Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Animation Project: Fantasia Concept Art

Some of it is gorgeous but weirdly enough I don't feel over-awed like I do when I see something from Feng-Zhu for example . I honestly think that this type of quality with some practice of course isn't beyond my reach especially thanks the power of Digital Techniques and Photoshop. A lot of it seems to rely on simple shapes with amazing colour and lighting. Even if I was able to replicate just the quality of the colour palette then I would be a very happy person. Not to blow my own horn but I think that my concept art from waaaaay back in the second unit of the blue tower feels very similar to these works, and now I feel sad that my concept art since hasn't quite
replicated the success of my first ones.

Fantasia Concept Art gallery


tutorphil said...

(as emailed)

Your various essay proposals all have their individual merits and are all worth exploring; for instance, the comparison between Starewich and Muybridge is a neat means of talking about the origins of animation via an over-view of two pioneers who came to it through an empirical/scientific approach; indeed, they were both trying to 'see' or 'study' movement, with their resulting endeavours creating an 'art form'; I don't think anything like this comparative approach exists, so it would be v. interesting, but would require a succinct understanding of the social/cultural/scientific context within which both men were working.

The comparison between the eastern european style and the American stop-motion is also a peach, particularly as you already seem keen to derive larger conclusions regarding cultural constructions of narrative/audience expectation; it seems to me that King Kong etc. is about special effects in the service of trying to create reality (in this sense, special effects as invisible components of fantastic narratives) while the eastern european tradition is more about what is tangible, the actual physicality of its settings and puppets, coming from a more theatrical tradition, in which artificiality and stylisation are seen as important and ends in their own right;

The influence of Starewich on the Brothers Quay is something you would be looking to prove; if you simply assert that influence, then you are building castles in the air; you need to find empirical, admissable evidence of that line of influence, probably by reading what the Quay Brothers say about themselves and their work; I know they say that Svankmayer is their influence, but if you could complete a thru-line of influence that connects the Brothers Quay to Starewich via Svankmayer, then you're beginning to cook on gas.

The notion of toys coming to life is, of course, a total fascination for animators; you already have the essay by Freud on the uncanny, in which he dedicates several paragraphs to this recurrent phenomena; if you are going to tackle this broad theme (using various animations to exemplify the point), then you are in the business of developing a psychoanalytical/anthropological model, in which you attempt to draw some kind of 'deep structure' understanding that derives from the pulling together of common themes; you are looking at archetypes and tropes, and then, most importantly, what their cultural recurrence actually signifies - indeed, what it says about the human condition.


The short version is this - all of these suggestions are source material for some suitably interesting studies; I'd be happy for you to pursue any of them; just remember to think of yourself as a lawyer, marshaling evidence to bolster your argument; use footnotes to enrich, never assume prior knowledge on behalf of the imagined reader; make your essay a world, with its own ecosystem of references, definitions and method; also, be sure to state your 'method' in your introduction; in other words, state your intention, and, as importantly, how you intend to go about unpacking your argument.

I'll post this reply on your blog - so you have it alongside everything else - hope it's useful; at risk, of embarrassing you further (which I seem to be able to do, regardless of my intention), I see from your blog that you've built yourself a lightbox; I gave a cheer when I saw that! Good luck with the drawing chores, and I'll see you on Monday, in the baseroom for WALL-E

Tom Beg said...

Thank you for the lengthy reply Pip.