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Animation as an Art Form


dancingguy-sm21Animation Mentor has written an article called "Animation as an Art Form," for 3D Creative Magazine. The article looks at where animation is heading and concepts in animation art.

The article was based on Animation Mentor's special report: Behind the Animators. We talked to a panel of experts to get their take on the animation trends including Jill Smolin, Computer Animation Festival Director at SIGGRAPH 2008; Frank Gladstone, a 35-year animation veteran, consultant and educator; and Kathy Smith, USC professor and chair of the Animation and Digital Arts school. The article features several images from our 2008 Summer Student Showcase!

Some trends include:

· A theme that animators have found a way to use animation to tell a powerful story in a way that live action cannot.

· Animation as a tool that can help us make sense of our place in the world.

· There is a resurgence of old technologies such as stop frame and 2D animation

If you want to check out the full article, click here.


  1. I think it's only BlaBla!
    I know papers that contain more interesting information for the big story of animation!
    For example practical issues for artists!
    And the special report? Nice facts but nothing more.
    Remember: Animation Mentor wants to make money! So why should they give anything for free??

  2. Eonmach Realm on

    Old technologies? Traditional animation and stop animation will not become old ever, ask the Japanese, Korean, Spanish, some American and some latin american producers, they are lot of times more expensive, that´s all, although there is no real open alternative to replace 2D commercial animation programs like Toon Boom, Toonz, Animo or Retas, I´d wish proyects did for 2D content creation like Blender does for 3D. That makes Blender so special.

    I love every one of those art forms.

  3. Opensource junkie on

    RE: Eonmach Realm (fyi to anyone subject to this disinformation); there is Open Source 2d animation software, and the only shortfall i found was in its installation. You just need to follow specific directions very carefully or it wont work, but other than that its an excellent tool. there is also pivot which is hardly professional but its still very fun to play with and easy. even gimp has a little animation plugin.

  4. Eonmach Realm on

    RE: Opensource junkie
    I Don´t start a flame war, you mean Pencil?(PAP alternative?),Synfig?(vector animation AKA flash or ANIME STUDIO-former MOHO-?), yes, there are alternatives, but NOT a single one that can support traditional(FYI: hand drawn) animation studios. If there is one, please send URL

    Gimp? excellent program, really shines on what it does, but you can´t tell it works for animation just for having few plugins even the GAP. Not even Photoshop, Painter or Krita do it.

    Disinformation? to whom? anybody that reads this pages know the strenghts and weaknesses of some open source proyects, I´m not to bash anyone´s efforts.

    Peace brother :)

  5. Eonmach Realm,

    When I use open source applications I see the possibilities.

    Some see the limitations.

    What is the view like from over there? :)

  6. Awww man, ccherrett, don't be condescending; it's really awful hearing people acting so superior about a difference of opinion.

  7. @OpensourceJunkie: What OSS app is that? I know many good drawing apps, but no good animation apps? I have tried Synfig, but I just don't like (especially in contrast to Flash).

    I dream for the day when OSS will finally take dominance over the software industry, but I do not see it in the very near future :(

  8. 2D animation isn't exactly dead. It went into hibernation, and isn't as big as it was in the 1920's , 30's and 40's, but its still around. Sure Warners closed their Termite Terrace studios years ago, and Disney hasn't done any in years either, but there is a glimmer. The last of Disneys 9 old men was honored at the US Academy Awards last month (he died nearly a year ago --April 08), and Chuck Jones is no longer here either, but the form isn't exactly dead. There is a new project being done: "Your Friend The Rat" is to be released this year. Its only 11 minutes, and only a portion is hand drawn (like classic Ward Kimball animation from Disney) some is 3d/computer and some is stop motion. ...And done by Pixar.
    It features Remy (from Ratitouille) and looks like a UPA/education film on why its bad to kill your friend, the rat.

  9. Upon reading the article, I wonder why they even published it since it really doesn't say anything that we haven't heard or predicted before.
    @Bobster: Do you know when "Your Friend the Rat" is coming out? Sounds interesting.

  10. Sorry, my bad. "Your Friend, The Rat" is not a new project. It was new in 2007. The short takes on the form of an educational film and stars Remy and Emile, two brown rats who argue for the reconciliation of humans and rats. They use historical facts presented to various styles of animation, as well as biased nonsense.

    Your Friend the Rat won the Best Animated Short Subject category at the 35th annual Annie Awards and was released on DVD and Blu-Ray with Pixar's Ratatouille (November 6, 2007)

  11. Well from what I've seen at animation and film festivals during the last decade traditional forms were never dead. Nowadays artists use software to help with traditional animation techniques (ink&paint, cleanup, linetest, motion check, digital still cameras etc) and 3d is really not the only medium left.

    I admit that traditional forms are more often seen in commercial products (ads, music videos) now than ten years ago when almost everything had to be 3d. It seems that animation techniques are now selected based on content not on fad, and that's something I like. Few years ago it felt like things were done in 3d just because it could be done in 3d, no matter how horrid it did look.

    Speaking about Disney/Pixar, they plan to make hand drawn animated movie every few years from now on:

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