animation

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I’ve been animating a project for the last month or so that I’ve had to keep under wraps; hours and hours of stop-motion and Wacom-tableting that I couldn’t say one peep about. Well, it just premiered on Pitchfork TV so NOW I’M TELLING EVERYBODY!

Behold, the video for Total Slacker’s ‘Crystal Necklace’!

In addition to animating the stop-motion bits at the end and rotoscoping over the footage, I also helped build the set and re-glitter the drums between takes. So much glitter. YrFriendMatthew directed and Mr. Chris Person cinematographed. Is that a word? Now it is!

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Hey, I actually animated something this week. Ch-ch-check it out.

inthewoods

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In my previous post I incorrectly spelled pixellation as ‘pixelation’. I also realized few people know pixellation as an animation term, so I thought some examples might clear things up.

Here’s one of the earliest examples, combining stop motion and pixellation to depict an ‘electric’ hotel. This was from the days when electricity was still suspect.

This charming Stephen Malkmus video combines pixellation with stop-motion and some POV camera foolery. It also has monsters. Monsters!

And here’s the classic, ‘Wizard of Space and Time’. This one’s the 70′s version; remade in the 80′s I prefer this one as it has a fun musical number.

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Oh, Wikipedia. I was all set to pop on here and write about Norman McLaren’s lively body of animated work, touching upon his most famous short ‘Neighbors’, but you had to go and keep it real. This is the 3rd time I’ve gone to Wikipedia seeking basic background information on an artist and found out more than I wanted to know about their personal life. Anyone’s life has influence on their art to a certain extent, but when an entry quibbles whether someone remained faithfully monogamous to their partner it comes off as gossip, not information. How does that even relate to animation?

Anyway. McLaren’s best known for his short ‘Neighbors’, a fully pixelated anti-war message with a delightful, Esquivel-esque soundtrack.

Much of his work, created with the Canadian National Film Board, had an international audience in mind and incorporated other languages as design and thematic elements. The end sequence of ‘Neighbors’ and the intro to ‘Boogie Doodle’, seen below, are great examples.

Speaking of ‘international’, apparently audiences in parts of Europe not as desensitized to faster cutting experienced dizziness and nausea watching his ‘Blinkity Blank’. Anyone familiar with MTV-style hypercutting should be just fine.

A great deal of his work was drawn directly onto 35mm film, colored and etched using pen and ink. While this lends itself best to abstract color and movement and can often be overwhelmingly flickery and confusing, McLaren developed it into a fluid and dynamic process, with abstraction part of his signature style.

He worked with other forms of animation, particularly pixelation, the movement of people using a process similar to stop-motion (stop-motion usually refers to moving objects frame-by-frame). He also created several shorts playing with time, space and rhythm that included plenty of life-action footage, such as ‘Canon’ below.

A great deal of his work is on YouTube, and the Canadian National Film Board has archives of his contributions to more generic public service projects including ‘Love On The Wing’, a short touting the benefits of airmail. Check it out!

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Ah me. I’m still working towards being this entertaining an animator. It reminds me of the ‘Everybody Wants Some’ scene in ‘Better Off Dead’, but with far superior animation. Using a song that sounds like Yaz doesn’t hurt either.

Bubblicious from Rex The Dog on Vimeo.

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