Animation

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Animation

A Stop-Motion Animation Full of Inappropriate Office Behavior Questions the Professional Impact of Motherhood

March 8, 2021

Grace Ebert

What poses the biggest threat to women’s careers? That’s the question behind a new animation by Swedish director Anna Mantzaris (previously) that follows a mischievous character through a series of wildly inappropriate misdeeds and poor office etiquette. Created collaboratively by Passion Pictures and Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand, the lighthearted-turned-sincere short film compares snipping off a coworker’s tie or wreaking workplace havoc to the unfair penalties of being a parent.

Coinciding with International Women’s Day, the stop-motion animation marks the launch of a new Global Women campaign that advocates for an end to the motherhood penalty, or the systemic setbacks women face in the workforce after having children. These disadvantages include everything from “earning an average of 12.5% less across a working lifetime despite working comparable hours to male and non-parent counterparts in their working lifetimes, through to being passed up for promotions and opportunities for advancement simply for being a mother,” the New Zealand-based organization says in a statement.

Mantzaris is known for her distinct style of humor and animations laden with office hijinks, which you can watch on her Vimeo and Instagram. (via Creative Boom)

 

 

 



Animation Music

A Jazz Band Improvises an Entire Track in One Take for an Animated Music Video Honoring the Brushstroke

February 8, 2021

Grace Ebert

The process behind most music videos begins with an audio track that an artist reacts to and pairs with a corresponding visual, an undertaking Vincent de Boer knows well. The Netherlands-based artist has been working with the jazz quartet Ill Considered since 2017, listening to the band’s largely improvised melodies and creating abstract animations, alongside stills for its 11 album covers, to match.

But for their most recent collaboration, “The Stroke,” the group flipped the traditional workflow.  With the help of his creative partner Hans Schuttenbeld, de Boer hand-drew 4,056 frames that range from dark, geometric shapes to gangly creatures to scenes that morph from one trippy composition to the next. Honoring the simple, unpretentious lines of each sweeping mark, the artist bills the completed animation as “the story of a brushstroke: a trace of a movement performed by the artist with his instrument, the paintbrush,” he said in a statement.

Once complete, de Boer shared the project with Ill Considered, who recorded an entirely improvised track on its first viewing. The resulting music video matches the jazzy riffs with de Boer’s shapeshifting sequences in a cohesive conversation between the two artforms.

You can purchase an LP of “The Stroke,” which is packaged with 12 of de Boer’s original artworks on the cover and inside, on Bandcamp, and see the full process behind the animation, including the painstaking drawing process and actual recording session, in the video below. Keep up with de Boer’s latest projects on Instagram and Vimeo.

 

 

 



Animation Illustration

A Wildly Relatable Animation About Existential Dread Reminds Us to Enjoy the Moment

February 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

Existential dread, we all have it. A poignant animation by Alisha Liu captures our collective anxiety as it zeroes in on a typical Sunday afternoon in Central Park. The main character (i.e. all of us) breaks the calm with questions about the meaning of life, human insignificance, and of course, the overwhelming feeling that nothing matters. Through minimal scenes, the short film shifts between both mundane moments with passersby and expansive shots of the star-studded galaxy. Ultimately, though, Liu reminds us to get out of our heads and enjoy the afternoon sunshine.

Based in Los Angeles, Liu created the film while in her second year at CalArts, and you can see more of her classmate’s work on Vimeo.

 

 

 



Animation Music

A Mesmerizing Rendering of Fiona Apple's Lips Dance Across the Screen in the 'Shameika' Music Video

January 27, 2021

Grace Ebert

Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters was one of the few good things to come out of 2020, with the Grammy-nominated track “Shameika” even resulting in a heartwarming reunion between the singer and the schoolmate who inspired it. The now-iconic piano ballad is paired with an equally alluring music video created by graphic designer Matthias Brown, whose figurative gifs we’ve featured previously on Colossal, and follows a black-and-white rendering of Apple’s lips that shapeshift as she mouths the lyrics.

The video took a few years to complete, a lengthy process Brown documented in a timelapse and that began with rotoscoping, or tracing, videos of Apple’s face while she sang. The New York City-based designer then animated each drawing frame-by-frame and set it to the track. “I tried working directly analog, but my timing wasn’t working well with the music. I had a digital version of the animation completed, then printed every frame out and traced it using brush and ink,” he says. “All in all, there are about 4,000 frames. Scanning alone took about 20 hours.”

Brown says plans are in the works to sell stills from the video to raise money for Seeding Sovereignty and Harlem Children’s Zone. You can follow the designer’s most recent projects, which include a plafyul series of alphabet animations, on his Tumblr, Traceloops.

 

 

 



Animation

A Brilliant Studio Ghibli-Style Ad for Travel Oregon Imagines the State as an Adventurous Dreamland

January 26, 2021

Grace Ebert

Imagine Oregon’s hot springs, hiking trails, and sand-dune escapades “only slightly exaggerated.” An advertisement for Travel Oregon entertains that enhanced view of the western state as it paints it in a magical light, Studio Ghibli-style: cloud figures saunter through the sky, a rock pulls a lever to shift the world from night to day, and packs of dogs frolic in the countryside. Evoking the aesthetics and fantastical imagery of the iconic Japanese animation studio, the promotional piece is the second ad for the tourism agency by creative agency Wieden+Kennedy, production company Psyop, and animation house Sun Creature—watch the equally whimsical 2018 iteration on YouTube—and is issued with a playful reminder that Oregon is “a 100% real place you can visit.” For those of us not traveling any time soon, the agency also released free downloadable stills from the animation to fulfill our wanderlust from home. (via Kottke)

Update: This article originally failed to mention that Wieden+Kennedy helmed the creative behind this ad.

 

 

 



Animation Art Illustration

Around the Block: David Zinn's Quirky Chalk Cartoons Spring to Life in a New Short Film

January 15, 2021

Grace Ebert

If you’ve walked the streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the last few decades, you’ve probably spotted the wide-eyed monsters and mischievous dragons of David Zinn (previously). Since 1987, the artist has been drawing chalk-and-charcoal creatures in site-specific works that wash away with the rain. Drain pipes become robotic dogs, a pillar morphs into a giant pencil, and a green monster pops out of a brick walkway.

A new short film directed by Jonnie Lewis dives into Zinn’s practice by animating his signature cartoon cast that greets the artist as he walks around the city. Watch “Around the Block” on Lewis’s Vimeo, and check out more of Zinn’s eccentric creatures on Instagram.  (via Laughing Squid)