View Full Version : Character Animation vs. Experimental Animation
January 22nd, 2009, 07:53 PM
I have been learning animation for about a year and a half, but I have started to learn intensively just recently. I would like to be an animator for a living, so I have been looking at which colleges offer good animation programs. When I got to Cal Arts, I noticed that there were two different programs, Character Animation, and Experimental Animation. I know what Character Animation is, but, what exactly is Experimental Animation?
January 22nd, 2009, 08:38 PM
Okay- let's start it this way.
Really- Anything could be Experimental animation. You can even use Character animation techniques IN Experimental animation, if you wanted.
The point to it is that you are creating innovative ways to create the film you are trying to make- or you are really trying to make a bold statement in non-traditional ways!
There are A LOT of amazing experimental animations/animators out there. Kathy Rose, a previous Calarts graduate who went on to be extremely successful in the field, now works at Uarts in Philadelphia. Her work consists/ consisted ( in the past) of projecting animations she made onto herself as she danced.
John R. Dilworth, creator of Courage the Cowardly dog and also alumni of Uarts has several expiremental films- Courage actually spawned from his Senior thesis years ago! His works consist of mainly character based storyline, but his most recent film, Life in transition, is a reflection upon his life and his "growing" into himself as an artist (still using characters).
Some other REALLY PROMINENT experimental animators are people Like Norman McLaren, Kihachiro Kawamoto, Yuri Norstein, The Brothers Quay, and many many others. (If you like morbid- check out the quay bros.)
Hopefully this is a little enlightening, just let me know if I wasn't clear / if you want any more elaborations. =)
January 23rd, 2009, 04:37 PM
So....... Experimental animation is basically that isn't character animation, but is also character animation? I'm still a little confused........
January 23rd, 2009, 06:23 PM
As far as I'm aware, experimental animation is exactly as the name implies - experimenting, so... you can pretty much do whatever you want, including character animation.
Although I don't know if their program allows for you do that.
January 23rd, 2009, 06:55 PM
Character animation: traditional animation (pencil oriented)
Experimental: stop motion, claymation, etc. Anything you can pretty much move.
Character animation is more industry based while experimental is the fine art side of animation. It all depends on what you want to do. The posts above are pretty vague and confusing.
Calarts is highly selective so the best of luck to you.
January 23rd, 2009, 08:00 PM
Huh, so, Character Animation is ANYTHING done traditionally, Experimental is really any medium of animation........ Eh, I pick Character.
Yeah, I've heard that. I'm at the beginning of high school though, so, I have to time to improve my skills.
Though, that does bring the the question I've had on my mind up, how should one practice drawing? I'm not a particularly good artist (which I realize is rather unfortunate since I want to be an animator), I practice often, but, are there any specifically good ways to practice?
January 24th, 2009, 04:52 AM
I practice often, but, are there any specifically good ways to practice?
For character animation, it's obvious that the study of human form is imperative.
Go to all the life drawing classes that are available.
Focus on the gesture. Do quick gesture drawings (of anything) to improve speed.
Study emotions, watch people. I find it helpful to touch on basic physics to better understand movement.
Here are a few good threads for drawing exercises.
Conceptart 101 (http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=81332)
Kevin Chen life drawing demos (http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=1432)
Ron Lemen head tutorial (http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=84105)
January 24th, 2009, 08:27 PM
Yes, I've heard from more than one source that life drawing is absolutely imperative.
That Concept Art 101 lesson looks pretty nice! As well as the Rob Lemen tutorial, I'll study them soon.
I'm also going to follow The $100,000 Animation Drawing Course (http://http://www.animationarchive.org/2006/05/meta-100000-animation-drawing-course.html), it's done by John K. (creator of Ren and Stimpy) using Preston Blair's, "Animation 1" book. I bought it off Amazon for $8, too bad it'll take a while to get to where I live.............
January 29th, 2009, 11:09 AM
John K is the enemy of Calarts and vice versa. He's more from the 1920s class of cartoony drawing. He's against gestural life drawing and traditional life drawing. Anything you learn from him will contradict what Calarts wants (especially portfolio wise). Little does he know that many Golden Age animators came from fine arts and "realistic" backgrounds.