Friday, February 28, 2014

My Favorite Rotoscopes

Something about this particular medium I've kind of found fascinating and pleasing to look at. From what I have come to understand, the animation technique of rotoscoping involves drawing over various parts of a live action film frame by frame. One of the earliest examples I've seen of this technique has been the 1981 Canadian cult film know as Heavy Metal directed by Gerald Potterton. 

Different objects and actors were rotoscoped to give the film its uniquely 80s feel to it. One of my favorite segments of this piece was the segment with the car in the opening segment known as "Smooth Landing." 
Some of the other movies I have come to learn used rotoscoping were Max Fleischer (the creator of the process) cartoons with characters like Betty Boop and Coco the Clown from the Out of The Inkwell series. These segments mainly used their rotoscoping capabilities to capture the human movements of the actors for the very realistic movements they were seeking to convey. Of the various cartoons created by Fleischer, I would have to say one of my favorite ones from his group was the 1939 animated film Guliver's Travels. (link specific time in vid of rotoscoping example)
The other example of rotoscoping I've come to know growing up was the "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" scene of The Beatles Yellow Submarine film. This segment's subject matter of LSD is portrayed in a psychedelic manner as far as its art style.  
One of the other examples of rotoscoping that has come to be one of my favorite examples of this style of animation is the 1986 award winning music video "Take On Me" by A-ha. The video uses a pencil sketch style of animation drawing the approximately 3,000 frames needed to make this video possible. The video's director . The original video for this song was the band members signing against a blue background,  the didn't pick up on popularity with this video.


 In 1985 Warner Brothers had the band re-record their song and using them in a revolutionary style of video. The Norwegian group teamed up with director Steve Barron, director of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean." The other key player for this video's success was animator Michael Patterson, made it to the team at Warner Brothers thanks to his 1981 USC Student Academy Award winning film Commuter. 
Of the different forms of animation I have come to see thus far in this class, this is the one I would want to master the most. I do realize that the process of drawing on several frames to get an effective display of this animation, but for seeing the end product of stuff like A-ha's famous video makes me want to at least give this style of animation the old college try for a pursuit. 

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