TEXTURE

Whilst practically all Animation artists will, almost by rote and sometimes even quite blandly, claim that  they are all about “Story telling”, there are so many ways to tell or communicate  a story. An audiovisual medium such as animation  can communicate in all sorts of direct, associative, poetic , visceral, emotional and intellectual modes.

 “Animation’s ability to instantly dissolve the representational into the abstract, to leap associatively with ease, and to render simultaneously a flood of images, perceptions, and perspectives, makes it an unparalleled form of cinema” [3]

English: Fantasmagorie, by Émile Cohl. Françai...
English: Fantasmagorie, by Émile Cohl. Français : Fantasmagorie, par Émile Cohl. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“We’ve all been conditioned to viewing film as an adjunct to drama and literature,as a medium for story-telling. These virtues are absolutely secondary to the kinetic fine-art end of motion composition.”[2]  Whilst a “good” story is often only considered as a clear and linear “through line” the relationship of all the elements of the film, the art direction or mis en scene and even more specifically  the actual surface appearance of a film can heavily influence the affect and power of a film’s story and in some cases even be the “story “ this is especially the case in animations that use handmade techniques or experiment with the form and materials of their craft.

So What is Texture in an Animated Film?

Texture can be thought of as the combination of narrative elements and as the tactile quality of the surface of an object.

All media ‘natural’ or electronic such as pencil, oil paint, film and video have their own grain or texture.  What is the impact of these textures on the meaning, feeling, and engagement possibilities of animated film ? How can  texture be explored to add to the meaning, feeling, and engagement possibilities of animated film ?

, of the animation department, National Film B...
, of the animation department, National Film Board of Canada, drawing directly on film (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Norman McLaren, of the animation department, National Film Board of Canada, drawing directly on film-source Wikipedia.

Len Lye and Norman McLaren saw animation as the art of motion and incorporated the texture of hand made marks,scratches,painting with the medium of film and also explored connections to dance and in Lye’s case kinetic sculptures.  Martin Arnold, Peter Tscherkassy and contemporary experimental Viennese animator seen at this years MIAF take the narrative representational images and materiality of film and reprocess these as if they are the oil paints of their animation process.

 

[2] — Len Lye, animator, kinetic sculptor, Figures of Motion, 1964

[3]  Tom McSorely, Take One, Summer 1997

Take One (published Montreal, 1966–1979) (ISSN 0039-9132, OCLC 40366931)

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