Monday, May 23, 2005

Nice to see...

Stumbled across this fun interview with Don Hertzfeld of Bitterfilms. When asked about his particular style of working on his films he replied..

yeah i just prefer working on stuff with my hands instead of a mouse.. for me its kinda like a choice between painting with a real brush versus a simulated one that you hold with chopsticks.. it's just a weird barrier between me and the piece. i don't think one set of tools is necessarily better than the other, you should just use what you're most comfortable with, and what serves your piece the best. i think computer animators sort of get the short end of the stick to some degree, since they work just as hard as traditional animators do yet there's so little understanding of how computers work that i think a lot of the awe is lost on most audiences today. years ago it seems like people used to go, "wow, how'd they do that?" a lot more, and have this great sense of wonder when they saw stuff like star wars. nowadays audiences all just seem to shrug and say, "i guess they just used a computer".. as though there's no reason to wonder anymore "how they did that"... as though computers have a "make art" button on them or something.

I think Don's one of the new geniuses of animated storytelling of this generation. That he uses (very) old school techniques is part of that style. But I just found it refreshing to see that here's this award winning animator who prefers to use techniques abandoned for decades and he doesn't have some kind of Holier-Than-Thou attitude toward Cg animators. Too many "old school" types like to spend all their time grousing about the evils of Cg animation. Nice to see that point of view isn't universal. Anyhow, check out the rest of the interview here. It's a fun read.


Brecht Debaene said...

so true, I was trained in traditional animation. I was the only one in my class that had experimented with computer animation, and I liked it better than traditional stuff. it just worked better for me, i'm not the worlds greatest sketch artist.

so when I told my classmates about CG, they were all like "pfff, so what? you just used a computer"

this pissed me off sometimes, I respected their way of working, so I think I expected the same from them. alas.

Darrin Hofmeyr said...

Aah, Don Hertzfeld
What a genius. I always respected him for his wonderful work on shorts like Billys Ballon. Now I admire him even more for those comments. See, we can all live in a happy world and get along if we all respect each other.
Thanks for the link Keith.