By Paul Wells (auth.)
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Additional info for Animation, Sport and Culture
In the case of animation, of course, this could be the appeal of a range of techniques – drawing; painting; 3D stop motion animation with clay, puppets or objects; 2D stop motion collages using images, materials, and artefacts; ‘under the camera’ manipulations of sand, ink or other malleable ﬂuids and substances; pixilation; and in recent years, 3D and 2D digital computer applications and so on. This seemingly more hand-crafted, vernacular approach, also determines different kinds of production contexts 34 Animation, Sport and Culture from large-scale studios to low-rent back-bedroom set-ups for independent auteurs.
What Jackson and Csikszentmihalyi call ‘process focus’ centres the sportsperson, and ‘the athlete ceases to think of himself as separate from the movements he is making’ [sic]; and such immersion is evidenced in the apparent ‘naturalness’ of the outcome when perfected. Animators also share this sense of immersion as they translate their expressive application as ‘actors’ to give agency to materials that in turn apprehend performance. I wish to argue that sporting action and animation at the point of execution exhibit a creative tension Introduction 29 between embodiment and metaphorical narration – the motion created represents both the attainment of personal attunement and the capacity to express a conceptual and/or aesthetic principle.
Although the cartoon ﬁlm-makers were using a new medium – in the camera and the celluloid ﬁlm – they were employing basic animation techniques that had been practised and developed for upwards of sixty years before the cinema’ (Robinson 1991:8). The relationship between animation and sport begins, then, as early as 1824, when the inventor of the thaumatrope, John Ayrton Paris (though this is sometimes disputed; it was perhaps Sir John Herschel) used the device to demonstrate the concept of persistence of vision to the Royal Society of Physicians, and in 1827 subsequently wrote his volumes Philosophy in Sport made Science in Earnest, with its prefacing sub-title, ‘being an attempt to implant in the young mind the ﬁrst principles of natural philosophy by the aid of the popular toys and sports of youth’ (Crook 2004) A thaumatrope is a simple disk with images drawn on either side, which when spun by string attached to each side, creates the illusion of animated motion by seemingly superimposing one image over the other.
Animation, Sport and Culture by Paul Wells (auth.)