Chapter 4: Animation Tech-Talk
Flattened areas of stone have been found with enough residues to indicate they were used as palettes. But it can be assumed that they did not drag all those animals into the caves to use as models! Yet these paintings are marvelous examples of drawing skill by any standard. These were trained artists! What is especially fascinating to an animator is seeing that many of the drawings were attempts to convey images of motion!
But this was a time of primitive and exceedingly difficult life, when just staying alive and hunting for food were the priority needs. But yet the tribes felt it necessary to support "professional" artists! From this we have to assume that these so-called cave men had a more advanced social organization than we might have thought, and that they were able to bring in a surplus of food, and that not every man or woman had to spend full time scrabbling for existence - that society 35,000 years ago could support and train artists!!! Why? Those deductions by Alexander Marshack got me thinking that these people had a culture and lore they wished to preserve, to pass on - a need to tell stories!
It struck me: What more imprinting way could there have been for those people to infuse their youth with the legends and lore of the community than to lead them into the icy vast darkness of a cave, to a deep, forbidding gallery, the one that was the most sound resonant, (Cave-age Dolby Surround sound?), and in flickering oil lamp light, illuminating wondrous images, tell the tribal tales, in an atmosphere of guaranteed attention? The first "animated movie" presentation!
So we can see that though the technology of animation has changed a bit in the last 35,000 years, the aim is the same: to tell stories in the most dramatic, riveting, and attention-holding way we can. Technical advancements come thick and fast in our times, but we mustn't let technology rule our work as a thing unto itself. Technology is an ever-evolving tool, but our use of it must always be the same: to tell our story!
If you learn anything, learn to keep the clarity of what you are saying, or the gag you are presenting. Don't fall victim to the mannerisms of the moment and let the technique smother your story!