Monday, 28 October 2019

Simone Giampaolo: How Cartoons are Born

Simone Giampaolo at VIEW conference
Escape Studios animation tutor Simone Giampaolo was at the View Conference in Turin this past week, talking to a packed audience about How Cartoons are Born.

Simone explained the basics of animation, including the Twelve Principles, such as the importance of strong poses and silhouettes. He also explained some of the basics of design; such as the use of circles, triangles and squares to express basic contrasts between animated characters.

The importance of strong poses
Basics of Design
Simone then gathered the students together over a series of large trestle tables and had them design their own cast of characters for a TV show.

The class was very similar to some of the in-class exercises we do with our first year animation students, in the Movement & Narrative mini module.

Squares, triangles, circles
Movement & Narrative
In Movement & Narrative, students explore the basics of ideas, story, design and character creation, and at the end of this creative mini module they must pitch their own original idea for a TV series.

For many of our students, accustomed as they are to a school curriculum in which the correct answer is the only possible answer, this can be a daunting task.

In animation, there are no wrong answers. Creativity cannot be graded by strictly objective criteria. An idea is only as good or as bad as its audience thinks it is. Where do you begin? How do you research an idea which is supposed to be an original idea?

Simone Giampaolo
Creativity involves risk
To succeed, students must take risks, and come up with material that might not work out. Their pitch might or might not succeed, and few students are likely to get it right the first time.  But by the middle of their second year our animation students are already generating award-winning material, such as the short film Planet Mars, directed by Sebastian Kuder, and The Golden Acorn, directed by Maciej Osuch. Both films were made by students only half-way through their studies at Escape Studios.

By the third year, our students are making multiple award-winning projects, entering festivals and winning prizes. But, as Simone Giampaolo explained in Turin, it all starts with the basics. 

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To apply for our new BA/MArt starting in September 2020, follow this link. We train all our students with practical real-world skills, to give them the best possible chance of a career in industry. To see some of our animation success stories, follow this link.

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