Animation at it’s root is just a collection of photographs just like film. The key to the animation is instilling the illusion of life into the character. Disney teaches it’s animators the 12 steps to creating this illusion. Squashing and stretching, anticipation, secondary action and follow through are all principles of creating the illusion of life in these objects. New media has expedited this procedure with keyframing and layering as opposed to drawing by hand. Some shows like Family Guy and The Simpsons take 6 months an episode while a show like South Park can take as little as 6 days. The technology is flexible to cater to the needs to the animators.
With films such as Frozen grossing over 1.27 billion in box office sales and another billion in merchandise sales, the climate for animators is strong and growing by the year. Minions grossed 1.15 billion while also collecting half a billion downloads of the mobile app game Minion Rush. These toys of created intellectual property such as Minions or Frozen characters make up for 31% of total American toy sales. With options such as 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, and many other, cheaper varieties of software learning how to animate has never been more accessible.
With animated features crushing box offices it is clear that they will only continue to stretch the boundaries of what an animated film can do. A film done by Disney Animation Studios Zootopia tackles tough subjects of prejudice and intolerance similar to how George Orwell’s Animal Farm tackled communism. Another film, Sausage Party, done by Seth Rogen’s studio, is an R-rated comedy about grocery store food discovering the violent world of cooking. With transcendent films such as Wall-E, Up, and Inside Out the limitations of animation only appear to be as far as our imaginations can take us.
Thomas, Frank, and Ollie Johnston. Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life. New York: Abbeville,1981. Print.
Two of the nine who defined Disney animation describe their findings regarding the best ways to animate
Blair, Preston. Cartoon Animation. Tustin, CA: W. Foster Pub., 1994. Print.
Dynamic character creation. Great for animal animation. Blair was a dominant animator at Disney and Hanna Barbera.
A tutorial on the basics of after effects animation capabilities.
Animated movies are the most costly while also being the highest earning genre of movie right now.
Zing Grem (Animation Student)
Where do you see animation in the next five years?
ZG:Animation is being more and more integrated into live action cinema as “special effects,” but even a couple years ago Gravity won best cinematography at the Oscars (among other awards), yet it was almost 90% animated, the only live action aspects being the characters’ faces, and a couple shots at the end. Five years from now I can very easily see every big-name feature being fully animated (we almost have that already), but the average viewer won’t know the difference.
What about VR?
ZG: I see virtual reality becoming more mainstream in the form of interactive games and sit-back-and-watch narrative stories alike, and CG is necessary to build the virtual worlds for that.
And how about television and movies?
ZG:Television cartoons are still predominantly 2D, which is cool, and I don’t think that’ll soon die in smaller stuff like Netflix shows (Bojack Horseman, F is for Family) and when Cartoon Network / Disney / Nickelodeon finally make the move to streaming, plus indie cartoonists will still be making 2D awesome stuff (Tales of Alethrion from Sun Creature Studio).
But 2D’s pretty dead in features and I think it’ll stay like that, unless it comes back for nostalgia’s sake (like how Episode VII and Fury Road had a lot of practical effects).
ZG: LAIKA is the only one doing stop motion features right now and even then they’re doing a lot of CG integration so it’s pretty useless at this point. The Lego Movie proved that you can emulate stop motion to a T in CG so. no use for that anymore.
Thank you Zing.
ZG: Thank you.
Isaac London (Animation Student)
Where do you see animation in five years?
IL:As with any field in the modern age I see future animation being further integrated with computers. This could mean any number of things faster renders and better algorithms for 3D animation, to a more natural and helpful 2D animation suite. I also foresee the integration of animation into far more of our lives.
What about VR?
IL: As the divide between the digital world and physical dissolve over the coming years through VR, AR, and various wearable tech, we shall see that animation will be integrated in such a way as to create the illusion of reality, or a far more interesting one. The difference between the future of animation and the work that is done today will be most likely be the speed and ease with which one can create and view the fruits of one’s labors.
And lastly, is gaming the future of animation and CGI?
IL: Animation will shift from film and television to the gaming industry, as it is the most profitable and fastest growing sector in the US and other developed nations.
Thank you Isaac.
IL: Thank you.