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What Animators Can Learn From The Golden Age of Animation

ben marvazi 2020

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Get ready for a blast from the past to the golden age of animation! It was a wild and exciting time, where new technologies were emerging left and right, changing the game for animators everywhere. 

Artists were no longer just skilled in drawing but had a whole host of tricks up their sleeves. The demand for animated films was sky-high, causing studios to go all out in a wild race to create the most epic animations. And who came out on top? None other than Walt Disney Studios, where the brightest stars in animation converged, leaving a lasting impact that still shines in today's cutting-edge techniques!

The Golden Age Of Animation: Where It All Started 

Dumbo was created in the golden age of animation

GIF by Disney via GIPHY

The golden age of animation refers to the period between the late 1920s and through to the 1960s. The 1940s and 1950s saw some of the greatest advancements in both technique and storytelling. Animation was used to tell stories that could not be told with live action, such as Peter Pan or Dumbo (1941), which were both about flying humans who did not exist in real life.

By using this new form of media, animators were able to tell more complex tales than ever before without having to worry about expensive special effects or sets; instead, everything could be created on paper by hand-drawn images known as cels (short for celluloid). This allowed them to create worlds that felt real yet fantastical at the same time - something no other medium has done successfully since then!

The Magic of Disney And The Golden Age Of Animation 

Walt Disney sitting and thinking during the golden age of animation

GIF by pignuggets via Tenor

In the early 20th century, animation was still in its infancy. Disney was one of the few people who were able to make a successful career out of it. He created innovative techniques that would later become standard practice in the industry today, such as using live actors to portray his characters' movements on set and then transferring those images onto paper or celluloid (a film base).

And he had a knack for storytelling: His movies were popular around the world because they told simple yet compelling stories about growing up, overcoming obstacles, and finding happiness - stories we all can relate to no matter where we come from or what language we speak! Now that's some golden age animation.

Disney was a pioneer in the field of animation, and they were one of the first studios to use sound in its films. Their films were popular with audiences and critics alike.

New Technology And Talent And The Golden Age Of Animation

Bambi trotting with a butterfly, created during the golden age of animation

GIF by Disney via GIPHY

In the late 1920s and throughout the 1930s, there was a major shift in the way animation was made. With new technology came greater artistic freedom and possibilities for animators to create more detailed characters and environments. This marriage of new technology and artistic talent gave rise to what we now call the golden age of animation.

The period between 1928 and 1939 was an era that had a lasting impact on animators today; many consider it one of their most influential periods as artists. During this time, they created some of their most beloved characters like Mickey Mouse (1928), Snow White (1937), and Bambi (1942)

It also marked an important juncture for Walt Disney - he left his studio after having disagreements with its management over profit sharing; however, he returned two years later with new ideas about how films should be made which led him on his path toward becoming America's first full-fledged cartoonist!

How The Golden Age Of Animation Influences Animators Today

Effortless Quality

Bugs Bunny dancing with a hat and a walking stick, created during the golden age of animation

GIF by Looney Tunes via GIPHY

The animators of the golden age were faced with a unique challenge: they had to make their characters look like they were moving naturally. This meant that every frame, every second of animation, had to be perfect. 

If you watch old Looney Tunes or Disney cartoons today and notice that things don't always look right (especially compared to any gold age animation) - if your eye catches on some awkward moment where Bugs Bunny looks stiff or wooden - it wasn't just bad animation; it was a sign that something went wrong in production.

This is why we can learn so much from studying golden age animation: because the artists had to be masters of their craft before even starting work on any given scene or sequence! They had to get everything right before filming began; if not for technical reasons (like lack of technology), then certainly for aesthetic ones.

Make It Look Easy

Max Fleischer during the golden age of animation

GIF by Fleischer Studios via GIPHY

One of the most important lessons that animators can learn from the golden age of animation is to make it look easy. Animators like Walt Disney and Max Fleischer were able to create cartoons that have aged well, despite being made in an era when live-action films were still very popular.

This is because they didn't try too hard or overdo things; rather than focusing on complex movements or characters with big personalities (which would be difficult for so many people), they kept things simple and made sure each scene had a clear purpose. 

If you want your audiences' attention and respect (and who doesn't?) then this lesson applies especially well: keep things simple!

3D Perspective

Snow White and many forest animals coming to greet her, created during the golden age of animation

GIF by Disney Princess via GIPHY

In golden age animations, animators had to learn how to give a 3-dimensional perspective. 3D is the art of creating the illusion of three dimensions in a two-dimensional image. In other words, it's making your drawings look like they're actually in space - not flat on a piece of paper.

This made the characters in the animated films appear more realistic and audiences could connect with the characters in a much better way.

Developing Shot Choreography

Peter pan flying over the roofs of houses, created during the golden age of animation

GIF by boomunderground via GIPHY

Shot choreography is the art of organizing the shots in your animation. In the golden age of animation, it was important to consider the timing and rhythm of each shot, as well as how camera movement could be used to enhance character motion and vice versa.

Sound effects were also an important part of developing shot choreography; they helped create a sense of realism and added emphasis where needed. Finally, transitions were used to transition between shots or scenes - and these were planned out carefully beforehand so that they flowed smoothly into each other without any jarring cuts between them. Golden age animation was far ahead of its time.

Creating Simple Color Palettes

choosing a simple color palette

GIF by Product Hunt via GIPHY

As animators, we're often asked to create color palettes for our projects and during the golden age of animation, this was no different. 

A color palette is a group of colors used in an animation to communicate various things about the film or short. Color can be used to communicate emotions, characters' personalities, setting,s and time periods.

It's important for animators to understand that creating simple and effective palettes will help their animation stand out from the rest!

Making Exaggerated Movements

Tom getting a fright, showing exaggerate movements during the golden age of animation

GIF by Boomerang Official via GIPHY

As an animator, you want to create exaggerated movements like those of the films in the golden age of animation. This is key to making your characters come alive and express emotion. You can use exaggerated movements to create comedy or drama, tension, and suspense.

Using Compressed Timing

using compressed timing of a human running is one of the concepts of animation during the golden age of animation

GIF by zapatoverde via GIPHY

Compressed timing is a technique that uses quick cuts to create the illusion of fast action. It can be used for comedic effects or to make a scene more dramatic, but it's always important to know how compressed time works so you can use it in your own work!

In order for compressed timing to work properly, you must first understand how real humans move and react when they're moving at different speeds. 

Identifying Clear Characters In A Shot

Alice as a clear character in a shot lying in a filed of daisy's, created during the golden age of animation

GIF by Disney via GIPHY

In animation, a clear character is a character that the audience can identify immediately. In live-action films, this is usually done by making the actor stand out from their surroundings (think of how easy it is to tell who's who in Star Wars).

In animation, you can use several techniques to create clear characters. The first way is to keep your camera focused on one subject at a time. This will make sure that only one person or thing takes up space in each shot and helps viewers keep track of what they're looking at.

Use contrasting colors between characters so that they stand out against each other - this works especially well if you have two characters who are easily distinguishable from each other (such as an orange frog and a blue rabbit). 

You could also use lighting or shading effects such as shadows to create contrast between objects within your scene; for example, if there's sunlight coming through windows onto one side of the room but not another side (like in Toy Story 2), then having Woody walk into this area would make him stand out more than Bo Peep would because she'd be illuminated by both natural light sources instead!

We Can Learn A Lot From The Golden Age of Animation!

Sleeping beauty dancing with house cleaners created during the golden age of animation

GIF by Disney Princess via GIPHY

The golden age of animation is a period in the history of filmmaking that had a lasting impact on animators today. 

It began with Disney's first full-length animated feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, released in 1937, and went on until 1956 when Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty was released. This period saw many advancements in animation techniques and storytelling, which have been influential to modern-day animators all over the world.

For more information about the golden age of animation, as well as answers to any other questions you might have, be sure to follow our blogs, check out our free masterclass, and our Animation Business Accelerator Program, download a copy of our free marketing handbook, and check out our blog on “How to Start an Animation Studio”!

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