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Collage & Animation in Digital Films and New Media Research Paper

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Updated: Dec 31st, 2021


Collage is a formal art with the etiological definition borrowed from French; coller to mean glue. It includes paper clippings, ribbons, portions of other art workings, pictures, photos and any other readily available objects. The term collage is attributed to Braque and Picasso at the beginning of twentieth century. Its precedent goes back to as early as 200BC. In the 13th to 16th century, Collage was mainly used in the form of gold leaf panel in central places of worship and even now the culture is being maintained. Gemstones and precious metals were symbolically used in the specific design of special religious images such as gods, goddesses’, icons for special royalties and coat of arms of governments. Modernization in the twentieth century has seen the advancement of collage to a new higher level. Collage in the paintings, woods, decoupage, photomontage have all been transformed to the digital era and constitute the Visual and the audio gallery in both print and film industry.

Main body

“This has enabled the advancement of other disciplines as architecture, music and the literary collage” Heraldson, (2009, p 127). Computers are a special tool that has enabled the association of incongruent visual elements and the eventual transition of the visual effects present in the film and digital industry today. This has been the technology behind the film and movie making. The greatest events of all are the transformation of still drawings to motion pictures and photographs. “This makes a very amazing discovery of the sequences through which transitions have taken place since the discovery of the usefulness of art as a unique and ideal discipline” Wright (2005, p 322).

Animation has served as the actual custodian of the works of Art and is appreciated by all age groups from 8 year old to even grand daddies who love animated films and movies. The history of animation is as old as human knowledge itself dating back to as old as 100BC. Artistic presentation of animation can be traced as far as the era of Paleolithic cave paintings in which animals were depicted with various sets of legs in positions that are hidden. This was used to depict motion. Leonardo Da Vinci has also played a role in the extension of the Windsor collection of anatomical studies of the muscles of the neck, shoulder, chest and the arm. Victorian parlor toys are also inventions which had been created for children’s and small parties of royal families for private amusement. These included instruments such as the zoetrope, flip book, the magic lantern and other amazing techniques that evolved with time from one thing to the other. Zoetrope was developed to portray the images of a moving picture. “The earliest form seems to have been created back in china back in 180 BC” Ronan and Nedham (1985, p 217). The modern zoetrope is attributed to be an invention of Horner William. It is cylindrical in shape and has vertical slits about the periphery. Pictures are arranged in series on the opposing sides of the slits. The cylinder is rotated with the viewer looking through the slits to view the chimera of motions. “The magic lantern led to the development of the modern day projector” Hayes and Wilema (2005, p 125). Initially, it consisted of a lamp and a blurred oil painting. Thaumatrope arose in the Victorian era. It had a small circular disk, two different pictures and joined together by a string. Flip books came in handy in 1868 by efforts of John Barnes Linnet. The French scientists came up with the praxinoscope which was a complicated version of the zoetrope; it operated under the same principle of the zoetrope.

The current society has further advanced animation. A traditional animation was developed and the first film to be created was done by Charles Emile Reynaud who invented the praxinoscope. It was an animation using loops of twelve pictures exhibited in France: Paris. “Humorous phases of Funny Faces” was the first standard production of animation made in 1906 done by Blackton Stuart. It was an animation of faces on a chalk board with the faces ideally coming to life advanced by famous cartoonists. “Fantasmagorie” was produced by the French director Emile Cohl. Theatre du gymsnase was the first to screen the film in Paris and later moved to New Jersey at the Fort lee Theatres in the year 1912.

Russia has its own success story of animation developed by the Russian scientists as result of the influence from Cohl. The first screening was an animation of modeled dead insects with wire limbs and was called the “The cameraman’s Revenge”. It carried around a sophisticated story involving treason, violence, and suicide; it borrowed the creative knowledge of puppetry work and animation It is one of the oldest films in historic tales with the dramatic sophistication of characters possessing motivation, desire and profound feelings. Character animation was also created, it is the renowned work of the cartoonist Winsor Mc Cay and he first released “Gertie the dinosaur”. A featured length film El Apostol was made in 1917 from Argentina by Cristiani. He has also directed the film “Peludolis” that was the first to use the harmonized sound effect. All these seem to have disappeared with time. However, the only surviving animate feature that used silhouette of color-tinted scenes. ”Adventures of Prince Achmed” directed by the German; Lotter Reininger was release in 1926.

Disney studios was the first to come up with a full three color techno color method and the first movie to use this was the “Flower and the trees produced in 1932 and that it won the Academy awards for this creative work. “Momotaros Divine Sea Warriors” is a Japanese animation film that was ordered for screening to support the war of the Japanese Naval Ministry.

Stop motion are also a contemporary production technique for animation to the current manipulation of photographs. The objects are photographed in changing positions and then when played back, it can be viewed as a motion picture. These have had an effect in live action film. “The seventh voyage of Sinbad” is an exemplary type of stop animation.

The computer revolution has had a huge impact in film and digital technology. Though tedious in practice, it has an aspect of three dimensional modeling. Most computer generated imagery animation is based on animal characters and inanimate objects. Realistic animation cannot be exempted from the list. So far films like “Final fantasy: the Spirits Within” that was recorded and produced in 2001 serves as the best example for this category. Another film by the same producer was called “Final fantasy: Advent children” produced in 2005 chills it all as the best realistic creation. Above all and relative to all this techniques, another most recent and well animated production film “Beobulf” was a ground breaking animation in 2007. However, the complexities of human function make it difficult for this kind to be applied in the current world. The most watched and best selling movies that carry around satirical impression “Avatar” has both the animation and live action that creates a humanoid impression of living creatures. The most difficult is creation of human living details.

“Cel shade animation has been designed to make non photorealistic images by use of computer graphics” Dulac and André (2004, p 79). The most widely exploited area is in design of computer games. All this transformations have filled generation gaps and the key players are mainly the Disney artists and the Warner Bros. Among the first rate cartoons are the “Batmans” an animated series. They have showcased them on TV and demonstrated that even TV was capable of artistic achievements.

The advent of TV brought in new revolutions and enabled people to shifted their attention from Movies and other short programs. Disney had to retain its level of production but ceased full time production of short subjects. The new generation of Disney animation spurred life back into films. “Who framed Roger Rabbit?” and “The little Mermaid” directed and produced in 1989 are a strong celebration of the old cartoon days.

“It is quite inevitable to actually destroy the films and animation as it is a trade in the studio system” Well (1998, p 112). The Art itself is quite time consuming and very expensive to develop and feature a whole production. It is also inevitable to destroy the Art of animation as long as we have people with creative ideas and brains working to have solutions for all problems. Mc Cay fought the fight single handedly from inception to execution and his cartoon was his and him alone. It transformed from the work of one man to collective, streamlined process. “The current holly wood studio has been protected by people with special interest in making quality cinemas” Kundert and Kundert (2009, p 234). All done and said, there are laws which govern and protect the rights of film producers and this prohibits other producers from reproducing and replicating contents developed by other people.


“Competition has been the underlining factor in production of quality films and movies” Parent, (2002, p 321). Disney and the Warner Bros had their share of wrong and good side in pursuit of their goal in trend setting the film industry. They have however marked the transition and seen the development of current animation of TV programs that idealize the human perspective and character with content of human feelings. Avatar plays a good role as the evidence of this success story. The future of the film industry is unpredictable following the dynaminism through which the computer generation faces and especially with the speed with which new discoveries unfold and are invented.

Reference List

Dulac, N. and André, G., 2004. Heads or Tails: The emergence of a new cultural series from the phenakisticope to the cinematograph” Invisible culture: A journal for Visual Culture. The University of Rochester. Vol 25. Issue 8.

.Hayes, L. and Wilema, J. H., 2005. Exhibit of Optical Toys. North Carolina: North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics.

Heraldson, D., 2009. Creators of life: a history of animation. Michigan: Drake publishers.

Kundert, G. J and Kundert, G. Kristin., 2009. Action: acting lessons for CG animators. USA: John Wiley and sons.

Parent, R., 2002. Computer animation: algorithms and techniques. New York: Morgan Kaufmann.

Ronan, C. A and Needham, J., 1985. The Shorter Science and Civilization in China: Vol 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Well, P., 1998. Understanding Animation. New Jersey: Routledge.

Wright, J. A., 2005. Animation writing and development: from script development to pitch. China; Focal press.

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