The Importance of History and Trends in Animation
Trends and history reveal how evolution of an art form occurs. Paying close attention to the trends and growth of any field helps predict the future of that industry. It is important to recognize trends in filmmaking, storytelling, and technology for an animator to increase his or her chances of continued employment. This book will point out many trends from the past and provide a blueprint of the future. By observing and learning about these developments, we remain educated about the technology and the audience. The art of classical film animation has been ever-evolving since its early days. Artists and the studios at which they work have strived to raise the bar visually through storytelling since the first crude attempts at putting moving images on the screen. And no, we are not talking about He-Man and the Masters of the Universe here. We are talking about classical animation and its evolution into computer-generated feature films—think Steamboat Willie and The Incredibles. With improvements in animation came demands for richer backgrounds, more complex camera moves, and an ever-increasing level of believability all around. This increasing need for more impressive visuals also pushed the budgets of these pictures higher and higher. Walt Disney paved the way for most animated features in the beginning by always striving to find new ways to push the technology and budgets in order to make a richer and more appealing animated film. With rising costs came the inevitable call to streamline production and establish more economical ways in which to get the message to the screen. Most of the other studios at this time focused on how to make their films as inexpensively as they could and still garner some of the success Walt Disney was having. Recounting every technological advance in the art of animation in this chapter would be boring. (However, we do provide an interesting 2D/CG chronological timeline of events and...
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