May 14th, 2017

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REFPACK 016 Is Now Available For Download!

ANIMATION RESOURCES MEMBERS:

The May/June 2017 Reference Pack is available for download on the Members Only page now. CLICK to access a fantastic e-book and a half hour of classic animation to study!

DOWNLOAD IT NOW!
http://animationresources.org/membersonly/

Esquire

This month’s Reference Pack includes a one-of-a-kind collection of cartoons from 1937, a stop motion cartoon that has been cited by Terry Gilliam as one of the ten best animated films ever made, and two rare Fleischer cartoons from the mid-1930s.

The Mascot

Every other month, Animation Resources members are given access to exclusive downloads… rare animated films and e-books curated by our Advisory Board. If you are a creative artist, you should be a member of Animation Resources. JOIN TODAY!

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Screen Songs

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Posted by Stephen Worth @ 6:31 pm

May 10th, 2017

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Illustration: Dulac’s Poe and Tanglewood Tales

Dulac Poe

The Raven

Edmund DulacEdmund DulacIn the golden age of storybook illustration, there were two artists who led the field… Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac. Both of these artists were prolific, but of the two, Dulac was the most stylistically versatile. Today, we digitized one of Dulac’s most unique books, The Poetical Works of Edgar Allen Poe (1912).

Dulac took full advantage of the printing technology of his day to create images full of deep shadow, inviting the viewer to peer into the details in the darkness. Note for instance the figure in The Raven. His body falls into the shadow across the chair and rug, defined only by the cool shadowy colors of his trousers against the warm ones of the background. Dulac’s images perfectly capture Poe’s dark, melancholy moods, as well as the cosmic, dreamlike situations of poems like Israfel. Light is used to great effect with eerie, otherworldly uplighting in To One In Paradise, cool moonlight through an open window in The Sleeper, and a pinpoint light source in To Helen.

One of the genres of storytelling that has been rarely employed in animation is gothic horror. Looking at these images, it’s clear that animation would be capable of creating a dark, sinister world even more vivid than could be ever be created in live action.

Dulac Poe

Dulac Poe

The Bells

Dulac Poe

The Bells

Dulac Poe

To One In Paradise

Dulac Poe

Lenore

Dulac Poe

To Helen

Dulac Poe

The Haunted Palace

Dulac Poe

The Sleeper

Dulac Poe

Eldorado

Dulac Poe

The Conqueror Worm

Dulac Poe

To The River

Dulac Poe

To Helen

Dulac Poe

To – –

Dulac Poe

Israfel

Dulac Poe

Dreamland

If you compare these images to Dulac’s last great illustrated book, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Tanglewood Tales, you will notice a radical shift of style. Just like Gustaf Tenggren reinvented his painting style between his early work on Bland Tomtar Och Troll and the Golden Books series, Dulac’s style underwent a transformation from the classic illustration style of artists like Arthur Rackham and Howard Pyle to a style influenced by Persian illuminated manuscripts and oriental design.

Edmund Dulac's Tanglewood Tales

Edmund Dulac's Tanglewood Tales

Edmund Dulac's Tanglewood Tales

Edmund Dulac's Tanglewood Tales

Edmund Dulac's Tanglewood Tales

Edmund Dulac's Tanglewood Tales

Edmund Dulac's Tanglewood Tales

Edmund Dulac's Tanglewood Tales

Edmund Dulac's Tanglewood Tales

Edmund Dulac's Tanglewood Tales

Edmund Dulac's Tanglewood Tales

Edmund Dulac's Tanglewood Tales

Edmund Dulac's Tanglewood Tales

Edmund Dulac's Tanglewood Tales

A friend of mine asked me a question that a couple of his acquaintances had asked him about Animation Resources… "Why aren’t there more posts of material from animation?"

It’s a valid question. There are two reasons… First of all, animation is primarily about movement. In order to convey that, it requires movie files. Unfortunately, at this point, we can’t afford the bandwidth to provide a lot of streaming video. At some point, when the project has grown a bit, we hope to be able to do that.

The second reason cuts to the heart of what Animation Resources is intended to accomplish. We aren’t trying to create a trade school program in animation to teach people how to animate- That’s beyond the scope of what we can do here. The purpose of the Archive is to provide inspiration… to supply material that will help artists see and create in a different way. Inspiration for animation doesn’t have to come from animation itself. Real life, illustration, fine art, music and great literature can all inspire animation.

American animation celebrated its 100th Birthday in 2006. But in all that time, the way an animated film looks hasn’t been explored nearly as fully as it should have been. From a design standpoint, cartoons have always been very imitative… In the 1930’s dozens of characters looked like Mickey Mouse. Today, the main characters of animated features all look about the same. There’s no reason why this has to be the case.

The purpose of the reference material I’m providing isn’t to give you, the artist, a "cop file" that you can duplicate in your own work- It’s to help break down the essence of animation design… caricature, anthropomorphism, stylization, color, pleasing shapes, expression, etc… so you can incorporate those elements into your own work, and create new ways of seeing for those of us in the audience. Referencing illustration and print cartooning is a much better source for that sort of thing than referencing other animated films.

A truly great artist can’t keep working in a single style. They have to evolve and grow. I hope the images I’m posting here in this blog help you along to break new ground in how an animated film can look.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit spotlighting Illustration.

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Posted by admin @ 12:34 pm

May 9th, 2017

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How To Become An Animator In An Infinite Number of Really Hard Lessons

cartoonist

I was asked in PM today a question I always get asked… “How do I become an animator?” Here is my answer…

There are a lot of people in the world that want to be cartoonists and animators. More people than there are jobs for all of them. The ones that succeed are the ones that really study hard to master the fundamentals of art, not just learn a specific style. Styles change but the ability to draw volumetrically and design with taste and use color well will never go out of style.

Also, the people who continue to work in cartooning year after year are the ones who never stop studying and trying to improve their skills. Learning is a lifelong process. It isn’t something that just happens at school. You need to identify the skills you are lacking and put together a plan for yourself on how to achieve them. The animation business has changed tremendously in the 30 years I’ve been working in it, and I’ve seen plenty of my coworkers left in the dust because they weren’t willing or able to make the changes necessary to keep up with the times.

A lot of people desperately want to hear that there is a shortcut to become an artist… Go to such and such a school and you are guaranteed a job in the animation industry. If you just learn to draw the formula for anime… or Disney princesses… or wacky… or angular flat, you can find a job on shows with that style. They find out the hard way when they move to Los Angeles that none of that is true. You have to be a versatile artist with marketable skills, formulas and diplomas alone won’t cut it.

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Posted by Stephen Worth @ 12:38 pm