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Brian C. Morris


A 3D Character Animation History

My aspirations have always been somewhere between fine art and animation. When asked at 5 what I wanted to be when I grew up I said: “an Artist”. In 1986 when I enrolled in art school I planned to study animation. As it turned out apart from one 3d ‘coding’ class (you really could not call it animation), the school’s offering of courses which were called things like experimental computer imaging were the closest that I got to studying animation back then, so most of my efforts were in fine art. These Òexperimental computer imagingÓ courses are now referred to as ‘Digital Media’ where I find myself doing this project.

My Masters of Digital Arts Project concerns 3D character animation. I’m interested in its history and in its ability to enhance the creation of characters and narratives. As an animator I am always striving to become more accomplished, and having a premise is a good way to practice, therefore I needed to find a story. What I am trying to do with my MA project is to tell a story about the History of 3d animation, using the medium of animation. This involved developing a cyclic character–story–character flow, researching animation history, researching and production of the actual content, as well as a myriad of other small tasks. The main concern was finding the right balance between the story and the historic content.

In the show piece I will use a mixture of 2d and 3d elements, to reflect the importance that the history of 2d character animation plays in the development of 3d character animation.

I maintain that this is just a tiny bit of ‘an’ animation history and not the definitive history. The history of animation is quite large and subject to interpretation so I can not attempt to cover it all in this project.


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