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Animation

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Evolving art form

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Animation

  1. 1. Animation takes off A Man rover wrapped tn protective balloons bouncti across Ihe surface ol Man in an animated scei from (he Diiney documentary ' |IMIWAIID[5N£TCO] The increasingly popular art form is evolving in many directions The recent MOMA exhibition of the cartoon anl BT ANDREW RATHER matlon of Pixar drew some of the biggest crowds it [1UH ItrOlTtl] years to the museum to sw its largest-ever anlma tlon display The show, and the puhtk response, un T dcncond the advances in the craft In recent years. NEW YORK Groundbreaking work in animation is takin) wo visitors were smiUnlzma a paint- many fomu, From video game) to its use in recon Ing at the Museum of Modem Ait structlons for courtroom arguments. Computer and pondered aloud the artist's generated characters in movies — Crom Golhim a thought process. loci's The Lord of the Kingt- TV Ttuo Toarrs to the On another evening, they might latest Xing long — have set a high bar for wha haw been studying the museum's viewers expect signature pieces — Van Gogh's lumi- Last weekend, the computer'anlmatcd film lc> nous Starry Night, Andy Warhol's Age The Uettdown, by 20tn Century Fox and Blui iconj; Campbell's soup pop an and Picasso's earty Sky srudlos, earned nearly 170 million In Nortl cubist Lei Demoorila d'Avtgnoti. which is said to be American tneaten, a record for a March movti reproduced tn mace ait history tecs than any oth- opening. It was the fourth-best opening for any ant er 20th-century work. But those ovation* were all mated lilm. behind DreamWorks SKC' Shnk 2 an several floon above them. 'he compuler-animaled Woody Gelt) and Bun Plxar'i The tncrediblo and Finding Nrmo. all durint No, this winter's night they were marveling over Lightyear in Toy Story.* the past three yean, according to box-oL'kc trackc: Buzz Ughtyear and Woody [IHEWALIOIINEYCO.I IPIeaaf x* AtiWATlON, 6FI
  2. 2. FROM THE COVER Animation here, there and everywhere den between things.* said Maureen ists' view that computer animation was uimmmt Tonight who wrote an anima- duce the GEICO spots, bought a gecko a Fumiss, a professor at the California In- less pure and artistic than cartoons pro- tion history. 0/Mice and Hope, in 1980. a New York pet shop for inspiration are Exhibitor Relation! Co. stitute of the Arts, whose alumni Include duced wholly by the human hand, It's Impossible, however, to overlook modeling as they designed the mascot 01 Animation In TV commercials during John A. Uuelcr. widely described as the Pixar's Impetus in providing its work technology's Influence on the art, driven the computer They eventually sent thei this > IMT'S Super Bowl and Winter Otym- creative force at Ptxat *lt used to be all for the Museum of Modem An exhibit by lister, cheaper and more-accessible work ID a Tender farm* — hundreds o p.cs Included United Airlines' *Draf{on* Disney, and everything else was consid- was partly lo demonstrate tu artistic computing power. Even Pixar has a side computers that process the Immeiui ad that transformed paper shards Into ered bad animation.* bona fides. The exhibit, whkh moved business generating about 114 million a amount of data to make a computer-gen medieval knights, and Charles Schwab's Fumlss meant a long time ago. After this month to the Science Museum In year by selling Its proprietary animation erated scene. Talk to Chuck* spois. The Schwab ads Walt Disney died In 1966, his company's London, includes vivid watercolor story- software (albeit a fraction of its nearly It takes about an hour to process on used a tracing technique called rotoscof> grip on animation loosened. The studio boards and polyurethane busts of the 1290 million In revenue last year). frame of computer animation, and ever Ing that Walt Disney used for $now While regained stature during Mkhad D. Eisn- movie characters that were the founda- The GE1CO gecko, star of the Washing- second of film requires about 24 frames 70 yean ago and that George Lucas origi- er's leadership, with a string of animated tion for the computer designs. Intricate lon-based Insurer's ad campaign. Is the twice as many as 2-D animation. So on- nally used for his 'tight sabers.' blockbusters that even transformed pastel studies of flora and fauna that be- lizardly embodiment of the rapid ad- computer needs about a day to full1 In IMAX theaters this year, the Disney Broadway, most nuUbty The Lion King. came the wellspring for Pour's A Bug's vances in animation computing. With process one second of computer anlma production Roving Man garnered praise But It took a back seat In recent yean to lift would have done Auduhon proud. improvements in shadowing and ana- for lls eerie compulcrgenerated deple- Ptxar *ln our world, the computer is a tool, tomical detail, the character has become Pixar said a iis-mlnule animated Tea tions of an unmanned craft bouncing to- After wowing audiences with Its 3-D de- the tame as a pencil or a crush,* Lasset- increasingly lifelike during six yean of ture film such as The fncralibfes require ward a landing on the red planet. Even pletions of Buzz IJghtyear. Woody and er said In a statement before the exhib- commerdals. The character has evolved about 165,000 Individual frames. forms of animation that have been the other characters In Toy Story. Ptxar it opened. *Our artists ovate so much from one with flattened physical fea- •films like Toy Story come out and sew around for decades are wowing audi- helped transform public expectations for beauulul art Tor each film that most tures in the initial ad in 2000 to appear- ripples through the advertising industry ences, such as the Japanese anime In cartoons. Audience* weren't merely en- people never get to see. ..." ing near-human in recent spots, with fa- and people use the feature films as a rd tUyjo Miyazakl's Hoitfs Mowing Quile tertained by computer-generated depic- But Plxars artistry b secondary to Its cial expression, musculature and a cock- and the British claymatlon creation "';.'• tions of toys, and later bugs, monsters erence,* said David Hulin, head of com storytelling, animation pros say. Pixar ney accent to boot puter generation at the Framestore': face & Gromit in the Curse of the Were- and fish; they were transfixed by them. has been vintage Dlsnevesque In Its *lf you're going to play In this era, the Rabbit, whkh won an Academy Award Disney conceded that tt needed to ability to create beloved and memora- [computer-generated ] world, people ex- New York office. last month. adopt t'wa.-'s creative edge — so it's ble characters, as have some other com- pect the next thing. They expect a certain His firm's animation credits tncludi Cartoons aren't Just Tor Saturday about to buy the company for s: : bll- petitors, like DreamVferks. amount of realism,* said Steve Bassett. scene* in several of the Harry Potfci breakfast anymore. The ni July feature lion. Some animation fans fear thai the •It's not about the technique. It's the creative director at the Martin Agpncy of film*. Including the big make in Th> known as 'adult swim* on cable TVs Hollywood giant could end up smother- story, stupid. Shnk could have been ani- Richmond, Va.. the ad agency for CHCQ Chamber nf Secrets and the magical hall Cartoon Network cultishly draws yming ing the irartocUstic culture that Ptxar cul- mated with matchstldu,* said Leonard Animators at the Framestorc. a British bird, half-hone hlppognffin the Pruonr people to such fare as Aqua Teen Hunger tivated in Silicon Valley. But Steven Jobs, MaJlin, a longtime Um critic for Inter- special-effects studio that helped pro- o/AzJtnban. Its commercial work Inctud Force, about the bizarre exploit! of a the Apple Computer Impresario who ed the FedEx caveman spot that scorn meatball, a milkshake and tome fries. built Pixar out of the computer graphics big during this year's Super Bowl, whkl Ptzar*s Can and Monster House, a student lab he'd bought from George Lucas' film that caught the eye, and backing, of famed Industrial Light and Magic In the •What was unfeasible to attempt on . Robert Zemeads and Steven Spielberg, 1960s, said he agreed to the deal only af- commerdaJ deadline three or four year are among the latest crop of computer- ter he and Lasseter were assured they'll ago, now can be done,* Hulin said. animated films expected to create some be able to preserve their approach. But some say animators have crcatec box-odlce buzz this summcc Some hope that the combination of their own Frankenstein of expectations. Perhaps not since the iwos — when Pixar and Disney will propel an already This emulation of life will continue tt Walt Disney's famed mouse and compa- fertile period for animation. Poor's suc- be a huge trend,* uk) James Duesling. ai ny were chalknged by a group of striking cess has also tempered the traditional- Emmy Award winner and anlmatioi Disney cartoonists who'd launched their professor at Carnegie Mellon Uniwrwt' own studio with their own stylized form in Pittsburgh. The more realistic yoi — has the art of animation entered suc;i get, the more people notice the thing: a diverse and creative era. that are wrong.* "The way young people consume ani- mation has changed. You dont see bor- andrewj-atner^Wttunxom ANIMATION HISTORY Disney sketches a mouse on hi* who Wl IXsney during a 1911 strike. b given for animation since Disney 1906 Jimei Stuart OUcklun miku rciurn train Irlp to California from received II for Snow white and the the Humorous Phases offunnj ram, the New York. He adds the new effect of 1960 lUnnaflarberrtThe Seven Dwarfi. flnl known example of animation, lib 1923 Walt DlMwy-s UuKh-O-r.raim sound lo the third of his Mickey '•:.::'•••-• b prime-time tek-viston^ first method was to draw comical faces on a Films studio in Kansas goes bankrupt. House shorts.Steamboat Wllllr, la successful cartoon series. blackboard, film them, slop the film, IHMH.-Y moves tu Ij» Angeles and opens rave reviews. takes In more bin oCTkr receipts than erase a f.m- lo draw another and then a new studio In his uncle's ftaracr- 1990 Richard Williams receives a any other i Mr i that year, Him the newly drawn face. 1950 An Academy Award goes to Special Achievement Oscar for 1928 After a feud over his fee for Ctrold MrBcins BO/.TR.created by United directing the animation In Who Framrd 2002 Shrek (above) wins first-ever 1908 rmlle cohl. a Frenchman. making 'Oswald Ihe RabtHi* shorls, Productions of America wllh animators Rojs-r Xobbil. I hi* first lime I hi- award Oscar for an anlmaled feature. -.«..".,. o.TTk.-l.f I-.:. ^..-i.JHi Hi.'..i-;'.;.f. J i n n ) i. I:-.,-:.- ANIMATION IS MOVING IN MANY DIRECTIONS COMPUTER-GENERATED MOTION CAPTURE CLAYMATION ROTOSCOPING DIGITAL PUPPETRY IMAGERY Acton arc filmed performing In suits For films like the Wallace and Crwnit Sometimes called *paintlng on A United Airlines commercial during In 3-D computer animation such as with dots al the joints that provide movies (below) and Chicken Run, movies,* animators trace over live-ac- the Super Bowl (below) used puppets Pixarl Toy Story (below) and the data points for a computer to form a sculptures made of clay or other mate- tion movement to create oddly realis- that were filmed to create movement, upcoming Con, computers create realistic but animated version of the rials are arranged on a set, filmed, tic Imagery. Walt Disney used the tech- then cleaned up digitally to create a three-dimensional models based on person. The Mar £rpresi (beJowX then moved slightly and shot again to nique lo animate Snow While and the "dream sequence* of gladiators, a boy) drawings and sculptures. The anima- which starred a digitized Tom Hanks, create the illusion of movement. Seven Dwarfi in 1937. George Lucas dream and a father1! business trip. tion work involves lighting and and the upcoming Mom w House are Roughly 12 changes are usually made used It to create light sabers from camera angles like a live-action film. two examples. id of film. sticks in the first Star Wars trilogy, and Charles Schwab Corp. used It for a re- cent serin of Talk to Chuck* ads (below) featuring typical Investors.

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