If you've ever wondered how genius animators like Walt Disney to Hayao Miyazaki can make a simple line drawing look so damn emotive, now you can learn their tricks. New York-based designer Vincenzo Lodigiani has adapted the seminal animation how-to book The Illusion Of Life into a short film. Now, any wannabe animators can learn tricks of the trade such as timing, staging and anticipation – all techniques that remain essential to the art form. He's also made an animated GIF gallery here.
You can watch it below:
The Illusion Of Life was written by two legendary Disney animators called Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. The pair were BFFs and masters of their craft, working under Walt Disney during the Golden Age of American animation. In 1981, they published The Illusion Of Life, which examined the history behind Disney's craft and an explanation of the 12 guiding principles of animation.
The duo contributed to seminal Disney animations such as Fantasia, Bambi and Snow White, and maintained a close friendship throughout their careers, as depicted in the documentary Frank and Ollie. Watch them being interviewed here as absolutely adorable old men.
Frank and Ollie last made cinema contributions as a duo in the 2004 film The Incredibles, but not as animators. Both provided a voiceover for a short cameo as two old men having a conversation. "That's old school..." "Yeah, no school like the old school," they say.
Frank Thomas died that year and Ollie Johnston four years later, but the teachings of their unique abilities live on. Here's their cameo in The Incredibles: