Abstract Animation

This week we had a look into the history of abstract animation starting over 100 years ago with Thomas Wilfred’s Lumia, an effect created by shining light through a rotating glass plane with painted art work on, and then having the colourful light projected into view. This creates a very beautiful effect very far ahead of it’s time and one that even lives up to the standards of modern visual effects.

I found Oskar Fischinger’s Optical poetry very interesting as the idea of conveying music in a visual medium has always been something that has fascinated me. I am a very visual person and a fan of lots of types of music, and when I listen to music I often conjure up abstract images in my mind of what that piece of music looks like. I explored this in college by producing abstract paintings inspired by music and I’ve always wanted to do the same with animation. So this concept is something that I really want to explore further.

We spoke a little bit about slit scan photography, an old technique used for making abstract effects. This involves light being projected through a small narrow slit against a dark background and a camera traveling slowly towards it with it’s shutter open to get a long exposed frame. The most famous place this effect was used is in the stargate sequence from Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Being a fan of classic Doctor Who I was familiar with this technique as Bernard Lodge at the BBC took inspiration from Stanley Kubrick and used the same technique to create a title sequence for Doctor Who in the 1970s.

From 8:30 into this video is when the making of the Tom Baker title sequence starts

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