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Editor's Notebook

Varying degrees of separation: visual effects and experimental animation.

So once again another month goes by and it looks as if we are putting two very different areas or types of animation together. However, this month proved to be another interesting month as we explored from visual effects to experimental animation. One thing that we clearly found was that both visual effects supervisors and experimental animation directors begin their process only knowing the end result that they wish to achieve. Whether it is an incredible cutting edge visual effect or a new animated visual, emotional experience, the artist understands the final impact they wish to depart to the audience but they are never quite sure, in the beginning, just how to create the phenomenon. However, through tests, trial and error, spontaneity, "Mickey Mousing" and experimentation, they end up creating what they had intended. Whether it is Bärbel Neubauer using homemade rubber stamps, or Digital Domain's newest proprietary software, successful, innovative artists have a way of fashioning what works. Two completely separate arenas, using different techniques and tools toward very different means, still have the same creative process and determination toward the end result, while plying uncharted waters.

One way we, at Animation World Magazine, would like to see visual effects and experimental animation come together more often however, is in creative and storytelling ways. It would be great to see artists working with computer generated imagery delving more into the world of experimental animation. We would like to see the stories that this new technology could unleash in less traditional forums. As John R. Dilworth pointed out after being a member of the preselection committee at Zagreb, many student films using computer animation are still tests of technology, rather computer aided storytelling. As our cover shows...the merging of these two worlds offers an entire new realm of possibilities.

And exactly what is that image on the cover? Find out in a new monthly section called, Dig This! Every month we will feature the coolest thing that comes into our office. Be it a toy, a person, an idea, a new invention, an interesting animation technique...Whatever comes through our door and rises to the top. With this new feature we will be able to shine a monthly spotlight on something new, fresh and interesting.

Until Next Time, Heather