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Animation

by on October 16, 2012

I’m very interested in animation across the fields of modern entertainment.

Thinking further about the concept of the mimetic faculty in tandem with the uncanny valley, animation has a very thin line to balance on.

As animators, they have made a creative choice to use this method of visual art to create a piece of work resulting in an interesting location in the uncanny valley.

I feel animation is effective as it creates a completely new fictional world and allows plot lines to be more elaborate. For example Toy Story would be a very different film if they didn’t use the cutting edge animation that Pixar have at their disposal. It allows animals, toys, robots etc, to adopt human characteristics and be fully empathetic to an audience.

Animators are constantly striving to make their cartoons as real and as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Here lies quite the paradox between the choice to use animation, in order to detach from normal, everyday situations in life and allows for much more imaginative work – balanced with a real  aim to be as close to reality within it’s spectrum as possible.

Below is a link to an amazing documentary about Pixar and there’s one moment in particular that I think sums up the goal of the compete naturalism they want from the animation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rlvsfi4hioE

watch a small moment from about 1.05.   In fact, watch it all if you’re bored!

In addition to this,  animation has taken a huge leap forward where human actors are now aiding this process and are serving as beings, being less believable than themselves as actors, but more believable in terms of the character they are playing.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy introduced me to this technology, where the actor Andy Serkis played the creature Gollem himself and animators worked around him,  resulting in Gollem have very real tangible characteristics, rather than the alternative of pure animation, then Andy just dubbing his voice. Andy Serkis has gone on to make a niche for himself in this kind of thing, playing King Kong in the recent remake  and the chimp Caesar in The Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

The common theme there is Andy is playing non-human characters.

Uncharted, a popular video game, in its cut scenes are using actors to play more realistic human characters for the animators, because i guess a video game where you control real life humans, as you see them with your own eyes would be weird and would sort of defeat the whole object of keeping it fictional yet realistic at the same time.

Tom

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