Repeated Actions in Animation

Back in the early days of Disney animation, it was not uncommon for animators to cycle animation forward and then backward, repeat action more than once, or use a cross-over technique in which two or more characters do the same action.

From The Illusion of Life:

Sometimes an action could be repeated just as it was in a second scene, but more often a new beginning or a different ending were called for. In these cases, the animator could repeat part of the action by borrowing drawings from the earlier scene. In other cases, there would be an action that could be repeated intact in the same scenes—a character climbing a slippery pole, or sliding down an incline, or being knocked down by a mechanical device.

I remember watching the Disney classics as a kid and thinking some of these scenes are very similar to other Disney movies. I never realized that this type of repeated action was so prominent between films until seeing this YouTube compilation:

[Youtube link – Resemblance]

Having said that, I don’t considering this to be as big of a cheat as to deserve a flippant “fail” tag so indiscriminately handed out by the Pharisees of the net.

The copying done here, is not tracing, but transferring poses from one character to another, perhaps even from Disney’s large collection of reference footage. As anyone that’s done any animation knows, putting any animation onto a new character is still a very difficult task regardless of where you get the poses.



How to Hook Up Your Home Theater

Goofy Poster - How to hook up your home theater

This hilarious Jack Kinney style Goofy short, How to Hook up your Home Theater, isn’t new — it was released in 2007, shown in theatres before National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets — but it is significant because it recaptures the spirit of Disney in the golden era of animation. It aims particularly at recapturing the Jack Kinney classics like Hockey Homicide or a Goofy Gymnastics with a modern twist.

It’s available in the iTunes Store. Search for How to Hook Up Your Home Theater. It think it sells for around $2.




As I post this, I should actually be working on remodelling my bathroom. How appropriate!

Procrastination, a short animation by Johnny Kelly of the Royal College of Art.

[Procrastination – Youtube]



Oktapodi, a short CG animation from the students at Gobelins.


Big Buck Bunny

I’ve played around in the open source 3D modelling software Blender a little bit. It may not be as fancy as the retail software on the market today, but if you compare it with versions of Maya or MAX from just a few years ago, it blows them out of the water.

A team of creative folks used the free software to make a short animated cartoon, Big Buck Bunny. They were funded by Blender foundation support and pre-orders of the DVD by the Blender community.

Big Buck Bunny Movie Poster

It’s licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, so it’s free to watch and distribute so long as the credits are attached. Theoretically you could even download the source files, remix the movie and then sell it for a profit. Here is the original movie via YouTube:

Watch Big Buck Bunny now on YouTube or one of the many other official viewing options.


Color Wars Morph

Competing in Ze Frank’s Color Wars, people have been recreating their childhood photos and posting them to the youngnow gallery. Here are a bunch that I animated using a morphing program:

[Color Wars Young to Old Morph – YouTube]


MUTO a wall painted animation

If you’re looking for something arty, creepy, yet mysteriously compelling, check out MUTO, a short animated film that uses public walls as a backdrop for animated creatures.

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

(A segment of this film originally titled Fantoche, linked previously).

animation Music

Knitted Animation Music Video

This amazing music video by Director Simon Laganière, for the Quebec duo Tricot Machine, uses artwork of entirely knitted yarn to animate each frame. (A tricot is a plain, warp-knitted cloth of any of various yarns.)

Over 700 unique knitted pieces were created for the video by designer Lysanne Latulippe of the fashion label Majolie.


animation movie

Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts for 2008

The Oscar nominations for the 80th annual Academy Awards were released yesterday. The nominations in the class of Best Animated Short Film are:

  • I Met The Walrus (Josh Raskin) View
  • Madame Tutli-Putli (NFB, Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski) View
  • Meme Les Pigeons Vont Au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go To Heaven) (Samuel Tourneux and Simon Vanesse) View
  • My Love (Moya Lyubov) (Alexander Petrov) Part onepart twopart three
  • Peter And The Wolf (Suzie Templeton and Hugh Welchman) View DIVX version.


animation Art

Fantoche (2 times) Wall Animation

I did a bit of sketching with charcoal for a drawing class in University. One of the projects I did involved drawing something, erasing it and redrawing the same thing after some action had happened.

Artwork from my Drawing ClassBecause charcoal leaves marks behind after it’s erased, the original action could be seen behind the new drawing. I repeated these steps about 5 or 6 times. To the left is my artwork (click to view bigger).

It was a lot of work for, what I consider to be, not a great payoff. I like to think that the work has some good conceptual value, even if it’s not that interesting to look at.

The following is a truly amazing wall animation that works on the same principle. (It would have been smart of me to document each step of the process in photographs too).

Realizing how much work went into the poster sized effort I created in University, I’m blown away by the amount of time and effort that it must have taken to create this video. Not only is each individual frame beautifully crafted but the animation is also wonderful. Please enjoy, Fantoche:

[Fantoche – YouTube]