Animation

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Animation Design History

Architectural Gifs Restore Damaged Cultural Sites Around the World

July 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

Hatra, Al-Jazīrah, Iraq

Evoking a bit of time-travel, NeoMam (previously) recently animated a series of gifs that restore impressive, human-made structures around the globe to pristine condition. Although the six landmarks are now in some form of decay and have made UNESCO’s list of endangered world heritage, the short clips digitally reconstruct the sites to show what they’d look like had they not faced the ravages of time.

Included in this round of restoration are a remnant of Hatra, a large fortified city that was capital of the first Arab Kingdom, and the hundreds of islets that make up Nan Modol in Micronesia. UNESCO designated these landmarks in danger because of natural and human-generated threats like earthquakes, military conflict, and urbanization. Dig into the history behind the six restorations, which were completed in partnership with BudgetDirect and architect Jelena Popovic, in addition to other at-risk locations on UNESCO’s site.

 

Nan Madol, Temwen Island, Federated States of Micronesia

Leptis Magna, District of Khoms, Libya

Jerusalem, Israel

Palmyra, Tadmur, Homs Governorate, Syria

Fort San Lorenzo, Province of Colon, District of Cristobal, Panama

 

 



Animation

A Nondescript Character Sheds Suits of Fur, Bubbling Liquids, and Gnarly Wood in Hypnotic CGI Animation

July 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

From gurgling liquids to crackling fire to rainbow-colored fur, a range of materials envelop an indistinct figure in Universal Everything’s new animation. “Transfiguration” follows a central character as it wades across the screen wearing full-coverage suits that evolve with each step. Despite the mesmerizing changes in appearance, the figure never walks farther than mid-frame.

To create this new, CGI animation, Universal Everything (previously) updated a similar piece from 2011. The United Kingdom-based art and design studio engages in a wide range of digital projects, which you can find on Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 

 



Animation Illustration

Delicate Gifs by Illustrator Maori Sakai Capture the Serene Moments of Daily Life

July 26, 2020

Grace Ebert

All gifs © Maori Sakai, shared with permission

Based in Japan, Maori Sakai imbues a bit of whimsy into otherwise mundane scenes through her delicately illustrated animations. Each gif is rendered largely in pastels and captures simple movements: a record spinning on a turntable, rain falling outside a window, and butterflies hovering around hydrangeas. Many of Sakai’s short animations, in addition to glimpses into her process, can be found on Instagram and Tumblr. (via Lustik)

 

 

 



Animation Art

Digital Sculptures Visualize Chirps of Amazonian Birds in a Responsive Artwork by Andy Thomas

July 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

Based on an audio recording from a 2016 trip to the Amazon, Australian artist Andy Thomas interprets birds’ trills, squawks, and coos through an animated series of digital sculptures. An extension of a previous project, “Visual Sounds of the Amazon 2” is an abstract rendering composed of bursting dots, billowing fog, and flashes of amorphous forms that correspond to the avian sounds. With each chirp, the fleeting masses contort, grow, and disassemble into a new, vibrant form.

Many of Thomas’s projects explore the intersection of technology and nature, and he tells Colossal that he sees “computers as a hyper extension of evolution.” He expands on the idea by saying:

Humans are changing the biodiversity of the natural world and gradually replacing it with digitized versions, like echoes of the past. I am fascinated with the idea of generating digital art that references the beauty and complexity of nature. I hope this piece will encourage people to research the many amazing varieties of birds that call the Amazon home, and remind us of how fragile and important this place is to us all.

The artist ascribes “Visual Sounds of the Amazon 2” a more urgent context, as well. “This series is dedicated to the people of Brazil and the ecosystem of one of the world’s most amazing forests. The Amazon is known as the lungs of the world and is under constant and ongoing threats of deforestation,” he writes in a statement about the animated project.

Find more of Thomas’s visual explorations on Instagram and Vimeo, and check out the sprawling digital creations he has available as prints in his shop.

 

 

 



Animation Dance

A Sparkling Figure Leaves a Trail of Dance Moves in New Stop-Motion Animation by Fernando Livschitz

July 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

A mesmerizing new project by Fernando Livschitz (previously), of Black Sheep Films, captures a gold figure dancing down a well-light runway in what appears to be a digital animation. As he twists and moves his body, the dancer is stretched out, leaving behind a glimmering streak of previous positions. “Lost in motions,” though, is entirely analog, and the latter half of the video chronicles the production process: Livschitz photographs himself dancing, before transferring each individual position to a wood cutout. After painting each figure and the surrounding scene, he assembles the pieces in order and manually positions them as he records.

Explore a larger collection of Livschitz’s animated projects on Instagram and Vimeo. You also might enjoy this music video featuring layered papercraft.

 

 

 



Animation

Tokri: A Lavish Stop-Motion Short Explores the Tender Relationship Between a Father and Daughter

July 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

Taking eight years to complete, a new stop-motion short by Suresh Eriyat and his production company Studio Eeksaurus tells a heartrending story about family, mistakes, and forgiveness. “Tokri” features a young girl’s attempts to remedy breaking a precious heirloom by weaving and selling baskets to passersby. Chronicling her travails, the claymation winds through the busy streets of Mumbai, featuring an impressively large band of characters.

Part class commentary, “Tokri” was inspired by Eriyat’s own experience in the Indian city, after he dismissed a child who approached him while stopped at a traffic light. “As he drove off, he was hit with guilt, wondering what circumstance made the little girl sell baskets, and what if his brashness had done little but drag her situation for longer,” a statement from the studio says.

A behind-the-scenes video chronicling the creation process reveals a massive set replete with constructed shops and buses, cars, and other vehicles lining the streets. It shows animators constantly moving the dozens of clay characters who walk down the sidewalk and ride on public transit. “For the details of the ambiance, we photographed various little shops on the streets for references, as well as interiors of slum houses,” the studio said. “We tried to get every detail right, from the props inside the house to the model and make of the automobiles on the road.” The result is a lively, crowded cityscape with incredibly particular elements, like the old family photograph, patterned textiles stacked in the home, and the stray animals and refuse occupying alleyways. Expansive shots capture the magnitude of the miniature scenes.

Studio Eeksaurus is headed by both Suresh and Nilima Eriyat, the company’s executive producer. The prolific animator has created hundreds of films that have garnered him an Annecy Cristal, in addition to recognition from Clios and Cannes Lions. To dive further into the making of “Tokri,” multiple videos showing the pre-production, music, and sound processes are available on Vimeo. Find more of Eriyat and the studio’s award-winning work on Instagram. (via Short of the Week)