Sunday, 12 January 2014

A Trip to the Moon and Terry Gilliam

Georges Méliès was a pioneer in film making, his combination of special effects and multiple exposure in his footage, alongside with introducing colour to the film by painting the film reel was revolutionary.
This film always inspires me through the use of the props and the form of acting without any use of dialogue to tell the story. The film itself does not contain any animation as such however I wanted to note how inspirational and how much impact this short film has had on many animators today.
In films such as Harry Potter and Rush, Double Negative, the main visual effects and animation studio used in the films, use mainly animation alongside with special effects to achieve actions that wouldn't necessarily be safe to produce. For example in the film Rush, the crash of Niki Lauda, was too dangerous to re-enact with a stunt double due to the black smoke that would be emitted from the petrol and materials that would have been used in the frame of the car.

The scene of the moon can be seen in the smashing pumpkins and the Mighty Boosh, both using the image in their own interpretation and to fit the setting that it is placed. The clips of the film are shown in the film Hugo, which also uses the iconic scene of the moon and tells in-depth knowledge about the film and the maker.

Terry Gilliam uses cut out animation which reminds me of  'The Trip to the Moon', through the stylised appearance to the props, how it is shaded and presented with in the scene.
He is known for his animations with in the Monty Python films and Flying Circus episodes. His most famous and loved animation being 'The Christmas Card'.
Gilliam creates his cut out animations by using imagery from magazines, old photographs and other paper resources which he then cuts out with a scalpel, and overlaps other images to create a character, object or landscape. He then further edits these by merging and separating the original image with other images and colours parts of the cut outs as well.
He creates his frames by first setting out the first key frame, including the background and other characters, and creates a template with black marks on which, to tell him how much he needs to move the character or object per frame.
A problem which he encounters with cut out animation are the shadows which are formed from the individual layers of paper that he uses with in the frame. He solves this by moving the lighting directly above the frame to minimise the amount of shadows that could be created, he also holds the cut out imagery down with a plastic sheet to keep it together as another precaution towards shadows and ease when taking photography of it.
I could recreate the process of cut out animation through a digital means through the program After Effects, where I would cut images into sections and then animate on different layers using the transform option.

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