Lecture 06: MY SCENE-BY-SCENE ANALYSIS
In addition to "Endangered Species" being used as a framework for this course on the history of animation, the additional written material I've added about the film, scene-by-scene, is intended as an honest attempt to share with aspiring animators the thinking, techniques and production processes behind everything focused upon, whether it be past or present.
I had gained my wonderful apprenticeship in animation by working closely with Richard Williams, Ken Harris, Art Babbit and others - effectively sitting at their shoulders, watching them work and picking their brains. Sadly it is extremely rare these stays for young beginners in the animation industry to find the same opportunities anymore, as apprenticeships are sadly a thing of the past. So through what follows I am attempting to provide something similar to the apprenticeship system - by my being a shoulder for others to look over, while I virtually sit at the shoulders of some of the giants from the past.
The process I am adopting to do this can be broken down into three separate structural elements… i) the "bitmap" scenes, ii) the "vector" scenes and iii) the "illustrative" scenes within the film. More specifically...
The Bitmap scenes are those ones where I re-created the traditional animated material from the past.
The Vector scenes were those scenes depicting the animator at his desk, from birth to his death, as he re-creates some of those great scenes from the past.
The Illustration scenes, which are essentially those that accompany the narration sections of the film.
In order to assist the reader in better understanding the process and the thinking behind each scene of this film, I have attempted to explain the "why’s" and "wherefore’s" of everything with descriptive text.
For the Bitmap material I have subdivided the text up into four main categories. These are...
a) the title element - i.e. the title I assigned to the particular scene in question);
b) the original inspiration part - i.e. what classical scene or sequence in animation’s history the scene is based upon, and maybe why;
c) the how it was done traditionally part - i.e. the original techniques that were most likely used in the old ‘cel’ days of production, as far as I can ascertain; and
d) the how it was re-created digitally part - i.e. the techniques I used to re-create the traditional material in a digital environment.
I have also included some special animation techniques of note material in places - where I explain a particular animation technique, or procedure, that should be of interest to conscientious animators.