Animation

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Animation History

In ‘Home,’ Animator Anita Bruvere Weaves a Poetic Story of Immigration through Stop-Motion Scenes

December 6, 2022

Grace Ebert

19 Princelet Street in London’s East End boasts a richly diverse history that’s emblematic of the neighborhood. The modest brick building once housed Huguenot silk merchants, Irish weavers, and Jewish tailors who fled persecution and struggles within their home countries. Today, the Museum of Immigration and Diversity inhabits the space, securing its legacy as a welcoming, communal environment for people in need.

A profound, meditative short film by Anita Bruvere reflects on this history through intimately crafted stop-motion scenes. Aptly titled “Home,” the animation peers in on the families who occupied the Princelet Street rooms, portraying the two-dimensional figures on acetate. Weaving and sewing practices occupy much of their time and connect each group as the textiles seamlessly flow from one to the next, which Bruvere describes in an interview:

I was interested in how people of different times and generations, coming from different cultures and backgrounds, are connected through the places they occupy and the experiences they share. I wanted the film to be quite poetic, telling the story from the perspective of the house using fabric: the common trade shared by the area’s many immigrant communities.

An immigrant herself, Bruvere conveys a heartbreaking relevancy to such a historic narrative. “It was startling to discover that the public discourse around the issue of immigration hasn’t really changed that much over the last 300 years,” she says.

Watch the film above, and find more of Bruvere’s projects on Vimeo.

 

A still of a building in a suitcase

An animated image of a figure sewing a dress

A still of a figure being measured for tailoring

 

 

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Animation Art Design

Thousands of Structures Populate a Growing Whimsical Metropolis in Charles Young’s Miniature Cities

November 16, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of dozens of colorful miniature buildings and transportation

All images © Charles Young, shared with permission

After picking up a copy of Japanese artist Sanzo Wada’s A Dictionary of Color Combinations a few years ago, Charles Young decided to divert the course of his otherwise monochromatic body of work. The Scottish artist, who is currently based in Edinburgh, has accumulated an extensive archive of tiny buildings, transportation, and public architecture all created in white paper. The stark structures number well into the thousands and together, sprawl into massive miniature metropolises. They’re now joined by similarly sized creations in full color.

Published around 1930, Wada’s reference manual groups pigments into complementary combinations of two, three, or four, and Young uses these pairings as the foundation for his latest models of office buildings, churches, factories, and stations. He finished all of the four-color studies back in 2021 and has since moved on to those with three, a set he plans to wrap up in the new year. “The whole project is like a journal or sketchbook, and not much planning goes into each piece before I start work,” he says. “The project is really about the process and the massing of individual parts rather than each individual building.”

After formulating a general idea of the intended piece, Young prints each hue onto a single sheet of watercolor paper. “I’ll choose one of the colours to be the main feature, used in the walls, and others as accents or for the roofs. It’s a kind of intuitive process where there just seems to be a right way to do it,” he shares. Once cut and assembled into their final three-dimensional shapes, the works are either left as standalone structures or animated in whimsical, stop-motion movements, like a train spinning on its platform or an excavator dipping its bucket.

As mentioned, Young’s three-color studies are ongoing, and you can follow his progress on those on Instagram.

 

An animated image of a train entering a station and turning on its platform

Four photos of tiny structures and transportation vehicles

An animated image of an excavator dipping its bucket

Four photos of tiny buildings and bridges

A photo of dozens of colorful miniature buildings and transportation

An animated image of an arm turning a wheel

 

 



Animation Music

1,300 Oil Paintings Flow Through a Dreamlike Animated Music Video for The Beatles

November 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

London-based animator Em Cooper captures the hazy daze of slipping from wakefulness to slumber in a new music video for The Beatles’ “I’m Only Sleeping.” The short animation stitches together 1,300 oil paintings on celluloid that swirl and twist from one scene of euphoric stupor to the next. “We used to listen to this song on a tape in the car when I was a child,” Cooper told Creative Boom, “and the song itself evokes such a mesmerising, languid, dreamy state. In a way, my job was only to follow its lead with a paintbrush in my hand.”

Originally released in 1966 and now part of the new Revolver: Special Edition album, the harmonic track remains relevant and subversive for its soporific, unhurried approach to modern life, which Cooper echoes in her laborious process of hand-painting every frame. You can find more from the Emmy-nominated animator and director on her site.

 

An animated image of two painted portraits

A painted image of a man sleeping

An animated image of fossils, shoes, lipstick, and oil rigs

A painted image of a hand plucking a guitar

 

 



Animation Photography

In ‘A Sense of Scale,’ Roman De Giuli’s Elaborate Topographies Made of Pigments Nod to Hollywood Special Effects

October 17, 2022

Kate Mothes

The sweeping topography of German photographer Roman De Giuli’s “A Sense of Scale” suggests rivers coursing around islands, lava flows, or clouds moving over land masses as if seen from Earth’s atmosphere. Look a little closer, however, and you will find these effervescent terrains are composed of paint, powders, and water that the artist applies with droppers to the surface of paper and sets into motion with small doses of air. Known for elaborate timelapses imitative of satellite imagery, De Giuli’s work harnesses the power of high-definition photography to document the voluptuous movement of fluid pigments.

Using a custom lens setup to zoom in and out, the piece took about a year to complete and was filmed in 8K resolution with the aid of several macro lenses. The title is a nod to the 2011 documentary “Sense of Scale” by Berton Pierce, which chronicled the world of Hollywood special effects as CGI had begun to render scale miniatures obsolete in the film industry. Struck by the detail and beauty of camera effects and the ability to transform objects on screen, De Giuli explains, “I want to emphasize the meaning of handmade visuals and the effort it takes to stage sceneries on a small scale.” You can discover more on Instagram and his website.

 

 

 



Animation Music

A Whirlwind Timelapse Comprised Entirely of Google Street View Images Circles the Globe

October 6, 2022

Grace Ebert

From the halls of the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro to the Hamburg Canals and the craggy landscape of Mont Blanc, a short film by Adam Chitayat adventures around the world in a dizzying sequence. The timelapse, which is the official music video for “Out Sailing” by Alex Boman, was initially intended as an antidote to wanderlust during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Using frames captured in sequence through Google Street View, Chitayat explores a multitude of rural and urban settings both indoor and outdoor, producing a whirlwind travelogue that traverses the globe in a matter of minutes. For more from the American-Israeli director, head to Vimeo.

 

 

 



Animation

A Kayak Trip Sends a Father on Anxiety-Provoking Adventures in an Adorable Animated Short

August 30, 2022

Grace Ebert

Multiple scenarios that would give any parent nightmares actualize in the adventurous animation “Kayak.” What begins as a peaceful trip down the river for a father and baby becomes an endless slew of anxiety-inducing incidents as the child trips, ends up upside down in the water, launches into the air several times, and is even preyed upon by a hungry eagle. The short film, which teeters on the terrifying, is a graduation project by students at the French animation school École des Nouvelles Images.