Tag Archives: animation

Art still matters

Your golden hair, Margarete by Anselm Kiefer. Title derived from Death Fugue by Romanian Jewish poet and WWII survivor Paul Celan. Read more here.

The school year is starting again and so I thought I should air out some of my blogs and other resources because they’ve been put away in the top cupboard during the long break.

Remember the art blog? Art does matter.  Remember how, towards the end of last year, I revised the look of the blog so that it came out all svelte and user-friendly?

Well, don’t think it’s been sitting there idly, it’s been hatching lots of new art to stun you. Students, teachers and art lovers, get ready to be inspired by the diverse talent which is about to unfold before your eyes. I snuck in three examples during January (couldn’t help myself), one of which you see above, and then two animations.

This one would be great for a discussion about issues such as beauty, bullying, female exclusivity, perhaps.

Some of you will know that I’m a fan of Russian animation, so here’s a claymation example by Serge Merinov.

So bookmark this blog if you have any interest in art. I’ll do all the work and present you with visual delights throughout the year. What do you say?

PS  The wiki is a good accompaniment but you have to take time to browse.

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Filed under animation, art

The end of the year is nigh

Nigh? What kind of language do I think I’m speaking? I blame end of year debilitating virus for that.

Anyway….

…it’s a strange time of the year when you jump off the spinning School Wheel and onto the Christmas Shopping and Everything Else Wheel.

I love this time of year in Edublogland when the Edublog Award winners are announced in all the delectably diverse categories. It’s a time to revere winners, to rejoice with friends, to expand the old Google Reader with more blogs, to bookmark best podcasts, virtual worlds, social networks and PLNs. It’s a time when you wish you had more time to explore, and a magical way of keeping up with everything.

I’m proud that our Australian educators have made the Edublogs honours list: @brightideasblog @edtechcrew @mrrobbo. Congratulations!

The end of the school year, I think some would agree, is a bitter-sweet time of letting go and refocusing on the multi-faceted holiday period.

I try to balance the stresses of everyday life with things of beauty. I need things of beauty; I think we all do. Sometimes music, sometimes art, sometimes literature. Today I’m sharing a beautiful Russian animation, The Seasons, by Yuri Norstein. Despite all his awards for animation, he was fired from Soyuzmultfilm in 1985 for working too slowly on his latest film, a  feature-length adaptation of Gogol‘s Overcoat.

I was interested in reading about the technique which enables him to evoke such ‘magical’ landscapes:

Norshteyn uses a special technique in his animation, involving multiple glass planes to give his animation a three-dimensional look. The camera is placed at the top looking down on a series of glass planes about a meter deep (one every 25–30 cm). The individual glass planes can move horizontally as well as toward and away from the camera (to give the effect of a character moving closer or further away). (from Wikipedia)

Best wishes to everyone for the holiday period; stay healthy and productive, focus on what’s essential, and I’ll save my Christmas wishes closer to the date.

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Filed under animation, Awards

Sir Ken Robinson animated

Here’s a great example of how visualisation enhances a very good talk by Sir Ken Robinson;

Some of the most disturbing parts:

  • Schools are trying to educate children like they did in the past, and consequently alienating millions of kids who don’t see any purpose in what they do in school.
  • Ritalin is overprescribed (in USA). We shouldn’t be sedating our kids, we should be waking them up to what they have inside themselves. They live in the most intensely stimulating period in the history of the earth; they’re being besieged with information that calls for their attention from every platform, and they are getting distracted from comparatively boring stuff at school.
  • Schools are still organised on factory lines. We still educate our children by batches in age groups. Why is the most important thing kids have in common is how old they are. It’s essentially about conformity and standardisation.
  • Kids’ scores for divergent thinking deteriorate the older they become mainly because they become educated to accept that there’s only one answer and that you don’t copy.

Two concluding points by Ken Robinson:

  • Collaboration is the stuff of growth.
  • It’s mostly about the culture, the habits of our institutions.

What does this say to  me?

We can’t improve kids’ learning in schools by doing what we are already trying to do inside the current system. We can only improve their learning by changing the culture of schools, by changing the ways we do things – not within the current setup we have which is clearly not working because our teachers are really trying. What we need is a whole school system change which will discard the outdated factory model. I think this talk explains why we are trying so hard and yet failing on the whole.

What do you think?

Read about RSA here. How is it I hadn’t heard of RSA Animate before? It really does bring discourse to life.

Thanks to Sheryl A. McCoy for the link to this video.

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Filed under animation, Education

How does my Art wiki grow

My art wiki is growing fat in places. I thought I’d point to the areas which have expanded the most in the hope of reaching Visual Arts teachers and students.

The blogs page in Blogs and Nings has really expanded. Blogs are my favourite way of finding art resources since they often represent specialised interest areas. It’s a very personal and rich way of discovering art. Blogs are  a labour of love, expressing the unique personality of the author. I can’t think of a more inspiring way to learn.

Here are some examples:

Roberto Bernardi, La Tavolozza , 2010, oil on canvas, 22 x 30″

100 best art blogs Massive list here divided into useful sections (you might have to give up your day job for this)
Art Studio Secrets Some very practical video demonstrations (under ‘Demonstrations’)
Art in the real world “In The Real Art World” alerts you to the best exhibitions of representational “realism” which are on at the moment anywhere in the world.
Sketchcrawl A communal blog for compulsive sketchers
Ephemera assemblyman A beautiful blog of many different examples of art, illustration, design and more.
Urban sketchers This blog features sketches and often equally colorful stories behind the scenes by invited artists correspondents in more than 30 countries around the world. Some are architects and illustrators, others are graphic designers, web developers, painters or educators, all sharing the same passion for drawing on location.
Samuel Michlap Concept artist, illustrator, fine artist and more.
Painting perceptions Perceptual painting is painting life from a personal vision and experience not just recording appearance. As Cézanne said, “Painting is nature seen through a temperament.”
Lines and colors Lines and Colors is a blog about drawing, sketching, painting, comics, cartoons, webcomics, illustration, digital art, concept art, gallery art, artist tools and techniques, motion graphics, animation, sci-fi and fantasy illustration, paleo art, storyboards, matte painting, 3d graphics and anything else I find visually interesting.
Paper forest showcasing great paper stuff, 2D, 3D and animation.

The Image/Flickr page is bursting with links to wonderful sharing people on Flickr – a cornucopia of imagery to inspire students looking for ideas in different media and styles.

Here’s a small sample:

by Irina Troitskaya on Flickr

Guggenheim Museum’s flickr sets
Flickr photostream by laura@popdesign Laura writes the Animalarium blog.
Flickr origami set2by Eric Gjerde
Flickr origami setby Eric Gjerde
All Eric’s origami and tessellation sets are
here.See Eric Gjerde’s website Origami tessellations
Art21’s flickr photostream
Bibimorvarid’s Art&Design set
Bibimorvarid’s photostream
Papercraft and mail art- by Corduroy Cat
Altered playing cards by Corduroy Cat.
Atcs and inchies by Corduroy Cat.
Corduroy Cat’s contacts and groups on Flickr (lots of stuff to explore here)

The Images/Design page is another rich resource; here are only some of the links:

Ernst Haeckel, Kunstformen der Nature


Blickfang – the eye-catching covers of Weimar Berlin.
Thirty book covers from Poland (from A Journey From My Skull)
Kunstformen der Natur (art forms of nature) by Ernst Haeckel (flickr set saved by Eric Gjerde)
The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones. Eric Gjerde has scanned this book and shared it on Flickr.
Styles of Ornament by Alexander Speltz. Tessellation related photo plates from Alexander Speltz’s 1906 book, “Styles of Ornament”. Eric Gjerde has scanned this book and shared it on Flickr.
Digital library for the decorative arts and material culture
Great style illustrations by Iv Orlov
Typographic art
Design Online: Design Online is an electronic library from the University of the Arts, London, containing a digitised record of Design magazine for the years 1965 to 1974. There are around 100 pages in each magazine, which are available as full screen size black-and-white or colour images.

Erwin Poell

There’s so much animation out there,   I love collecting examples. Amazing creativity to be discovered in this section, and fun to watch.

Phosphoro – is an award-winning student 2D animation (Read about it here. )

Of course, the wiki contains much, much more than this.  Some sections are more comprehensive than others, but you can be sure that I’m always on the lookout for new resources to support the teaching and learning of Art-related studies.

Why don’t you have a look for yourself?


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People are brilliant

Long school holidays have given me the time to browse online to my heart’s content. I’m overwhelmed by the constant stream of what everyone is reading, writing, thinking, commenting, asking, creating and sharing. How would I know about any of these things otherwise? I wouldn’t.

Examples of people’s creativity are shared online all the time. I love the way technology combines with basic skills like drawing and paper folding in this video. The creator of the following animation describes this as ‘a shot at animating the old flip book’.

I can’t upload the video so here’s the link.

parkour motion reel from saggyarmpit on Vimeo.

Thanks to @mizminh

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Filed under animation, art, creativity, film, Interesting

The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello

Love science fiction? Watch this.

The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello is an amazing, award-winning short animated film which has been nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA award. The silhouette-style science fiction animation has been developed by director Anthony Lucas, and the story has been inspired by Edgar Alan Poe and Jules Verne. What a combination! 

Quiet Earth gives a synopsis:

 In the frontier city of Carpathia, Jasper Morello discovers that his former adversary Doctor Claude Belgon has returned from the grave. When Claude reveals that he knows the location of the ancient city of Alto Mea where the secrets of life have been discovered, Jasper cannot resist the temptation to bring his own dead wife Amelia back. But they are captured by Armand Forgette, leader of the radical Horizontalist anti-technology movement, who is determined to reanimate his terrorist father Vasco. As lightning energises the arcane machineries of life in the floating castle of Alto Mea, Jasper must choose between having his beloved restored or seeing the government of Gothia destroyed. Set in a world of iron dirigibles and steam powered computers, this gothic horror mystery tells the story of Jasper Morello, a disgraced aerial navigator who flees his Plague-ridden home on a desperate voyage to redeem himself.

The whole film goes for 26 minutes. A great example of steampunk. I’m impressed by how simple animation, silhouette black on white, can evoke such a strong atmosphere and setting. All those dark, heavy machines flying around reminded me of the black hawk helicopters which have been training over my house in the dark without lights. Shiver.

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Filed under animation, creativity, film

Flip! literacies in animation

Here’s a quirky and creative little flipbook animation called Kraak & Smaak: Squeeze me (source: Drawn).

Another example of the endless possibilities for creativity with technology. Literacies? The kinds of things that include storytelling, sequencing, playful possibilities, imagination, what-ifs and the like.

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Pinscreen animation and Gogol’s “The Nose”

I’m long overdue for variety in post content, and I apologize. I feel I’ve been ranting and raving on my educational soap box for too long, but the problem is, for all my reading, I haven’t come across anything worth sharing. Until now. I’ve just discovered pinscreen animation, and I think it’s one of the most remarkable unions of technology and hands-on creativity. Mind you, it’s a form of animation from the early twentieth century, but nobody said you had to discover things in chronological time.

On the website Focus on animation techniques, Marcel Jean explains pinscreen techniques:

In the early 1930s, engraver Alexandre Alexeïeff, a Russian émigré living in France, decided to go into filmmaking. Wishing to make films with an aesthetic faithful to the line and shading of his engravings, he invented a new type of device: the pinscreen.

The pinscreen consists of a white screen pierced by hundreds of thousands of pins that can slide back and forth, each in its own hole. When lit from the side, each pin casts a shadow, and when all the pins are pushed out, there is total darkness. But when pins are pushed in, their shadows are shorter, and the black become grey. When pins are pushed all the way in, they do not cast shadows and the white screen can be seen.

If you are interested in a detailed, illustrated account of the technique and equipment, you can read about it here.

Being extremely time-consuming, this was not a popular or widespread form of animation, but its uniquely tonal quality created with shadows of various intensity created by the pins, gives it a dramatic and even poetic quality not unlike chiaroscuro.

Several pinscreen films were made, including the Alexeieff’s Night on bald mountain (1933) and En passant (1943), and Jacques Drouin’s Mindscape (1976).

I’m always impressed by the time and effort people will devote to creative projects.

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Filed under animation, art, film

Art Education 2.0

Art Education 2.0 is a global community of art educators exploring uses of new technology.

Art Education 2.0 is for art educators at all levels who are interested in using digital technologies to enhance and transform art teaching and learning experiences. The aim of Art Education 2.0 is to explore ways of using technology to promote effective art education practices, encourage cultural exchanges and joint creative work, and support artistic projects, curricular activities, and professional development opportunities deemed important by our members.

When you sign up, you can avail yourself of all the usual socialnetworking options, for example, you can invite friends, upload photos or videos, or start a discussion. At a glance from the homepage you can see current projects, forum discussions and recent blog posts. The format is well organised and easy to read, eg. the post ‘Sir Ken Robinson & creative thinking’ , a post about Ken Robinson’s well-known TED talk, ‘Are schools killing creativity?’, is followed by several clearly displayed comments. I suppose, what I’m trying to say, is that it’s all there, and it’s easy and enjoyable to browse. A late night for me recently while I explored the blogroll – always dangerous to jump into hyperlinks, branching out evermore into oblivion.

New Web 2.0 resources in the right-hand navigation offer such delicacies as Andrew Douch’s video on the benefits of podcasting; Vizu, an interactive poll that can be added to a website or blog; 12 seconds, where you can record and share short videos about what you’re doing or where you are, etc.

On the left, there’s a chat option, featured websites, an option to share photos or videos, a section with a blog called ‘educational paradigms’, which includes posts such as ‘Keeping your teaching experiences fresh’, ArtsJournal , where you can check out daily art news, and more. You can also join groups, such as ‘first year art teachers’, or ‘Voicethread in the artroom’.

Digital art is popular with students, and teachers can get support for this by joining ‘Digital design’ . ‘Teaching animation’ supports teachers in a discussion of ideas, strategies, and tools for teaching animation.

I’ll definitely be telling my art faculty about this supportive art community. Makes me want to be an art educator!

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Filed under art, Education, photos, Web 2.0

Animator vs Animation

This is clever and entertaining. I’ll spare you my usual rave. Enjoy.

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Filed under art, humour, play