Ancient thaumatrope

Science News posted an article about unusual archaeological findings – smaller objects they now believe were children’s toys. This reconstruction of a spinning disk from about 14,000 to 21,000 years ago in Western Europe shows an animal in different positions on each side. As the disk is twirled on a string, the creature appears to move.

Re-emerged in the 1800s as the thaumatrope.
But – 14,000 years ago! How much knowledge those ancient tribes must have had, how much was lost we may never know.
I think the thaumatrope is a great way to start thinking about frame by frame movement in animation, and even my youngest animation students enjoy making these.

Julian Frost: Winter Olympics

Julian Frost (Dumb Ways To Die) and Passion Pictures created these quick animated spots for Discovery Creative London and the Winter Olympics. There are 5 of them available on vimeo. Good to see a whole new look and feel for this kind of advertising, and always inspiring to see the great work of Julian Frost.

*Leaving this here as a reminder to screen these for my animation students next week, all of whom are great fans of Dumb Ways to Die.

Get in, make your point, and leave the stage: Rian Hughes

Creative Review’s interview with illustrator Rian Hughes re: his new graphic novel, I Am an Number.
Stylistically and in terms of message, it looks worth the read:
“Rian Hughes’ new book depicts a world in which everyone has a number. Order reigns, until some citizens start to question the numerals that adorn their chests and what they mean. When they challenge the system, things begin to fall apart.” Timely discussion.

But the last sentence of the interview is what struck me as solid advice; something to keep in mind with stories, whatever the platform, so I’m leaving it here for a reminder to self, in case I ever need it:

CR: What do you think is the secret of a successful graphic novel?RH: Personally? A clear concept, executed in an original and structurally appropriate fashion. A perfect marriage of form and content. It also helps to have a beginning, a middle and an end. Too many comic series, like long-running TV shows, are open-ended, and peter out rather than conclude. Everything, if it continues long enough, will eventually turn into a soap opera. Get in, make your point, and leave the stage.

Hello world!

Welcome! I fear I’m not much of a blogger, but here goes. I’m going to use this space to post links and ideas, good things to think about and keep in rotation (or on the back burner). Trying to stay in the loop of what’s going on in the big amazing world of art, animation, motion design…and trying to keep pushing it all forward. More soon!