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Monday, January 14, 2013


History of Animation

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In 1600 BC the Egyptian Pharaoh Rameses II built a temple to the goddess Isis which had 110 columns. Ingeniously, each column had a painted figure of the goddess in a progressively changed position. To horsemen or charioteers riding past- Isis appeared to move! 
The Ancient Greeks sometimes decorated pots with figures in successive stages of action. Spinning the pot would create a sense of motion. 
Roget's principle quickly gave birth to various optical contraptions:
The Thaumatrope: A cardboard disc mounted on a top - or held between two pieces of string. A birdcage drawing is on one side and a bird on the other. When the top is spun or the strings are pulled the disc twirls, the images merge and the bird seems to be in the cage. 

The Phenakistoscope: Two discs mounted on a shaft - the front disc has slits around the edge and the rear disc has a sequence of drawings. Align the drawings with the slits, look through the openings and as the discs revolve we have the illusion of motion, 
The 'Wheel of Life' (or the Zoetrope): Appeared in the USA in 1867 and was sold as a toy. Long strips of paper with a sequence of drawings on them were inserted into a cylinder with slits in it. Spin the cylinder, look through the slits and the creature appears to move. 
The Praxinoscope: Devised by the Frenchman Emile Reynaud in 1877. He was the first to create short sequences of dramatic action by drawing on a 30 foot strip of transparent substance called Xrystaloid'. This opened the way for the tremendous advances to come. 

The Flipper book: In 1868 a novelty called 'the flipper book' appeared worldwide and it remained the simplest and most popular device, it's just a pad of drawings bound like a book along one edge. Hold the book in one hand along the bound edge and with the other hand flips the pages and 'see 'em move'. The result is animation -the illusion of continuous action. Drawings in time. 

The first American comic strip, "Hogan's Alley" is published 
James Stuart Blackton (1875 -1941) England/US makes "THE ENCHANTED DRAWING." The smile and frown of his drawn characters is achieved by the replacement technique used by Melies in his live action films. It is not considered animation but a prototype of animation, as it is not continuous frame by frame filming.(IT WAS THE FIRST STEPPING STONE FOR SFX ) 
In 1896 a New York newspaper cartoonist James Stuart Blackton interviewed the inventor Thomas Edison who was experimenting with moving pictures. Blackton did some sketches of Edison, who was impressed by Biackton's speed and drawing facility and asked him to do some drawings in a series. Later, Edison photographed these-the first combination of drawings and photography. In 1906 they publicly released Humorous Phases of Funny Faces. A man puffed a cigar and blew smoke rings at his girl friend, she rolled her eyes, a dog jumped through a hoop and a juggler performed. Blackton used about 3000 'flickering drawings' to make this first ani­mated picture - the forefather of the animated cartoon. The novelty brought explosions of laughter and was an instant hit. 

Emile Cohl, (1857-1938) France, makes his first film, "FANTASMAGORIE." This film is considered by many to be the first animated film. Cohl was well-known for his comic strips before he went into animation. He made 250 animated films from 1908 -1921. 
Winsor McCay (1867- Spring Lake, Ohio -1934) makes his first film, "LITTLE NEMO." McCay, who was already famous for his comic strips, used this film in his vaudeville act. His advice on animation was:" Any idiot that wants to make a couple of thousand drawings for a hundred feet of film is welcome to join the club." 

Winsor McCay's second film "THE STORY OF A MOSQUITO" ("HOW A MOSQUITO OPERATES") is released 
Winsor McCay's "GERTIE THE DINOSAUR" was the first major triumph in character animation (it is still a marvelous film). It was shown as a film in the theaters and also as a multi media event on stage with McCay interacting with the animated Gertie. 
Winsor McCay finishes THE SINKING OF THE LUSITANIA; AN AMAZING MOVING PEN PICTURE. It is animated with cels, washes, and paintings in a very striking and realistic style. This was the first propaganda film done in animation. Unfortunately the Lusitania sank in 1915 and WWI ended in 1918 so its use as a propaganda tool was doubtful and points up the problem of doing topical events in animation. 
19 year old Walter Elias Disney (1901-1966) started working in animation at the Kansas City Slide Company, with his friend Ubbe Iwerks (1901-1971) who later changed his first name to Ub. They both used the book Animated Cartoons: How they are Made, their origin and Development by Edwin G. Lutz, New York, Scribner, 1920 to help them learn animation. 
The first animated character to fill theaters in the silent-film era, Felix the Cat, became so popular that his gaping grin was reproduced on mugs, watches and other merchandise. Although he was soon eclipsed in movie theaters by talking cartoons, Felix's fortunes revived when he began airing on TV in the 1950s. 

Disney's Alice series goes into distribution. The animators who did this series were originally from Kansas City. They included, Ub Iwerks, HughHarman (1903-1982) USA, Rudolf Ising (1904-1992) USA, and FrizFreleng (1906-1995) USA. 
Synchronizing sound with on-screen action, Walt Disney's Steamboat Willie launched Mickey Mouse on his cruise to stardom. 
Walt Disney's, SKELETON DANCE, first Silly Symphony, Carl Stalling music, Ub Iwerks animator, where the use of prerecorded music in animation leads to a very tight synchronization of sound and picture which sets the standard in animation for the use of prerecorded sound. Columbia becomes Disney distributor until 1932. 
The Warner Bros. Cartoons are born. The First Warner Bros. short was SINKING IN THE BATHTUB with the character BOSKO who was a take off on Mickey Mouse. Harman, Ising, and Friz Freleng, who were old Disney people, started the studio with Leon Schlesinger as the producer. He was a cousin of the Warner BrotherĂ•s and had helped back the "Jazz Singer". As a condition for the studio each short must contain a Warners song. So Looney Tunes series, a take off on the Silly Symphonies, began. "Our policy has always been laughs, the more the better", was the Warner's philosophy (Schlesinger). 

Walt Disney wins his first Academy Award for "FLOWERS AND TREES." This film was the first to use 3 strips Technicolor (color) in animation. 

Walt Disney wins his second Academy Award for "THE THREE LITTLE PIGS." 

Walt Disney produces "SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS" his first animated feature. (general release 1938). RKO becomes Disney's new distributer until 1956. 


MGM produces "PUSS GETS THE BOOT" the first Tom and Jerry cartoon. It was also the first co-production effort of Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera 

The first computer animation is created (that we know of) it was an animated "Bouncing Ball" done at MIT by Saxenian. 

Created as a series of 30-second filler spots for "The Tracey Ullman Show," The Simpsons has become the longest-running TV comedy series ever. The original shorts were so successful that "The Simpsons" premiered on the Fox network as a 30-minute Christmas special in 1989 and then began as a regular series the following month 

"WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT" is released. Grossing over $300 million it proved that animation, at least when combined with live action, was not limited to a children's audience 

Cartoon Network broadcasts in 2 million homes, by 1995 it's in 22 million 

With the advent of Flash animationin the late '90s, a whole new cartoon era was born in the unrestricted world of the Internet, including programs such as Happy Tree Friends 


First Full 3D animated movie! Was Toy Story (1995) Directed by John Lasseter Animation by Pixar Released by Disney Animation Movie 

When Toy Story came out in 1995, it pretty much shocked the world. No one had ever seen anything like it before.
But there were a lot of steps along the way. Some of the cool pre-1995 moments in 3D Animation History:-Tron (1982)    
First use of 3D Animation in a motion picture 

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn (1982)    First use of 3D animation involving
fractal landscapes. 

Adventures of Andre and Wally B.(1984)First 100% 3D animated short.. 

The Last Starfighter (1984)   First realistic 3D CGI space battles 

Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing" Video (1985)   
First use of 3D animation in a music video, many people's first exposure to 3D animation. 

Luxo Jr. (1986)   First successful 3D animated short using realistic objects
and lighting 

Tin Toy (1988)First 3D animated short to win an Oscar, and first to use a
realistic human form 

McDonalds "Two for Two Dollars" Advertisement (1989)- First convincing use of 3D animated mouths synched with speech 

The Mind's Eye (1990)A collection of early 3D animated shorts, includes "The Seed" the first attempt at animated organic elements. 

Beauty and the Beast (1991)
First use of 3D elements to enhance 2D animated feature 

ReBoot (1993) First 3D Animated Saturday Morning Cartoon series 

Jurassic Park (1994) First use of 3D Organic CGI in a movie, 3D animated dinosaurs. 

Toy Story (1995)it won a special Oscar for being a breakthrough film. It reinvented animation forever. 

From storyboard to final render - the many steps in creation of digital imagery

Final output 

Combination of 3d and 2d Iron Giant (1999) 

Even if Iron Giant looks as if it were completely drawn the traditional way -cell by cell - the big giant robot is actually designed in 3d and output as a 2d image using Maya with the added help of proprietary software. One of the Drawbacks of this method is the perfect and rigid quality of the line rendered out of a 3d package. The perfect line is what separated it from 2d techniques so the solution was to "simplifying the design somewhat and not having too many surface shading areas", says Brad Bird director of The Iron Giant. Secondly, Brian Gardner created a program that caused line imperfections on the Giant randomly. They called it Wobble.Most of the backgrounds although 2d in look were also 3d renderings. The Backgrounds were stretched a bit so that it appeared as if you were going Around something.

History of Indian Animation

India has the world's largest Film Industry where more than 700 feature films and 100 documentaries are produced each year. This huge industry supports thousands of technicians,artists, skilled and unskilled labour. However, amidst this vastness of the Film Industry, the qualitative and quantitative output of theanimation segment is abysmally low. Awareness and recognition of animation as a medium of effective communication is almost absent

In 1935, when Disney had released its first feature film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", Indian animation was still at its infancy stage. Late DadasahebPhalke - the founder of Indian film Industry was attempting to make the first animation short film with matchsticks. The film was never screened
And though several independent animators made futile attempts thereafter, the real start for Indian animation wasn't to come for the next two decades- until the late 50s

In the late 50s Clair Weeks, an animator at Disney Studios, came to Bombay and trained a core group of animators, the principles of classical animation at Films Division, a governmental organization, under the ministry of Information and Broadcasting. This was the time that Indian short animation films actually got started and was exposed in the theaters And although Clair Weeks' trip did improve the animators' lot immensely, the animators opted for the UPA -limitedanimation style which was simpler in execution. Among the graduates from the Clair Weeks' program were Ram Mohan himself, one of the pioneer's of Indiananimation today and the president of RM-USL, India's only global presence in commercial animation today

The late 50s and early sixties saw the production of some good animation shorts. Some of the films won International awards. All these films were essentially produced by the government organisation - Films Division, which had Indian stalwart animation film-makers like Pramod Pati, Ram Mohan, Bhimsain, Gokhale, Satam and others. There was a virtual non-existence of private animation studios (which were not to come into existence till the early seventies). It looked as if Indian animation was poised for a leap. However, despite the promise, the quantity rarely exceeded more than 4-5 shorts or more than 30 minutes of
animation each year.
In 1974 the movie Ek Anek Aur Ekta was released which is considered the first ever animated movie in India. After that various other people started of taking animation as a full fledged career in India

Indian Animators
Ram Mohan
Puneet Makhija
Makrand Joshi
Amit Kapoor
Vaibhav kamresh
S.S Basu

Father of Indian Animation!

Chairman of Graphiti Multimedia Pvt Ltd. Mr. Ram Mohan is known as father of Indian Animation! Ram Mohan, the legend and doyen of Indian Animation recently completed fifty years of involvement with the animation industry. He has played a significant role in the evolution of animation in India - with over a hundred films to his credit, his contributions range a wide spectrum of work in the areas of 2D Classical Animation, 3D and CGI, Cinema and Live Action. His sharp wit and sharper pencil have earned him international accolades over his career. His favorite characters among the thousands he has brought to life are
Meena, the UNICEF mascot for programmes for the girl child.He Co-directed India's first animation feature, 'Ramayana - the Legend of a Rama'…, the highly acclaimed Indo-Japanese animation feature on Rama. Apart from innumerable awards he has received, he has the distinction of having trained many animation
professionals who are now senior directors and producers in animation industry.He provides Graphiti its creative vision and brings tremendous brand equity
internationally. He is also credited for teaching and training a whole generation of modern animators in India. He has received 5 Lifetime Achievement Awards, the latest being the V. Shantaram Award at the recently concluded Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF), inductions into the Halls of Fame of IAAFA and Communication Arts Guild (CAG), every conceivable national and international award, social awareness 

projects like 'Meena' for UNICEF. 


Ramayana the Legend of Prince Rama (1992) 

Directors: Ram Mohan
Yugo Sako Writers: Krishna Shah (writer)
Valmiki (story) Ram Mohan ventured into a Indo-Japanese collaboration animated feature based on Indian epic Ramayana. After about 10 years of labour, the film was finally released in 1997 amidst bad publicity and
virtual non-awareness among the general media and people and didn't do well commercially in India
it is the most beautiful movie created till today Mr. Yugo Sako have done such a lot of research.
The songs are heart rending. It is a movie to be viewed by anyone who is really interested in
Ramayana. Hats Off to all who contributed in making this movie. The characters are portrayed
very beautifully . The best part is every detail of the original Valmiki Ramayana has been shown
which also makes it very informative 

Hanuman (2005) 

Directors: V.G. Samant Milind Ukey
Writer:     Milind Ukey Hanuman presents the first serious and truly professional Indian effort at animated movie making. Expecting Disney like finesse would be unjust for a beginner but the makers of Hanuman did an awesome job. One would get the glimpses of Disney's Lion king and Tarzan here and there in the style of animation 

Director: Pankaj Sharma Hanuman ’s box-office success opened a market for animated films in India. That film was subsequently followed by Krishna and now Shemaroo gets into the animation business with Bal Ganesh - a film on the childhood of Lord Ganesh – the Elephant God. India is still in its infancy stage when it comes to animation so one cannot expect completely finished and detailed characters in the film. The design of the characters and backgrounds are quite decent according to Indian standards but their movement is something which has to be worked on..

Return of Hanuman (2007) 

Director: Writer: Anurag Kashyap It was again a treat from percept company as it was a complete classical 2d animated movie There was a little bit of 3d compositing which was blended very well The characters are designed very well .It is a total family entertainer


Director: Singeetam Srinivasa Rao
The animation film Ghatothkach does not show mythology, that it promises through itspromos. The cute animation character Ghatothkach as kid is attracting most of the littlekids but the film is aimed towards adults as well because it depicts a love story in animation and animated characters smooching. 

Director: Bhavik Thakore
Dashavtar is a Hindi animated film. It is literally about the 10 avtars of Lord Vishnu according to Hindu mythology. Good if the aim is to educate kids about our mythology without reading books or presenting our own interpretation of the religion to them

Cheenti Cheenti Bang Bang

Directed by : R. D. Mallik
Animation director: Shantanu Pal
The film is about two ants’ kingdoms. One of the kingdoms is of the red ants andother is the black ants’ kingdom. Both the kingdoms are located close to pond, onthe west side of a dilapidated bungalow and both the ants groups are constantlypicking up fights amongstthemselves for no reasons.
Roadside Romeo(2008)

Director: Jugal Hansraj
The film is about the dog romeo who got abandon from his owners then he encountersFour stray dogs then he makes friendship with them and also fall in love with lailaThen he encounters the villain Charlie annaIt’s a full comedy bollywood style animated movie