The History Of Animation Art Essay


In this section, a brief history of animation will be elaborated. Important dates will be included within the timeline of animation , leading to when stop motion was first created meaning the very first form of it and also the different techniques that was used. Some facts also will be presented , things that have been longer questioned before,like , the equipment used and why 24 frames per second is being used.

Paul wells a canadian jornalist and pundit [wikipedia paul wells] later nominated as the director of animation, within the academical institution [Loughborough University school of Art and Design. 2010] talks about some early involvements in animations. He also discussed some equipments used how animation was discovered while experimenting for the cinematic moving image. He also told how since 1798 people have been inventing equipments than can project some drawn moving images.[Wells:A. 2004:88]

The famous Phenakistoscrope was one of Joseph Plateau revolutionary invention that will make a real change in the world of animation, created in 1832 the journey begins here even if this principal was first recognised by the greek mathematiciam euclide and was later experimented by newton joseph plateau was the one who further pushed this experiment and developed it. This device was an early form of optical toy that allowed one to see hourses or acrobats moves. Luc Sanders , a freelance writer , animator and also a graphic designer with a background in computerized design and animation. He wrote on a website, how the device was made and how using wheel this device was able to creat animation. The animation was done by a series of sequence image that was around the circumference of the wheel.

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This will be translated in nowerdays terms as each individual frame used to creat a film. Slits are made in the wheel and when this is placed in front a mirror , the device is spun and the animation occurs the picture starts to move.[pictureshowman. 2004]

The phenakistoscope also known as the phenakistiscope was famous for about only two years as due to this creation this gave great ideas to other inventes that will be the future of animation at this time.[wikipedia 2010]

Later a derivetive of phenakistoscope was the zoetrope. Created around 130 AD by a chinese inventor ting huan and later developed by william george horner aroung 1800, who almost received all the credit.

It was also called the daedalum("ingenious wheel").

It only became popular decades later when the french and american marketed it as a toy.then the american developer , william lincoln re-named the zeotrope("life turner"). Working on the same principales as the fantascope, just that the pictures were drawn on a strip are set around the bottom third of a metal drum , the latter was mounted on a spindle so taht it could be spun, and when viewers looked though the slits they could see cartoon strip from a single moving image.[companion for the apprentice wizard by oberon zell- ravenheart]

Maureen Ruth Furniss of president of the society for animation, is a writer , animation historian, critic,animation theorist , professor and president of the society for animation studies.[wikipedia. 2010]. In 'animation bible' she made some analysis about the techniques of stop motion stating that the the technique is to be achived by manipulating objects in from of the camera. Frame by frame.[Furniss:A.2008:232] this book is really a pleasure to read i have received great knowledge from this book as maureen furniss has been through great detail about the processes, techniques in the creation of animation, and also great examples are also given.

From the reference to the website , pitureshowman , james stuart blackton is know as the father of animated cartoon and born in england sheffield in 1875.

In 1906 he created the first animated film known as 'Humorous phases of funny faces', the very first cartoon ever made. The technique he used was stop motion , he drew the faces on a blackboard and filmed it. He then paused the filming and changed the faces and continue his filming repeating the same process to creat a moving image.[Mosley. 2010]

This technique set a revolution in the 1914th , windsor McCay a prolific artist, pioneering early animated films far outshone the work of his contemporaries, and also set a standard followed by walt disney and others in later decades. By (1867-1934) he invented 'Gertie the dinosaur'one of his best creation ever.[absolute astronomy . 2010]

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van eaton's website discuss how' gertie the dinosaur' was a little different to 'humours phases of funny faces' , there was a certain interaction between the characters and the animator. For example gertie was instructed to do some tricks like bowing to audience.[eaton. 2010].

Being inspired by mccay , this technique was further developed and animators experimented with different materials to create 2d stop motion animation.furniss talked about the different types of 2d animation in 'animation bible' [furniss. 2004] explaining how 2d stop motion animation has many diffenrent forms how each technique used is unique. For example to create shadows, sand ,salt , pins and cut out bits of paper and many more medias. From Kuba leciej's website, he made a web site on a famous scripter , artist , film director and animator Alexsandra korejwo. Graduated from the academy if fine arts in poznan(poland) , she has been the heritant of many distinguished titles and awards. She made animation films in her very own style with the use of coloured salt as media.she then created an animation called 'carmen habanera' from the same technique and media.she made use of gouache watercolours to change the sand's colour and the allowed it to dry before to a black coloured canvas and use feathers to manipulate it.[korejwo-art. 2010]

Later all these inspiration drew animators to make use of 3d objects to create stop motion animations. From the same book mentioned in the above paragraph, furniss spoke also about 3d stop motion , her description was how 3d stop motion has get quite an advantage in feild comparing to 2d stop motion as they were the result of animation such as morph , wallace and gromit, which were both very popular and famous. In both animation the media use was clay and with the help of this media they made the characters and surroundings as well.

As an example of 3d animation , we can refer to the famous LEGO bricks , this technique is also called the brickfilm. The animators made use of the bricks of lego to design an animate a magical world. Later on in 1989 , an australian animator called lindsay fleay that created an animation made from bricks of lego this film was called 'the magic portal'. This film was sixteen minutes long and took four and a half year complete it .[furniss:A:2008:243,244]

Also jeff goldner make reference to the most recognised peice of equipment in the creation of 2d stop motion in his blog. He was talking about the rustrum camera. The rustrum camera is a camera which is pointed downwards, and is parallel to a board (that will be like a stage for the animation). The frames are shots individually while the objects are being manipulated under the camera. A bit similar to when james stuart blackton created the famous 'humourous phases of funny faces'. The 3d stop motion process is not different from this one , the same principals are being apply here,however to demonstrade 3d effects and depth of the scene , the camera is positioned to the side of the object.[Goldner. 2008]

With the fast improvements and evolution of technologies , creating these same effects is now much more earsier with the help of computers. It gives the same feel like it has been crafted by hand. But does the fact that knowing it has been processed by computers decrease the feel and scense of magic? Kit laybourne the chief creative officer for the whistle, ( a cross media platform concentrating on kids and sports).[wikipedia.2010] says how digital animation uses the same processes as the traditional way but only the tools had changed. He also say how with the help of these new tools the work has become more easier to produce.[laybourne. 1998:65]

There one thing that is very important to know while creating an animation , that is the speed that is going to be used, also known as the frames per second. Very often i wondered why 24 frames per second was more commonly to be used by animators. John wyver had discussed this in a very scientific manner, he said the reason for having 24 frames per second is simply so because the human brains read the image's continuously thus giving a feeling that is was only one image that was continiously moving. He also stipulates :

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' Ever since sir isaac newton , (1642-1727) scientists had discovered the common effets by the reaction that when the eyes stares a light and then looks away. With this little experiment, the deduction was that the retina retains a bright after-image, which quickly fades out. This is usually known as 'persistence of vision', this effects or reaction has been use by lots of historians to explain how the eye and brain tend to conect the strings of static images which are projected as a film, that also mentally create the feeling and impression of smooth movement. This information about these changes that are being done in the images are automatically being undertstood and recognised in a specific area of the brain that is seperated from the principal acts of perception. So the result is as long as these images are being played at a speed below the perceptual threshold (film with 24 frames per second) they will be read as continous by the brain'.[Wyver. 1989:10,11]

This argument and idea of persistance of vision was further explored on the media college website , they agreed with wyver's argument , there was a little controversy saying that these scientist's ideas were accused of being false arguments in 1912,as there are no pertaining proof or evidence that this is the way our brain works. This website continue by informing that ' is thought that the illusion of continuous motion is caused by unrelated phenomena such as beta movement (the brain assuming movement between two static images when shown in quick succession).' [Wavelength Media. 2010]the use of 24 frames per second is also know as ,'full animation', where each frame is different and is commonly used once, due to accuracy. This is also discussed by furniss in her book called 'art of motion animation aesthetics'. Shes also explored what is called 'limited animation' to get a comparison with full animation. The difference is that it uses less frames and play lot on camera movements to cover the gap in between the scenes(continious frames)to form the animation. Furniss explains that 'planning over the art work to creat a good flow and scence of motion if we are reducing the number of drawings.' [furniss:B. 2007:133,134] this would result in less production time also.