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Five people stand behind a table with two displays on them.

3D Zoetrope

Curated by Ian House


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Live Project Space

The 2018-19 academic year saw the completion of a 3D printed Zoetrope for an exhibition on campus at the Museum of Design in Plastics.

The Animation presented within the zoetrope was designed by Ian House and realised by creative initiative BA (Hons) Animation Production students.

The new academic year has provided the opportunity to reprise this Project for a new cohort of students, able to build their own cycle of animation and to exhibit their work within the Live Project Space.

The project brings together the learning of how to build robust puppets and models for computer animation, with the challenge of printing these virtual creations, out of the computer and into physical forms. The output allows for a reflective analysis concerned with the reception of screen imagery in comparison to a physical artefact.

The zoetrope portrays the mechanics of animation to an unfamiliar audience through an intrigue of the magic of movement, character and life. Modelled and animated within the computer, these characters are caught within a perpetual enactment of chaos and delivered with clarity into the physical world.

The Project’s aim was to further awareness and analysis of how the idiosyncrasies of physical craft might embed a more emotional response, through the tactility of the experience. By simultaneously exhibiting the 3D computer model behind the screen of an exhibition monitor alongside the same characters and animations as a physical model, the audience can directly compare their emotional response to an experience where only the tactility and the craft of the presentation has changed.

This work aligns and becomes an integral part of the research into emotional response through tactility in media.

The 2018-19 MoDiP piece was exhibited at Aardman Animation Studios, in Summer 2019.

The concept behind the model

Within or Without is, in its simplest form, a comparison: a question of effect – How? Why? – it's our chance to reflect. Are we moved emotionally by this sleight of hand or this trick of the light? And if our experience is meaningful, does our eye see more than what we might consider to be unfinished, incomplete or imperfect?

“… Perhaps, what we need more than anything is a suspension of belief and a chance to follow our hearts, before our work becomes truly magical.”

“How do we incorporate the effects of these motivations and how do they drive the transformation of our being, either in reflection or as inspiration.”

“By bringing our animation into the real world we instil a delicate wavering of imperfection. This locus of acceptance is a feeling more than a calculation and is easily missed when our work is shaped within the computer.”

The rough stutter, jitter or slip of mishap better imitates a world we know all too well – a place we can navigate freely. The inaccuracies of due process help us to define a sense of texture and tactility that is more in line with sputtered ink, splayed paint or a shattered line. This is the texture with which we might feel our way, bringing our audience suddenly closer to the experience.

Contributing student to the project

  • Adedolapo Adeleye
  • Mae Cagampang
  • Chris Hare
  • Nehir Koksal
  • Lilli Laubscher
  • Linghan Li
  • Eleanor McShane
  • Wei Qin
  • Coral Wang
  • Linjie Yao
  • Ying Zeng

Meet the project curator Ian House

Ian House, Senior Lecturer, Arts University Bournemouth. Ian teaches Story Craft and 3D Computer Animation Technique on BA (Hons) Animation Production.

His principal concern is development within the Computer Animation Pathway. His career has encompassed working with market leaders including Industrial Light and Magic, Weta Digital and The Moving Picture Company within the Visual Effects (VFX) sector.

Ian has also enjoyed a formidable career at Pixar Animation Studios in California, creating the modern classics from Cars to Cars 2, including Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up and Toy Story 3.

His knowledge of VFX and Feature Animation has been shaped by the best in the business and he has witnessed the transition and favour of Computer Animation into the leading filmmaking platform that it now represents.

More recently, Ian has returned to academia to ratify his enthusiasm for storytelling. He has received a Master's Degree from Bath Spa University in Scriptwriting, which enables him to inform and guide narrative structure at AUB. His role enables him the freedom to pull from his vast experience and invest in the future industry:

“Story and character are at the heart of every good piece of animation and as filmmakers we must strive to support them both through research, imagination and creative endurance.”

Something to think about

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