Saturday, 15 October 2016



How is animation different to a static drawing? This blog will look at the conceptual idea of plasmaticness and the technique of boiling line animation that gives a vibrant shimmering life to lines.


The Soviet film director Eisenstein coined the phrase ‘plasmaticness’ to describe the primal qualities of life and how a definite form can morph and merge into new shapes. This quality defies the rational world of machines to create a magical otherness, which is ironic as animation can only exist with the aid of machines.

"Rokurokubi" print by Hokusai 

Eisenstein adored the early Disney films such as “Steam Boat Willie” where inanimate objects come into being and their forms stretched and morphed to defy our rational world, breaking the natural laws of physics.

A primal protoplasm, "not yet possessing a 'stable' form, but capable of assuming any form and which, skipping along the rungs of the evolutionary ladder, attaches to any and all forms of animal existence." Eisenstein on Disney

 Fantasmagorie (Emile Cohl 1908)
Cohl is considered to be the first animator. He was part of the Parisian art group 'The Incoherents' who stated in their exhbition catalogue that "All the works are allowed, the serious works and obscene excepted".

The Soviet film directer Eisenstein was an avid fan of Disney

Battleship Potemkin

Steamboat Willie (Walt Disney, 1928)

Boiling Line Animation

Gertie the Dinosaur (Winsor McCay, 1914)

Roobarb and Custard (Bob Godfrey, 1974)

Nightclub (Jonathan Hodgson, 1983)

25 Ways to Quit Smoking (Bill Plympton, 2000)

Wisdom Teeth (Don Hertzfelf, 2009)

Dr. Katz Professional Therapist (Jonathan Katz 1999)

THE LUYAS 'Says You' [Official Video]

(Amanda Bonaiuto, 2016)

3 frame loop

3 frame loop developed into a more complicated animation

Cognitive Media and live scribing

Other styles of animation

Rainbow Dance (Len Lye, 1936)

Synchromy (Norman McLaren, 1971)

Revolver (Jonas Odell, 1993)

Automatic Writing (William Kentridge, 2003)