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2D Animation Timeline
Transcript of 2D Animation Timeline
Early Devices and Animation
In 180 AD Ting Huan invented a device like the Zoetrope which allowed the viewer to moving images.
His Device was called the "chao hua chich kuan" which means "the pipe which makes fantasies appear". It worked as when it was suspended over a lamp, the hot air from the lamp rose and turned turned vanes at the top. Paper panels hung from these with images on them,when they turned at the right speed the images appeared to move.
The Zoetrope was invented by William Horner. It is shaped like a drum with slots around the top) see the image on the right). A strip of images is placed inside. Each images is slightly different from the one before. When when the drum is turned and the images viewed through the slots they appear to move in a loop. If you view the images through the top instead of the slots they blur together. Like the Phenakistoscope, it is the slots that act as a "shutter" that break up the images and allow us to see individual frames.
Kineograph (Flipbook) -1868
The Kineograph was patented by John Barnes Linnett. It works because there is a series of pages with a slightly different image on each page. When the viewer flicks through the pages the images appear to move. The example on the right is a hand drawn version. It is the individual pages that break of the flow of images allowing us to see the animation.
Edweard Muybridge 1872
The Praxinoscope was invented by Emille Reynaud. It was a development on from the Zoetrope. When spun the strip of images are viewed in the segmented mirror in the center rather that through slots. The segments in the mirror break up the image allowing the viewer to see the individual frames, in a similar way the slots on the Zoetrope. This makes the images clearer and easier to see. (See the video on the right).
The Kinetoscope was invented by Thomas Edison. It was designed so moving images could be viewed by one person at a time (picture 1). They would look through a viewer in the top and view the images on a film that passed through the Kinetoscope (picture 2). A shutter opened and closed at high speed to break up the images and allow the viewer to see the movement at 46 frames per second.
Developers of 2D Animation
Steam Boat Willie-1928
Steamboat Willie was produced by Disney Studios and is considered the first appearance of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. It is created using Cel-Animation. It was filmed in black and white and the animation is in an exaggerated "rubber hose" style as the characters stretch and squash more than in real life movement. The animation also uses lots of repeating loops or "cycles" such as the parrot on the perch (see the video on the right) . This saved time as frames could be reused without being re-drawn.
Earl Hurd patented the techniques of cel animation in 1914. It is the process where images are drawn onto transparent sheets of celluloid (cels) and these are layered on top of a background. This allows parts of the animation to be animated separately and also means the background does not have to be redrawn over and over. The image on the right shows two characters, from Disney's Little Mermaid, on separate cels and the background behind them.
Rainbow dance was the second film created by Len Lye. It was made as a promotional film for the General Post Office. It was made using black and white filmed footage and then using the Gasparcolor process to draw colour onto the film afterwards. This created very vivid colours over the top of the live action which you can see in the video on the right.
Dots was made by Norman Mclaren using the technique of drawing directly onto film. He would draw frame by onto a reel of film (see picture below) and when this was played back through a projector it would form an animation. In Dots the animation was timed perfectly to fit the sound which you can see in the video below.
The Flintstones was an animated cartoon series which first aired in 1960. It was created by the animation studio Hannah Barbera. The Flintstones was animated using cel animation. in addition to this the Flintstones, along with many other Hanna Barbera characters, all had something around their neck eg a tie or necklace. This was to allow the animators to animate heads and bodies separately. So in a scene where the character was just talking only the head needed to be redrawn. This technique, called "ring around the collar" saves time and allowed Hanna Barbera to produce animations quickly and cheaply for TV audiences.
Looney Tunes 1930-1969
Looney tunes were a series of animations created by Warner Brothers. It was made using cel animation. Looney Tunes was produced in black and white until 1943 when it it was then made in colour. Looney Tunes was a comedy and has created some of the most iconic animated characters still known today including Bugs Bunny (picture 1) Daffy Duck (picture 2) and Wylie Coyote (picture 3).
Yellow Submarine was created by director George Dunning and was based around the music of the Beatles. It was made using a form of limited animation. This is where pieces of animation are reused or only certain parts of a character are animated to save time and money. The animation was made using a mixture of cel animation and paper cut out.
Contemporary Examples of 2D Animation
Monty Python 1969-1974
Monty Python was a British comedy series. It included surreal animations made by Terry Gilliam. These animations were made using paper cut outs which where photographed, then moved, then photographed again. This, when played back created the illusion the cut outs were moving. Paper cut out is a stop frame technique.
The image on the right shows a large cut out of a foot with a background behind it that was use in the title sequence of the show.
A Scanner Darkly 2006
A Scanner Darkley was directed by Richard Linklater. It was created by filming live action scenes and then using a technique called interpolated rotoscoping. This is where a computer software called Rotoshop builds up layers of animation on top of the live action footage. This is much quicker than hand rotoscoping which involves tracing the footage frame by frame by hand. This technique gave the film a unique, almost comic book style that helped enhance the feeling of confusion created by the drug use in the storyline.
Persepolis is an animated film based on the graphic novels by Marjane Satrapi. It is a hand drawn animation filmed in black and white. The video on the right is the UK version of the trailer. You can see the cartoon style of the animation which is used to show a political storyline. This style was used to reflect the stye of the original graphic novel format. Marjane acted out the scenes and drew they key poses of the characters. It was then up to a team of animators to bring the characters to life.
Red Bull Adverts- 2003-Present
The Red Bull animations were produced by Kastner and Partners. The video on the right shows the first in the series entitled St Peter. The adverts are animated using traditional hand drawn techniques. Lines are drawn by hand and colour is also added frame by frame. With a lot of animation now being done on computer, advertisers sometimes use traditional techniques to make their adverts stand out.
Angry Birds is a 2D animated game produced originally for iPhone. It was developed by Finish studio, Rovio and produced by British company Chillingo. It is a physics based game where the player launches birds at targets using a catapult. The animation is created digitally and run by the games engine. This means the movement is interactive and dictated by the actions of the player. As you can see in the video, the visuals are flat and cartoon like in style.
The end result is beautiful graphics with a distinctive movement style that looks like paper cut out but was created digitally. This makes is different to a lot of other 2D animated games such as Angry Birds which look more cartoon like in style (see the trailer on the right).
Dumb Ways to Die - 2012
Dumb Ways today is an animated advert created by McCann Melbourne. It was created in Adobe Flash as an advert to promote safety around trains. The characters are animated to fit the lyrics of the song suggesting stupid ways in which people can die by accident. The style if the animation is very much suited to Adobe flash with the flat colours and cartoon style making it ideal to be animated in a vector based software.
2D Animation Timeline
The Phenakistoscope was invented by Joseph Plateau. Is its made up of a spinning disk with slots around the edge and sequence of images painted on the front. When the images are viewed in a mirror through the slots they appear to be moving in a loop (see the video on the right). This works because the slots break up the movement allowing the viewer to see the individual frames.
Persistance of Vision-1824
Persistence of vision was first written about by Mark Peter Roget in his paper called "Explanation of an optical deception in the appearance of the spokes of a wheel when seen through vertical apertures" It is one theory of how we see animation. It states that an after image is left on our retina and its is this which causes the individual images in an animation to "stick together" to form continuous movement as these images overlap.
It is one of the theories that explains how optical devices work.
I will look at some of these next.
In 1872 Edweard Muybridge proved that a horses hooves leave the ground for a moment at the gallop. In doing this experiment he also captured a horses movement. He did this by setting up 12 cameras with trip wires. (See the video on the right at 30 seconds)As the horse galloped past the cameras the wires were tripped. This activated the cameras in order and a series of photos were taken. Muybridege also invented the Zoopraxiscope, a device similar the the Phenakistoscope that allowed him to display his photographs in a sequence. (See video at 2 minutes)
The Cinematographe was invented by the Lumiere Brothers and was a development of the Kinetograph. It was designed to be both a camera (picture 1) and projector (picture 2) and is considered to be the first cinema projector allowing more than one person at a time to view the images.
The video on the right is an advert for the digitally remastered version of the film where you can see the limited animation style.
The image below shows how the computer turns the live action into digital animation
(Left to Right)
Broken Age is a point and click adventure developed by Double Fine Productions. It was released on Steam in January 2014. The characters were created in 2D but rigged and modeled like 3D characters.
The Lumiere Brothers uses the Cinematographe to create the first films to be shown at a public screening.
One of their most famous films "Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat" (1896) was shown less than a month later.