Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Literature Review Four - ''Animation Now!' Anima Mundi

Animation Now! was one of the first animation books I bought for myself. It provides a great collection of shorts and previews from animations all over the world and even comes with a DVD that features some of the animations in full, so that you can really interact with the book.
Inside, you will find chapters on well known animation productions such as Aardman, Dreamworks, National Film Board of Canada, Walt Disney and 
Disney/Pixar. Plus lots on those that you may never have heard of. It focuses on not only animation shorts, but includes tv commercials and trailers which as you flip through will prove very interesting to see the well known products and programmes that these companies have produced work for.
The Aardman pages features all the animations that they have ever produced, specifically picking out a few and going in-depth into the production and animation process. Examples are that of 'Angry Kid', 'Wallace and Gromit' and 'Rex the Runt'. Photos illustrate the process involved of making the characters and the brief history behind Aardman that prove fascinating to all. 

Russian animator Alexandor Petrov, creates animation that looks like moving paintings. His artwork is so beautiful and the examples of storyboards further magnify his creative ability
 and helps those studying animation to see how professional animators use storyboards to help themselves project their ideas properly.
 Speaking from experience, I know that I usually try to make my storyboards seem neat and spend hours going over them in outlines and shading. Petrov's boards are so rough 
but the content is so detailed that it just shows that you don't have to spend such a long time on them, as long as you get the images that you need
 in order to create your film correctly. It's useful to see how Petrov works whilst preparing his work, as for any young
 animator it is always a good help to see their process of techniques as tips for the future. 

Another example featured in this book is that of
the group, Buzzco and Associates. They create really fun and jazzy animations that are colourful and combine interesting techniques and materials. 
Their animation, 'The ballad of Archie Foley' features outlines in a diverse array of bold colours. It's different to anything I've ever seen and is a really effective way to do something new.  I think in a way it appears more effective to colour the background in black and use coloured lines to initiate life as it stands out more then it would against a white backdrop.
With their other short, '(It was...) nothing at all' it appears that they have cut out parts of fabrics and drawn on top of them to create a collage using a blend of different materials.  It makes the animation seem really textured and a real pleasure for the eyes. It's an interesting option to consider as opposed to the normal sketches or CGI that we've become so used to.

Animation Now! continues to look at so many more productions, illustrating their best works. Not only does this allow us to look at the variety of techniques but it educates you on the different companies out there, which as I have then looked into them, have noticed that they are keen to offer internships which is always helpful for future job prospects. The book is really interesting and the layout makes it easy and appealing to flip through and enjoy. All the artwork is laid out well with information avaliable as not only is it vital to see animation pictures but to understand the motive behind the visions too. It's a really inviting read and the DVD will also be an included bonus.

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