What is Animation?

This week was rhythmed by one choice: 2D, 3D or puppet animation? We were given lectures and advice to help us make this decision.

When I entered this program I felt sure I wanted to do 2D. I love drawing and I am in awe over the traditional Disneys.

This is were I feel completely divided. Sue Tong, our Tuesday lecturer who works as a background artist in the animating industry, told us to always try new things and be on top of the latest technology. So 3D then?

However, I enjoy our traditional animating exercises over our 3D classes. Believe it or not, I enjoy spending a whole week on drawing one second of animation.

But then, Shaun Clark and Steeve Roberts keep on talking about where the jobs are: 3D. Is the 3D industry that powerful? When I went to watch the last Thor movie, I just could not even realize where the 3D and special effects were anymore. I have grown so used to it, I see so much of it, that it does not feel like anything new anymore.

I finally came home thinking about how I was rejecting 3D because of the overflow of it. I then sat and watched the trailer for the new Pixar movie “Coco”. I was so amazed by the artwork and the realness of it all.

Nevertheless, if it tries to look so real, is it still animation? Le Petit Larousse defines animation as “Any method consisting of filming image per image drawings or puppets that will look animated on the screen”. Does 3D apply then? Doesn’t the computer program do half of the job for you? How can you tell a computer to add more style to your drawing? How can an animation stand out if you do not have that particular style?

We were talking about this topic with another lecturer, Lilly Husbands ,this week and last. We were talking about what defines animation and which direction the industry is taking. I believe in the end that the definition of animation is very subjective. It depends on your taste and your upbringing. I grew up with Disney movies and 2d animation TV shows. I have always been impressed by their style that makes them so special.

Could you tell a Disney apart from a Pixar or a Dreamworks or an Illumination nowadays? If you were not seeing the opening credits, would you know what you are watching? What makes an animation house different from another one?

And even though money seems to be directed to 3D,  I feel that pinch in my heart. This is not what I believe in, I believe I made this choice a long time ago. I made peace with the fact that the job market would be terrible and that I would strive even more to make it.

I hope in the end I can focus mostly on 2D but still learn 3D bases and practice with my peers.

This week was truly a battle between my heart and my head. And my heart won.



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