Animation World Magazine, Issue 2.6, September 1997

NEW Chats and Discussions



I have just read with great interest the articles by
Jo Jürgens and Guionne Leroy, both speak about stop-motion animation and their resulting development into 3D.

I would very much like to email them as I have become interested in entering the animation world after my visit to Annecy a few months ago. However, I have a dilemma of where to start. It is a fascinating but disorientating world particularly where the novice is concerned when trying to find a foothold. I have been offered a place in a studio which would give me good training in stop-motion animation. I have been mentally rejecting this idea in favor of a direct entry into computer animation, but in
Jo Jürgens article he does mention the need, in particular of having sculpting knowledge as a basis for future 3D computer work. The same goes for Guionne Leroy in that she trained in stop-motion animation and then went on to work for the prestigious company Pixar. It seems that a good familiarity in the media of stop-motion/claymation is essential unless entering the 2D area, where the standard of drawing has to be very high amongst other things.

If possible I would appreciate the ability to contact these people in order to "steal" a little of their time per email, or if possible could you email my dialogue here onto them? I live in Germany so to call them by phone would not pose a problem either, from my point of view.

Many thanks.

Yours Sincerely,
Robert W. L. Butt

Dear Robert,

Thank you for your keen interest! You were not alone in your admiration of Guionne and Jo's articles. We received quite a few letters and emails. As a result we are going to be vigorously integrating topics from the magazine into the Animation World Network Discussion Forum at We will start having some of our authors be special guests in the discussions so that they and everyone interested worldwide can have an active, thought provoking conversation. Stay glued to the
Weekly Animation Flash Email Newsletter for when we will start certain forums with special guests. If you do not receive the Flash you can sign up for it at All the latest industry and site news will arrive to you via email absolutely free.

We look forward to announcing when Jo and Guionne will be joining us!

The Editors

SIGGRAPH: Past and Present


I know your article has long since gone to press, but I wanted to thank you for your very professional approach to it. I did review the article and am pleased that you'll be publishing it.

- Steve Cunningham

Dear Steve,

Thank you very much. We were very pleased with the reception Joan Collins' article,
" SIGGRAPH: Past and Present" received at SIGGRAPH 97 and online. We heard through the grapevine that many people found it enlightening and useful. I hope in the future that we can do more articles featuring SIGGRAPH members and their fascinating work.

The Editors

A New Resource

Dear Heather,

I'm e-mailing you regarding
your article in AWM Issue 2.5, August `97.

I am a 3D animator/compositor of TV commercials and would just like to say that I whole heartedly agree with what you've heard in that computers are no more than just another tool in the filmmakers arsenal. Computers cannot think, reason, or create - nor should they ever be relied upon to do so. Even though there is no stopping their increasing involvement in all stages of production, I believe that they can only ever assist (and never replace) human creativity.

Disney knew this to be the case, and as such, when creating Toy Story, chose not to employ a team composed only of "computer operators." Instead, they took creative people with training in traditional cel animation and trained them over the course of two years to use this new tool. They were foremost, animators who already understood how to make a character come to life on screen, utilizing all the concepts of animation - squash, stretch, etc.

You needn't worry, Heather that you will ever be out of work.

Dear Daniel,

We heartily agree. The computer's aid is going to help many filmmakers and artists realize a new storytelling vision and that is very exciting. It has also been pointed out that similarly, studio execs have never put just anyone in front of a computer and expected them to write the next, "Casablanca." (However, after seeing a few of this summer's "blockbusters," it might be worth a try....)

The Editors

Comic Books, A Desert Island Response

To the Editors:

The first comic book I would choose is Kurt Busiek's Astro City. This book takes classic superheroes and their world in a different way. It doesn't simply concentrate on the superheroes, but also addresses the ordinary citizens of the city - the ones who point up and say "Look up in the sky!" And, thanks to Busiek's writing, you realize that these "ordinary" people are worthy, too.

The second is the limited series, Batman: The Dark Knight by Frank Miller. It is the four-part comic that finally rescued Batman from the horrid camp atmosphere of the `60's television series. I like to think it was the series that made DC Comics finally grow up.

Third, I'd have to take The Tick. Ben Edlund's character, although he doesn't produce regularly or often enough, is absolutely unforgettable. He recognizes that superheroes are ridiculous, and emphasizes exactly where the ridicule deserves to go.

Finally, I'd like an English translated version of Rumiko Takahashi's Ranma 1/2. (Yes, you anime purists, I want it in English! Do you think they watch Tiny Toons in the original language in Tokyo, you jerks?) Despite my initial dislike of anime, Ranma won me over; he/she and the other characters are people I'd like to know.

Thomas E. Reed

Dear Thomas,

Thank you for participating!

The Editors

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