Survey of Animation: Abstract Animation


The main concept of this animation is abstraction of a World War 2 fighter plane in coordinated flight patterns. The overall paths and arcs that it makes in the sky as almost complete shapes that can trail off into new ones as the others fade in and out with the sounds of the engine. The rotations of the body of the plane as rotations and distortions in whole shapes as it travels its paths in the sky. The beauty of it in the sky and the terror of crashing. But overall, I want this to be a representation in shape and path of a choreographed flight in mid-air battle. The references I with to use for this specific idea are old war footage of test flights and aerial combat maneuvers.

I feel that overall I have made a final product that meets with the overarching idea of my concept where it shows the long wide sweeps and arcs of the aerial maneuvers seen in battles during war. I feel that what I have made was successful in representing this motion of a war plane in flight during combat.

Jules Engel has a similar idea to my thought of kinetic motion in my idea with his abstract film “The Meadow”. In this film he shows the abstraction of things such as children playing; with their laughter aiding in the change of the shapes. The motion of water in a pond and the way it ripples outward, and the tire of a bicycle turning and the small clicks it may make as it moves aiding in the abstraction. In his piece “Train Landscape” there is a sense of speed and relative time passage. The motion of the train is abstracted into a fast moving and blurry, yet still slightly identifiable image of lines. The sound of the train tracks are a driving support of the imagery, but the diagonal lines and film-like shapes at the beginning really help set up the theme of the motion .

Stan Brakhage explores the kinetic theme in his piece “Mothlight”. For me the entirety of it has the feeling of the representation of a group of moths flickering around a bright light of a porch of a muggy evening. The high speed of the frame rate helps in translating the rapid motion of a moth’s wing in flight. In “Unconscious London Strata”, while it may not have been the main intention, there seems to be a focus on the movement of city lights and the abstraction of the hustle of city nightlife. Almost as if from the view of one whom is dazed by its overwhelming life and motion.

However, my largest visual influence was from Oskar Fischinger. This mostly comes from his Study Number series of short films; specifically “Study No.7”. The sweeping and twisting motions that the shapes in this film make really helped me understand how to better make a sweeping motion for my own shapes. I feel that this is very clearly seen in my own short animation with the “triangle section”.

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