YouTube links for Friday

For Friday, please watch the following videos, all of which are very short.

The first video is Winsor McCay’s “Gertie the Dinosaur,” which I’ve decided to use instead of Phantasmagoria. This film doesn’t do anything particularly striking with typography, but it provides an introduction to the question of materiality in animation. See if you can guess why the outlines of the characters are constantly wavering.

The next three videos are three Felix the Cat cartoons from the 1920s. Pay particular attention to Felix’s interactions with typographic signs.

Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 11:59 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. I first saw Gertie the Dinosaur in my Comics and Animation class. The outline of the character in Gertie waver because the artists were drawing every frame by hand. I don’t believe they had figured out that they could make a copy of the background and draw only the character into the preprinted background. Gertie was also produced using keyframe animation, this is where the animator would only draw the most important stages in the movement of the character and then he would have artists fill in the rest. They also had to carefully retrace drawings from one master page to many (very many) smaller pages so the background would match. Of course this leaves room for human error. During the production of Gertie the Dinosaur, there were many techniques created that became the standard for cartoon production for years to come. Gertie was one of the first cartoons of its kind and it still celebrated to this day.

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