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Unit 5: Working To a Brief & Unit 33: Stop Motion


Magazine Article Research

Techniques of Animation
Persistence of Vision

Persistence of vision is a commonly accepted although somewhat controversial theory about movement
of images. Persistence of vision is the phenomenon of the eye by witch afterimage is thought to remain in
the retina for a short while. The term persistence of vision refers to the eye-brain combination and how
people preserve images that have been presented towards them. While most film scholars accepted the
'persistence of vision' theory as the foundation of the subject and continued to speculate the medium,
meaning and interpretation of cinema functionings from that basis, intuition persisted to enquire the
suggestions about the theory that were involved in motion understanding. Research was taken out
throughout the twentieth century and they found that light remains in the subjects vision for a short
while after they have closed their eyes.
Positive after images retain the colour and brightness in relation of the original stimulus. This would
suggest that the after images seen could be a credible explanation to movement in film. We know this
because it allows each image frame to diffuse into another, despite that fact that the beam of light
projecting the film frame itself is discontinuous, nevertheless the illusion of movement occurs
throughout. The appearance of a continually visible series of images is a phenomenon distinct from the
apparent motion appearance in film. In the film industry it is necessary to ensure a continuous reasonably
flicker free image displayed on screen. A minimum of 10 separate frames must be projected every second
to give the illusion of movement to the human eye, but a fluid stop motion technique should include at
least 25 frames per second for a realistic depiction of motion.

Stop Frame Animation
Stop frame animation is a technique used in animation to animate static objects; it is completed by
having a subject for animation and by slowly moving an increment on the item that is going to be moved.
It is repeated and a photograph is taken for each individual small change on the subject. When all the
frames taken are played together in sequence it gives the notion of movement. Often including around
25 frames per second for a fluid movement illusion. Clay figures, puppets and miniatures are used in stop
frame animation as they can be handled and repositioned easily. The structure is usually made of various
joints and connections for the figure to be tweaked and adjusted for different scenes in projects using the
animation. Famous examples include Wallace and Grommet and Morph, these animations made stop
frame animation mainstream in the industry. They underlie the figure and make an easy but effective
way of allowing smooth movement for the animators. This is because the method allows simple
configurations and can easily be adjusted to create any type of structure; the structure would normally
have a layer of materials placed over it such as clay or putty.

Frame Rates
In animation, frame rate is the number of individual frames or images that are projected and displayed
per second in order to create the illusion of movement. In animation the higher the frame rate, the
smoother that animation as there are more frames displaying transition to the next image. A full motion
video usually displays around 24 frames per second or grater, linking in with persistence of vision. This is
because the rapid succession of images displayed to the subject viewing appears to be infused with one
another because of the high rate of frames being displayed. Famous examples of movies such as Tim
Burtons A Nightmare Before Christmas include at least 24 frames per second, once all the individual
photographs are combined in sequence the whole animation combined appears that it has a fluid motion
and gives the illusion of movement. The animators tweak each individual photographer taken for each
frame for successful motion appearance.

Movement Of Models
The movement of models in animation refer to what method the animators choose to mechanically move
the models they desire in there animation, the most common methods include; animatronics, puppets,
miniatures, armatures and figurines. The animators must use a type of animation technique to animate
the static models, by gradually changing the position of the model and taking a different photograph for
each frame.

Early pioneers who have discovered methods of creating apparent motion have explored moving
illusions. One of the earliest of these pioneers were Joseph Plateau, Joseph Plateau was a Belgian
physicist best known as the inventor of the stroboscope. The stroboscope is a device that employs bright
pulses of light to illuminate a rotating or vibrating object and then to make it appear as if it is moving very
slowly or motionless. The device works by permitting the eye only a glimpse of object or a portion of it at
a time intervals that correspond to the objects rate of vibration or rotation. Plateau invented an early
stroboscopic device in 1836; it was called the phenakistiscope, which consisted of two discs. The first disc
included small equidistant radial windows, through witch the view could look, and other containing a
sequence of images. When rotated at the correct speed, the two discs would synchronize the windows
and images creating an animated motion effect. This made a projection of stroboscopic photographs,
creating an illusion of animated motion, this invention eventually lead to cinema.
Another early pioneer was William Horner, Horner mathematician but he also focused on optics. The
invention of the zoetrope in 1834 is attributed to him. A Zoetrope is a device that pproduces the illusion
of action from a rapid succession. The device was a continuation of the already existing Phenakistiscope
invented by Plateau it lead to a similar way of viewing animation witch eventually developed into the
praxinoscope. This made it easier to view animation because of the small slits on the sides where the
person would look inside and would give a better effect than the Phenaksitiscope. The early designs on
the zoetrope vary from animals running to people and are still used today. The Zoetrope works on a
similar principle as the Phenakistiscope but allows multiple people to view the animation at the same
time. The Zoetrope has another unique feature because instead of being rapidly arrayed on a disc, the
sequence of pictures depicts motion on a paper strip.

The invention of the Zoetrope was later developed further and was transformed into the Praxinoscope.
Photographer, teacher and artist, Emile Raynaud is know as the inventor of the Praxiniscope, and is the
creator of the first animated cartoons. He was one of the pioneers of cinema. The Praxiniscope was the
first invention of Emile Raynaud in 1876. It is a toy that gives the illusion of movement. The Praxiniscope
incorporates the principle of William Honors Zoetrope, using a removable strip printed in a series of 12
drawings that make up a cyclist movement. The strip is placed inside a drum rotating from an axis used as
a base. Emile Raynaud added into the drum a cylinder on witch 12 facets of mirrors is arranged; and each
reflects a drawing. The animation can be seen in low light by various people unlike the Phenakistiscope of
Joseph Plateau.
Eadweard Muybridge was an English photographer important for his pioneering work in photographic
motion. Today, Muybridge is known for his pioneering work on animal locomotion 1877 and 1878, witch
used multiple cameras to capture motion in stop-motion photographs and his work with his invention the
Zoopraxiscope. This was a device for projecting motion pictures that pre-dated the flexible filmstrips used
in cinematography.

Muybridge also wanted to study a horse in gallop. Muybridge planned to take a series
of photos in 1878. He placed numerous large glass-plated in line along the edge of a track; the shutter
rom each was triggered by the horses gallop. He copied the images into the form of silhouettes onto a
disc to be viewed by a machine previously mad by Muybridge. He called this invention the Zoopraxiscope.
This was later considered an early movie projector, and the process as an early towards cinematography
and the motion picture industry.
Inspired by the work and ideas of photographic pioneer Eadweard Muybridge, a man named Thomas
Edison continued to peruse the development of the motion picture system. He developed he
Kinetoscope. This was an early motion picture exhibition concept. Was designed for films to be designed
or films to be viewed by one individual at a time trough a small hole viewer at the top of the device, The
Kinetoscope was not a movie projector but introduced the basic approach that would later become the
standard for all cinematic projection before the advent of a video. It did this by creating the illusion of
movement by conveying a strip of perforated film bearing a sequential series of images over a light
source with a high sped shutter. Thomas Edison developed this device that would later on influence
inventions round the world including the phonograph, the motion picture camera and the practical
electric light bulb. His invention of the Kinetoscope was the next crucial step in movie history.
The development of the movie projection machines inspired two men called the Lumire brothers to
further create projects involving motion movement. They are credited to be the first moviemakers in
history. They patented the cinematograph, witch contrary to Edisons Kinetoscope allowed multiple
parties at once to view the notion, similar to current cinema. They presented many short films such as
there first film titled Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory witch was 17 meters long in film and was
hand cranked through a projector and runs approximately 50 second in length. The Lumiere apparatus
consisted of a single camera used for both photographing and projecting at 15 frames per second. There
first film recorded in 1896 was a revolutionary progression in the cinematic industry as it projected what
appeared to be a moving image onto a wall.
George Pal was an animator and producer who was associated with the science fiction genre, he is best
remembered as the producer of several science fiction and fantasy films in the 1950s and 1960s, one of
witch included the famous and revolutionary feature length film called The War Of The Worlds. The film
had its official premiere in Hollywood in 1953; it was both a critical and box office success as it used
developed animations that were advanced compared to the other films on release during that time
period. It was claimed to be the biggest film hit, this lead to the evolution of special effects and made a
rapid succession in the science fiction industry making George Pal a lead producer who developed very
commercially successful films in his career. This was a blueprint for modern science fiction and special
Contemporary Animators
One of the most original filmmakers are the Quay Brothers, the Quay brothers are identical twins
born in 1947, Timothy and Stephen Quay studied illustration and went on to study at the art colleges
in London, where they created many animations in the 1970s. They lived in London making
innovative and very unique films with Koninck studios. They Quays work includes set design for
opera and theatre. In 1998 theyre tony nominated set designs for Ionescos the chairs one great
acclaim for Broadway. Another unique animators who has had successful films is Tim burton born in
1958. After acquiring knowledge about animation in art colleges in London, Burton worked for
Disney as an animator before venturing off to start a solo animation career witch has been very
successful. He became know for creating films with striking appearance often in the fantasy and
horror genre. Some of the most famous examples include The Nightmare Before Christmas and
Corpse Bride, he has been acclaimed to be a director, producer and screenwriter and has also made
various horror themed movies such as Beetle Juice and Edward Scissorhands both blend the
fantasy theme into a horror based style.
One of the biggest animation companies of animation is Aardman. Aardman is a British animation
studio based in the United Kingdom and is one of the biggest companies that develop animation
with very popular shows throughout the world. He studio is know for stop-motion related
techniques in animation, partially those featuring plastering characters, two of the most face
examples would include Wallace and Grommet and Morph. It entered the computer animation
market with Flushed Away in 2006. Aardman was founded in 1972 as a low budget animation
project by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, who wanted to release there dream of producing an
animated film. The BBC allowed them to create short animation for television. Another award-
winning animator who had a unique style of animation was Michael Please. Michael Please was born
in 1984 and is a BAFTA-winning animator, he studied at the Royal College of Art and the University of
the Arts in London, he has made several music videos and short films including the BAFTA winning
best short animation The Eagleman Stag. The animations are created mainly on white paper and
paper based materials.

Willis OBrein was the special effects artist who pioneered the technique of stop motion animation
and the director of the successful classic movie King Kong in 1933. A cartoonist and sculptor, OBrein
began making short films. He worked on the film The Lost World where he used stop motion to
animate creatures, and his work on King Kong is considered a classic example of stop-motion
photography and animation. He was the first to win an Oscar for special effects, and often labelled
the father of stop motion animation for his innovative miniature models partially the gorilla in King
Kong. OBriens pioneering efforts transformed the possibilities of filmmaking inventing a new way
of viewing visual language witch lead to special effect advancements. OBrein gave filmmakers a new
latitude in creating fantasies with monstrous special effects.

Ray Harryhausen stands alongside Willis OBrein as one of the greatest stop-motion animators
creating inspiring films that have amazed audiences since the beginning of his work. Ray
Harryhausen is one of the most influential directors in animation, his films include the popular
Seventh Voyage of Sinbad witch astonished the viewers. He has become a cult figure in the industry
as his stop-motion was very ahead of its time. Willis OBriens King Kong inspired Harryhausen in
1933, ever since he had been focusing of visual effects and is credited to be a towering figure in the
history of motion-picture evolution and special effect advancements. His creatures that were
featured in his films such as One Million Years B.C are some of the most memorable effects ever
used in cinema, including his famous Cyclopes and dragons. His creations were a landmark that
showed what was to come in cinema, George Pal also inspired Harryhausen to develop his own stop-
motion animation in the fantasy and horror genre as Harryhausens work was based on the fantasy
and horror theme. His imaginative work would later serve as an inspiration for the next generation
of filmmakers, including Tim Burton with Corpse Bride witch included relatable content with
Harryhausens work with strange creatures designed to shock the audience. He gained respect in the
industry as one of the great innovators in animation and has received various honours for creativity.
One of the most unique artists of animation was Jan Svankmajer; Svankmajer had an uncommon
style of animation where he combined stop-motion with static objects giving the illusion of motion
in everyday objects infused with horror. He was born in 1935; Svankmajer was a puppeteer who was
influenced by directors and producers before him such a Ray Harryhausen. He studies puppetry at
the Academy of Performing Arts before directing his own films in the mid sixties; this made him
become allied with a movement of surrealism happening in his country the Czech Republic. He did
this with a different and unique way of animating objects, he animated otherwise obsolete objects
and gave static objects a motion appearance through his techniques in illusion. In his work, his
materiel varies from toys, food and other malleable objects, through this Svankmajer became well
know for his signature appearance in animation. His work would include horror related imaginative
scenes with extraordinary creativity. His film The Dark Wonders of Jan Svankmajer was awarded
various honours for animation, he become a retrospective animator renowned for creating
techniques ranging fro, stop-motion animation, clay animation, puppet animation and live action
into a fantasy theme expressed through different mediums. These films were often created to shock
the audience with bizarre scenes and horror-based stories.
Among the greatest figures in animation and film was Lotte Reiniger, Reiniger was know for taking
animation into a specific direction and made it into a trademark for animation type. She is famous
for innovating the silhouette animation. She would craft had-made paper based cut outs for
developing shadow animation, and was invited to create silhouettes for theater. Reiniger was
devoted to create fairy-tale stories for animations; two of her early examples include Sleeping
Beauty and Cinderella both in 1922, these animations were described as having fascinating
atmospheric mise-en-scene. The animation she created called The Adventures of Price Achmed is
credited for being the first full-length animation film, although she mostly focused on shorts. The
films were unique as they included materials that were never before used to create animation or to
feature in animation related projects before it. The films would include surreal appearing paper
based silhouettes that lead a type of animation into a specific and a particular direction in the film
and animation industry. Reiniger set a base for future animators as she expressed how stop-motion
could be transformed into full-length films and make it to theater; her work would go on to inspire
artists such as the Quay Brothers who started to create longer animations with horror themed
subjects, and her work is credited to be the start of visually creative animations in stop-motion as it
would go on to influence many artists in the next generation.
Genres and Forms

Animation is presented through a variety of different genres and forms, television animation and
film animation often vary as they seek different audiences. Most animations shown through film
base there demographic on the younger audiences, these are often children between the ages of
four and twelve. Each animation focuses on a specific age group trying to satisfy the desires of the
audience, for example the animated feature length film Finding Nemo aimed its content towards
the nine year old audience. Nevertheless animation can vary from comedy to horror in the film
industry, animation is displayed at cinemas and on television to various age groups and genders. It
can also be presented trough many types and techniques, advertising often includes animation as it
links the audience with a topic that they enjoy.
The advertising industries display animated figures that are popular amongst a certain age group
and display their adverts featuring the animations. An example would be George Pal, who created a
popular series of commercials for the company Horlicks in 1936. This popularized the idea of
including animations in commercials being broadcasted on television, companies started to mutually
link the audiences with there favorite animated personalities. Modern animation in cinema allows
the option for multimedia presentation in many formats, as animation in advertising has become an
important way of approaching the specific audiences. It allows companies to create the environment
they want to portray for the project if the subject is pure fiction. Adverts can take advantage of films
and music videos and use them as a tool for marketing, this works by the audience wanting to be
associated with the product.