Sunday, November 9, 2014

Wan Brothers

鐵扇公主 - Princess Iron Fan (1941): China's first feature length animated film, directed and produced by the Wan Brothers in Shanghai under Japanese occupation.

[Its influences were far-reaching; it was swiftly exported to wartime Japan (in 1942), inspiring the 16-year-old Tezuka Osamu to become a comics artist and prompting the Japanese Navy to commission Japan's own first feature-length animated film, 1945's Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors (the earlier filmMomotaro's Sea Eagles is three minutes shy of being feature-length).]

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Musical Roto

Rotoscoping in KLAATU's, A Routine Day (1979), with the "boil" under control.


Rotoscoping is an animation technique in which animators trace over footage, frame by frame, for use in live-action and animated films.[1][2] Originally, recorded live-action film images were projected onto a frosted glass panel and re-drawn by an animator. This projection equipment is called a rotoscope, although this device was eventually replaced by computers.
In the visual effects industry, the term rotoscoping refers to the technique of manually creating a matte for an element on a live-action plate so it may be composited over another background.
The technique was invented by cartoonist/illustrator/writer/inventor Max Fleischer, who used it in his technologically groundbreaking, Out of the Inkwell (debut: 1915) animated series. The live-film reference for the series' main cartoon/animated character, Koko the Clown, was supplied by one of his brothers (Dave Fleischer) -- performing choreographed movements while dressed in a clown outfit. Max Fleischer patented the rotoscope method in 1917.

Fyodor Khitruk

Fyodor Khitruk's, The Story of a Crime (1962)

Follows friendly and humble accountant as rude neighbors drive him to commit a crime - can selfishness and domestic disruption destroy society?

[When Nikita Khrushchev in 1956 proclaimed the end of the personality cult of Joseph Stalin, he started a process of political and cultural renewal in the country. Even though animators still needed a while to free themselves from the long tradition of "Éclair", from the 1960s onwards, animation films gain completely new qualities. The starting point for this was Fyodor Khitruk's film The Story of a Crime (1962). Not only had he changed the animation style to something that resembled what the United Productions of America was doing, but for the first time since theavantgarde years, he was able to tackle a contemporary story.]

Walt Disney

Though painfully dated, a look at cel animation and film history in its own right.

[Generally, the characters are drawn on cels and laid over a static background drawing. This reduces the number of times an image has to be redrawn and enables studios to split up the production process to different specialised teams. Using this assembly line way to animate has made it possible to producefilms much more cost-effectively. The invention of the technique is generally attributed to Earl Hurd, who patented the process in 1914. The outline of the images are drawn on the front of the cel while colors are painted on the back to eliminate brushstrokes. Traditionally, the outlines were hand-inked but since the 1960s they are almost exclusively xerographed on. Another important breakthrough in cel animation was the development of the Animation Photo Transfer Process, first seen in The Black Cauldron, released in 1985.]

Новый Гулливер (New Gulliver) 1935

Clip from the first feature length animated film conceived in Russia, by Aleksandr Ptushko in 1935.  

[He was a trained architect, but earlier in his life had worked in mechanical engineering. In this field, he is known for the invention of an adding machine that was in use in the Soviet Union until the 1970s (an example of it can be seen in Fyodor Khitruk's first film as a director, The Story of a Crime of 1962). When he joined the puppet animation unit of Mosfilm, he found an ideal environment to live out his mechanical ambitions as well as his artistic ones, and became internationally renowned with the Soviet Union's first feature-length animated film, The New Gulliver (1935). This film mixes puppet animation and live acting. It is an explicitly ideological retelling of Jonathan Swift's novel. It nevertheless is considered a masterpiece of animation, featuring mass scenes with hundreds of extras, very expressive mimics in close-ups, and innovative, flexible camera work combined with excellent scenography. ]

Yuriy Norshteyn (Юрий Норштейн)

The fog effects were created by putting a very thin piece of paper on top of the scene and slowly lifting it up toward the camera frame-by-frame until everything behind it became blurry and white.[2]
Hayao Miyazaki considers Yuriy Norshteyn "a great artist"[3] and cited Hedgehog in the Fog as one of his favorite animated films.