Sunday, January 9, 2011
Animation is an art form which, in its modern appearance, appeared alongside the development of film. Earlier attempts at making drawings move were only experimental.
Precursors to Animation
- Evidence of artistic interest in depicting figures in motion can be seen as early as the still drawings of Paleolithic cave paintings, where animals are depicted with multiple sets of legs in superimposed positions, clearly attempting to convey the perception of motion Other examples include a 5,200-year old earthen bowl found in Iran in Shahr-I Sokhta and an ancient Egyptian mural. The Persian bowl has five images painted along the sides, showing phases of a goat leaping up to nip at a tree. The Egyptian mural, approximately 4000 years old, shows wrestlers in action.
- Seven drawings by Leonardo da Vinci (ca. 1510) extending over two folios in the Windsor Collection, Anatomical Studies of the Muscles of the Neck, Shoulder, Chest, and Arm, show detailed drawings of the upper body (with a less-detailed facial image), illustrating the changes as the torso turns from profile to frontal position and the forearm extends.
- Even though all these early examples may appear similar to a series of animation drawings, the lack of equipment to show the images in motion means that these image series are precursors to animation and cannot be called animation in the modern sense. They do, however, indicate the artists' intentions and interests in depicting motion.
Victorian parlor toys
- Many of the early inventions designed to animate images were meant as novelties for private amusement of children or small parties. Animation devices which fall into this category include the zoetrope, magic lantern, praxinoscope, thaumatrope, phenakistoscope, and flip book.
1. Zoetrope (180 AD; 1834)
- The zoetrope is a device which creates the image of a moving picture. The earliest elementary zoetrope was created in China around 180 AD by the prolific inventor Ting Huan. Made from translucent paper or mica panels, Huan hung the device over a lamp. The rising air turned vanes at the top from which hung the pictures painted on the panels would appear to move if the device is spun at the right speed.
2. The magic lantern
- The magic lantern is the predecessor of the modern day projector. It consisted of a translucent oil painting and a simple lamp. When put together in a darkened room, the image would appear larger on a flat surface. Athanasius Kircher spoke about this originating from China in the 16th century. Some slides for the lanterns contained parts that could be mechanically actuated to present limited movement on the screen.
3. Thaumatrope (1824)
- A thaumatrope was a simple toy used in the Victorian era. A thaumatrope is a small circular disk or card with two different pictures on each side that was attached to a piece of string or a pair of strings running through the centre. When the string is twirled quickly between the fingers, the two pictures appear to combine into a single image. The thaumatrope demonstrates the Phi phenomenon, the brain's ability to persistently perceive an image. Its invention is variously credited to Charles Babbage, Peter Roget, or John Ayrton Paris, but Paris is known to have used one to illustrate the Phi phenomenon in 1824 to the Royal College of Physicians.
4. Phenakistoscope (1831)
- The phenakistoscope was an early animation device, the predecessor of the zoetrope. It was invented in 1831 simultaneously by the Belgian Joseph Plateau and the Austrian Simon von Stampfer.
5. Flip book (1868)
- The first flip book was patented in 1868 by a John Barnes Linnet. Flip books were yet another development that brought us closer to modern animation. Like the Zoetrope, the Flip Book creates the illusion of motion. A set of sequential pictures flipped at a high speed creates this effect. The Mutoscope (1894) is basically a flip book in a box with a crank handle to flip the pages.
6. Praxinoscope (1877)
- The praxinoscope, invented by French scientist Charles-Émile Reynaud, was a more sophisticated version of the zoetrope. It used the same basic mechanism of a strip of images placed on the inside of a spinning cylinder, but instead of viewing it through slits, it was viewed in a series of small, stationary mirrors around the inside of the cylinder, so that the animation would stay in place, and provide a clearer image and better quality. Reynaud also developed a larger version of the praxinoscope that could be projected onto a screen, called the Théâtre Optique.
- The first animated film was created by Charles-Émile Reynaud, inventor of the praxinoscope, an animation system using loops of 12 pictures. On October 28, 1892 at Musée Grévin in Paris, France he exhibited animations consisting of loops of about 500 frames, using his Théâtre Optique system - similar in principle to a modern film projector.
- The first animated work on standard picture film was Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906) by J. Stuart Blackton. It features a cartoonist drawing faces on a chalkboard, and the faces apparently coming to life.
- The first animated feature film was El Apóstol, made in 1917 by Quirino Cristiani from Argentina. He also directed two other animated feature films, including 1931's Peludopolis, the first to use synchronized sound. None of these, however, survive to the present day. The earliest-surviving animated feature, which used colour-tinted scenes, is the silhouette-animated Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) directed by German Lotte Reiniger and French/Hungarian Berthold Bartosch. Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) is often considered to be the first animated feature when in fact at least eight were previously released. However, Snow White was the first to become successful and well-known within the English-speaking world and the first to use cel animation.
- The first animation to use the full, three-color Technicolor method was Flowers and Trees (1932) made by Disney Studios which won an Academy Award for this work.
- The first Japanese-made feature length anime film was the propaganda film Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors by the Japanese director Mitsuyo Seo. The film, shown in 1945, was ordered to be made to support the war by the Japanese Naval Ministry.
- Stop motion is used for many animation productions using physical objects rather than images of people, as with traditional animation. An object will be photographed, moved slightly, and then photographed again. When the pictures are played back in normal speed the object will appear to move by itself.
- The first example of object manipulation and stop-motion animation was the 1899 short film by Albert E. Smith and J. Stuart Blackton called The Humpty Dumpty Circus. A European stop motion pioneer was Wladyslaw Starewicz (1892–1965), who animated The Beautiful Lukanida (1910), The Battle of the Stag Beetles (1910), The Ant and the Grasshopper (1911).
- This process is used for many productions, for example, the most common types of puppets are clay puppets, as used in The California Raisins and Wallace and Gromit, and figures made of various rubbers, cloths and plastic resins, such as The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach. Sometimes even objects are used, such as with the films of Jan Švankmajer.
- Stop motion animation was also commonly used for special effects work in many live-action films, such as the 1933 version of King Kong and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.
- Computer-generated imagery (CGI) revolutionized animation. The first film done completely in CGI was Toy Story, produced by Pixar. The process of CGI animation is still very tedious and similar in that sense to traditional animation, and it still adheres to many of the same principles.
- A principal difference of CGI Animation compared to traditional animation is that drawing is replaced by 3D modeling, almost like virtual version of stop-motion, though a form of animation that combines the two worlds can be considered to be computer aided animation but on 2D computer drawing (which can be considered close to traditional drawing and sometimes based on it).
1. There are also different animation’s history from different countries that we can learn, for example like:
History of Chinese animation
180 AD: zoetrope is invented by Ting Huan
1922: first animation in a commercial Shuzhendong Chinese Typewriter
1926: first animation to showcase technology Uproar in the Studio and acknowledge Wan Laiming and Wan Guchan as pioneers.
1935: The Camel's Dance first chinese animation with sound.
1941: Princess Iron Fan
History of Iranian animation
Iran's animation owes largely to the animator Noureddin Zarrinkelk. Zarrinkelk was instrumental in founding the Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA) in Tehran in collaboration with the late father of Iranian graphics Morteza Momayez and other fellow artists like Farshid Mesghali, Ali Akbar Sadeghi, and Arapik Baghdasarian
History of Czech animation
- Puppet animation, Jiří Trnka, the Poetic animation school
- Catalogue of Czech animation
- Czech animation homepage
History of French animation
- 1908-1925, Work of Émile Cohl: