Part of Course: Animation Model
Unit Overview / Details
Lessons in this unit will teach students about the history of animation, from the first inventions to present day techniques.
- Animation History
- 8 Hours
Content / Concepts
- The Early age of Animation - Covers animation in its earliest forms. No real starting date, but ends with the rise of the Silent Age.
- The Silent Age of Animation - Covers Animation history from the early 1900's to the late 1920's.
- The Golden Age of Animation - Covers Animation history from the late 1920's to the late 1950's.
- The Dark Age of Animation - Covers Animation history from the late 1950's to the late 70's.
- The Renaissance Age of Animation - Covers Animation history from the early 80's to the late 90's.
- The Millennium Age of Animation - Covers Animation History from early 2000 to where we are going.
- Animation Throughout the World - Covers all of the styles of animation from various countries during various times.
Lessons in this Unit
The roots of animation are as deep and old as humans efforts to create images in the likeness of the world around them. From the cave paintings of Lascauex and Altimira featuring tonal paintings of multilegged animals appearing to run, to the hieroglyphs of chariot riding Egyptians, humans have long sought to depict the dynamics of motion. The development of such artistic imagery combined with storytelling also goes back thousands of years.
Modern animation is the culmination of human artistic vision, technology, and narrative. Every day, week, and month, on thousands of movie and television screens around the world, animation is seen is a variety of forms. The forms animation takes at this point are vast and ubiquitous. From major motion picture studios feature length epics, to small independently produced shorts, from small pop up web banners, video games, and interactive mobile devices, animation as a medium is used to inform, educate, persuade, entertain, sell, and interpret information, ideas, concepts, and morals. It's no longer enough for things to just look good, and be well designed to be noticed, now it must be dynamic, fluid, and interactive, and animation is a huge part of this.
Animation at this point is strongly intertwined and a crucial part of production in television, motion pictures, the internet, communications, advanced medical fields, engineering and architecture. Students interested in these professional careers and fields should have an understanding and appreciation of of the complexities and intricacies of the history of the medium. What makes animation so incredible and amazing is its intersection of arts and technology, and how each feeds and drives the other. Disney and Pixar are just two examples of how the creativity in the medium of animation has helped pushed the development of new technologies.
This lesson plan is meant to provide students with an overview of the major events, developments, and milestones of early animation (late 19th and early 20th century) within a short period of time. It includes a short historical overview, timeline, and a series of videos that provide a good foundational knowledge of people, inventions, and institutions that helped shaped the medium as it exists.
It is suggested and highly encouraged that the history of animation be explored continually and regularly over the course of your program. The historical arc of animation is so rich, and full of amazing examples it is impossible to cover in a few lessons. Watching and discussing other videos and clips from on a weekly or bi-weekly basis can allow you to show students a wide range of important artists and studios, principles, approaches, and story lines, and bring them up to the present day.
Important films, individuals, and studios covered in this lesson:
1. James Stuart Blackton's The Enchanted Drawing, c.1900
2. Emile Cohl's Fantasmagorie, c.1908
3. Winsor McCay premieres Gertie the Dinosaur, c.1914
4. Willis O'Brien The Dinosaur and the Missing Link. 1915
5. Winsor McCay's The Sinking of the Lusitania, 1918
6. Max and Dave Fleischer's The Tantalizing Fly, 1924
7. Lotte Reigniger Adventures of Prince Achmed, 1925
8. Disney Studios, Steamboat Wille, 1928
The following are a list of excellent web-sites that cover the history of animation from a variety of perspectives:
- History of Animation Article
- 15 - 25 Minutes
- Viewing and Discussion of Historical Animation Pieces
- 2 Days
Students will design and create a phenakistoscope which means “Spindle Viewer” with 16 images, outlined and colored, that creates the illusion of continuous movement. They will demonstrate the understandings the basic animation concepts of cycle animation which is when the first drawing of the animation cycle matches the last drawing of the animation creating an endless loop of motion. In addition students will be able to explain the scientific concept of persistence of vision.
- 30 Minutes
- 4 Hours
You will use the concept that Eadweard Muybridge used in his work to create the illusion of motion. You will do this by using a digital camera to take multiple photos of a single object that will be moved in very small amounts between individual frames. You will then upload these images to a photo editing software to be laid out and then registered to each other so you can then print then to be flipped through to producing the effect of motion.
- History lecture
- 30 - 120 Minutes
- 30 Minutes
- 120 Minutes