Task 3 – Animation (Research Stage)

The History of Animation

  • 2005 ‘ Wallis and Gromit’ created by Aardman animations.  The characters were brought alive by Nick Park using modelling clay and wire for the characters and then animated using stop motion animation.
  • 1995 Pixar (American computer animation company) created ‘Toy Story’.
  • 1975 Will Vinton received an award for best animated film ‘Closed Mondays’.  He also copyrighted the term ‘Claymation’ to describe the process of the film production that was built around using clay models.
  • 1962 ‘Spiderman’ written by Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko illustrated the cartoon to increase the sales of the Amazing Fantasy Comic
  • 1934 ‘Superman’ written by Jerome Siegal and Joseph Shuster and created into a newspaper comic strip.
  • 1930s Golden Age of Comics e.g. Flash Gordon, Dick Tracey and Tarzan.
  • 1888 Louis Le Prince shot the first moving pictures in Leeds on Leeds Bridge and Roundhay Garden Scene.
  • 1886 Louis Le Prince built and patented a one lens camera.
  • 1871 Leeds Technical School of Art was founded by Louis Le Prince and his wife Elizabeth.
  • 1865 First modern comic strip ‘Max and Mortiz’ created by Wilhelm Busch.
  • 1851 At the Great Exhibition the Stereoscope was on display.
  • 1838 The Stereoscope was invented by Charles Wheatstone. The invention created a 3D image for the viewer looking through two lenses at two images placed next to each other.
  • 1832 The Phenakistoscope [pronounced fen-akiss-to-scope] invented by Joseph Plateau. A round disc with slots around the edge showing individual pictures and when spun the images merge together showing continuous movement e.g. horses running.
  • 1834 The Zoetrope or The Wheel of Life was invented by George Horner.  This was similar to a Phenakistoscope and created the illusion of animation.
  • Full inside zoetropezoetrope portrait_med1825 The Thaumotrope [pronounced taw-mo-trope] was invented. (Disc with, for example, a picture of a bird on one side and a cage on the other.  When the disc is spun it looks like the bird is in the cage). Thaumotrope_1_med
  • 1817 The ‘kaleidoscope’ was invented by Sir David Brewster, a tube using two mirrors to reflect multiple images of coloured glass pieces. It proved to be one of the most popular optical toys ever created.
  • 1700s Shadow theatre became popular in France. This involved creating black silhouettes on a screen.
  • 1500s In Turkey a mischievous character called ‘Karagoz’ was developed on a real person living in Turkey. It worked by having a coloured shadow puppet made from camel hide moving behind a screen made out of muslin with a candle illuminating the scene from the back.
  • 1066 The Bayeux Tapestry captured the Battle of Hastings.
  • 28,000 BC In prehistoric times cave paintings were used to created stories of hunting and create the illusion of the movement of the bisons

In order for me to understand how animation works and where it came from I decided to conduct some research into animation, in particular the stop motion area of animation. However also looking into animation as a whole too. Films like Wallace and Gromit & Toy Story are types of animation I will be looking into for some research. Wallace and Gromit in particular is the animation I’ll look into for research about stop motion.

As Wallace and Gromit is a stop motion animation it is the perfect subject to research for this task. Wallace and Gromit was made in 2005 and is one of the most classic stop motion films around today. I looked into how Wallace and Gromit is made to try and give me some guidance into making my own stop motion animation. Here is a stop video on the making of a Wallace and Gromit stop motion film.

Wallace and Gromit film set

Wallace and Gromit - Lloyd Price

For inspiration for my stop motion I have looked at a Lego stop motion animation made by ‘Cracked Animations’ YouTube channel. The person making these animations has done it extremely well with no jumpiness or camera problems and it looks very good. Here is one of their animations I looked at.

To create a simple but effective and smooth stop motion animation I will need a good DSLR camera, such as a Nikon D300, a tripod, something to animate and a lot of patience. I am thinking for my stop motion animation to have a series of coins come from off the screen and then onto the screen in a line, then forming a circular pattern and spinning around in a circle before leaving the screen again. This will be a simple stop motion animation but will still follow the theme given of ‘cycle’. For the hand drawn animation I am thinking of drawing multiple dots in different colours come onto the screen and form circle patterns and move around forming different shapes.


Cracked Aniamtions, (2013), Lego Minecraft Stop Motion: Part 1. [online] YouTube. Available At: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2m_QlcRXAO0 Date Accessed: [15 Oct 14]

Kstrev, (2009), Wallace and Gromit – Making of the Curse of the Were Rabbit. [online] YouTube. Available At: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qW5X1S6VKQ8 Date Accessed: [15th Oct 14]

My Learning, (2014), A History of Aniamtion, [online] Available at: http://www.mylearning.org/a-history-of-animation/p-455/ Date Accessed: [15th Oct 2014]


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