Animation

Section



Animation Design History

Watch the 14th-Century Construction Process of Prague's Charles Bridge Unfold in a Meticulous Animation

October 30, 2020

Grace Ebert

Up until the mid-19th century, the only way to cross the Vltava River in Prague was to head over the gothic stone arches of the Charles Bridge. The project of King Charles IV, construction of the now iconic structure began in 1357 after a flood damaged the existing walkway. A short animation by Engineering and Architecture peers back into history to chronicle the centuries-old building process as it shows wooden trusses framing the structure and bricks seemingly sprinkling into place. While the video collapses decades of work into less than a minute, the Charles Bridge wasn’t complete until the early 15th century.

Find more of Engineering and Architecture’s construction studies on Instagram and YouTube. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

 



Animation Art

A Turbine-Faced Pilot Returns from War in a Surreal Animated Short About Love and Transformation

October 30, 2020

Grace Ebert

Presented by the National Film Board of Canada, an animated short by Montreal-based director Alex Boya considers the complex effects of war through a heartwarming tale. “Turbine” opens with a woman climbing aboard a train that inches along the track like a worm. The black-and-white film then chronicles her journey reuniting with her pilot husband, who returns from war with an airplane engine permanently replacing his face and subsequently falls in love with the ceiling fan.

Through incredibly rich renderings—the wrinkles on the characters’ hands and the whorling patterns in their hair are particularly detailed—Boya depicts peculiar scenes and quiet domestic moments to share a story about love, humanity, and transformation. In an interview about “Turbine,” the director says the film’s distinct style came about organically:

It felt like creating sober instructional illustrations of real things, with an honest attempt to simply survey their opaqueness and shadows in a photorealistic world. Just like I focus on the water instead of on my body when I swim, it works not to think of style, but simply on the subject matter that is being drawn.

For more short films, see the board’s Instagram and Vimeo, and check out Boya’s site to explore the entire Turbine Universe, which is complete with dozens of sketches and gifs of the hybrid character.

 

 

 



Animation

We: A Shape-Shifting Animation Explores Connection and Constraint

October 13, 2020

Grace Ebert

In Rita Louro and Martina Stiftinger’s “We,” abstract forms undergo a series of transformations that evince both their malleable properties and inflexibility. Two-toned liquids gush into bulbous pools, fabric strips tether a diverse array of solid shapes in a single unit, and a rock-like substance cracks and crumbles into disparate pieces. While the amorphous forms are different in texture, hue, and structure, they overlap and join together in new configurations.

Louro and Stiftinger describe the animation as a visual essay that explores connection through “a metaphorical study of interpersonal relationships and social constraints” and evokes personal experience. Set to serene audio by Los Angeles-based sound designer Ambrose Yu, “We” takes a captivating and calming approach to examining the current cultural moment.

To dive further into Lisbon-based Louro’s projects, head to Instagram, Vimeo, and Behance. Follow Stiftinger, who works and lives between the United Kingdom and Austria, on Vimeo and Behance.

 

 

 



Animation Music

Who Dat: A Suave Pigeon Struts Down the Sidewalk and Shows Off its Groove Thang in a New Music Video

October 8, 2020

Grace Ebert

The swaggering pigeon in Emmit Fenn’s new music video might upend the notion that peacocks are the proudest avians. Animated and directed by Patrick Jean, “Who Dat” opens on a quiet street corner before zooming in on the lone bird. As the bass drops, the pigeon begins a subtle strut down the street while it grooves to the beat. Soon, the bird reveals in its dancing skills after a shake of its tail feather. To see more of the Los Angeles-based director’s humorous animations, head to Vimeo.

 

 

 



Animation Design

The World's Largest Robot Walks, Kneels, and Points Toward the Sky Above Japan

October 5, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Shutterstock

An iconic sci-fi character comes to life in the form of an enormous droid that looms 60-feet above Japan. A project of Gundam Factory Yokohama, it’s the tallest robot in the world, and after months of engineering, this life-sized bot now can swivel its head, kneel, point upward, and even walk, despite weighing an incredible 55,500 pounds.

RX-78-2 Gundam robot is straight from Mobile Suit Gundam, the 1979 animated television series that originally was directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino and animated by Sunrise, before turning into a massive franchise with more than 50 films, television spin-offs, manga, and video games. It was slated for unveiling at a new amusement park dedicated to the bot this October, but the opening has been postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. If you have the chance to visit the Tokyo area in the next year, however, Gundam will be stationed in the Port of Yokohama, which is just south of the city. (via My Modern Met)

 

 

 



Animation Illustration

Download Hundreds of Frames from Studio Ghibli Animations for Video-Chat Backgrounds for Free

September 29, 2020

Grace Ebert

Ponyo on the cliff

Thanks to Studio Ghibli, you can hide piles of laundry and errant messes while videoconferencing from home with one of 400 stills from classic animations. The renowned Japanese animation studio recently released an online archive of images— which boasts iconic frames from films like Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo and Spirited Away and Isao Takahata’s The Tale of the Princess Kaguya available—for free download. Each month, Studio Ghibli will add an additional eight images, mostly derived from new works.

This recent collection appears to be an extension of the studio’s release of video-conferencing backgrounds earlier this year. Explore the entire archive and watch for upcoming projects, which include a new Miyazaki-directed film, on the studio’s site. (via Hyperallergic)

 

Ponyo on the cliff

Spirited Away

Spirited Away

When Marnie Was There

When Marnie Was There

The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises

The Borrower Arrietty

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Sailing Ship Kite