Animated cinema takes us into aof emotions and breathtaking. We are more and more fond of it, evidenced by the top 5 films of 2017, which features two animated films: Despicable Me 3 and Coco. The popularity of these films prompted Futura to investigate what goes on behind the screen. What techniques and technologies have led animation cinema to become the success machine it is today?
In more than a century of existence, animated cinema has offered us great classics such as Disney films, humor with The Simpsons (2007), poetry with Spirited away (2002) … He has met with growing success: in recent years, films like Zootopie (2016), Snow Queen (2013), Minions (2015), Finding Dory (2016) or again The Incredibles 2 (2018) have exceeded $ 1 billion in revenue. All these films present an animation of their own, which befits the story told, the feelings procured, the desired aesthetic result.
Because it fits into all genres and uses techniques that are all more original than the others, animation cinema is difficult to define. He applies himself to creating the illusion offrom what is frozen, deceiving the and the by rapidly scrolling successive images. It gives life to what is inanimate and thus opposes the cinema in real shots, which takes actors in the flesh. The word “animation” comes from the Latin anima, which means “soul, vital breath”.
The diversity of animation techniques
Both artistic and technical, animation cinema is synonymous with diversity and creativity. From its beginnings at the turn of the twentiethe century, it has often reinvented itself, taking advantage of new technologies, without forgetting its origins. This gives it a thousand faces today:
- L’animation plane or and 2D. It uses drawing, painting on glass, or even cut paper, the whole being taken in photo or filmed by a camera.
- L’volume animation or Real 3d. She uses puppets, toys, and other inanimate objects, such as Chicken Run (2000) – we then speak of stop-motion. It can also feature animals or humans – in this case we speak of pixilation. Again, everything is recorded by a camera or a .
- L’computer animation. It includes the2D digital animation, as in The princess and the Frog (2010), and la 3D, as in Zootopie (2016). We speak commonly, in the case of 3D, ofsynthesized images, that is to say entirely carried out by . They are completely free from the camera and constitute a special case of special effects, which we also find in shambles in the cinema, in films like Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avatar (2009), Ready Player One (2018), etc.
The film Spider-Man: New Generation (late 2018) was acclaimed for the breathtaking quality of its animation. © Sony Pictures Fr, YouTube
Making an animated film requires several years of work and hundreds of animators, who very often work in the shadows: there were for example 800 on The Lion King (1994) and 400 on Toy Story (1996). This dossier therefore proposes to place, for once, behind the scenes in the spotlight ofand to retrace the fascinating adventure of animated cinema through the various techniques and technologies, artisanal then , which have marked its history. Discover animation before cinema, the techniques used during the golden age of cartoons, the underside of synthetic images, the race for photorealism or even the promises and fears generated by the progress of the computer in the world. ‘animation.
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With the participation of, director and journalist for L’Écran Fantastic, Julien Duval, director of the and teacher at , and Thierry Brionnet, educational director Cinema 3D-FX and Music & Sound Design .
NB: all the film release dates mentioned in this file correspond to the French release dates, except when the film has not been released in France.