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The Puppet-Actor in Virtual Environment: Theatrical puppetry, cinema puppetry, digital puppetry
University West, Department of Economics and IT, Division of Media and Design.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7111-9661
2014 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Abstract

My concern is animated puppetry in the digital era. Actually, this presentation is a brief depiction of a much larger "to-be-a book" project.

Puppet comes from pupa, Latin for "small creature that portray human".

The idea about a movable, humanlike object emerged in puppet theatre but blossomed in animated film. By using an inanimate objects as an actor puppet animators create worlds we recognize as a deeper, metaphorical truth of own world. Animators are tasked with creating expressions and emotions for their artificial figures, thus turning them into characters.

That is why probably no other form of creating moving pictures is lavished with as much time, care and passion as stop-motion. In difference to live-action directors that direct living people, the animation director directs his or her own deepest feelings through the material, which allows practically unlimited space for individualism and creativity. By touching the models the animator leaves traces of his life on them so the feelings and spiritual state emanate from puppet-films as some sort of fantastic reportage about the dreams hidden deep in their creators.A great number of important puppet-animators such as Starewitz, Zeman, Ewald, O?Brien, Moss, Trnka, Pall, Kajer, Kawamoto, Borowczyck, Barta, Shorina, Svankmajer or Burton developed the type of iconoclastic aesthetic of the three-dimensional animation.

But what happened with the illusion of "living" object in the modern 3D computer animation? Can we consider the three-dimensional figures created with the help of some software application as puppetry?

I argue that digital puppetry could be seen as a new stage in the development of this form of expression whose basic characteristics largely coincide with cinema puppetry and theatrical puppetry.

In this presentation I focus on a phenomenon sometimes called "uncanny valley",or rather a reduced emotional response, which I see as one of the main reasons for some doubts and confusion in recent discussions concerning digital animation. Absence of human touch and tactile sensation in digital pictures contributes to a form of dehumanization in 3D CGI animation because of the fact that mathematic accuracy in digitally created characters may not elicit the intended empathetic response in the viewer.

I present three ways in which the problem is usually addressed by animators: (1) creating puppet characters that are in appearance markedly non-human or non-realistic, based on a tradition inherited from theatrical and cinema puppetry, (2) employing some documentary methods, (3) applying a kind of surreal quality to the performing puppet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Zagreb, 2014. 1-1 p.
Keyword [en]
Animation, puppet, digital, virtual
National Category
Humanities
Research subject
HUMANITIES, Cinematography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-6299OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-6299DiVA: diva2:722293
Conference
International Symposium Animafest Scanner 2014
Available from: 2014-06-06 Created: 2014-06-06 Last updated: 2015-06-24Bibliographically approved

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http://animafest.hr/en/2014/professionals/animafest_scanner

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