September 2009 Archives


I've known about Animusic for some time now, and anxiously awaiting Animusic 3.

Animusic is a music-driven computer animation.  It is a computer animation where virtual instruments play their own music.  Not only is it very progressive with odd metered music, but all of the musical instruments are animated to the actual notes and positions they would play as a real world musical instrument.   Even devices that are only able to exist in the computer realm have a system of quantified notes. I have watched them again and again (really, many times) and still, honestly still, I see new and understand the animation each time I watch it.

Pipe Dream is Amazing and memorizing because of its musical accuracy. (Animusic 2)

Resonant Chamber is one of my favorites to watch, the only problem is I wish I had more eyes to watch and study multiple areas at once. (Animusic 2)

Acoustic Curves  is from Animusic 1, lovely to listen to AND watch.

The Accuracy of these STILL amazes me. They are really playing their music.

Gyro Drum: FOR THE DRUMMERS OUT THERE! This is insane! What the whole piece.

I think the Youtubes kinda lag compared to the DVD, so the precision may not be visible at its full potential.

Stop Motion Animation

We did an in class demo of stop motion using two pairs of shoes.  Each class member was able to take turns in moving the shoes a few frames each.  Paired with some music and we have ourselves a little and fun dancing animation!

(n): The act, process or result of imparting life, interest, spirit, motion, or activity.

Stop motion is a technique used to physically manipulate objects to make them appear as thought they are move on their own. It is used as a frame by frame process where the object(s) are moved in small movements and each frame is photographed.  Playing the frames as a whole sequence, the frame by frame creates an illusion of continuous motion. There are many types of Stop Motion Animation.

Different types of Stop Motion:

Object animation involves moving animation of any non-drawn objects such as toys, blocks, dolls, etc. and are not as malleable as clay or wax. Object Animation is not meant to look like any type of 'character' being animal or human.
Direct manipulation animation is a simplified graphic animation where the artist adds or subtracts to a drawing documenting the frame by frame image.
Clay animation where each animated piece is a character made out of a malleable substance of clay, usually Plasticine clay.

Cel animation
is the original animation which is traditionally draws each frame by hand. 

Puppet animation the form of performance in which the artist manipulates puppets.

is a cinematography  technique where the frame is captured at a slower rate than play back. When replayed at normal speed time appears much faster and thus lapsing. ie: watching a fast pace flower bud bloom.


Variations of Stop Motion Include:

Stereoscopic: is a technique capable of recording three-dimensional visual information or
creating the illusion of depth in an image.  Basically when you have to wear the 3D
glasses to watch something. The first all stop motion 3-D feature is Coraline(2009)

Go Motion: Creates a realistic motion blur between each frame, so it is not as choppy. 
The main difference is that stop motion is made up of still images where as go motion
take the frames while the object is in motion.  Go motion was used in ET, and is rarely
used today.

Computer-generated imagery: 3D computer graphics, special effects, can be seen in movies,
television, commercials, video games, etc.  Pretty much has made stop motion obsolete,
however stop motion is still used because of it's unique look.  Example: Robot Chicken

Websites About Stop Motion:

The Art of Stop Motion Animation

First Stop Motion (1898):

The Humpty Dumpty Circus 1898

Classic Stop Motion:

Rankin/ Bass Rudolph

Ray Harryhausen

Modern Stop Motion:

EatPES: Home of the Twisted Films of PES
          Western Spaghetti. (Winner of
          Roof Sex. (20 days of solid filming over a 3 month period)
          Human Skateboard.


1500 hours of moving legos.

Tim Burton's VINCENT

Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas


Wallace and Gromit

Her Modern Elegance, Oren

Backwards StopMotion

Robot Chicken

South Park: Guitar Hero

Stop motion has been a widely used process since the early 1900's when it was developed.

The Process of Old School Classic Stop Motion
   an excerpt from

"Willis O'Brien's technique comprised mainly of building miniature settings and animating his puppets within them. For many scenes, if humans needed to be present, he ingeniously integrated rear projection screens into his miniatures and hidden projectors would project the live action clips one frame at a time. King Kong brilliantly demonstrates the use of this system. The process, however, became a bit prohibitive in cost. 

Ray Harryhausen needed a way to integrate his creatures into settings without the need to build many elaborate miniature sets, the reason for this being that the film he was scheduled to work on, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, had a miniscule budget. He finally devised a process of his own, which is still used today, the split-screen rear projection system.

This process consists of shooting locked down plates in which to incorporate the model(s). The plate is projected onto a rear screen and a wooden frame holding a removeable sheet of glass is placed in front of it. Mr. Harryhausen would then calculate where the creature was going to appear. If the creature needed to appear behind a series of buildings, he would break the plate up along this line, eventually blocking off half of the image. Let's say he blocks off the botton half of the plate first using black paint on the glass. (this will prevent that section of the film in the camera from being exposed). He then places the model between the sheet of glass and the rear screen and he aligns it so it will appear to be behind the buildings. When he looks through the lens of the camera, he'll see the top half of the plate, the partially obscured dinosaur and an irregularly (in this case) shaped mask covering the inferior portion of the frame. He will then proceed to animate the model and when finished he will replace the sheet of glass in the frame with it's exact opposite. A black mask will be covering the top portion of the image. Mr. Harryhausen will then complete the process by rewinding the film he shot and reexposing it, but only filming the bottom half of the plate on this pass. When developed and projected, the creature will appear to be incorporated into the background plate. Needless to say, this process saved time and money and created a totally realistic effect and all in-camera. And for those who are familiar with Mr. Harryhausen's work, he named the process Dynamation for most of it's use and Dynarama on The Golden Voyage of Sinbad."

Small animation in photoshop.

Here is my first attempt at animation, I hope there will be many more to share!

Recently Noticed

Being in a Digital Methods class has sparked my thinking of animation.  Since the times allow people tremendous technological access, it seems anyone can feel like a professions, or try for that matter...that has begun my thinking that the easily accessible technology only seems to further the capabilities of the makers. The more we use it, the better it is becoming. Technology is everything now. Even at the doctors office, the nurses each have their own lap tops to type into instead of writing and then send it off to a main data base.

As I've heard, 'When the student is ready the teacher will appear''s become clear to me how much animation is out there. I guess I've never been concerned to look before. Here are a couple interesting Collage Animation pieces similar to what we are working on in class. Enjoy!

Samatha Sunshine Collage Animation

Short Collage Kiss

About the Author

This is my Digital Methods Art Education Blog at UMD.

I enjoy art.

My current medium consists of an array of textiles and fabrics, though I am originally based in drawing and painting. I am finding that as I change and grow as a person, so does my art.

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