Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Day For Hand Drawn Animation - 2009

"A Day For Hand-Drawn Animation -2009"
(click on image to view it larger)

I posted about this last year , here:

with a follow-up post , here:

This annual "Day for Hand Drawn Animation" is sponsored by Tahsin and Lâle Özgür at Maltepe University in Istanbul .

All devotees of hand drawn animation are invited to mark the day , regardless of their geographical location. (the internet creates such a small world).

This year Tash and Lâle write:

November 18th, a Day for Hand-Drawn Animation

A universe of dreams and fantasy that opened up with
Steamboat Willie on November 18th, 1928, or even earlier, with Little Nemo in 1911. A universe wonderful for the spectator, and even more so for the artists and craftsmen.

The tradition is alive and well in 2009.

May we all celebrate, those of us who insist on keeping it alive, and those of us who never tire of watching!

-Tash & Lâle Özgür

I thought the point that Tash made last year about the distinction of "hand drawn animation" is important to repeat:

"We call it, in our quaint Oriental tongue, Çizgi Film Bayrami, which clumsily translates as "Line-Film Holiday" or something ... "Line-Film" being what we call this kind of film. English lacks a direct equivalent, and the more generic term "animation" might have even facilitated the CG takeover ("it's all animation, isn't it?")

Think of our concept of "line film" as closer to the French "dessin animé" ("animated drawing") - it's French, language of culture, so it probably has more weight in the argument. Which argument? Why, that hand drawn animation is a distinct art form, and not simply a step on the way towards something else. "

Recently the veteran animator/designer/director Gene Deitch made a similar point in a speech prepared for the Xiamen International Animation Festival (Oct. 30th-Nov. 3rd) in China. Gene's speech is titled "Quo Vadis Animation?" The entire text of his speech is on Cartoon Brew:

Here is the summary:

“The core of my speech is a pitch for the survival and eventual return to primary favor of “drawn animation.” (Don’t provoke me by mentioning the term “2D” in my presence!)"

Here is a video Gene made since his travel visa was not approved by the Chinese government , so he was not able to present the speech at the Xiamen International Animation Festival :


David McBride said...

This is great. I really enjoyed hearing Gene Deitch talk about drawn animation. He made a lot of sense.

Thanks for posting.

David Nethery said...

I'm glad you liked it.

I have long contended that these "2D" and "3D" terms are not useful. Especially now that the term "3D" is being recaptured to describe a way of projecting and viewing films (as in "Real 3D" like
Dr. Tongue's 3D House of Stewardesses) .

And soon Disney will be releasing a "3D" version of "Beauty and the Beast" , which is a so-called "2D" (drawn) film.

So how does one use these terms meaningfully ? I don't remember exactly when this whole "2D vs. 3D" terminology started (I don't recall that it really gained traction until the post-Toy Story era, after 1995) , but for most of Animation's history the only "3D Animation" was what people like George Pal and Jiri Trinka, Ray Harryhausen, or Will Vinton did. (that is, puppet animation, which is actual 3D animation because you can physically hold those puppets in real life and they are true 3D objects). I never recall being called a "2D Animator" prior to 1994 or '95.

David McBride said...

That was funny. I think we should stick to computer generated and hand drawn or traditional. As you said now that 3D is becoming known to society to mean the 3D glasses popping out at you effect it is going to get really confusing. Not long ago I was talking to my mom about some animation topic and I kept correcting myself when I said 3D and meant CGI.

Jeffparadox said...

That was a great speech by Gene Deitch. Even though I'm primarily a CGI animator, I find myself getting closer and closer to the traditional animators philosophically...

I realized how crooked the 2D/3D terminology was after I read an article by Tahsin Ozgur, "The Birth and Death of Drawn Animation", 2 years ago. Since then, I dropped using those and started referring to them as CGI and Traditional Animation.

If I can make an economical success from CGI in the future, one of my biggest dreams is to start producing hand-drawn animation and stop motion....

Thanks for the great content David!

David Nethery said...

"I realized how crooked the 2D/3D terminology was after I read an article by Tahsin Ozgur, "The Birth and Death of Drawn Animation", 2 years ago."

Hi, Jeff,

Is that article "The Birth and Death of Drawn Animation" available to be viewed online ? I'd like to post a link to it.


Jeffparadox said...

It actually is, though, the version I know is in Turkish:

We should ask Tahsin Ozgur if he ever translated it into English, it's one of those articles that changed my life. If he did not, I could try to find translator to do so, after getting his permission...

David Nethery said...

Yes, let's ask him to translate it to English. I'm sure it's worth sharing with a wider audience.


Livie Lightyear said...

This is so neat. I'm sorry I missed the holiday! I absolutely loved Gene's speach. I agree with him completly. What's the point? Why make computers do what the camera can do better? I never looked at the terms "2d vs 2d animation" really. I had always heard those terms when talking about hand drawn and CG animation. I'll be altering my vocabulary!

PS: He's 85! I want to be like that at 85... I'm not even like that at 19! He couldn't stay seated!

David Nethery said...

Hi, Livie,

You didn't miss it ! Nov. 18 is the day (marking the day that Disney's "Steamboat Willie" was released in 1928 ... seems like as good a day as any to have this celebration of hand-drawn, though I also liked the suggestion of holding it on the day Winsor McCay's "Little Nemo" was released in 1911 ... although I'm not sure if we know that date for sure) .

Happy Hand-Drawn Animation Day!


(yeah, I hope to be as enthusiastic and energetic as Gene Deitch when I'm 85 !)

demonpack said...

There will always be a demand for hand drawn animation and I think if we keep advancing computer tools that support it...we'll come up with less and less excuses to not take a hand drawn approach.

David Nethery said...

To those who are interested , here is an English translation of the talk "The Birth and Death of Drawn Animation" delivered by Enis Tahsin (“Tash”) Özgür at Maltepe University on June 6th 2006 :

"The Birth and Death of Drawn Animation" by Tahsin Özgür