For People Crazy About 2D Animation!

Acme Punched! is for people crazy about 2D animation. It may be enjoyed by beginners and others, but it is aimed at animators who know already something about the process of animation and the basics of character animation. In large part, it will attempt to provide a deep look into the problem solving that goes on in my head as I work out a scene, often in step-by-step posts that I will sometimes enter in "real time", without knowing in advance what the outcome will be. Mistakes and false starts will not only be included but emphasized, so that the creative process of animation will be portrayed realistically. And, while my own bias is for 2D drawn animation, many of the effects and principles discussed here can apply to CGI 3D animation as well. I hope the blog will prove useful and instructive for all.

-Jim Bradrick

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

No. 53, In Memoriam: Frédéric Back, 1924-2013.

Frédéric Back

This week saw the passing of the great animator and designer Frédéric Back.  German by birth, he became a naturalized Canadian and resided in Montreal, where he created a number of short personal films under the aegis of Société Radio Canada.  (I had previously written that he did his work for the National Film Board of Canada, but in fact he never did.)

I first became familiar with his work in the 1970s, but at his death I realized I had seen only two of his nine films: The Man Who Planted Trees and Crac! Yet those two were enough proof for me of his excellence as a maker of 2D animated films.

The Man Who Planted Trees is based on a true story and also reflects Back's own personal life experience as a conservationist and arborist.

Crac! is a Quebecan family history told around the image of a hand-made rocking chair that becomes a family heirloom.

Both films are magical journeys full of music and transient animated imagery.  And always, the drawing is there, never hidden or disguised; one is invited to enjoy it as drawing even as it moves and transforms as cinema, as storytelling.  Back's films are 2D drawn animation at its best.

These two films and others (though not all) are available for viewing on YouTube and Vimeo, and I challenge you to a minor New Year's resolution to watch and enjoy them along with me.

And now, Happy New Year to my friends and readers around the world!

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