Thursday, 29 November 2012

Animation Timeline

Animation timeline 

These are the top 10 most important documented times in animation in my view.

The Magic Lantern (17th century) 

The Magic Lantern is an early type of image projector created in the 17th century. The magic lantern has a sunken mirror in front of a light source that gathers light and projects it through a slide with an image reflected onto it. The light rays cross an aperture, from there it hits a lens  The lens throws an enlarged picture of the original image from the slide onto a screen.

Thaumatrope (1824)

A paper or card disk with a picture on each side is attached to two pieces of string. When the strings are twirled at a rapid succession between the fingers the two pictures appear to combine into a single image due to persistence of vision.

Phenakistoscope (1832) 

The phenakistoscope is a spinning disc attached vertically to a handle. Arrayed around the center of the disc was a group of drawings showing different stages of the animation, and cut through it was a series of equally spaced radial slits. Whoever was using this would spin the disc and look through the moving slits at the discs reflection in a mirror.The scanning of the slits across the reflected images kept them from merging together, so that the user would see a rapid succession of images that appeared to be a single moving picture.

Zoetrope (1833)

The zoetrope contents are of a cylinder with slits cut vertically in the sides. On the inner surface of the cylinder is a band with images from a set of sequenced pictures. As the cylinder rotates, the person using this looks through the slits at the pictures across. The scanning of the slits keeps the pictures from simply blurring together, and the user sees a rapid succession of images, producing motion through illusion.

Flip book 1868

A flip book or is a book with a group of pictures that vary very gradually from one page to the next, this is done so that when the pages are turned rapidly the pictures appear to animate by simulating motion or some other change.

Praxinoscope 1877

The praxinoscope was an animation device, the successor of the zoetrope. Similarly to the zoetrope, it used a strip of pictures placed around the inner surface of a spinning cylinder. The praxinoscope improved on the zoetrope by replacing its narrow viewing slits with an inner circle of mirrors, placed so the reflections appreared more or less stationary as the wheel turned.Someone looking in the mirrors would be able to see a rapid succession of images, once again producing motion through illusion.

Kinetoscope 1888

The Kinetoscope is an early motion picture device. This was not a movie projector, it was designed for films to be viewed individually through the window of the cabinet containing its components. It creates the illusion of movement once again by conveying a strip of film bearing sequential images over a light source with a high speed shutter.

Cinemagtograph 1892

This was one of the first film cameras that were invented. However it also had two purposes, not only was this a film camera, it could also be used as a projector, so whatever was filmed on this camera could be then projected onto a wall. This was created by the Lumiere brothers in 1892. 

Felix the cat 1925

Felix the Cat is a cartoon character created in the silent film era. His black body, white eyes, and giant grin, conjoined with the surrealism of the situations in which his cartoons place him, combine to make Felix one of the most recognized cartoon characters in film history. This was the first character ever to obtain feelings from a movie audience.

Walt Disney's Steamboat Willie 1928

The film is also notable for being one of the first cartoons with synchronized sound.  Steamboat Willie was produced in black-and-white by The Walt Disney Studio and released by Celebrity Productions. The cartoon can be thought as the debut of the famous Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. Steamboat Willie was the third of Mickey's films to be produced, but was the first to actually be distributed. 

Snow white and the Seven Dwarves (1937)

Similarly to Disney's steamboat Willie, Snow White was another drawn animation, however this didn't mean it wasn't a huge development in the animation timeline. It was a massive step forward in animation, this is because it was disney's first full length feature animation film. This showed a definite development in animation and possibly even set the bar for how animation films started due to it being the first. Films such as Toy Story would have gained some sort of influence from this film, they possibly could've looked at some techniques that were used within the filming of Snow White and developed them further due to the advancement in technology (animation films are now no longer drawn) The main reason for this is because it is far too time consuming and is easier to generate an animation on a computer.

Lady and the Tamp (1955)

The next development in the animation timeline that I discovered was found later in 1955. This showed another large development, due to the advancement of technology. The first computer came out in 1944 and around 10 years later, software had been developed enough to edit a drawn animation. This added much more color to the animation compared to a rather dull looking Snow White. It also gave editors a chance to cut out certain parts of footage they may not have needed. Or even gather the footage of the drawn animation and place them into a better order to generate a much more professional standard of motion.  

Present day animation

Moving into the 1980s a film called Tron was then made, this was significant because it was the first film with CGI (computer generated images) I feel that this was an important stage of the development of animation because if you think in this present day, many films actually contain hundreds of shots made with computer generated images. This development in animation probably would have had such a great impact on audiences in a similar way to the  magic lantern and when that was created. People seemed confused or scared how it worked.  So this would most definitely shocked audiences worldwide. 

In 1984 another film decided to use this method instead of the traditional way of making models and using those for certain scenes, this film was 'The Last Starfighter' In 1986, the well known computer graphics company Pixar was purchased by Steve Jobs, and then went on to make possibly one of the greatest impacts on the animation world which I shall explain in more detail later. Soon After this in 1988, a stage act named 'Willow' decided to use the form of morphing a character live in front of a audience. This also must have seemed shocking to see first hand because usually computer generated  images would have had to be edited in a long production, but for this to be shown live i my view is a greatly accomplished development in animation.

After this in 1993 the film Jurassic park used computer generated images in order to present realistic living creatures to an audience. I feel that this was another breakthrough in animation because CGI was used previously used in order to create a setting, and now CGI could be used in order to create people or creatures. Right after this, possibly the greatest breakthrough in animation history was the making of Toy Story. This was hugely significant within the animation world because it was the worlds first full length animated film. This film was created using 3D computer generated images which featured through the entire film.   

1 comment:

  1. Animation Timeline: MERIT
    You have explained the developments in animation using illustrative examples.
    You must comprehensively explain the developments by fully explaining how each was significant.
    Also, proofread your work to ensure all facts are correct (eg. Toy Story was the first full length COMPUTER animated film, Snow White was the first full length animated film)