Animation

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Japan will just no longer be the center of world animation. Maybe in five years, Taiwan will be such a center. ~ Hideaki Anno
It's like building a cathedral, in which only a few seconds of animation are completed each week. ~ Jim Bresnahan
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
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
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

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 performe 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.
  • 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.
  • 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’eve seen.
  • 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 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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