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CUNY Queens ︎(ARTS241) Design 1

Animation History
(part 2)


This showcase is mainly to show how far animation had come as an industry, and also to show what is currently possible by a solitary and dedicated person.

Akira (1988)

Last showcase we talked about Kobutori as an example of early Japanese animation. Akira is kinda the apotheosis of the form, and the one of the first chances Western audiences got to see “serious” anime. If you haven’t watched it, or it’s been awhile, it is streaming on Hulu.

The Lion King (1994)

Although there’s pretty convincing evidence that The Lion King was a ripoff of Kimba, the Lion, The Lion King is a beautiful and amazing movie. There are plenty of great American examples of animation from this era, but The Lion King is, to my mind, the ultimate in western animation. 

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?(1988)

With our comments above noted, Who Framed Roger Rabbit absolutely slaps. Just the opening cartoon is one of the greatest sequences that was ever released in a theatrical form. It was also an amazing technical achievement. Almost ever scene with live actors and cartoons is seamless to me. 

Space Jam(1996)

Noting this for it’s similarity to Who Framed Roger Rabbit? except, by this time, Warner Bros. created the animations digitally and incorporated 3D elements and more fluid camera techniques. 

Fight Club Intro Sequence (1999)

Here’s one that relates more to things we’ve talked about previously. P.Scott Makela designed the type here, and Digital Domain did the actual animation. Like anything good, this inspired a lot of derivative crap. 

Gateway to the Mind’s Eye (1992)

I remember seeing this as a child and being absolutely amazed. There were a bunch of these, and this one has the music Jan Hammer (you may know him from Miami Vice, but he was also in the amazing band Mahavishnu Orchestra). Presenting this hear to show the ambitious nature of CGI, and how much longer it had to go.

Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)

This was the first CG character in a commercially released movie. If you’re interested in how they did it, check out this video from Corridor Crew: 

Up (2009)

We talked about the origins of Pixar in the last showcase, so it’s only fair to show how far they have come.

Andrew Kramer 

Andrew Kramer is primarily known for his website Video Copilot, where he showed tutorials for After Effects. One of his most “famous” ones is the Demon Face Warp (this was originally posted in 2007).

I’m noting some creators here to show that there are different pathways in a different industry. Andrew Kramer was able to transition his success online into working in the industry. Here are the titles he did for Star Trek: Into Darkness (although you might need horse power or time, this is definitely something a single person can do)

Gareth Edwards 

Gareth Edwards is another inspiring person who came from special effects. He’s “known” for directing and doing all the visual effects for a BBC documentary series, his episode was on Attila the Hun (played by the same actor who played Sandor Clegane on Game of Thrones). If you have the ability to create a green screen, this is definitely something one person can do, though with great effort. He eventually made a movie called Monsters, again doing the effects by himself. He eventually transitioned this into directing. He directed the recent American Godzilla movie as well as Rogue One.

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