Tim begins by introducing the history of animation and the different films that revolutionized the industry. Jason and the Argonauts was the first film that blended live action with stop motion animation, Tim explained that stop animation is what the participants will be experimenting in today. From this however it was Star Wars that revolutionised everything, these special effects sped forward the generation we’re living in now which informs the basis of films like Toy Story. The rapid pace of how animation techniques develop is shown in the fact that even this once ground breaking style, is now out of date. Although it suited the skills of the time, we have come much further and the lines have become blurred into realism. For example the Animators who worked on Jurassic Park, actually built the skeletons of the dinosaurs. Building from skeleton they were able to create the layers of muscle and skin, which allows the creatures to move as they ought.

3D Animation is a lengthy process, however what the students will be looking at today is stop animation. This is still a long process but is much less complex and more doable in their timeframe.

Tim uses the classic anime film “Spirited Away” as an example of what can be achieved using this method. Spirited Away is also interesting because it’s the visuals that inform the story, not the other way around. This is the style participants will be working in today, allowing their drawings to inform their animations.

These animations will be small “gestures” morphing from one stage to another. Tim asks the participants to think of them almost as memes or GIFs, and how we are living in a world that communicates more through images than sentences.

The first task is a quick two-minute self-portrait with charcoal. Tim tells the students to avoid shading and be imaginative and playful. This exercise is followed by an example of how easily recognisable some animated characters are- the students are asked to quickly draw a character without it’s name, and the other students have to see if they recognise what’s been drawn. This is used to illustrate simplicity is key when creating well know characters.

They are then split into groups and their own characters are then painted onto MDF board, the groups then swap boards and add to each others paintings. These characters will form the basis of their “gestures” later in the day.

Students are then introduced to the mac suite, and practice the art of digital drawing. They then create their small digital emojis/gestures in Photoshop. These sequences are only a matter of seconds long, so students are asked to consider little movements and “quality over quantity” The result of the day are some very weird and wonderful animations. These will be looped together and showcased in their final exhibition.


Posted by:missiongallery

Mission Gallery is one of Wales’ most dynamic visual art spaces; with exhibition space, craft space, learning resources, events, residency opportunities and more. If you want to immerse yourself in exhibitions that push the boundaries of visual art, buy cutting edge design and contemporary craft, or want to engage in friendly conversation with art led individuals, just visit Mission Gallery; it’s free and there’s always something new to experience. The exhibition space has a continuously changing programme, which is both ambitious and distinctive. Mission Gallery consistently supports young, emerging artists across the Visual and Applied Arts in Wales and the UK. Based on this ethos Mission Gallery has a national reputation for nurturing development, taking risks and giving unknown artists their first exhibition. Allowing talent to flourish and instigating the successful careers of individuals working within the contemporary arts. Based in Swansea’s vibrant maritime quarter, surrounded by other cultural destinations, Mission Gallery is easy to access and in a great location for a good day out. The gallery seamlessly provides raw creative energy, an exceptional place to shop for every price range, and a commitment to learning, ensuring every age group is welcome. It’s a successful venue; growing international reputation. With a dedicated following of artists and individuals getting involved through volunteering, there is so much more to Mission Gallery than meets the eye. For more information visit the website or follow the blog for fresh ideas on why everyone seems to love Mission Gallery.

Leave a Reply