Sunday, February 28, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
This story was written and directed by Javier Recio Garcia. It is about and old lady that wants to die to be with her husband. A grim reaper attempts to grant her this wish, but his attempts are intervened by an Emergency Room doctor and several nurses, that keeps trying to save her life. She then commits suicide anyway after the hospital personnel save her life.
Technically, I liked the way the story began by first hearing the music, then the object, and then the record player, that was playing the music, and then finally the main character pointing to a photograph of her dead husband. This got my attention, and made me want to know more about what was to happen next, and it also made the experience more personable. I also loved the sound effects, such as the idling sound of the record player, the windmill whirling sound, and the music that played when the grim reaper first appeared and attempted to carry the old lady to the afterlife. I like the lighting effects when the doctors grab the old lady out of the hands of the grim reaper, the fade to white scene in the emergency room, and when she electrocuted herself, the lights in the operating room flickered and went black.
I liked the subliminal references the writer included in displaying the process of dying, from the point of view of being on an operating room table. We all would probably experience similar events, of seeing things like white light, people from our past, seeing our souls magically fly to heaven or hell, and other subconscious thoughts, while the doctors are trying to save our lives.
I didn't like the ending scene of the story, when after the doctors saved her life, she committed suicide anyway, by electrocuting herself in the operating room hand tub. I did like the religious reference in this ending scene. I say this to say, doesn't one of the ten commandments in the Bible say, "Thou shall not kill". I am sure this statement also included the killing of oneself, and if this sin is committed, that person will burn in hell. Maybe that's why the writer had the grim reaper attempt to come and take her away to see her husband, instead of one of God's angels.
Overall, the animated movie was nice, although I still have trouble with "feeling" the characters in cartoon animation, which is why I like rotoscoping animation movies even more.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
Generally speaking, closure occurs when one sees a part of an object or event but perceives the entire object of event. This occurs in single images when one sees a part of an object and imagines that the whole object is present. Between images and text, one’s imagination combines the two into one idea. Closure between two images can indicate the passage of time, an action occurring, a change in perspective, a change in location, or there may be no logical relation at all. In film, it occurs so quickly that one is unaware of it. Closure between scenes necessitates some change in time, place, or both. Without the human mind’s ability to create closure, there would be no meaning between sequential images.
1. Please discuss how McCloud uses the term "closure" in regard to how visual meaning is created in:
• sight – He states on page 63, “In our daily lives, we often commit to closure, mentally completing that which is incomplete based on past experiences”. For example, if we saw half of an object, then we can assume what the whole of that object will look like. He also says on page 89, “Comics is a mono-sensory medium. It relies on only one of the senses to convey a world of experience”. He’s referring to our sights.
• a single image – Again, he says if you see a face with 2 dots and a line, you will associate it to be a face. This association will bring you closure. On page 61, he states, “In this panel you can’t even see my legs. Yet you assume that they’re there.”
• between image and text – There is more reader involvement, because not only is the reader to visually interpret the image, but the reader must understand the meaning of the words that represent the image.
• between one image and another in sequence (what are all the possibilities of this one?) – He says the space between the panels is called the gutter. Our minds combine these sequences and do the following:
1. form them into a single idea
2. builds a continuous story
3. based on our experiences, our mind makes up what is missing
Also he list different types of image sequences such as:
1. Moment-to-Moment – each image shows some of the previous image
2. Action-to-Action –each image shows a part of the same action
3. Subject-to-Subject – the reader uses his imagination to piece together the images
• between film frames – Closure is continuous, involuntary and so fast that you may not notice it. He states on page 68, “The closure of electronic media is continuous, largely involuntary and virtually imperceptible”.
• between scenes (what are all the possibilities of this one?) – He list several types of closure that displays great time and motion:
1. Scene-to-Scene – these occur over time
2. Aspect-to-Aspect – different similar scenes that can relate to each other
3. Non-Sequitur – shows no relationship between scene
2. What is the effect of closure in creating meaning with moving/sequential images?
It allows you to make sense of the moving image, and lets your mind create it’s own interpretation of the story of the moving image, by putting the comic strip pieces together through association.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Scott talks about how we can't help but seeing a face in anything that even remotely resembles two eyes above a mouth, for instance a power outlet, front of a car, etc. So in animation, or comics, this allows the artist the freedom to recreate something that looks like a face or person, but then add other qualities or characteristics that are in no way realistic to a human being. At that point the added qualities can come with their own implications, and from the combination of these abstract qualities and the resemblance of something familiar, we can begin to make statements in regards to anything, and form concepts that could not have been represented through something closer to reality.
• Scott states there are different categories of icons.
• Symbols – Nazi sign, American flag, Exxon gas station sign
• Language, science and communication – the letter of the alphabet, a music note symbol, the dollar sign
• Pictures – images of an apple, bat and hand
• He also states that icons represent real life objects on different levels.
• Highest Level - photographs
• Next is – realistic picture
• Next lower level – abstract drawings
• Lowest Level – most simplified abstract cartoon
• Ways the realistic image and the iconic image operate differently:
• Most simplistic iconic image –
• Simplifies things so that we can just focus on the action, and not all the details that make up the realistic image.
• Simplified things are easier to understand, to get to the point faster, and to see the whole picture from point A to Z.
• In a simplified image, it is easier to concentrate on the message, and not the messenger as in a realistic image as McCloud states.
McCloud says in Understanding Comics, Chap 2, page 30, “When we abstract an image through cartooning we’re not so much eliminating details as we are focusing on specific details.”
• The same cartoon can be used to describe multiple people unlike a real photograph. Your mind is satisfied with allowing you to see and recognize a cartoon as a face, although your mind knows it is not a ‘real’ face. McCloud is also saying that we don’t want someone else to tell us about a story, but that we want to be the story. He states, “A cartoon is just the little voice inside our head. A little piece of you. A concept.” On page 31, he states, “The fact that your mind is capable of taking a circle, two dots and a line and turning them into a face is nothing short of incredible! But still more incredible is the fact that you cannot avoid seeing a face here. Your mind won’t let you!” And last on page 36, He declares, “Thus, when you look at a photo or realistic drawing of a face----you see it as a face of another. But when you enter the world of the cartoon----you see yourself”.
An icon represents a person, place, idea, or thing. Words are very abstract icons. Realistic images make the subject seem more objectified, while iconic images are more general, allowing people to identify with them. Iconic images are universal, as opposed to the specificity of realistic images.
You can find examples of experimental animation in many different media. I have seen examples of what would be considered experimental animation on screensavers on many computers. I think that any screensaver that involves a shape that changes its color, size, position, or shape would be a good example of experimental animation.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
Do you see elements of Wells definition of experimental animation in some of the everyday examples of animation on TV, the internet, screens in public places, or in gaming or handheld media devices?
I see experimental animation used in computer media players such as I-Tunes and Windows Media Player. The software used are called “Visualizations”, and they show objects and shapes moving around the screen in 3d space, full of colors. These objects move to the beat and rhythm of the music. Viewing these visualizations while listening to music, cause one to feel a certain way creating a relaxed or intense mood. In the pdf article, “Terms and conditions: Experimental Animation”, on page 4, it states, “Experimental animation has a strong relationship to music and, indeed, it may be suggested that if music could be visualized it would look like colours and shapes moving through time with differing rhythms, movements and speeds. Many experimental films seek to create this state,…some film-makers perceive that there is a psychological and emotional relationship with sound and colour which may be expressed through the free form which characterizes animation.”
What is Animation? I really like McClaren’s definition of animation. He says, “ Animation is not the art of drawings that move, but rather the art of movements that are drawn. What happens between each frame is more important than what happens with each frame”. (Solomon, 197: 11)
Also, I found interesting the different ways the American Animators and the Czech Animators create their works. The American’s works evolve mostly around copying the physical world of real objects, realities and peoples and animating them. The Czech’s animated work evolves around the fantastical, allowing their objects and realities to appear mostly all surreal.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
McCloud writes that comics is an art form just like any other, and that it essentially refers to art in a sequence. What this means is that comics have been around in one form or another for over three thousand years. They have existed in many cultures, including ancient Egypt, imperial Europe, or even the Aztec civilization, which had no prior knowledge of comics from Europe or Africa.
Comics also relates to the history of written language. Words first started appearing in comics as early as the mid-1800’s in the works of Rudolphe Topffer. The words and images depended on one another to tell a story. This is generally regarded as the origin of modern comics.