Friday, 30 April 2010

France Part 8 | Georges Méliès School

Found this animation on 'Cartoon Brew', caught my eye because of where it came from....Georges Méliès School, I posted something on here about a film called 'Trip to the Moon' and it was directed by this guy (Georges Méliès) so obviously France has named a school/ college/ Higher Education (which ever it is, by the looks of the animation its HE!) after him.

There are two videos of the same thing, one is French but high quality the other is English Subtitled but not so high quality!

La Main des Maîtres from flowmotionfox on Vimeo.

Theirs some nice stuff on the website, butits all in french so i don't know whats what!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

So Far

I knew nothing really about french animation, all i really knew was that Renaissance was a French film.
From my research so far i've noticed France was a main instigator, animation started over there in the late 1800's which shocked me, who ever was the first real animator from France, i will never know, but it seems that everyone knows Emile Cohl and Emile Reynaud is left in the dark.

Everyone recognizes Emile Cohl, Museums do retrospects on him to show where animation came from, so France was and still is a big part of animation.
As well as being one of the first places to explore animation, they also had one of the first film companies which Cohl worked for (Gaumont Film) and its still running today, weather or not there as big as they used to be though.

Some great animators like Paul Grimault with his (hate to say this), disney style, and fantastic animation skills came from France, his animations might be french but especially in the top animation on my post on him there's no talking making it universal, and still has a strong story.

Animation festivals, Annecy international Animation Festival was founded in France in the 1950's and is a well known festival which people go to from all around the world.

Up to date stuff, like films, I've come across one which was very popular which was made in 2007 called 'Persepolis' about a young girl growing up in a different culture because her own country is unsafe. Its made in France but is about Iran and deals with issues they faces in the 1970's. Something with the same style which came out of France is 'Renaissance', which is totally different to Persepolis but there style is very similar. 'Fard' which is a short film made in France follows the same issues Renaissance dealt with, futuristic world which has a dark undertone to it and both have restricted pallets.

France Part 7 | Benjamin Gibeaux

Benjamin Gibeaux is a freelance animator who's interests spread from animation to music and also poetry. His website on says a bit about him and what his family is like, and also lets you watch some of his short animations. This one below is one you can watch in his website, but i wanted to put it on here as well so i found a website where i could embed it. I havnt watched it yet because my internets being very slow, but hers what either Jerry Beck or Amid Amidi posted about it....

...."It’s a sweet and charming story on the surface, but the light tone masks some surprisingly deep political undertones. I personally read it as an allegorical tale of what happens when one country invades another for its own selfish reasons, but does so under the pretenses of helping that other country’s people. However you choose to read it though, there’s no mistaking that the artwork is superb"

Chuck Research

This is me trying to get the last bit of 'chuck' right, after the box slowed down it gets an extra boost from the 'Chuck' inside the box going from the left hand side to the right (but this is the opposite way round) It didn't work to well, i got a few from it though, but might not be noticeable on the videos.
Also made the color of the water red so i could see how it reacts, mine isn't water, its a solid shape, so it won't be the same.

(I breath really heavily!)

Sway Research

This was my research for the kinetic type, sway. Got the ruler and waved it round a bit, I was trying to get the movement right....then i got camera shy. 

Monday, 26 April 2010

France Part 6 | Annecy Festival

In the 1950's the Association Internationale du Film d'Animation (ASIFA) and the Annecy Animation Festival were set up in France. They encourage big studios animation and independent films.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Kerning | Error 2

Not too sure about this one, but will do it anyway, I'm looking at the '2 in 1' bit, the '2' is right next to the 'in' whist the '1' is further away from the 'in'.

If it was closer then the top of the '1' would be touching the 'in', so why don't they change the point size of the 'in' so the '1' can fit nicely over the 'N'.........or move the '2' out more to be the same distance away as the '1'.

France, Part 5 | A Trip to the Moon

Made in 1902 by George Méliès, its famous for a section (i think its like 2 seconds long on the clip I've got) where a rocket hits the moon in the eye.

Its a really early science fiction, and its famouse for that one memorable bit, it combines two things together, a real person and a the background (with moon).

It happens really quickly, but still looks good.

The Tesco Game

Tescos is a boring job, this is shown by how much till roll gets used up by employees to doodle on when there board and once they get a customer, they rip them up and throw them in the bin.

So no one gets to see these doodles except the person who doodles them........but i was lucky enough to find one on my till the other week mwhahaha

Here it is...
So instead of doodling in my shift, i played the game 'whats in the squiggles', where you have to find anything in the doodles like an elephant or a figure or a famous person (like Elvis). This was pretty hard game with this doodle and could only find one good thing.

What i found - Its a guy smoking, he has a mullet and a big nose and is in a big coat and has just taken a drag of his cigarette and is blowing smoke out.

god help me

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Kerning | Error 1

Quite a good one to start with, if you get me.

I don't think you would notice it unless your task is to look for bad kerning, but when you do see it, it is a pretty obvious one.

Uno will never be the same


Because I can now vote (which i won't be doing) I get loads of shi.......unwanted letter and leaflets posted through my house addressed to me.

But I did get this one a few days ago which i liked.....

This is the front page of the 2 paged leaflet (above), the only thing i liked about it was the logo, well, title. I don't like the name 'popvox' (dno what it means) just the thing behind it, It's the houses of parliament and because its next to the river thames its got the reflection. That image with the slogan 'voice of the people' is pretty clever because now the HP with its reflections looks like a sound wave, Kind of clever and well thought out, i thought.

This is the inside of the thing, i just liked the picture, its got everything in there; people being mugged, people with knifes, bikes crashing into cars, drunk people :), poor people on the street and so on and so on.
Reminds me of a wheres wally or wheres bin laden book, it gets you looking and interacting with what could have been a boring leaflet.

Clever, but I'm still not voting.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

France Part 4 | Paul Grimault


Paul, sorry..wait, Paul Grimault is a french animator, I came across him from this web site CLICK , it talks about a 'retrospective on French animation' up to the 1940's (which include Emile Reynaud who i've talked about) it seems that this Paul Grimault character is from the 1940's because it says it ends up looking at him and seems as though this 'retrospect' its from late 18oo's to 1940's, so i came to that conclusion. Although wikipedia is saying he began his career in 1948???? who do we trust?

There seems to be a lot of his animations on you tube, and I'll put some of them up, although everything is in french, so im having to use google translate to...well, translate.

Before that, Paul Grimault an animator whos animated since 1931 (from what his website says) doing experimental animation, 5 years later he co-founded a company called
Les Gémeaux where he was making animations for adverts.
His first major project was called 'go chez les oiseaux' released in 1943, once his company had got back together, after they had been split up because of the out break of war. It was the first big project to come out of France since Emile cohl had stopped in 1917.

I can't find this animation, but there are quite a few of his stuff on the tube, and here's two that i liked.

This one (above) is really good. I hated it at the beginning for some reason, went a bit slow and didn't really like the style, but once it kicked in it was a fun animation to watch, and i also got used to the style. In fact it wasn't the style i didn't like, it was the dullness of the setting, although i did end up liking it.

The spinny top (think it was like a police car, because it had police sirens) looked almost 3D which is pretty amazing as it was made in the 1940's. I kinda seemed out of place come to think of it because it was soooooo different.

The antagonist was fantastic, looked like a typical evil person; sleazy, smart (well), looks like a magician. Well animated, everything he did was smooth, he was like a classic Disney villain (even though they came later! later meaning classic disney villains, not "disney came later")
His entrance is really cool, after the stupid spinny top goes away then there's a long pause (which is nice) then he pops up out of the box. The pop out of the box bit (3.40) is good because once he jumps out of it he bounces a bit which gives him weight, in terms of Principals its sort of squash and stretch and slow in slow out. His hand movements are lovely as well.

The balancing at the beginning from the he's the damsel in distress which is odd? so yer the bit at the beginning where hes doing acrobatics to show off it the doll is some fine animation. Loads of frames drawn to get that balance right, because the slower you want it to look, the more frames you will need. This is also giving the illusion of weight.

I'll talk about this later....

Cemetery Junction - Thunder Road

I went to go see this film yesterday, i don't know why i went to see it, i don't remember much about it, (the nelson probably didn't help) but i still want to talk about it.

I only remember three things about it (two of them were funny bits!) the other was the ending and i only remembered the ending this morning when i was thinking of something.
The other day on 'The One Show', yes, i watched the one show :\, Stephan Merchant was talking about this new film (which he wrote and directed with that comedian) which is Cemetery Junction.

Just found the clip of him talking about it (this is going somewhere by the way bare with me)
Watching from 4 minuets 30 seconds..

I watched this before i saw the film then today i thought that, yes, its very bruce springsteen inspired. He talked about the ending of a song of Bruce's called 'thunder road' and the ending to Cemetery Junction is a sort of nod to the boss, saying thanks for the inspiration.
Its also nice that its set in 1970's which is when the album 'Born to run' came out (which had the song 'thunder road' on) and although they never actually had any of his songs in it or even reference to him (of what i can remember) , you can still see the connection. Also one of the characters was called Bruce (didnt realize till i looked on IMDB!)

The album 'Born to Run' is a good album to listen to and if you see the film then listen to it you will understand the connections...i hope.

Going back to Ideas Generation, here's two directors and writers (and actors) who have taken inspiration from just a song (and other stuff), which makes me think, Just looking at other films to get inspired isn't the best, and songs are a fantastic place to look at (well listen to).

Also i dont even remember Ricky Gervais beeing in it, so i have no idea why he's on the poster.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

France Part 3 | Now-a-days

Right, getting board of the looking at the past, its interesting, but i want a change.

This website Cartoonbrew is really good for animation, its run by two people who are animation historians and they just update it whenever they find some really good animation and bad bad ones, they cover everything from short animations to reviews on films coming out to student work that's getting good publicity and animation from all the different corners of the world.

They recently plonked up this short animation (below) made in France by David Alapont and Luis Briceno, just looked up both of these people and it seems that this animation is the first thing they've done (says imdb... Link DA / Link LB) Luis Briceno has seem to have done other stuff which I'll look at after. This is the animation...(its like 12 minuets long, but really good)

Sorry forgot to say what its called!, its called

Watch on the website to get full screen ;) Website

I love it. The idea is really good, it looks unique, well animated and you don't even have to know french to understand whats happening (to an extent)

Looks a lot like Renaissance because of its futuristic(ness) and its style, the fact that they've chosen to use a simple colour pallet of creamy brown etc (Renaissance used black and white) just makes it look like its taken inspiration from Renaissance, i wouldn't say its tryed to copy it in anyway.

There is no real explanation behind the idea, maybe the creators just want you to interpret it your own way, or maybe if you know french then it makes more sense at the end. For me its saying that this object (the touch) is shining light on the truth behind whats going on (literally), but it ends up that robots cover up the truth when it concludes (literally).

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Michael Langan’s Doxology

Graduation film produced at Rhode Island School of Design by Michael Langan. It was first shown in 2007 and has won a few festival awards.

Posting this purely for 3 minuets 40 seconds in. A guy dancing with a car, fantastic.

France Part 2 | Émile Cohl

Still reading off this guys Blog (CLICK) , Émile Cohl is another person (animator) who was around at the same time as Emile Reynaud, but one of Cohl's first animations was in 1908 which was quite a few years after Reynaud's. But he is considered the first animator, and reading an extract from this book CLICK Page 59. he seemed a very desperate man, and called him self 'the first animator' so i guess Reynaud had no say in the matter.

He worked for a company called 'Gaumont Film' where he was a writer, he then in went on to be a director there, he was there till 1910.
Gaumont Film is said to be one of the first film companies, founded by Leon Gaumont. What I've noticed so far is that things started in France, weather it was also going on in different countries or not, i don't know, but the things we see today might not have been if it wasn't for these people and companies doing what they did in the 1800's and early 1900's.

During Emile's time at this company he made this film called 'Fantasmagorie' made in 1908, its considered the first fully animated film, this is now a matter of what you want to believe or what people want us to believe.

I like this animation, its a lot more fluent? (think that's the work i'm looking for? :S)....its much smoother (thats sounds better :) and it also shows off some of the animation principals better than Reynaud's did.
Watching from 17 seconds till, like, 21 seconds, the man (made up of just circles) dose this amazing 'Poing' thing, the lady with a silly hat leans back and as she leans, the circular man squashes and 'poings' back into place. I though that bit stud out as being good animation.

Also he has this style of morphing anything he makes into different things, to me its something you do if your experimenting, you know, you run out of ideas or get board of animating it, so you change it into something else!
But it works for him (not saying that's what he was doing, he might have planned it all!) , there's a bit where he turns an elephant into a House! who dose that? but it looked cool though.

Cohl made over 200 animations, and in the book on goolge, page 61, it explains that Cohl found a quicker way of animating. He drew only 8 frames (per second) then photograph each one twice, this works (i've done it!) so this made his animations faster to make, thus why he had over 200 animations on his CV!

Friday, 2 April 2010

France, Part 1 | Charles - Emile Reynaud

This is what i already know about animation in France.......nothing (of what i can think of). So hopefully i can learn something.

This blog is one of the first things i found (CLICK) which told me about Emile. He was the inventor of the 'Praxinoscope' and made one of the first animations to watch on it.
So, the Praxinoscope, it came after the Zoetrope and it used mirrors and man power to use it, then

'further development was the Projection Praxinoscope which used a series of transparent pictures on glass; an oil lamp illuminated the images and the mirror reflections passed through a lens onto a screen.'

He showed his animation called 'Pauvre Pierrot' (Video below) on the Praxinoscope in France to crowds of people, Jules Cheret, a famouse poster designer doing work for the 'moulan rouge', made posters for Reynaud to publicize this animation. So a lot of work went into 'Pauvre Pierrot' and it was shown in Paris. Link to Reference

Jules Cheret Poster for Pauvre Pierrot

Now loads of people say about different animations "THIS IS THE FIRST ANIMATION...EVER!!!!, EVERY ONE WATCH IT BECAUSE ITS REALLY HISTORIC AND OLD AND INTERESTING TO WATCH BECAUSE ITS SO OLD!!!! PLUS ITS REALLY OLD!!!!", So i don't know weather to believe what people say or not, I've checked a few websites to see if it was the first ever animation or one of the first. On IMDB someone reviews the animation and says its 'one of the first'. This site has an extract from a book called 'film history' and the title of this extract is 'Emile Reynaud - First motion picture cartoonist'. So i guess we will never know the first moving image. :'(

Its kind of a nice animation, for the time (1892) its awesome, I like the backgrounds, not keen on the characters, they do nothing for me. But the music is really nice, it takes me back to when i used to play Zelda on the game boy (the gray brick one!). The music makes it worth watching for me, and I end up thinking of the game boy rather than watching the animation.
The movements are mostly wooden, i liked the climb over the wall bit because planning to not draw bits which will be behind the wall is hard and takes planning (this also occurs when the lady walks in from the door to the right)

Also noticed (remember this was 1892) that the start of the animation, which the still image of a guy next to a projector, sets the scene. When we were looking for good editing things from watching that 'cutting edge' documentary, this would be a early example of cutting/ fading from one scene to another.....i think.