Applied Science / Information Technology Essay

This is how technology has changed the animated cinema

Today's cartoons are very different from the Disney classics of yore between special effects, emancipated heroines, and heart-pounding action. They recently used it to put the face of the protagonist of Beauty and the Beast, played by Dan Stevens. And to bring back to the set of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story the late Peter Cushing, who has passed away since 1994. Or, in general, to create the most spectacular special effects and make animated characters and scenarios real. This is computer-generated imagery, that part of 3D computer graphics that allows you to make the most of digital special effects in films. But how have animated films changed after the advent of this particular technology? Let’s find out!

Animation and CGI - Since CGI has become a means of creating animated worlds, animated films' nature has radically changed. According to experts, the narrative scheme has changed radically: old-fashioned animated films, like the Disney classics, had an almost conservative flavor, where everything moved individually. The CGI has allowed creating new scenarios and situations within the animation products, bringing Pixar, Dreamworks, and companions to work on groups, rather than on the single. Take Zootropia: her struggles are both individual and social, and the heroine's victories change society as a whole.

Disney Classics Vs. CGI - The use of the technology, the message that his stories convey, has been totally reshaped. The question arises if the first Disney products would have told Cinderella and her companions' stories in a different way if they had this modern technology available. The video has won almost 100,000 views in a week from its publication.

Action and emancipation - The advent of technology in the animated universe has brought great news not only in colors and graphic effects but also in storytelling. The first to be changed is the female heroines, who are no longer naive in the search for "they all lived happily ever after," but represent a cross-section of society and acquire an allegorical role, engaging in the search for collective well-being. Just remember the exploits of the bunny protagonist of Zootropia or of the red protagonist of Ribelle - The Brave (where the choice of the name seems significant), or even of Oceania. Space characters from Toy Story, The Incredibles, and Monster & Co. they are a symptom of a radical change: from this point of view, the action has also changed, and today's films are much more animated, just think of the chases of Cars and the fights of Kung-Fu Panda.

The Outcast Hero - Another change that leaps to experts' eyes concerns the protagonists of the latest animated films, increasingly lonely and marginalized characters who get their revenge. This is the case of The Lego Movie, of Wreck-It Ralph and Shrek, for example. On closer inspection, many of the first animated films' protagonists were often losers or loners, from Belle to Hercules, passing through Mulan, but "in a different way. At least as regards the epilogue: The Little Mermaid, for example, will live happily ever after but only after saying goodbye to the father of the abyss, while the little protagonist of Ratatouille, on the contrary, he will succeed in fulfilling his dream of becoming a great chef and in the end he will celebrate in the company. In short, always "happy and content" but, now, with the rest of society.

Animation cinema: the techniques of the greatest films

After the great era of cartoons and animated characters, animated cinema entered a new era? In recent years, a wave of animated films in CGI has swept into theaters, even surpassing those in live action at the box office. What is behind this success? What technologies have given animation cinema the face it has today?

The cartoon

This technique has had great popular success with films intended for children, although much of the production is aimed at other audiences. The cartoon's principle is to break down each movement into several drawings to give the illusion of movement during the projection.

Paper cutouts and silhouette films

The paper-cut technique is as old as animation cinema. We use characters in which each part of the body is cut out of paper and then articulated to be arranged in all positions. The characters thus created can then be animated, image by image, under the camera of a title bench. To animate them, the director slightly moves certain parts of the body, then he takes two images with the camera and continues in this way to make his characters evolve.

In silhouette films, the characters and certain elements of the decor are cut out of dark cardboard. They are placed on a backlit glass plate during filming, creating an effect reminiscent of Chinese shadows. The cutout elements then appear in black silhouettes. The turning is carried out in the same way as for the cut-paper technique.

3D Animation

These techniques have in common that they require the filmmaker to consider staging elements very similar to those with which the director of live shots composes. Indeed, in three-dimensional animation, lighting, camera movements, choice of lens,

Puppet animation has its origins in the thousand-year-old tradition of Puppet Theater. This tradition has been part of central European popular culture for centuries, which is why it was in this part of the world that puppet animation first took root

This technique features articulated dolls, made of skeletons or frames, generally metallic, located in a body (made of latex, wood, or other soft or hard materials) and covered with clothes. The facial expression, so far quite limited, is becoming more alive with the development of new techniques. 

Figures and objects made of plasticine are sometimes made around a skeleton, but often the absence of a skeleton allows them to undergo the most fanciful transformations. Sets and props on the scale of the characters are built. The shooting is carried out on a cinema set containing the set and the puppets, lightingThis is how technology has changed the animated cinema, and a camera operating frame by frame. The facilitator makes the character move very slightly and takes the image.

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