Photo by Donita-Anne Pascual
Blog Posts

From Zoetropes to GIFs

Have you ever made a zoetrope from scratch? Watch me do it now!

This week’s post is a bit more special than the last ones! Nowadays, a big part of visual arts are animations and GIFs. Paying tribute to the old way of animating, I filmed and edited this video of me making a zoetrope! For contrast, I put in a short clip of me making a simple GIF on Photoshop.

About The Video

I created the video mainly to show the difference technology and digitalisation makes. Making the zoetrope took about an hour, but making the GIF only took two minutes! So, when making handcrafted animations, artists need much time, resources and patience. Whereas with technology, based on the fact that 90% of adults in the U.K. have access to the internet, both time and resources can be cut to the minimum!

Animation then and now

Animation has always been seen as groundbreaking. Back in the day, people had to tinker zoetropes or flip books to make their drawings move and those don’t even compare to the animation we can make in minutes nowadays! With softwares like Photoshop or Flash, creators have it much easier and simultaneously have more freedom with their work! More freedom in the sense of stylistic choice, amongst other things. Unlike in the early stages of animation, artists of today have the choice to make their work more cartoon like or more realistic. Their choice of style then creates a certain feeling and atmosphere for the viewer.

Animation and Visual Effects

Nowadays, animation in film has a blurred line with visual effects. Recent films like Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse and Alita: Battle Angel showcase the current abilities and even potential animators have. Films like these would have been impossible to produce without the advancements technology made. While animation itself had its beginning in the early 20th century, the animated film industry did not kick off until the man Walt Disney himself created Mickey Mouse. And we all know how that went. The Walt Disney Company is now one of the biggest companies in the film industry!

It has even come to the point where visual effects and animation are almost inseparable. As mentioned before, Alita: Battle Angel is one of the best examples for this. The visual effects, as well as Alita herself, are animated in the post-production process. This again shows how tightly knit these two components are. One cannot come without the other. Surely, there are enough films out there that still make use of practical effects, but reality is that more and more producers and directors revert to animation.

Let me know what you think about animation in the comments below or tweet me!


What to read next?

From L’Arroseur Arrosé to Aquaman, Donita-Anne Pascual

Timeline of Animated Film History, David Nusair

Weta Technology & Research, Weta

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *