dancersThis week I have been thinking about dance in relation to the human form and how it is depicted. My thinking began when Steve showed me ‘La Joire De Vivre, 1934’. It brought to mind Norman Mclaren’s ‘Pas de deux’ which was the first animation I ever saw as an adult, at school in sixth form, and it always stuck with me because of its simplicity in portraying the movement of the human body. It also made my think of a friend of mine Dan W Jacobs who is an animator and drew on a real performance beautifully in one of his music videos. Similarly to ‘La Joire De Vivre’ Dan’s forms are whimsical and free with a nice lightness to them. Steve commented that this is a quality my drawings often possess although I am going to try and develop and experiment by adding more weight to them. All of these video’s have good strong silhouettes which is something else I am going to try and think about. The dancing Skeleton Disney short takes a more amusing approach to the dancing form.

Here are those videos:

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As well as these dances, I have been looking again at the Triadic Ballet and Noh theatre as references for depicting the human form in performance, in particular. I wrote about them both in my History of Art dissertation which was about the transformation of the human body from Man to Marionette. The Triadic Ballet aims to push the human form as far as possible towards being a puppet. The designs are very striking and reduce the body into shapes. We spoke about this ballet when designing characters the other day. I quite like the idea of thinking in shapes as a way of simplifying but also as a way of inspiring designs.

Here are some of Oskar Schlemmer’s designs:


Noh Theatre costumes restricts the movement of the human form even more:



drinking buddy

Today we were introduced to Animate (previously Flash) and After Effects. I really enjoyed seeing how we will be able to develop the work we do beyond line tests on Dragon Frame, which is all I have done so far! I made a character who has a beer belly and picks up his fallen pint. I then added a background from a pub in After Effects to complete it.



Here are some of my still images from Animate:






This is a screenshot from the process of drawing out each frame in Animate:





Our weekly task up to now has been to create a short video that relates to a principle of animation. This week we were looking at the animation of weight and balance. I have found these weekly tasks challenging and a steep learning curve. Previous to this course I have had no professional art training and nothing but failed attempts to teach myself animation. I hope I am improving week by week. This is my person lifting something heavy. I was thinking of the ball, belly and head as three circles making up the main form of the animation.

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I thought I would share some of my influences beyond animation today.

Charles and Ray Eames



De Stijl, Mondrian + Rietveld Schröder house



The music of Minnie Riperton, Billie Holiday and Rotary Connection


Japanese culture including their aesthetic principles such as Wabi-Sabi and Yugen, Hokusai’s Manga, Enso, ceramics, calligraphy, theatre and performance including Noh.



Junichiro Tanizaki’s book ‘In Praise of Shadows’


William Wondriska’s book ‘The sound of things’


Here are some examples of my work.

A for Ant

N for Noh

G for Grandparents


Character ~ movement

Life drawing


Jen copy