Artsource - John Ramirez/Paul Tracey

Page 1

Artsource The Music Center’s Study Guide to the Performing Arts

TRANSFORMATION

ENDURING VALUES

THEATRE/MUSIC ARTISTIC PROCESSES

TRADITIONAL

®

CLASSICAL

1. CREATING (Cr)

CONTEMPORARY

2. PERFORMING, PRESENTING, PRODUCING (Pr)

EXPERIMENTAL

3. RESPONDING (Re)

MULTI-MEDIA

4. CONNECTING (Cn)

FREEDOM & OPPRESSION

THE HUMAN FAMILY

THE POWER OF NATURE

Title of Work:

This project began with a musical piece, titled Turbo

Every Picture Tells a Story

Power, composed by Paul Tracey. John was the head

Creator: Creator: John Ramirez (b. 1967) Composer: Paul Tracey (b. 1939)

animator on the project, working under the direction of Phillip Williams.

Creative Process of the Artist or Culture:

Background Information:

The art of animation is all about collaboration. For

John Ramirez has been an animator and storyboard artist

every film project a team of highly creative people

for both Walt Disney Feature Animation and Warner

come together. They work in much the same way as an

Brothers Feature Animation. He loved to draw as he was

orchestra. Just as each musician in an orchestra is an

growing up, especially trains, and felt very proud when his

expert on a specific instrument, each person on the

mother would make xerox copies of his work. Eventually,

animated team is highly talented in their field. The

he began to create his own comic strips - a form of

film director serves in a similar capacity as a conductor,

storyboarding - and later his own animated films. When

coordinating the efforts of each player to work

he was 12 years old he was fortunate to meet art and

together. In animation, the process might begin with

animation teacher, Dave Master, who would give him the

the storyboardist listening to the selected music many

skills, discipline and opportunities to pursue animation as

times - going with the images that come to mind and

his career. At thirteen, John was an exchange student in

then developing them into a rough storyboard

Japan and through his interaction with Japanese culture

sequence. The storyboard artist then pitches the story

expanded his horizons and altered his world point of view.

line and describes the characters to the other members

As a visual artist he was greatly influenced by the style of

of the creative team. The team is

Japanese artists in the design of toys, packaging, music,

given a synopsis of the story,

films and animation. When John was a teenager his films

hears the music and then sees

were shown at the Los Angeles Student Film Festival. He

how they go together. This is done

says, “When people laughed I knew that the film was

as the story board artist points to

working.” John is now working as a peer with many of the

the images on the storyboard as

professionals he was introduced to as a student.

the music plays. (continued on

About the Artwork: Every Picture Tells a Story shows the process of taking an idea, developing it into a story sequence with a creative team, and storyboarding it. Each animated film goes through this process before it becomes a final product.

Photo: Craig Schwartz ©1997

next page.)

My mentor Dave Master had a slogan we used in the classroom, ‘If you can imagine it, you can animate it.’ John Ramirez California


Discussion Questions:

Audio-Visual Materials:

After viewing the video: • What were you able to observe about the animation team and how they worked together? • Describe the final storyboard idea. • How did John handle mistakes or ideas which weren’t quite right? Did you learn anything from observing him work? • Listen to the music, Turbo Power on the Artsource® audio. Can you think of other ideas and images that come to your mind as you listen? • Think of situations where you have worked with others on a project. How can you use the techniques demonstrated by the animation team to be more effective when you next work on a project?

• Artsource® video: Every Picture Tells a Story. Courtesy of John Ramirez and Phillip Williams. • Artsource® audio recording: Full Fathoms Five, Turbo Power and Spirit of the Landscape, courtesy of Paul Tracey. • Photos: Craig Schwartz ©1997. • Cartoon drawings courtesy of Devon Tracey.

Additional References: • Selected by Robert E. Abrams, Treasures of Disney Animation Art. Abbeville Press Publishers. New York. 1982. • The Cartoonists Guild. Drawn Together (More than 325 cartoons by 146 cartoonists). Crown Publishers Inc. New York. 1983.

Sample Experiences:

Continuation of the Storyboard process: The members of the team discuss and critique the ideas, adding suggestions. The storyboard artist then goes back to the drawing board and incorporates the new ideas. This process is repeated over and over until the work is refined and mutual agreement is reached. Only then, does the animation process begin. The entire process usually takes about two years for a feature film. The project, Every Picture Tells a Story, was done in about three weeks because there was an unexpected opportunity to create a storyboard chapter and video piece for SRA and Glencoe/McGraw-Hill textbooks. John was featured as a creative artist who uses drawing to communicate ideas and stories for animated films.

Multidisciplinary Options: • In the 8th grade, John Ramirez made a 60 second short film, Midnight in the Park, where a man takes a walk and statues come alive. If your students could make a 60 second film what topic would each one choose that could be communicated in one minute? Ask them to title their idea and draw five pictures which show the sequence of what happens. Divide them into partners and ask them to use their pictures to tell their story to their partner. After both have shared their pictures and stories, ask them to write a summary of the story sequence, as if they were presenting it to the Animation Director.

LEVEL I • Select one of the musical pieces from the Artsource® audio and draw three images which come to your mind as you listen to the music. * • Make a simple flip book, showing how animation works at the most basic level. • After viewing the Artsource® video, list the different people who are on an animated film team and discuss their specific jobs and how they all work together. LEVEL II * • Think of a simple joke or everyday activity which can be designed into a four-frame comic strip. Research comic strips before you design your own. • Research and make a thaumathrope, invented in 1826, which is a card with different pictures on each side, such as a horse and a rider. When twirled rapidly the two separate pictures looks as if they are combined. LEVEL III • Research the early history of animation and how new forms of technology have allowed animators to create innovative approaches which are featured in many wellknown films such as Roger Rabbit, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Toy Story. * • Select one of the musical selections from the Artsource® audio. Divide students into groups and have each group create a simple story in a specific environment to go with the music, then do a series of drawings for a storyboard of the sequence of scenes. Each group tape their pictures up on 2 the board in sequence and share their story using the pictures. *

Indicates sample lessons


MUSIC

CREATE A FLIP BOOK ENDURING VALUES

LEVEL I Sample Lesson INTRODUCTION: Flip books are a simple and delightful form of drawn animation. They are easy to make and also help students see how many aspects there are to a simple action. Drawing a bouncing ball is a classic Flip Book exercise. To make it more complex, add the animation principle of “squashing and stretching” the images to bring exaggeration and humor into the illusion. The ball would appear squashed when landing and would stretch, or elongate when rising upward. Older students with more drawing skill and understanding of these two concepts would probably enjoy this additional challenge. There is a grid provided for doing the Flip Book drawings, as well as measurements for having older students use their math skills to work out the measurements for their own grid. You may also xerox the original Flip Book drawings, cut them up, sequence them and bind them as a model for the students. It takes 24 frames of drawing to equal one second of film. Therefore, we will be working with 24 frames of equal size. They should be longer horizontally than vertically, for example 4 inches wide and 3 inches tall. When bound, only about half will be seen so images need to be drawn on the right half of the paper. OBJECTIVES: (Student Outcomes) Students will be able to: • Understand the basic principle underlying an animated film which is a series of drawings giving the illusion of movement. (Responding & Connecting) • Create a simple action idea and make it into sequential drawings which become a Flip Book. (Creating & Presenting) • Describe, discuss, analyze and connect information and experiences based on this lesson. Refer to Assessment at the end of this lesson. (Responding & Connecting) MATERIALS: • Xeroxed copies of the grid or paper, rulers and pencils so students can create their own grids. • Xeroxed copy of Flip Book model for making into a sample for students to see. • Pencils, colored markers, crayons or other materials with which to draw. • Masking tape, bookbinding tape or other strong tape with which to bind the Flip Book pages. PROGRESSION: • Show the students the Artsource® video, Every Picture Tells a Story. Use the Discussion Questions on page two to help them reflect on what they saw and understood.

3


• Give students some background on the Flip Book and show them a sample. • Pass out materials and ask them to think of several simple actions that could be drawn for a Flip Book. These might include: a bouncing ball, a shooting arrow, the sun rising or setting, a seed growing into a flower. (If students are very young or inexperienced, have them all begin with the bouncing ball idea.) • It would also be a good idea to bounce a ball and let them observe what happens on the way up and on the way down. Explain that they can also add the concept of stretching the shape of the ball as it rises or squashing its shape as it hits the ground. • Professional animators use a “Guidesheet” as they animate, which shows the full progression of the action they are to draw. Have students use one sheet of paper to show the full progression of the idea they will draw and explain that their drawings will need to show very small changes. It might also help to do the beginning and the ending before filling in the drawings in-between. They must have 24 drawings to equal one second. • After the drawings are completed, direct students to cut them and sequence them, lining them up so they can be bound with tape. Use masking tape, bookbinding tape or other strong material to bind each book on the left side, covering about an inch of space from the left boundary toward the middle of the book. The book can be flipped from either direction. For example, if a sun was shown rising, it could also be setting if flipped from the opposite direction. • Direct students to title their piece and make a cover page for the front and one for the back, which will have the title or other decorative images. Then, have students share their books with each other. EXTENSIONS: • Repeat the process with another action idea. • Make a longer Flip Book, aiming for two seconds (48 frames). • Add color and details to the images. ASSESSMENT: (Responding & Connecting) DESCRIBE: Describe the process of making your Flip Book. DISCUSS: Discuss ways you figured out how to make your idea work. Discuss any problems or new things you learned. Drawings for Every Picture Tells a Story by John Ramirez ANALYZE: Think about how and why we see Photo: Craig Schwartz ©1997 action when we are simply seeing a series of still images or drawings. Discuss your ideas about this. CONNECT: What other illusions do you know that can trick our eye into seeing something which is different than what is actual? VOCABULARY: animation, Flip Book, grid, guidesheet Emphasis on: Common Core - CA State Standards for Language - Reading; Writing; Listening; Speaking

4


INSTRUCTIONS FOR DOING THE BOUNCING BALL Drawings by Devon Tracey

5


6

Drawings by Devon Tracey

MODEL FOR THE BOUNCING BALL


GRID FOR A FLIP BOOK Drawings by Devon Tracey

7


THEATRE/MUSIC

CREATE A COMIC STRIP ENDURING VALUES

LEVEL II Sample Lesson INTRODUCTION: Comic strips are a simple form of storyboarding. They have four frames in which to tell a joke or simple story. The style of art and the characters’ postures and expressions are also integral to the success of the idea. OBJECTIVES: (Student Outcomes) Students will be able to: • Understand that comic books are a simple form of storyboarding. (Responding & Connecting) • Create a simple story with specific characters and a beginning, middle and end, translating their idea into four sequential drawings, similar to a comic strip. (Creating & Presenting) • Describe, discuss, analyze and connect information and experiences based on this lesson. Refer to Assessment at the end of this lesson. (Responding & Connecting) MATERIALS: • Artsource® video, Every Picture Tells a Story. • Examples of comic strips. • Pencils, colored markers, crayons or other materials with which to draw. • Strips of paper, about 2-3 inches wide and 12 inches long, folded into 4 sections. PROGRESSION: • Show the students the Artsource® video, Every Picture Tells a Story. Use the Discussion Questions on page two to help them reflect on what they saw and understood. • Give students some background on storyboarding and how comic strips demonstrate this technique. • Show them several examples of comic strips and have them decide how successful the artist was in making the story or joke understood with drawings and simple dialogue. • Have the students make a list of the things they think make a good comic strip and set their own criteria for the project. The criteria might include: clear idea with a beginning, middle and end, simple drawings, interesting characters, etc. 8


• Direct students to give their characters a name and personality and title their strip. Then, have students share their books with each other. EXTENSIONS: • Make a second idea using the same characters, just like a real comic strip. • Make a xeroxed publication with all the comic strips from the class and share it with parents and other classes. • Add color and details to the images. • Make a display of the comics in the classroom or hall. VOCABULARY: storyboard, comic books, character, image, visual impressions ASSESSMENT: (Responding & Connecting) DESCRIBE: Describe the process of making your Comic Book. DISCUSS: Discuss how you figured out how to make your idea work. Discuss any problems or new things you learned. ANALYZE: Think about how and why we see action when we are simply seeing a series of still images or drawings. (persistence of visual impressions) Discuss your ideas about this. CONNECT: What other illusions do you know that can trick the eye into seeing something which isn’t really what we think. (magic tricks) Emphasis on: Common Core - CA State Standards for Language - Reading; Writing; Listening; Speaking

Comic Strip created by Devon Tracey

9


MUSIC

ANIMATE MUSIC ENDURING VALUES

LEVEL III Sample Lesson INTRODUCTION: Paul Tracey has composed three musical pieces which can stimulate your students’ imagination for the purpose of drawing. Featured on the Artsource ® audio are three diverse selections of music. The first is Full Fathoms Five which starts out with recordings that Paul made at the beach in Santa Monica, California. You will hear waves breaking, seagulls calling and bubbling water sounds which create an ocean environment enhanced by slow, undulating sounds from the flute, whale songs and percussion instruments.

Drawing for Every Picture Tells a Story by John Ramirez

Turbo Power was written for a Photo: Craig Schwartz ©1997 dance company that made a video staged in the traffic environment at the Children’s Museum in Los Angeles. It is a fast-paced, delightful romp with horns blowing and sudden starts and stops. This is the piece that John chose to work with for this storyboard. It is interesting to note that he created a very different idea than the one Paul had when he was composing the music. The third piece, Spirit of the Landscape, transports us to an equatorial rain forest and conjures up exotic animals living in this magical jungle atmosphere. In this work, Paul uses the technique of singing while blowing into his flute to create different sounds. OBJECTIVES: (Student Outcomes) Students will be able to: • Understand that animators, storyboard artists and composers work together in a collaboration when creating an idea for an animated film. (Responding & Connecting) • Learn to collaborate with others to storyboard an idea. (Connecting) • Learn how to work with music to inspire images and then find ways to connect the images into an idea and relate them to the music. (Creating & Performing & Presenting & Connecting) 10


• Describe, discuss, analyze and connect information and experiences based on this lesson. Refer to Assessment at the end of this lesson. (Responding & Connecting) MATERIALS: • Artsource® video, Every Picture Tells a Story. • Pencils, colored markers, crayons or other materials with which to draw. • 8 1/2 x 12 inch sheets of paper (16 per group) PROGRESSION: • Show the students the Artsource ® video, Every Picture Tells a Story. Use the Discussion Questions on page two to help them reflect on what they saw and understood. • Review the storyboard process and discuss what is required of the team. • Explain that in making an animated film, both the animators and composers are challenged. Sometimes the visuals inspire the music; at other times the music gives direction to the visuals. In this assignment, the music will inspire the visuals. • Either select one piece of music for the class to work with, or give them the opportunity to listen to all three Artsource ® selections and decide which one they want to use. The object is to work as a collaborative team in creating a storyboard idea which will be presented to the full class. • Pass out paper and drawing materials and let each group work. Discuss with the class what they think the criteria for the assignment should be. For example, 16 drawings, a clearly structured story with a beginning, middle, end, cooperation and support amongst the artistic team, a clear narrative presentation by one or more students, etc. • This project will probably take several class working periods or can be assigned as a homework project. Students should also have time to reflect on what they have created and refine and rework their idea many times, just as the process was shown in the video. • When each group is finished, they should review the criteria and discuss how well they met it. Then, refine their project one more time before making a storyboard presentation to the full class. EXTENSIONS: • Discuss and critique the projects in a supportive way. • Use the storyboard as a guide for a storyboard video. • Repeat the process and use a different composition. • Reverse the process and begin with story, then add music. 11


VOCABULARY: storyboard, comic books, imagination, score ASSESSMENT: (Responding & Connecting) DESCRIBE: Describe how your group worked together. DISCUSS: Discuss any problems or new things you learned. ANALYZE: Think about what you could add, change or do differently next time to work even better together as a team. CONNECT: How can you use the storyboard process in something you are currently studying? Emphasis on: Common Core - CA State Standards for Language - Reading; Writing; Listening; Speaking

Drawing for Every Picture Tells a Story by John Ramirez Photo: Craig Schwartz ©1997

12


BACKGROUND AND HISTORY OF ANIMATION The thaumatrope, a crude animation device, was invented in Europe in 1826. It is a card with strings attached. It has different pictures on each side, such as a horse and a rider. When it is twirled rapidly, the two separate pictures look as if they are combined. The phenakistoscope (invented in 1829), is a circular devise with pictures on the inside and slits evenly spaced around the top edges. If you look through the slits when it is spun like a carousel, the series of still pictures create an illusion of motion. Another device, the Flip Book, is explained in Sample Lesson I. In the early 20th century, an American man named Winsor McKay made some of the early, pre- Walt Disney, animated films. He created one in 1918 with drawings showing the sinking of the Lusitania, that was so realistic people couldn’t believe it was made from animated drawings. In the early animated productions, drawings of a figure were photographed against simple backgrounds. After 1913, animators could use a single background for shots because of the development of celluloid sheets. The mobile figures were drawn in ink, either as line drawings or solid silhouettes on transparent celluloid sheets and superimposed onto various backgrounds. It was Walt Disney, the visionary pioneer, who took animation into the realm of major motion pictures. His most famous character, Mickey Mouse, was introduced in 1928 and went through a series of changes before becoming the popular character we now recognize. A few years later, opaque paints replaced the black ink drawings and longer, more elaborate stories were produced when animators began to work as a collaborative team. The first major animation films were Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, released in 1937, followed by Fantasia, which premiered in 1940. Although the United States is the largest producer of animated films, there are now many other countries such as Thailand, South Korea, Australia, Yugoslavia and Brazil, which produce animation. Most animation is filmed by an adjustable camera (automated rostrum camera) which is suspended above the horizontal table which holds the combination of cels which have been placed in position. These cels are photographed in sequence to produce the illusion of movement we call animation. Computer technology has enabled animators to produce very complex moving images and backgrounds. They use a program called Paintbox which allows the artist to work more quickly and with greater precision. However, it is interesting to note that cel animation continues to be the animation of choice used by Disney Productions as well as many others. In an animated film there is usually a story which serves as a structure, but sometimes the visuals inspire the music while at other times the music gives direction to the visuals. The goal is to create a close interplay of animation and music so they carry the story line forward smoothly . The animators also take note of the movement and facial expressions of the actors doing the voices and often incorporate these personal expressions into those of the animated characters. Disney animator, Duncan Marjoribands, states, “A good performance by a voice actor can tell you who a character is. . .�

13