Monday, 21 March 2011

Notes from A Century of stop motion Animation from Melies to Aardman by Ray Harryhausen and Tony Dalton

Dalton Tony and Harryhusen Ray, (2008), A Century of Stop Motion Animation from Melies to Aardman, United states, Watson - Guptil Publications

2. Beginnings of Model Animation

- in Britain, the potiential of 3d animation was recognised by Arthur - Melbourne - Cooper
- his first 3d or 'trick film' was Matches Appeal consisting of animated matchstick puppets writing on a black wall
- Dolly Toy's was another shot using puppets mixed with live action
- between 1904 - 1909 he worked with Robert Paul continuing the experimentation of model animation
- Cooper - key figure in history of model animation, experimenting with various ideas included 'multi - model animation and to identify it as a genre
- worked with Willis O' Brien on King Kong and Lost World which later influenced the work of Ray Harryhusen

3. Visionary and star maker - Willis O' Brien

- Ray began work with Schoedsack on Mighty Joe Young
- Ray developed his skills on the project fairly quickly and animated sections in the film
- the beast from 20,000 Fathoms - first individual project
- "Ray may be the father of model animation combined with live action and related effects but Obie was the grandfather." (Dalton, 2008: 111)

4. The Beginning of Dynamation and Creativity in Motion

- Ray about to develop model animation further into legend and fantasy abandoning Obie's techniques and working alone
- Pegasus in Clash of the Titans taking movement from real life horse actions
- image 134 - Ray studying the demiss of Medusa
- more humanoid creatures in form of skeletons in Jason and the Argonaughts
- "Another Harryhausen touch occurs when a skeleton kills one of Jason's men and Ray, instead of cutting away to another shot or having it go round the body, has it jump over Fauld's body. Ray didn't want him to just step over it."
- Ray was inspired by a Japanese film of a girl facing away from camera but head rotates almost completely while her torso is stationary - Ray uses this technique to animation Talos the statue to look down at two of Jason's argonaughts before finally coming to life

6. The children of Obie and Ray

- Dennis Murien and Dave Allen worked together on Equinox and was working on three stop motion models, two of them was a skeleton and cephalopod based on the idea in two Harryhussen's films pg 178
- ATAT's in Star Wars bared resmblance to Ray's mechanical creation 'the minaton'

7. AArdman Animations, Tim Burton and others 

- model animation has come full circle back to it's origins to experiment with both 2 and 3 dimensional animation
- Tim Burton uses skeletons in Nightmare Before Christmas and Corspe's Bride making them human - like as Harryhussen did but also experiemented with puppetry like Cooper

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