Regarding Concept Development, Previs, and the Moving Image (Reflecting on Readings)

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What follows are my takeaways from the first chapter of Liz Blazer’s “Animated Storytelling” and the first chapter of Jon Krasner’s “Motion Graphic Design.”

 

In her first chapter, Blazer illustrates how Pre-production is an invaluable component in the development of any project in animation or film. I’ve always found pre-production to be one of the most fascinating stages in a project’s development; the majority of my bookshelf is taken up with art books from various films and games, each chronicling hundreds of concept pieces, some of which are used, modified, and evolve into the elements seen in the final products.

As Blazer details, pre-production is essential for a project; in fact, the author credits a lack of pre-production for the failure and/or incompletion of many creative projects. With pre-production, one identifies his project, its purpose, and its audience, and the style and visuals of said project are also brainstormed in this stage (this is called previsualization, or Previs). Knowing this, it’s clear that the absence of pre-production would surely send doom to any project.

Blazer also gives excellent insight into developing one’s creative concept. Chapter 1 focuses heavily on a creative “Muse.” As the author describes, this Muse is really set free when the individual separates himself from his traditional; workspace. For me, the best solution is to step away from the laptop, take some pencils, pens, paint, what-have-you; just go to town. Blazer emphasizes the importance of visual experimentation here, as said experimentation can fuel a successful development for one’s project. I found this section very provocative, as I’ve often found myself struggling to get out of creative pitfalls often on various projects. This insight from Blazer is invaluable, and I’m sure I will apply it to my future projects.

Blazer’s chapter serves as an awesome introduction into the world of Motion Graphics and the Moving Image, and Jon Krasner’s chapter supplements the reading by introducing readers to a brief history of the art of the Moving Image.

In short, Krasner’s chapter details the advent and evolution of various slideshow devices since the nineteenth century. Krasner details how mankind has always wished to evoke motion in their art, dating back as early as cave paintings. Following the development of the aforementioned slideshow devices (i.e. zoetrope), the Moving Image art form continued to develop and evolve throughout the twentieth and twenty-first century. From stop-motion to modern day Pixar, the quest to explore the art form of the Moving Image continues to evolve and develop, and the artists themselves continue to experiment in the medium and evolve it further.

These readings were both invaluable to my understanding of the Moving Image, and they gave me a great introduction into the medium.

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