Thursday, December 16, 2010

When an animator is passionate enough...

I had been so immersed in this Holiday spirit of pigging out that I had nearly forgotten that this blog is, at the most fundamental level, built on kikay geekery. Well, there has been a lot of kikay stuff, but I haven't been talking about my hobbies much lately...

Anyway, today's 2D Animation class (under Sir Gibet's tutelage) made me ponder about animated masterpieces that have never failed in making my jaw drop. I'm not just talking about Disney, though I have blogged about the current Disney president a few months ago. I'm talking about individual artists who are just so dedicated to their craft that I already imagine several sleepless nights and growling stomachs.

Take for instance, this animation by Ryan Woodwart.



Notice how the characters' weights are distributed and how they shifted so effortlessly? So elegant! Plus...dance sequences are quite difficult to animate! This short is enough to make my nose bleed.

Then there's this critically acclaimed short by Ryan Larkin, bless his soul.



He just concentrated on walk cycles, but the variety in the imagery -- which includes shifts in styles -- pushed the boundaries of imagination.

But ah! Here's my favorite, Aleksandr Petrov's adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and The Sea. Petrov painted this entire movie on glass, using pastel oil. Think about it: He paints on glass, erases them so that he could paint another sequence that is just a liiiiittle bit different from the last sequence, erases it again, then paints another sequence...and he did this until he could finish a 20-minute film. Apparently, this is a technique that only a handful of animators have mastered. It completely blows my mind; I can't even begin to imagine his process! Regular animation already pains me. But this is an animated painting!



Ok. Now my brain feels like it's about to pop outta my head. I swear, Petrov is meta-human.

Anyway, this is something that I really wish to impart to all Multimeda Arts students: Passion is a key ingredient in coming up with pieces such as the ones mentioned above. Animation is one of the disciplines where shortcuts are highly discernible to the expert eyes. I don't understand how some students can present shortcuts to industry experts during finals. Do they actually think nobody would be able to tell?

When it comes to web design and development, however, I encourage shortcuts. Haha!



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