you are finally going to be saved, that life has brought something beautiful. You think that this suffering is finally going to end.

You are happy running towards the hope with your hands wide open. However, it’s nothing there. You expected a rescuer, something which could save you from having these dark thoughts. But there was an another misfortune or disaster coming, which is represented as a train.

Preparatory and development work for “Sense of Hope”

Storyboard

This is a storyboard for my animation. Because the animation with all the scenes would be too long, I had to remove some of them.

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Animation assets

Characters

This is my main character for the animation.

At first I was drawing quite a lot of details on the face:

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She doesn’t look like a normal human here, more like a mystical creature. I wanted her to look different: pale skin, very light eyes and hair. Dark circles under the eyes would give more depth into her gaze. It also could show that she has been through a lot of things in her life. The cross necklace in first picture could have symbolised hope (however, as I was doing the animation the necklace disappeared from my mind).

I realised that when doing the animation I won’t be able to draw so many details because of the lack of time. I tried to reduce the details and make it more simple:

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As we can see there is less detail on her eyes. I personally preferred the first version better, she looked more interesting and unique for me. However, since I didn’t have much time and enough skills to transfer everything to a computer and animate it, I sticked with this version. Here I’ve also adde some colour. I wanted her hair and eyes to be more white, but it would be harder to see it in the animation so I chose more visible colours.

There are also two weird looking silhouettes in the animation. They are like shadows and don’t have much detail, so they could be interpreted by anyone in their own way. Also, they look kinda “bad” or “evil”. These silhouettes are made a bit evil-ish to highlight the fact that they leave this girl alone by herself later.

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Scenes

The action is happening in a mysterious place that no one knows where it is. It’s like an island or abandoned land. The scenery is quite relaxing and calming. Eventually, the scenery gets more harsh.

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Sountrack and music

The soundtrackhttps://soundcloud.com/user-84917705/music-for-sense-of-hope-1

To create music for this animation I was using garage band.
First I uploaded a track of forest sounds. Then I played the music keyboard to create a melody.

Settings for the piano:

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Creating the music:

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At the end I’ve added some thunder and rain sounds to connect to the animation and atmosphere of it. I’ve also changed some settings of fading in and out:

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The music mood:

At first the melody is kinda cheerful and happy. Then the music becomes a bit slower and gets into the gloomy mood. For example, the sounds in 0:33 show that the girl was feeling  cheerful but got the realisation of being left out, which represent her feelings of getting lost and scared. Then the thunder and raining sounds come up, which show how she feels. After the sad part at 1:07 there are uplifting sounds again which represent hope. At this time she expects for something to happen. However, the hope wasn’t real and the music ends up with sad, “down-going” sounds, which represent disappearance and the vanishing.

 

 

 

 

2D and Stop Motion Animation TASK 1

Everything for task 1 and all research things (hope, animation, timelines and etc.) will be on this post

Research and Planning

Research on Hope

Vocabulary definition of Hope:
a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.
Synonyms: aspiration, desire, wish, expectation, ambition, aim, plan, dream, daydream, longing.
Opposites: dejection, hopelessness, despair.

Almost all major philosophers acknowledge that hope plays an important role in regard to human motivation, religious belief or politics. Historically, evaluations of hope change together with the prevailing view of the relationship between human action and the future.

Ancient thoughts of Hope

In early Greek thought, hope is often seen as an attitude of those who have insufficient knowledge or are easily swayed by wishful thinking. It has a primarily negative reputation. In the dialogues of Thucydides, it is similarly noted that those who hope typically have a poor understanding of their situation, fail to come up with good plans, and things go badly for them in war.

A slightly more nuanced perspective is often seen to be reflected in Hesiod’s version of the tale of Pandora.

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Short summary of the story:

In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first human woman created by the gods. As Hesiod related it, each god helped create her by giving her unique gifts. Zeus ordered Hephaestus to mold her out of earth as part of the punishment of humanity for Prometheus’ theft of the secret of fire, and all the gods joined in offering her “seductive gifts”. According to the myth, Pandora opened a jar, in modern accounts sometimes mistranslated as “Pandora’s box”, releasing all the evils of humanity, leaving only Hope inside once she had closed it again.

It must be noted, however, that there are many competing interpretations of why Hope remained in the jar. Was it to keep hope available for humans or, rather, to keep hope from man?

Hope can be looked in a good and bad way:
“a comfort to man in his misery and a stimulus rousing his activity”  or
“idle hope in which the lazy man indulges when he should be working honestly for his living”

These different interpretations of Pandora’s myth are taken up throughout the history of Philosophy.

Greek philosopher Plato also adopts a rather negative attitude towards hope 
by recounting a myth according to which the divine beings give us “those mindless advisers confidence and fear, (…) and gullible hope”. In the “Philebus”, by contrast, he seems to also allow for a more favorable view of the role of hope in human life. The relevant discussion of hope takes place in the context of an argument about “false pleasures”.
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Christian authors on hope

Christian philosophers such as Augustine and Thomas Aquinas analyse hope as one of the most central virtues of a believer and that Hope is a part of rational faith. Saint Paul states that we can only hope for what is uncertain. Nevertheless, such hope can be the product of the experience of suffering. He also emphasises the way in which hope goes beyond the evidence.

Augustine of Hippo discusses hope systematically in chapter two of his Enchiridion on Faith, Hope and Love.
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Hope is there distinguished from faith. First, hope is necessarily directed to future events, whereas faith can also relate to past events (such as Christ’s resurrection).Second, hope only relates to what is good for the hopeful person, whereas faith can also relate to what is bad (such as punishment for one’s sins).

The hope for a life after death also plays an important role in Augustine’s political philosophy. Augustine finally emphasises that the hope for a future life underlies all true human happiness.

Hope in 17th and 18th century philosophy

In 17th and 18th-century philosophy, hope is discussed by most philosophers as a part of their general theories of motivation and cognition and often discussed as a “passion”. Emotions and desires together are classified as passions that generate action, of which hope is one of them. Hope is seen by most philosophers in this period as a motivating factor in human agency. 

According to René Descartes, hope is a weaker form of confidence and consists in a desire (a representation of an outcome to be both good for us and possible) together with a disposition to think of it as likely but not certain. This means that hope and anxiety always accompany each other. Hope also underlies the more complex passions of boldness and courage.

Thomas Hobbes adopts a similar analysis.
For him, hope is a complex passion or a “pleasure of the mind”, a pleasure that arises not from direct sensation but from thinking.

Spinoza, however, understands hope as fundamentally irrational. He argues that it must be the result of false belief inasmuch as it does not correctly represent that everything is governed by necessity. Additionally, in the Ethics, Spinoza describes hope as one of the causes of superstition, especially as it is always accompanied by fear.

From this research we can learn different attitudes towards Hope:

1. It can have a negative reputation, because people doesn’t understand their situation and are too lazy to change something, which is why they hope for something to happen.
2. Hope can be gullible. People can get easily persuaded to believe something (false hope).
3. Hope can be a product of the experience of suffering.
4. We can only hope for what is uncertain.
5. Hope is distinguished from faith.
6. Hope can be seen as motivating factor.
7. Hope and anxiety might accompany each other.
8. Hope can also be a passion of boldness and courage. When people hope for something they can become more courageous.
9. Hope can be a “pleasure of the mind”. People help themselves feel better when hoping for something good to happen.
10. Hope can be accompanied by fear.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/hope/

References that are informed by Hope

Grave of the Fireflies

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Release date: 1988
Director: Isao Takahata 
Story by: Akiyuki Nosaka

This story is about a teenager charged with a care of his younger sister. The action is happening after an American firebombing during World War II, which separates these two children from their parents. This is a tale of survival and represents the struggles of this period of time. These siblings must rely completely on each other in order to survive and stay alive.
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In this tale we can see hope to find food and a place to sleep, hope to survive and find your parents, or at least hope them to be alive.
Hope keeps them on going. Without hope they would have probably given up and just waited to die.
However, as mentioned before, sometimes hoping on something doesn’t always mean it is possible. Sadly, at the end the little sister didn’t survive. There was nothing her brother could do, but at least he knew he done everything, which makes him feel better. If he gave up, he would grieve himself that it was his fault his sister died.
This tale shows that hope can keep us on going and gives us strength, even if it is just a tiny possibility that a certain thing will happen.
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Investigating 2D animation

Animation – the process of making the illusion of motion and the illusion of change by means of the rapid display of a sequence of images that minimally differ from each other.

Animation history timeline

Paleolithic cave paintings

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Animals were often represented with multiple legs in superimposed positions. It has been claimed that the flickering light of flames can induce an illusion of motion in these paintings.

There are other early examples of animation, but it is not sure if those were meant to be animation because of a very low frame rate. However, the practise of illustrating movement over time provided a development towards animation art.

Here are some examples:

3,000BC
5,200-year old pottery bowl discovered in Shahr-e Sukhteh, Iran. The bowl has five sequential images painted around it that show phases of a goat leaping up to nip at a tree:

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An Egyptian mural approximately 4000 years old, found in the tomb of Khnumhotep at the Beni Hassan cemetery, features a very long series of images that apparently depict the sequence of events in a wrestling match.

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1500AD
Vitruvian Man
Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man drawing shows
multiple angles, implying movement.

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Animation Before Film
1600-1877

With the spread of the Industrial Revolution in Europe and North America in the 18th and 19th centuries came experimentation with machines that would make images appear to move.

1603
Magic Lantern
The Magic Lantern is an image projector using pictures on sheets of glass. Since some sheets contain moving parts, it is considered the first example of projected animation.
Christiaan Huygens sketches for magic lantern slides have been dated to that year and are the oldest known document concerning the magic lantern.

Technique:
Parts (for instance limbs, hands, etc.) painted on one or more extra pieces of glass moved by hand or small mechanisms across a stationary slide which showed the rest of the picture.[

The Magic Lantern:
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Christiaan Huygens sketches (1659):
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1824
Thaumatorpe

The thaumatrope housed a rotating mechanism with a different picture on each side.
When rotated, you saw a combined picture (known as persistence of vision).
It is a small disk with different pictures on each side and is attached to two pieces of string.

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1831
Phenakistoscope

The phenakistoscope featured spinning disks reflected in mirrors that
made it seem like the pictures were moving. It was invented in 1831, by the Belgian Joseph Plateau and the Austrian Simon von Stampfer.
Technique:  It is made of a disk with a series of images, drawn on radii evenly spaced around the center of the disk. Slots are cut out of the disk on the same radii as the drawings, but at a different distance from the center. The device would be placed in front of a mirror and spun.
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1834
Zoetrope

The zoetrope was a hollow drum that housed images on long interchangeable
strips that spin and made the images appear to move. It was invented by William George Horner.

Technique:  It is a cylindrical spinning device with several frames of animation printed on a paper strip placed around the interior circumference. As the cylinder spins, the viewer looks through vertical slits around the sides to view the moving images.

Zoetrope’s technique is similar to Phenakistoscope’s.  Zoetrope’s advantages are that it can be viewed by several people at once, and it doesn’t require a mirror. 

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1868
Flipbook

The flip-book, also known as the kineograph, reached a wide audience and is credited
with inspiring early animators more than the machines developed in this era.
The first flip book was painted by John Barnes Linnett.

A flip book is a small book with pages, each having one in a series of animation images located near its unbound edge. The user with a thumb then flips all pages.

The first flip book:
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1877
Movieola/Praxinoscope

The praxinoscope expanded on the zoetrope, using multiple wheels to rotate images.
It is considered to have shown the first prototypes of the animated cartoon. The first animated projection on a screen was by Charles-Émile Reynaud. He projected the first animation in public, Pauvre Pierrot.

Praxinoscope:

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“Pauvre Pierrot”:

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The Silent Era
1900-1930

The early 20th century marks the beginning of theatrical showings of cartoons. Many animators form studios, with Bray Studios in New York proving the most successful of this era. Bray helped launch the careers of the cartoonists that created Mighty Mouse, Betty Boop, and Woody Woodpecker.
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1906
This year was created the first entirely animated film, using stop-motion photography to create action. It is called “Humorous Phases of Funny Faces“.

Length: 3minutes
Directed by: James Stuart Blackton

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1908
This year was created the first animated film using hand-drawn animation, and is considered to be the first animated cartoon. It is called “Fantasmagorie“.
Directed by: Émile Cohl.

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1907-1911
Katsudō Shashin
, sometimes called the Matsumoto fragment, is a Japanese animated filmstrip that is the oldest known work of animation from Japan. The film lasts three seconds at sixteen frames per second.
Creator unknown
Unlike in traditional animation, the frames were not produced by photographing the images, but rather were impressed onto film using a stencil.

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1914
Gertie the Dinosaur is an animated short film which is is the earliest animated film to feature a dinosaur (an appealing character).

Directed by: Winsor McCay
Hand drawn animation

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1915
Rotoscoping invented by Max and Dave Fleischer. Rotoscope means to transfer (an image from live action film) into another film sequence using a rotoscope.

Rotoscope:

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The artist is drawing on a transparent easel, onto which the movie projector at the right is beaming an image of a single movie frame.

Released animated classics:

Betty Boop (on image we can see the caricature and the real human Helen Kale)

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Popeye the Sailor Man

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Ko-Ko the Clown

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Superman

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1919
Musical Mews and Feline Follies introduced Felix the Cat—often considered the first animated movie star.

Created by: Pat Sullivan, Otto Messmer.

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1928
Steamboat Willie
featuring Mickey Mouse—becomes the first cartoon with the sound printed on the film,
and is the first notable success for Walt Disney Studios. It was the first cartoon that included a fully post-produced soundtrack, featuring voice and sound effects printed on the film. 

Creators: Walt Disney, Ub Iwerks.

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Original sketch and storyboard for Steamboat Willie:

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1930-1950

The Golden Age of American Animation

These years are defined by the rise of Walt Disney (Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Silly Symphonies), Warner Brothers, MGM, and Fleischer (Betty Boop, Popeye).

1932
The first animation to use the full, three-colour technicolor method was made. It’s called Flowers and Trees.

Diretor: Burt Gillet

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Color animation soon became the industry standard

1933
Warner Bros was founded and Merrie Melodies series were released.

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Random fact: Disney’s studio was known for its releases being strictly controlled by Walt Disney himself, Warner brothers allowed its animators more freedom, which allowed for their animators to develop more recognizable personal styles.

1937
Snow White and Seven Dwarfs

Walt Disney releases Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first animated film to use hand-drawn animation.

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Random facts: It took almost two years to come up with the final renderings of the Seven Dwarfs.
1.5 Million Cels were used to create the animation of Snow White. ( Cel is transparent sheet on which objects are drawn or painted for traditional, hand-drawn animation. )

1960-1980

The American Television Era

Studios created many cartoons for TV. By the mid ‘80s, with help from cable channels such as The Disney Channel and Nickolodeon, cartoons were ubiquitous on TV.

 

Popular animated series in this period:

Flinstones (1960)
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Yogi the Bear (1961)
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The Pink Phink (1964)
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Academy Award for best short film

Fritz the Cat (1964)
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1980-2014

The Modern Era

The computer generated imagery revolutionized animation. The drawing is replaced by 3D modeling, almost like a virtual version of stop-motion.

1984
The Adventures of Andre and Wally B was the first fully CGI-animated short film.
It was created by The Graphics Group, the precursor to Pixar.

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1995
Toy Story was the first fully computer-animated feature film.

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Investigating animation production processes

Corpse Pride (2005)

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Directed by: Tim Burton and Mike Johnson

Story: Victor Van Dort and Victoria Everglot are preparing for their arranged marriage. After the shy Victor ruins the wedding rehearsal by forgetting his vows, he flees and practices his wedding vows in the nearby forest, placing the wedding ring on a nearby upturned tree root. The root turns out to be the finger of a murdered woman named Emily.

Main characters:

Victor Van Dort
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Victoria Everglot
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Emily
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Development

This is a stop-motion animation. This film was based on Russian folktale, which Joe Raft introduced Tim Burton. The film began production in 2003, which means it took them about 2 years and more to finish this movie.

Character development:

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A dozen animators/puppeteers were put to work when production began, but that number had tripled by the end of production. The initial group spent time developing each puppet’s unique characteristics. The puppets were built by Mackinnon and Saunders. Puppets  were typically about 17 inches tall. The three primary characters (Victor, Victoria and Corpse Bride) were fitted with heads the size of golf balls that contained special gearing to allow the animators to manipulate individual parts of the puppets’ faces.

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The advancement for the lead puppets is an ingenious gear mechanism enabling a greater range of incremental movement on the faces. The mechanical faces are a lot more sophisticated, explained director Mike Johnson. It enables us to get much more expressive performances than you could with replacement animation.

The mechanisms that enabled puppeteers to achieve a greater range of emotion on the puppets faces:

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The most difficult effect to achieve was getting the Corpse Brides veil to flow fluidly. For the shots that used a practical veil, the filmmakers stitched tiny wires into the lace:

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In observing actual shooting on various sets, animators witnessed the aesthetic difference between the two worlds. Land of the Living is a monochromatic world of oppression, comprised of shades of grey and black-and-white. Land of the Dead is more influenced with blue, purple, orange, yellow, green and black.

The most active directing part is when an animator is about to start a shot and well work through the shot and act it out a little bit to get the timing down to the single frames. They got three paces for a shot. The first is a block to check the lighting and then a rehearsal, which is shot on twos or fours, and then they hone in the performance, and the final, which is shot on ones, 24 separate poses for one second of screen time.

Working in the dinning room scene:

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The animators’ work was spread over 25 to 35 individual stages, each having its own Canon digital camera. A total of 32 cameras were used on the film.There were eight camera teams, each team including a lighting cameraman, an assistant, a lighting electrician and a set dresser, and they worked with animators to set up the shots.

The digital technology also provided greater flexibility with camera moves, it allowed the cameras to get much closer to the puppets and move three-dimensionally around them and the sets

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Each camera team had a workstation, comprising an Apple G4 computer and a monitor to assist in checking lighting and framing, to view TIFF file versions of the camera’s images. Once a shot was approved, the computer was removed and the animators were left to shoot the scene using their still camera and “grabber” computer/camera system to check their work. Corpse Bride was edited on Final Cut Pro.

The film’s story department head Jeffrey Lynch explained that the scenes were developed initially from storyboards created by a team.

Storyboards:

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Co-director Johnson would go over each scene with the animators, sometimes acting out the scene, if necessary. The animators would sometimes make use of the voice or video recordings of the actors, a practice also common in cel animation.

Different visual types of animation (Moodboards)

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