Apps for Animation Image Capture 2018

Image Above: Camera Operator Bill Cottrell shoots a Mickey Mouse cartoon in 1930 at the Hyperion Avenue studio. Image Credit: Hans Perk, A Film L.A.

Over the last several years my students have used a number of different Image Capture apps for shooting their animation. Lately, most everyone has been using an app called Stop Motion Studio that has the very nice virtue of being available on all of the major platforms: iOS, Android, Mac OS, and Windows.

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Cartoon Figures: Part 1

Simple Cartoon Figure Drawing

Simple is probably the wrong word. Veteran students might recall the times I’ve shown the work of artists and described their work as deceptively simple. When I say that what I’m getting at is that an artist’s work may seem superficially simple but  there is often a great deal of complexity hidden underneath the image. In order to achieve a simple look and do it really well requires a great deal of skill, technique, and thoughtfulness on the part of the artist.

Anyhow, we’ll discuss those aspects of simplicity more in class. For now, let’s move on:

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Rubber Hose Style Characters from Get a Horse

From the Animation Archive (Broken Link):

To create new model sheets for each of the characters in “Get A Horse!,” Disney Animation hand-drawn artist Eric Goldberg studied early Mickey films.

The Animation Archive website is a treasure trove of animation related artwork: Check it out (Broken Link).

Model Sheets by Eric Larson:

Also see: This post on the a video game under development that nails the look of early to mid 1930s animation style.

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Clear Staging: The Red Flag Scene in Modern Times

Steven Greydanus on the red flag scene in Modern Times:

Witness the subtlety and comic timing of the scene in which the Tramp is arrested for communist agitation. Just released from a psychiatric ward, the Tramp happens to see a flatbed truck with a long load, trailing an obligatory red warning flag at the end. When the flag falls off the back of the load, the Tramp helpfully scoops it up, waving it to try to get the driver’s attention — not realizing that a throng of unemployed workers from his old job has come up behind him, demonstrating in the streets. To the police, of course, the Tramp waving his red flag at the head of the crowd looks like the leader of these agitators; and he is quickly bundled off to jail.

Note how gracefully Chaplin weaves together the demands of (a) his medium (although the film is black and white, we know the flag is red because it comes from the back of the long load on the flatbed), (b) his comedy-of-errors genre (an innocent attempt to help is mistaken for political agitation — just the kind of thing that would happen to the Tramp), (c) the continuity of his story (the demonstration doesn’t simply appear from nowhere for the sake of the gag, but flows naturally and logically from past events), and (d) the social concerns underlying the film (the workers’ plight mirrors real problems — as does that of the Tramp, neither the first nor the last to be wrongly persecuted for the belief that he is a Communist).

From an essay by Steven Greydanus

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