23 July 2009

Know your history...

It surprised me recently when I heard a ‘trained’ animator ask “How did they do that?” about the giant zoetrope created by Pixar. The surprise was soon replaced by a concern that Univeristies, colleges and art schools aren't teaching the basics of animation.
As a student of the art form (as I believe all animators are) we should have an understanding of the basic principles. It's not just about sitting in front of a computer with your chosen software making things move. We should know the early techniques of animation and film making, the phenomenon of persistence of vision (although this is apparently now myth) and motion perception.
Of course we (as animators) should always be looking forwards to new technologies and tools to improve our techniques and push the boundaries of our art. But if we don’t have the grounding and understanding of what has gone before us, we have nothing to build on.
I applaud Pixar for bringing a technique (now 175 years old) into the modern age of animation in such a brilliant and spectacular way. But don't just let the big guys of the industry rework old techniques for us to be aware of them. Have a root round yourself. Take inspiration from the methods, styles and craft of the fathers of animation.

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19 July 2009

You've got to start somewhere...

When I decided to set up this blog, as with all new ventures, I was a little unsure of how to start. I've had many ideas of things I want to include here, but where to begin?
There's plenty of blogs and sites out there in the world wide web offering advice and inspiration to the budding (and professional) animator. But here is my two pence (or cents, depending on your geographical location).
I can't claim ownership on everything I write in this blog as many of the tips and techniques that I'll post has been collated from friends, colleagues, monsters, heroes & men over many the years. They will be credited (if I can remember who said what).
Hopefully my ramblings will give someone inspiration, or at least open their eyes to different ways of approaching animation.

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