# Week 3: Animation Techniques and Artists
- Early Animation Technique
- Early celebrated cartoonists
- Principles of Animation
- Jon Krasner's Motion Graphic Design & Fine Art Animation
- Computer Animation Complete Chapter I.
# Early Animation Technique
Early animation techniques were largely popularized by 'cartoon' animals. For example, created by cartoonist Pat Sullivan and animator Otto Messmer, [Felix the Cat](http://www.felixthecat.com/history.htm) was the first animated character to have an identifiable screen personality.
Image from http://www.felixthecat.com/history.htm
## Cel animation
In 1910 Earl Hurd at John Bray studios invented the Cel animation process. Translucent sheets of celluloid were used to overlay (composite) different moving parts upon a static background, drastically reducing the number of drawings required. Enhancements to the cel technique included the use of a peg system to accurately align overlays, and long scrolling backgrounds. The technique was patented in (http://www.joshuamosley.com/UPenn/courses/Ani/AnimationHistory.html), and henceforth independent animators outside of the major studios preferred cheaper animation techniques such as ink and paper, and stop-motion. Hurd later worked on Disney's groundbreaking *Fantasia*.
Even today, animation software (including Flash, Motion, AfterEffects, etc.) use layers as a principal device.
## Stop-motion, Rotoscoping, and Mattes
Essentially, the camera does not record in real-time, but rather takes frames as individual photographs, allowing the director to re-arrange the scene's contents between each frame and produce magical effects such as disappearances, levitation, and the autonomous movement of inanimate objects.
One of the earliest examples of stop-motion is found in Frech magician Georges Méliès' film [A Trip To The Moon](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Voyage_dans_la_Lune) (1902); the technique derived from his experience in magic and theatre. [Youtube](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FrdVdKlxUk)
Image from Le Voyage dans la Lune.
Meanwhile J. Stuart Blackton (an Englishman in the USA) discovered the stop-motion technique and produced an animated short [Humorous Phases of Funny Faces](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humorous_Phases_of_Funny_Faces) as a demonstration of the technique, in which chalkboard drawings come to life. [Youtube](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGh6maN4l2I)
[Rotoscoping](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotoscope) is a techniqe to combine live action with drawn animation, in which artists trace over previously filmed footage. [Max Fliescher](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Fleischer) ([Betty Boop](http://fantasticanimation.blogspot.kr/2006/09/max-fleischer-betty-boop.html)) placed animated characters in real situations using this techniqe around 1917, and later invented a device (the Rotograph) to project the filmed footage onto a glass plane under animation cels for rephotographing.
More recent films such as [A Scanner Darkly](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Scanner_Darkly_(film)) make extensive use of this technique. [Youtube](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seP2DPqd0o8)
Still earlier (1908), cartoonist and father of French animation [Emile Cohl](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emile_Cohl) created short animations combining hand-drawn animation and live action to represent fantasy, hallucination, and insanity. A related technique, mattes were used as early as 1903 to mask regions of the camera's field of view in order to achieve effects using double-exposure or later by compositing distinct filmstrips using optical printing.
# Early celebrated cartoonists
## Winsor McCay
The American [Winsor McCay](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winsor_McCay) is the first celebrated animator, best known for his works [Little Nemo (1911)](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Nemo) and Gertie the Dinosaur (1914) [Vimeo](http://vimeo.com/23059359). McCay is considered by many to have produced the first popular animations. Like many of the early animators, McCay was an accomplished newspaper cartoonist. He redrew each complete image on rice paper mounted on cardboard and
then filmed them individually. He was also the first to experiment with color in animation.
Walt Disney was, of course, the overpowering force in the history of conventional
animation. Not only did his studio contribute several technical innovations, but
Disney, more than anyone else, advanced animation as an art form. Disney’s innovations in animation technology included **the use of a storyboard** to review the story and pencil sketches to review motion. In addition, he pioneered **sound and color in animation** (although he was not the first to use color). Disney also studied **live-action sequences to create more realistic motion** in his films. When he used sound for the first time in [Steamboat Willie (1928)](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steamboat_Willie), he gained an advantage over his competitors.
>"The history of animation is normally written as the history of the animated cartoon, and the history of the animated cartoon is normally written as the creation of an animation ‘industry’ by the Walt Disney Studio. .. It may still be the case that all animation both within the United States and elsewhere in the world, remains a response to ‘Disney’ – aesthetically, ideologically and technically. - The Fundamentals of Animation by Paul Wells, 2006
One of the most significant technical innovations of the Disney studio was **development of the multiplane camera**.
© disney enterprises, inc
The multiplane camera consists of a camera mounted above multiple planes, each of which holds an animation cell. Each of the planes can move in six directions (right, left, up, down, in, out), and the camera can move closer and farther away.
Moving multiple planes at different rates can produce the [parallax effect](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallax). This is very effective in creating the illusion of depth and an enhanced sensation of three dimensions.
Keeping the camera lens open during movement can produce several additional effects: figures can be extruded into shapes of higher dimension; depth cues can be incorporated into an image by blurring the figures on more distant cels; and motion blur can be produced.
With regard to the art of animation, Disney perfected the ability to impart unique, endearing personalities in his characters, such as those exemplified in Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Goofy, the Three Little Pigs, and the Seven Dwarfs. He promoted the idea that the mind of the character was the driving force of the action and that a key to believable animated motion was the analysis of real-life motion. He also developed mood pieces, for example, Skeleton Dance (1929) and [Fantasia (1940)](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasia_(film))
- [Before Mickey Mouse: A History Of American Animation (1982) 1'20" ~ 7'10"](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-2QwZpivVg)
- [Disney Animation: The Multiplane Camera & The Spirit of Innovation | Film Analysis, 8'06" ](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lGT8laeu9o)
## Proliferation of animation studios
The 1930s saw the proliferation of animation studios, among them Fleischer, Iwerks,
Van Beuren, Universal Pictures, Paramount, MGM, and Warner Brothers.
Computer animation has a close relationship to some of the stop-motion techniques, such as clay and puppet animation. Willis O’Brien of [King Kong](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Kong) is generally considered the dean of this type of stop-motion animation. More recent impressive examples of three-dimensional stop-motion animation are Nick Park’s Wallace and Gromit series (since 1990) and Tim Burton-produced projects such as The Nightmare Before Christmas (directed by Henry Selick, 1993), James and the Giant Peach (directed by Henry Selick, 1996), and Corpse Bride (co-directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson, 2005).
## Early visual music (20C)
Visual music refers to the use of musical structures in visual imagery -- or animation that aspires to a status equivalent to the art of music. Visual music may also refer to systems which convert music or sound directly into visual forms, such as film, video or computer graphics, by means of a mechanical instrument, an artist's interpretation, or a computer. The reverse is applicable also, literally converting images to sound by drawn objects and figures on a film's soundtrack, in a technique known as drawn or graphical sound. Filmmakers working in this latter tradition include [Oskar Fischinger (1900-1967)](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=they7m6YePo) (Ornament Sound Experiments), who also contributed to Disney's Fantasia, [Norman McLaren (1914-1987)](https://www.nfb.ca/explore-all-directors/Norman-McLaren/), a Scots-Canadian artist, Jordan Belson, John & James Whitney, Len Lye, Mary-Ellen Bute, Barry Spinello, Steven Woloshen, Richard Reeves and other contemporary artists.
[_wikipedia: visual music_](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_music)
- [Norman McLaren: Hands-on Animation](https://www.nfb.ca/playlists/donald_mcwilliams/mclaren/): A curatoral description by Donald McWilliams from the NFB.
# Principles of Animation
In an article by John Lasseter, [the principles of animation](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12_basic_principles_of_animation), some of the original techniques of Disney animators are related to techniques commonly used in computer animation. The original Disney 12 animation principles are:
1. Squash and stretch
3. Secondary action
4. Slow in and slow out
6. Follow through/overlapping action
7. Exaggeration [anti example](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnE64DbnUzY)
8. Appeal [example](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMXNWPGqVG8)
11. Solid drawing
12. Straight ahead and pose to pose
## To gain better quality in computer animation
1. by simulating physics
2. by designing aesthetically pleasing actions
3. by effectively presenting action to viewers, etc.
## Useful links
- [Luxo Jr. (1986)](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYfYtV_2ezs) animation by John Lasseter and his team.
- [Tin Toy (1989)](http://www.historyofinformation.com/expanded.php?id=1262) by John Lasseter and his team, the first computer animation to win an Academy Award.
- Link to the SIGGRAPH education website: [Principles of Traditional Animation Applied to 3D Computer Animation.](http://www.siggraph.org/education/materials/HyperGraph/animation/character_animation/principles/prin_trad_anim.htm)
- [Pixar and Disney, Wikipedia](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Pixar_films)
- [Disney and Pixar, Wikipedia](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixar)
The National Film Board of Canada’s award-winning online Screening Room, featuring over 2,000 films, excerpts, trailers and interactive works.
- [NFB animation channel](https://www.nfb.ca/channels/Animation/)
- [Ryan by Chris Landreth, 2004, 13 min 57 seconds](https://www.nfb.ca/film/ryan)
This Oscar®-winning animated short from Chris Landreth is based on the life of Ryan Larkin, a Canadian animator who produced some of the most influential animated films of his time. Ryan is living every artist's worst nightmare - succumbing to addiction, panhandling on the streets to make ends meet.