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Animation - Essay Example

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The purpose of this paper is to explore how animation has evolved and changed since the golden age of Disney in the 1930s through to the Pixar films of modern day. To do this, the research will focus particularly on a classic Disney movie (Fantasia) and one of the most popular films released by Pixar (Toy Story). In doing this, some similarities will be uncovered between the two, despite the differences in technology and the vastly different eras in which they were generated and produced. Disney’s Fantasia Fantasia is one of the most influential Disney films, and was released in 1940 (Neuwirth, 2003). The film itself is highly complex for such an early example of animated film, with over 500 characters being present within the story and over 1000 members of staff working on different elements of the production (Neuwirth, 2003). Although related to previous Disney animations (Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies), Fantasia is well recognized for having some of the most brightly colored and intensely lit stills from any other animated movie or short from the period (Lasseter, 1995), perhaps a testament to the developing technology of the time. Color itself is recognized as being one of the most important elements of Fantasia’s success, and Disney requested that each scene be color-coded in a specific way to allow smooth transition between shots. Additionally, artists involved in the picture were encouraged to make 3D models of their characters to understand the movement for a more ‘realistic’ feel, despite the abstract nature of the film (Cavalier, 2011). An important point to note with respect to Fantasia and the early Disney films is that each and every shot in the film was drawn, colored and lit individually; an extremely painstaking process. It is from this starting point that the evolution of animation technology can be considered. Pixar’s Toy Story Like Fantasia, Toy Story is extremely significant in the history of animation. Released in 1995, Toy Story was the first full-length animation to be completely done using computer animation techniques. It also has the credit of being the first film released by Pixar, a hugely successful modern film studio. Toy Story relies on CGI-animation techniques created with PhotoRealistic RenderMan, a Pixar-specific image-rendering application based on the industry standard (Cavalier, 2011). One of the biggest challenges for animating the movie was that the producers wanted the animation to look as realistic as possible, which means a huge attention to detail. In this way, the animation techniques for both Toy Story and Fantasia involve a similar commitment. However, it is worth noting that only 27 animators worked on the production of Toy Story, although over 400 real 3D models were created to allow the animators to study movement and gain a picture of how the characters in the film should move and behave to create the aforementioned realism (Lasseter, 1995). Additionally, there were challenges involved in creating realistic shadows and lighting, although these could be done to a higher standard than in typical ‘cartoon-style’ animations. Technology & Composition There are 55 years between the release of Disney’s Fantasia and Pixar’s Toy Story, which evidently means that there are a lot of ...Show more
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Summary

How Has Animation Changed? From Classic Disney to Modern Pixar. Animation is a much older art form than many people expect, with motion being present in some form even before the invention of film (O’Pray, 1998). Since the invention of film, however, the evolution of animation has led to a huge multi-billion dollar industry, with some of the biggest grossing movies of all time have been animated…
Animation
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