Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Pioneers

I have this book on the history of animation called "Animation Art: From Pencil to Pixel, The History of Cartoon, Anime & CGI" by Jerry Beck. It is a pretty amazing book. If I were to teach a class on Animation, this would be my history book.

I would like to profile some of the work of the early pioneers of animation.


J. Stuart Blackton (1875 - 1941)

" Humorous Phases of Funny Faces featured an artist's hand drawing the faces of a man and a woman with chalk. The faces begin to interact: the man blows cigar smoke and tips his hat. To achieve this movement, Blackton used a combination of chalk drawings and cut-outs.
To make it appear that his drawings moved, Blackton would make changes to them between the frames, resulting in a sequence in which the artist draws a face, his hand leaves the frame and the faces roll their eyes or blow cigar smoke. The hand appears again and erases the emboldened aniamted characters."


Winsor McCay (1867 - 1934)

"To produce Gertie, McCay drew 10,000 images onto rice paper and then mounted them on cardboard. Once they had been mounted, McCay was able to flip the drawings through a primitive machine to check his work. Gertie the Dinosaur was the first animated film with a star and a storyline. McCay gave his dinosaur star a personality and emotions, by painstakingly animating tiny details, such as tears dripping and dirt particles falling."

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