Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I finally watched "Persepolis" on DVD last week. I thought that it was ok- I liked the graphic novels better, to be honest. What I thought was interesting was how in the DVD extras, they go to great pains to demonstrate how everything in the film was hand-drawn. As in, on paper. What? Why?! As I was watching the movie, I felt that they must have used a program like Flash to do the animation; the lines were so perfect, and the animation was super smooth. But no- they had tons of people doing pencil tests, tracing, erasing, inking, etc.

Ok, nobody is a bigger fan of the traditional style of animation than ME. I was raised on Disney and Warner Bros. cartoons, and my own animation program at MassArt is very focused on hand-drawn, traditional techniques. (Flash is considered a dirty word in the dept, and I never used it in my animations until Fall of my senior year.) However, Alex and Lindsay showed me how using a computer program like Flash is simply using a tool to help enhance your art and creativity. I love animation's fluid ability to help me tell the story that I want told... but it's so labor-intensive that it would take me forever to even get 30 seconds into the story if I drew everything out on paper. My DP contained 9798 frames, and even though I had a computer program "help" me, I still had to hand-draw every single one of those frames. Anyway, my point is simply that if the final, hand-drawn-on-paper animation is going to look like it's done on Flash, anyway, then why be a masochist and do it the old fashioned way? It reminds me a little bit of that Sony Bravia ad. I mean, here's a stop-motion animation that is mind-blowingly awesome (yes, that was all done with modeling clay, for realsies!), but... well, if they used CGI, would it really have looked that much different?

Don't misinterpret what I'm saying, though... some things remain sacred. If they ever did a CGI Wallace and Gromit, I'll vomit blood.

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