Waking Up Abstract Animation

For my second animation assignment, I had to make a animation piece based on a theory of abstraction. I chose to create a synaesthesia piece portraying the process of waking up. I attempted to portray this through the use of paper cut out stop motion. I originally attempted to do a cel animation with this, but as I did not have actual cels, the clear plastic I used was far too small and caused a glare in the camera I used to shoot the animation. Instead, I used paper cutouts on a black foam board. In total, this animation was shot four times. I feel I achieved my goal with the circles in the beginning representing sleep, the falling square being a disruption that hits the circles, and the line coming down knocking away the circles, except for one, which shows the tiredness that remains.

For research into my animation, I watched works of Hans Richter, and Len Lye. I found inspiration in Richter’s works, especially from Rhythmus 21 (1921) and Filmstudie (1925). I found the use of shapes very intriguing in Rhythmus 21. The film uses a variety of squares and rectangles which I included into my piece, seen in frames seen in frames 63- 109. The use of growing shapes was also included, The film includes no sound so the experience was completely visual. I also incorporated this into my animation.

I also noticed the use of circles and lines in Filmstudie. As well in Rhythmus 21, lines divide and separate the image in front of the camera several times throughout the piece, which I used for representation of eyes opening, seen in frames 128 -156. While Filmstudie uses more realistic images in parts of the film, I primarily chose to use the lines and circles featured within it. The second half of the film, which shows moving circles was influential in throughout the piece, but more so in frames 1-60.

Len Lye’s work was also researched for my animation, specifically the pieces A Colour Box (1935) and Kaleidoscope (1935). Similarly to use Richter’s work, the use of shapes was interesting, however it had little influence on my work as I chose to keep a monochromatic color scheme and had simple shapes than that of the rapid changing shapes of Lye’s work.

I felt the strongest motion was captured when the square fell in frames 63-109, as well as the circles in the beginning especially when the medium sized circle is left behind. I attempted to have it seem like the circle was leaving a larger section behind, so it would stick, pull and then fall away.


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