Thursday, 9 February 2012
I stumbled upon this fantastic animation, which was produced by a student of computer arts. Here is a video link:
I find it both impressive and inspiring that this short was produced by an independent animator, studying for a masters degree. The movements of the Kiwi bird are very weighted, and I particular enjoyed the animation of the bird heaving on the rope attached to the tree, possibly demonstrating anticipation. Another creative feature as far as character design goes, is how Kiwi uses his feet to perform tasks. It adds a great comedy value to the short. When the bird hammers the nails into the tree, we even see the follow through principle as the body subtly wobbles with the motion of the foot. Another effective aspect of the animation is the story. We are made to laugh for the majority of the short, as we see this tiny bird trying to pull this colossal tree up the face of a cliff. The whole idea could even fit our module title 'Little and Large'. The story then takes an emotive turn however, as we realize that Kiwi is attempting to simulate flight, as he has no wings. Of course, this simulation does inevitably end in death, showing that the bird is essential committing suicide, to experiencing the dream of flight. This emotion is emphasized as Kiwi closes his eyes in preparation for his death. The character seems at peace, and we can see that.
Clearly, 'Kiwi!' is a fine animation, demonstrating many of the principles. What I took from the short however, is a look at how great narrative can be achieved through computer animation. Like our videos, 'Kiwi!' is only a short animation, yet it manages to on some level move its audience. It really demonstrates the power of animation.