Animation

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It's like building a cathedral, in which only a few seconds of animation are completed each week. ~ Jim Bresnahan
Animation offers a medium of story telling and visual entertainment which can bring pleasure and information to people of all ages everywhere in the world. ~ Walt Disney
Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive. This facility makes it the most versatile and explicit means of communication yet devised for quick mass appreciation. ~ Walt Disney
With animation because you can draw anything and do anything and have the characters do whatever you want the tendency is to be very loose with the boundaries and the rules. But what's great about all these different [cartoon] shows that are on now is they all have their own rules and they stick to them. And in my opinion the ones that don't make it, the ones that fall by the wayside, are the ones that aren't aware of that idea, that you have to have your own rules and boundaries. If anything is possible then I think the audience doesn't care. ~ Matt Groening
It's computer animation. It's a new industry. It has limitations: It doesn't do skin, hair and clothing real well. ``Take away skin, hair and clothing and you have crabs and insects. ~ Tim Johnson
First, although women make up about half of the world’s population, women are largely underrepresented in anime. Second, female (vs. male) characters are more likely to be portrayed in a sexualized manner. Third, main or central female characters (vs. secondary or peripheral) were more likely than expected to be curvaceous and to be dressed and act in a provocative manner. Our fourth prediction, that central male characters (vs. secondary or peripheral) would be more hypermasculine in a manner parallel to that of female characters, was not supported by the data. Finally, men were more likely than women to use a weapon as an indicator of physical violence and aggression, a result consistent with stereotypes about men (Eagly & Steffen, 1986). Together, the results largely support the notion that anime as represented by several of the most popular series often contains sexist content. ~ Stephen Reysen, Iva Katzarska-Miller, Courtney N. Plante, Sharon E. Roberts, Kathleen C. Gerbasi
We had to be able to animate them so that they felt like flesh and blood, but most importantly you had to believe that they had souls behind their eyes. ~ Lee Unrich
The trouble with animation today is that we’ve forgotten the basics. Every animator at Pixar can still draw. Good animation is driven by the craft not by the tools. ~ Steve Williams

Animation is the process of creating the illusion of motion and shape change by means of the rapid display of a sequence of static images that minimally differ from each other.

Quotes[edit]

  • 'It's like building a cathedral, in which only a few seconds of animation are completed each week.
  • Do you watch The Simpsons? Did you see the episode about Poochie the Dog? There's every network executive in there. You have creative people sitting in a meeting, and then you got some network executive come in. The executive will say, "Let's have the character be a little more with-it, a little more hip, a little more today, a little more contemporary, a little like "Hey dude, hey wow!'" [These are] executives at other networks, like the Big Three networks, and to a smaller degree, Fox. This is the thing that plagued animation writing when I started, which was the early '80s. You had all this shit on TV -- it was like Smurfs, He-Man, She-Ra. I actually worked on some of those [shows], and it was just all these life-draining, soul-numbing meetings with these executives who come in, and they just say, "We want this character more fun, more appealing to girls, more this, more that." In their way of thinking, animation is supposed to be something that's not interesting or fun to look at, or God forbid, you should laugh at. They want it to be comforting for kids, so a kid will watch, smile, and stare happily like a little drone, in between Fruit Roll-Up commercials. That's basically what they look for, for shows like that.
  • Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive. This facility makes it the most versatile and explicit means of communication yet devised for quick mass appreciation.
    • Walt Disney as quoted in OpenGL Shading Language (2006) by Randi J. Rost, p. 411
  • Even though you may see characters of color represented on screen, you can’t see the faces of the people hired to do the voices. Historically, white people did all the voices including those horrible imitations of what Asians, blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans were supposed to sound like.
  • With animation because you can draw anything and do anything and have the characters do whatever you want the tendency is to be very loose with the boundaries and the rules. But what's great about all these different [cartoon] shows that are on now is they all have their own rules and they stick to them. And in my opinion the ones that don't make it, the ones that fall by the wayside, are the ones that aren't aware of that idea, that you have to have your own rules and boundaries. If anything is possible then I think the audience doesn't care.
  • In Shrek, we had to animate an ogre, a gigantic dragon, a talking donkey, a very human like princess, a gingerbread man, a puppet and so on... In ANTZ, most of the characters were ants. The big challenge was to jump from different characters and still be able to make them all perform together. Sometimes it could be hard when you're animating a human character and then the next day you might have to work on a dragon. For each character, it took us few months of testing and practice until we felt totally comfortable with the character. The fun part was when we all felt like we knew the characters and we could look at an animation test and said "That's not Shrek. Shrek would never do that." or "Yes, that's definitely Shrek."
  • I also think the very fundamental elements like drawing and sketching are still very important. One thing that I found very helpful is to appreciate things around me more often. You can be in a bus looking around, you see this child talking to her mother. If you think about animating a character to move like that child, you will realize life is amazing. You have all these natural, spontaneous character movements in front of you everyday. To capture that is a lot of hard work when you animate. Remember that plastic bag in American Beauty? We sometimes look at people around us and studied the movements and charateristics. Please try, you'll realize it's amazing.
  • Animation in itself is an art form, and that's the point I think always needs clarification. True animation exists without any background, or any color, or any sound, or anything else; it exists in your hand. And you can take it and flip it. [...] What makes animation is the fact that you have a series of drawings that move. You don't even have to have a camera, you see; animation exists without it. If you want to broaden your audience, or make it more colorful or add music, then you put it under a camera one frame at a time, and then you run it at the same speed as you flip it, and then you have animation. If it depends basically upon soundtrack, or basically upon music, or color, graphic design, or anything else to sustain itself, then it is not unique to animation.
    • Chuck Jones Joe Adamson, Witty Birds and Well-Drawn Cats: An Interview with Chuck Jones [1971], in Chuck Jones: conversations, ed. Chuck Jones and Maureen Furniss (Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2005), 63.
  • ̇ It’s wonderful. It takes a long time, but you have all of this luxury of choice, which you don’t have in live action. You can design your own movie stars. Especially if you’re anal like I am, for someone who is a control freak, animation is torture and heaven at the same time. I worked as production designer on Epic as well, so I got to carve weapons out of nutshells and toothpicks. It’s like getting to make the coolest toy soldiers ever. And they’re paying me.
  • What one might consider as limiting (working at only Walt Disney Animation Studios) has actually been incredibly expanding for me. Because of it’s stature, Disney has attracted so many of the best artists in animation within it’s walls ever since I’ve been here. The animation world is actually a rather small family and so many animators I know at other studios have come from Disney or are going to come here. There is a constant influence from outside of our studio walls. Disney itself is ever evolving and continually re-inventing itself. The studio of today is nothing like it was in the 70’s and nothing like it will be 10 years from now.
  • The temptations and pitfalls are to go too far -- to exaggerate too much and just put things on the screen because you can put them in. To me, the most important thing is the characterization: to know them, to understand them and appreciate them. The effects are just to allow you to depict the characters as WELL and vividly as possible.
  • We were completely aware of how different X-Men:TAS was regarding women. First, the series existed because Fox Kids Network president Margaret Loesch willed it into being. Second, everyone on the creative side had been working in the TV animation business for years, and we were tired of putting up with its many stupid, constraining rules, one of which was that in “boys’ adventure” series, the audience is almost all boys and they won’t watch female heroes.
  • You have to understand that many of the scenes we're building just couldn't be done without the use of digital rendering.
    • Rick McCallum, Anticipation: The Real Life Story of Star Wars: Episode I-The Phantom Menace, by Jonathan Bowen p.7
  • I think animation has a tendency to make you a little arrogant. You create everything in a world, think you have answers for everything, etc. So, I think it’s the ultimate challenge for animation directors – jumping to live-action where you don’t have that control.
  • These results largely support the notion that most popular anime series contain sexist content and are consistent with most of our hypotheses. First, although women make up about half of the world’s population, women are largely underrepresented in anime. Second, female (vs. male) characters are more likely to be portrayed in a sexualized manner. Third, main or central female characters (vs. secondary or peripheral) were more likely than expected to be curvaceous and to be dressed and act in a provocative manner. Our fourth prediction, that central male characters (vs. secondary or peripheral) would be more hypermasculine in a manner parallel to that of female characters, was not supported by the data. Finally, men were more likely than women to use a weapon as an indicator of physical violence and aggression, a result consistent with stereotypes about men (Eagly & Steffen, 1986). Together, the results largely support the notion that anime as represented by several of the most popular series often contains sexist content.
  • Although anime fans’ degree of sexism tended to be lower than both college students and a community sample, we hypothesized and found that consumption of anime in general is positively related to both benevolent and hostile sexism. In other words, while anime fans generally do not support sexist attitudes, viewing anime is associated with greater sexism. We predicted, and found, that a preference for hentai in particular mediated the relationship between consumption and hostile sexism. Furthermore, we predicted, and found, that preference for action and mecha genres mediated the relationship between consumption and benevolent sexism. Two unexpected results were also observed. First, a preference for slice of life anime also mediated the relationship between consumption and benevolent sexism. One possible explanation is that slice of life anime often contains portrayals of relationships that may well include sexism in everyday interactions. Second, a preference for the drama genre mediated the relationship between consumption and both hostile and benevolent sexism, with drama negatively predicting both dimensions of sexism. It may be possible that anime in the drama genre more accurately portrays the sexes and the nature of their relationships (e.g., trouble or discord in a romantic relationship), although it is surprising that these results differed so considerably from the slice of life genre. Future research is needed to disentangle these results and better understand what, precisely, leads one to positive associations with sexism and the other to negative associations. Taken together, the results support the notion that consumption of anime is associated with sexist attitudes, though the relationship is specific to particular anime genres.
  • Any story can be told in animation…I’m hoping someone will try to tell a story that’s brand new…not one that’s similar to every other story we’ve seen.
  • Animated drawings were introduced to film a full decade after George Méliès had demonstrated in 1896 that objects could be set in motion through single-frame exposures. J. Stuart Blackton's 1906 animated chalk experiment Humorous Phases of Funny Faces was followed by the imaginative works of Winsor McCay, who made between four thousand and ten thousand separate line drawings for each of his three one-reel films released between 1911 and 1914. Only in the half-dozen years after 1914, with the technical simplifications (and patent wars) involving tracing, printing, and celluloid sheets, did animated cartoons become a thriving commercial enterprise.
  • Work hard. That’s the thing that most people who love games and animation may not realize about what they’re seeing. It requires an ugly amount of work. You have to dedicate your life to it, but I believe almost anyone can learn how to make games and animate at a competent level. I don’t believe in following your dreams and going into too much fairy dust about the arts. Sure, it’s fun, but there are many times it’s not fun and you still have to do it.
  • The process of outsourcing animation began in the 1970s, when the three major American networks—ABC, CBS and NBC—aired Saturday morning cartoons like Scooby-Doo] and Fat Albert. These shows were hugely popular, and American production studios struggled to meet the demand for more episodes. “They had no other choice but to outsource production,” says Nelson Shin, the founder of Seoul’s AKOM Production, which has animated The Simpsons for more than 25 years. Korean artists proved themselves to be technically astute and fast, and by the 1990s, Animation World Magazine estimated that 30 percent of the world’s animation production was done in Korea.
    Today, the Korean animation industry is a complex web of around 120 studios, creating work for Fox, DreamWorks, Nickelodeon, and the Cartoon Network. “Not many people know about the close relationship between Korean and American animation production,” says Shin. The only tell, he says, comes if you pay close attention to a show’s credits.
  • Kuwahara showed them how drawing on-screen would allow in-betweeners to create consistent line quality every time. He showed them how going fully digital would ease the revision process, making it so that anyone—in Korea or the U.S.—could open a file and make adjustments. He demonstrated how the eyebrow problem could be fixed in mere seconds.
    Still, in meeting after meeting, Kuwahara got the same response: Korean studio owners couldn’t justify the expense, given that most clients weren’t asking for the change. “How do you move a big show like The Simpsons into a different production pipeline?” Kuwahara says. “When you’ve done so many episodes a particular way, it’s tough to adjust all the moving parts.”
    Korean studios have faced technological change before. Animators here—like their American animation predecessors—once drew on translucent cells, which were then painted by hand. In the 1990s, Korean studios moved to doing “ink and paint” digitally—they started scanning line drawings and coloring them via software. Today, changing a color in a scene means a few clicks rather than redrawing everything. “When people were on paint, it was like, ‘Why should we stop painting?’’’ says Kuwahara. “Now, no one can conceptualize having to go back on paint.”
  • The trouble with animation today is that we’ve forgotten the basics. Every animator at Pixar can still draw. Good animation is driven by the craft not by the tools.
  • You have to make all the same decisions that a live action director would have to make. Everything from where to put the camera to what the emotional tone of the scene is going to be, in addition to answering all the questions about costume design and weather and color and all the numerous elements that go into making the scene. We're there every step of the way from the very first crude character designs and early storyboards to how loud the footsteps of the Beast should be as he's walking across the marble floor. We shepherd the process from beginning to end.
  • Anything can be done live-action if you have unlimited time and unlimited money. But it wouldn't have looked like the book and it wouldn't have kept the same emotion as the wonderful paintings that Chris illustrated. So I don’t think it would have been as true to the book if it was done live-action.

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