Thursday, March 08, 2007

Just A Second

This is one second. Twenty-four paper frames on a crude make-shift paddle wheel. Making this analog paper device a working movie machine gave me a great feel for animation timing.

The story behind this started with a recent contributing post over on Jaime Zollars' famous paper fan blog called Paper Forest, check it out...

Chris Ware's comic book (on left) has this teeny miniature cinema on its last two pages. (second from left) I got my copy and blew it up to make it easier to put together (seen assembled, second from right). I wanted to a.) see whether such a contraption could work and b.) whether I could understand its mechanism enough to develop my own model that looks more like an antique theater (along the lines of this artist paper piece, seen on right). Not only did it work, it was completely non-mathematical and easy!

I was so stimulated by this new movie making power, I had to go further. Mr. Ware's clever little model contained just 12 "frames" of one of his popular black and white comics. For my next step, I printed out a 24 frame image sequence of an already-made short animation sketch of Halfland's main character, Rana smiling and winking. For such a rough animation method such as this, I see it would have been better to go with broader, more obvious, character movement/action, but I learned the principles involved in its working just the same. I placed each image of Rana onto a single pane of my, now twice as large, paper paddle wheel. A custom cardboard box made in excited haste--and voilá! Showtime...

Minny Cinny Works! on Vimeo


  1. Ace, that was a great Idea to make one with the rana animation. You should sell those with animation from Halfland in when the movie is finished.


  2. Thanks, Ben. My cunning plan is to develop a good cinema/theater model that can show say, 5 second paper animations of the finished 1/2L. film, as you say. It might serve as a fitting promotion piece or some such collectible item that could be given to very special, eh hem, supporters shall we say?

  3. My jaw is hanging down around the carpet. :-D


  4. You bet you're in, Ben! any reader of this blog that cares enough to follow the story as it develops is on my VIP supporter list for sure. Plus, your ideas, specifically, are really good and helpful.

    Aww, thanks, Sven! That's the kind of response we look for here in Halfland!! I KNOW! when that little cinema worked--I plotzed! There's something about the low-tech, paper, made-by-hand aspect of these that fits hand-in-glove for this project. Woo.

  5. That is really cool Herself!

    I really think thats cool.


  6. Thanks Justin, There is something cool about a paper version of a digital film to me too! I can't wait to have some 1/2L. photographic footage to try! w00t!

  7. hey--jriggity, I was just thinking about your story boards being shown in this way!! Can you imagine?! You could put a copy of each square of your sketches on a paddle wheel with a handle, add a paper shutter over the top, and whoosh! your whole movie could play before your family's eyes, scene by scene!

  8. Wow! Oh my I love coming here and learning from you.


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