Thursday, 14 April 2016

2D Animation is definitely not dead!

I read a great blog post the other day by Tara Peak from Curveball Media. I couldn't agree more with her sentiments within her post! Take a look at it, it makes interesting reading: 2d animation isn't dead

2D animation is still definitely alive in Japanese anime! Studio Ghibli still create 2D films, and it is definitely alive within TV and online advertising, animated info graphics and 2D games! The area where it is no longer used is in Disney films and Western animated films in general, but it is still alive within so many other areas. 

I recently attended a couple of screenings of the British Animation Awards, public vote at the Regent Street Cinema, London and there was a great variety of animations screened including lots of 2D, along with stop motion, mixed media and 3D. I enjoyed The Evening Her Mind Jumped Out Of Her Head by Shaun Clark and Kim Noce, Weather the Storm by Benjamin Sheuer and Stromae: Carmen by Sylvain Chomet, to name a few.

Stromae: Carmen by Sylvain Chomet

I think 2D is having a revival and I happy to witness this. Don't get me wrong - I appreciate all types of animation, but I am tired of hearing that 2D is dead, I think we can categorically say this is not the case!

Monday, 18 January 2016

Big upgrade for Adobe Flash!

I first read about the update to Flash on the Angry Animators website and I must admit to having a bit of panic when reading his headline RIP Adobe Flash.... Thankfully on reading on, it shouldn't be as bad as it sounds. If Adobe gets this right, there will be a lot of grateful animators out there! I am a bit scared that they could get it wrong, but this is me being a pessimist. I do have my reasons as I used to love Adobe Soundbooth it was a great sound editing programme... straightforward to use and edit in, but Adobe changed it to Audition which I do use, but it is in no way as user friendly as Soundbooth was. I really hope they don't do this with Flash.... or should I say 'Animate'.

There is going to be a name change - Flash will now be Adobe Animate CC - I really do hope that they focus on what animators really need and reflect on the new name!

It was hard to take when they upgraded Flash CS6 and they took away things that we were getting used to using, it seemed crazy that an upgrade came with less features than the old version?!? It is also quite annoying that when you import video to create some rotoscoping effects that you have to import an flv to embed into the timeline but that you cannot convert .movs to flv's in the Adobe Media Encoder! I really hope this is updated with the new version.

Below is a video from, discussing some of the new updates - nothing here to get too excited about apart from being able to import brushes.... that is long overdue I think.

Well, the update is supposed to be happening soon so we will wait in anticipation for what happens with the re-birth of good old Flash. It has its short comings but I teach it to my animation students and its a great platform to start learning 2D digital animation. You can do frame by frame, 2D rigging and rotoscope which are all the skills you need to learn at the beginning of an animation education.

Take from: 
I love the illustration above - I borrowed it from Angry Animator because it illustrates the frustration of learning and creating animation :)

Friday, 24 April 2015

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The Art of Short Films

The Art of Short Films  flick through

The Art of Short Films Book 'Flick-Through' from Skwigly on Vimeo.

This book looks so cool, it's a must buy I think! The short film creators are interviewed and they share their experiences and give advice about what to do and what not to do, which is helpful.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

LIAF Best of the Festival

Storm Hits Jacket by Paul Cabon (France) was chosen as the best of the LIAF festival last year (2014). I love the style and obviously the judges loved it! There comments were that: 

'This film used a combination of highly imaginative scenarios, absurdity, deadpan humour and a deceptively naive but subtle animation style to keep us riveted throughout a film which really made no sense at all. For its genuine silliness, sophisticated structure, pacing and memorable images the award for Best Film of the London International Animation Festival 2014 goes to Storm Hits Jacket by Paul Cabon'.

Here is a little snippet from the animation:

Tempête sur anorak _ ANIMATION SNIPPET from Paul Cabon on Vimeo.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

What is Animation?

I recently stumbled upon an interview with Bob Godfrey by Martin Pickles in Cartoon Brew and I realised how similar my philosophy of animation is to his. I truly admire Disney style 2D animation and I am in awe at the expertise of the nine old men, but I do love the simplicity of quirky non realistic animation. I love the work of Ivan Maximov and Michaela Pavlatova to name a few.

In the interview (which took place at Godfrey's Acme Studio in the East End of London in 2006), Godfrey said:
“Well animation is not live action, I think that says it. Anything that is not live action which is actuality but is drawn is animation. And the thing about animation is that there are absolutely no rules. I mean these schools that are springing up all over the place ‘How to Walk, ‘How to Run,’ based on live action. How a live action man runs, how a live action person walks, you know, people in animation don’t have to walk, I mean they don’t even have to have legs, they can go up in the air.
“In animation you can do absolutely everything and I said I think that the only two restrictions are your bank balance and your mind. And, well, your imagination that you can grow, you know, providing the budget will allow you to. And when people are confronted with this absolute freedom they tend to freak out, they tend to say ‘We want limitations, we want gravity.’ Basically, there is no gravity in animation, animation is free, it can fly, it can go anywhere. And I don’t think enough people realize this, they’re too earth bound. It’s not earth bound, it’s fantasy.”

Sunday, 17 August 2014

How to stop procrastinating

I have just read an article in Ideas Tap on how to stop procrastinating. I try to warn my students about the daemon procrastination, but I always have to admit that I can also succumb to it at times! There is a good piece of advice in the article (written by Stephanie Soh), from writer Simon Whaley about breaking things down into smaller chunks and this advice is true of any piece of creative work and also for essay writing:

Break it down“Often we procrastinate because the job that needs doing is too big, or feels like a lot of work,” says Simon Whaley. “The trick is to break it down into more manageable, bite-size chunks.” He uses the example of writing a short story to illustrate this technique: “If you sit down to write a 5,000-word story then the task will overwhelm you. You will procrastinate because you’ll be trying to write the perfect first word, followed by the perfect first sentence, followed by the perfect first paragraph. Perfection is created during editing, but you can’t edit a blank page – you need to write something. Break down the task: think about a plot, or the basic premise. Don’t think, ‘I have 30 minutes, I’d better write the first 500-words.’ Just think, ‘What's my story about?’ You can worry about characters and writing your story for the next session.”
Another bit of good advice is to write down the consequences of procrastination, when you see this written down, you will feel the need to crack on with things sooner! It is so true that procrastinators will put work off until the point of pain, it is only when it is so last minute that we finally take action!

Realise the consequencesWe all know that good things happen when we meet deadlines, finish early and generally get things done. So why do we go to such lengths of put off our work? Michael Heppell believes that “People will do more to avoid pain than they will to gain pleasure. They’ll put work off until the point of pain, and that’s when they’ll suddenly take action.” What we need to do is make ourselves fully aware of the negative consequences of procrastination: “Write a list of the benefits of getting busy with what you want to do, but also a list of the pain if you don’t do it,” advises Michael. “And don’t just note one or two things, write down 10 or 15 things: what people might think about you, what it might cost you, your stress levels, your health, what it might mean to your relationship, having to stay behind at work... Big things, little things, get them all on. And by capturing it on paper, you’ll be much more inclined to do something, rather than just think about it.”