Animation

Section



Animation Music

A Mesmerizing Animation Spins Through Banknotes From 23 Countries in a Hypnotic Look at What Cultures Value

September 9, 2021

Grace Ebert

An endless loop of lines, ornate motifs, emblems, and historical figures converge in a hypnotic animation by Los Angeles-based director Lachlan Turczan. Paired with Blake Mills’s subdued track “Money Is The One True God,” the music video is comprised of high-resolution scans spliced together in a mesmerizing rotation. The compilation reveals colorful snippets of currency from 23 countries dating from the 1800s to the present day—these include a portrait of rebellion leader Samuel Sharpe on the Jamaican 50 dollar bill, an engraving of Tenochtitlan on a 100 peso, and a kaleidoscopic sunset on China’s 5 yuan—that show how notions of value have evolved over time.

Turczan writes that he used replacement animation techniques to highlight the guilloché patterns embedded within the bills. While much of the animation focuses on the abstract, it’s also indicative of cultural trends and shifts. “The age of exploration leads to industrialization, wonders of the world are replaced by office buildings, and icons of freedom stand in stark contrast to images of slavery,” he says. “The project culminates with the collective eyes of all world leaders staring back at the audience.”

Having worked with talents like Phoebe Bridgers, Sam von Horn, and Flock of Dimes, Mills’s “Money Is The One True God” is just one of Turczan’s music videos, which you can watch on Vimeo and Instagram. You also might enjoy this stop-motion short at the intersection of culture and economics. (via Booooooom)

 

 

 



Animation Art

A Restored Vermeer Painting Reveals a Hidden Cupid Artwork Hanging in the Background

August 25, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images via Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister

A years-long restoration undertaken by the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden has entirely altered the understanding of a 17th-century painting by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. What was once thought to be a somewhat glum depiction of a young girl reading near a window is now an amorous portrayal thanks to the unveiling of a naked Cupid hanging in the background.

Conservators knew the image of the Roman god of love existed after a 1979 X-ray, although it was assumed that Vermeer had altered the piece himself. Only after they performed a series of infrared reflectography imagings, microscopic analyses, and X-ray fluorescence examinations in 2017 did they realize that the Cupid was covered decades after the painter’s death, even though they still aren’t sure who marred the original piece or when. This dramatic of an alteration is rare during restoration, considering standard processes generally involve simple cleaning and repairs.

“When layers of varnish from the 19th century began to be removed from the painting, the conservators discovered that the ‘solubility properties’ of the paint in the central section of the wall were different to those elsewhere in the painting,” a statement says, explaining further:

Following further investigations, including tests in an archaeometry laboratory, it was discovered that layers of binding agent and a layer of dirt existed between the image of Cupid and the overpainting. The conservators concluded that several decades would have passed between the completion of one layer and the addition of the next and therefore concluded that Vermeer could not have painted over the Cupid himself.

The new restoration—dive into the lengthy process in the video below—is just one of the mysteries that’s surrounded “Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window” since its creation between 1657–59. Originally attributed to Rembrandt and later to Pieter de Hooch, the artwork wasn’t properly credited until 1880. The piece is evocative of another one of Vermeer’s works, “Lady Standing at a Virginal,” though, which similarly features a painting within a painting by showing a solitary figure standing near a window with Cupid on the wall behind her.

“Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window” will be on view in its original form for the first time in centuries as part of an expansive exhibition dedicated to the painter running from September 10, 2021, to January 2, 2022, at the Dresden museum. (via Kottke)

 

 

 



Animation

A Striking Stop-Motion Short Creates Uncanny Visual Effects Using Matches

August 10, 2021

Grace Ebert

Digital effects are no match for Tokyo-based designer Tomohiro Okazaki, whose mesmerizing new animation is a striking feat of stop-motion techniques. Using squirts of paint, strips paper, and other household objects, Okazaki deftly manipulates matchsticks into dozens of individual studies that endlessly bend and buckle their basic structure. Each analog distortion sparks a host of others that become increasingly complex and speedy, spanning from simple tricks of the hand to more elaborate clips of exploding match heads and paper morphing into fully formed sticks.

Okazaki heads the graphic design and animation studio Swimming, and you can find more clips and glimpses into his painstaking process on YouTube and Instagram. (via The Kids Should See This)

 

 

 



Animation

A Kind Pine Cone Helps an Elderly Man Survive a Cold Winter in a Heartwarming Stop-Motion Animation

July 28, 2021

Grace Ebert

Sometimes help comes from unexpected sources, especially when you need it most. That’s the central message behind a heartfelt stop-motion short written, directed, and animated by Dunedin, New Zealand-based Claire Campbell. “Winter’s Blight” follows an elderly man named Bill, who struggles to heat his home during a harsh cold spell. After he runs out of wood entirely, he’s forced to chop down the lone evergreen still standing in his yard, only to encounter an enthusiastic pine cone that begs him to stop.

Produced by Jon Wilson of Shine on Films with music by Hanan Townshend, the animation took more than five years to complete and is replete with meticulously crafted details, like Bill’s hand-knit sweaters and an elaborate set built true to scale. Watch this making-of video and check out Campbell’s Instagram for a behind-the-scenes look at how it came together.

 

 

 



Animation Photography

An Otherworldly Animation Adventures Across Galactic Landscapes Recreated in Miniature

July 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

In the first two parts of his Miniature Landscape series, director and animator Clemens Wirth (previously) celebrates the vast, awe-inspiring terrain of the earth by adventuring through snowy caverns, across pebbled beaches, and to the green glow of the Northern Lights. With a focus on color and textured elements like rocks and bubbling liquids, Wirth’s short films traverse tiny models built in his studio that mimic real-life landscapes with an uncanny twist. The final piece of the animated trilogy travels beyond Earth to explore outer space, journeying through fields of meteorites, across sand pocked with craters, and toward a volcano spewing lava.

Wirth tacked a short making-of segment onto the end of the galactic short film, which you can watch along with the first two episodes, on his Vimeo.

 

 

 



Animation Food Photography

A Rhythmic Stop-Motion Short Reveals the Juicy Insides of Tropical Fruit Slice by Slice

June 25, 2021

Grace Ebert

Toronto-based animator Kevin Parry peels back the layers of kiwi, mangoes, and other tropical fruits to unveil their colorful, fleshy insides from skin to core. Paired with a satisfying track of succulent, cracking sounds, the timelapse cycles through even, cross-section cuts that presents the juicy fare in a rhythmic progression. “Hidden Patterns Inside Tropical Fruit” also includes a making-of segment that shows how Parry painstakingly slices each layer with a standard sharp kitchen knife.

Watch more of his stop-motion shorts, including a similar vegetable-themed animation, on YouTube. You also might enjoy Andy Ellison’s MRI scans of produce and other plants.  (via Kottke)