I recently stumbled onto the Tumblr of animator Matthias Brown who shares his numerous experiments with rotoscoping and other animation techniques in quick looped gifs. In case you’re unfamiliar, rotoscoping is method where animators trace real footage frame by frame to create live-action animations with a hand drawn feel, a technique invented in 1915 by Max Fleischer who used it in his series Out of the Inkwell. While the technique is a century old it’s oddly refreshing to see it appear in today’s barrage of animated gifs, gritty imperfections and all. You can see much more of Brown’s work over on his aptly titled site TraceLoops, and he talks a bit more about his process here.
Created by Yuki Ariga for Japanese paper manufacturer Nepia this lovely animated short features a cavalcade of delicately folded tissue paper animals. If you’re interested, here’s the making of video. (via NOTCOT)
UK department store chain John Lewis are known for the high production value of their annual holiday commercial produced in partnership with Adam&Eve/DDB. This year’s festive/sappy/tear-jerker ad, The Bear & the Hare, could have been produced using standard animation, but the creative team opted for a much more complex and time-consuming hybrid of hand-drawn animation converted into stop motion animation. The making-of video above is almost more impressive than the actual commercial, which you can watch here. BUT WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN!? The BBC tries to interpret the ad. (via It’s Nice That)
This animated short by London-based artist, animator and body painter Emma Allen briefly depicts the cycle of reincarnation using face paint. Allen made the 75-second piece over a period of five days by painting and photographing her own face. (via mashKULTURE)
Light painter Darren Pearson (previously here and here) is back with a new stop motion short that follows the adventures of a skateboarding skeleton. In the making for nearly a year, the video involves over 700 individual photographs that were painted in camera using a small flashlight.
Created by designer Nando Costa (previously) The New American is a painstakingly crafted motion graphics animation that was laser cut into a series of 800 individual maple blocks, a process that took nearly two years. Of the work Costa says:
The abstract storyline showcased in this piece is a concoction of a variety of ideas and can perhaps be described as a union between concepts and experiments born during the Situationist movement and real life events experienced during the last few years in American society. Particularly the duality between the economic downturn and the shift in values and beliefs of many citizens.
American director and stop-motion animator PES just released his beautiful 2010 stop motion short The Deep on his official YouTube channel in high definition. The murky underwater world of fish, seaweed and other aquatic lifeforms is created entirely from old hand tools, nut crackers, calipers, film lenses, faucet knobs, chains, and skeleton keys—the exact opposite of what you might expect to animate sea life with—demonstrating why PES is clearly a master of his craft. The clip appeared briefly as part of Showtime Network’s “Short Stories” back in 2010 but later taken down. The re-release is accompanied by a limited edition screen print.