Monday, 8 April 2013

Wonderful Inspiration

Just as the thought of creating my own animation was becoming too daunting to bear, I found this wonderful animated adaptation of The Grimm Brothers' The Golden Bird by Cat Bruce:
[Click here to watch it on Vimeo!]
The scenery has been created quite crudely, but it nevertheless looks atmospheric and appropriate for the characters, mostly due to the lighting effect. She has used real bits of plantation: twigs and dead leaves; large pieces of fabric and buttons.
The sun has been represented by a circle of golden foil. The sunset is a simple sequence where fabric is pulled down behind the foreground to show the transfer from sunset to night sky.
The house in the opening scene is constructed with corrugated card, and cardboard is also used as silhoette detail in the foreground of the shot. Cardboard trees appear to be coloured with oil pastel. Although quite a simplistic representation of objects, the material is appropriate and comfortable alongside the made figure of the man.
Another aspect of this that I found particularly encouraging in relation to making my own animation is the way she has used a 2D representation of the man in a sequence where he is chasing after the golden bird. In this 'long shot' the puppet is used to achieve more realistic running motions. The background moves to the left to give the illusion of his speed.
I like the way she also uses frames focusing closer on the character intermittently during the chase, focusing on his struggle to keep up as we hear his voice. The sequence, and the way the rest of the animation's narrative appears, gives the impression of effective, 'filmic' editing.
Other impressive features include:
this fantastic fox...
the man's face!...
and this fire, complete with flickering flames and sparks (so clever I don't even want to think too hard about how it's been done)...

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