ANIMAFEST PRO | ANIMAFEST SCANNER V | ANIMAFEST SCANNER V - Panel 2: Characters in Animation
Living Abstract Line: Contemporary Positions Concerning the Line as a Performer in Artistic Animation – Sabrina Kainz (University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Vienna, Austria)
The line is an abstract geometric construct, without comparable existence in the real world, which functions as a boundary and therefore as an essential tool for abstraction by allowing the representation of complexity in a simplified manner. In animation, the line exists parallel to its representation. It gains additional meaning in motion and is able to generate emotion and liveliness. Due to its independence from physics and other laws of reality, the line allows mechanisms of animation such as metamorphosis, superposition of layers or the use of motion in conjunction with different forms and characters. The line is a peculiarity and an essential performer in animation, especially because of its parallel existence as a line itself and as a representation of something else, enabled through inherent continuity of time and movement. Through motion, recognisability, and consciousness, the line performs not only as a line but also as a character and allows the transfer of emotional and general cognitive aspects to even very abstract elements, which furthermore enable extreme distortions, smears, and speed lines. The line appears as a visible contour affecting the character design but also as an invisible line of action influencing the characters movement and energy.
The immanent movement as result of the process of creation is also of great importance. Through its consistency, the line acts as a constant and leads the viewer’s eyes. The line creates both, the illusion of depth and perspective, and appears outside of its two-dimensional abstraction through various tools, creating animations in the three-dimensional world, as well as, thanks to current developments, in virtual reality. The possibilities of the line as a performer in animation and its correlation with motion were examined. The relevance concerning its use in artistic animation was substantiated by interviews with contemporary filmmakers and supported through analysis of various animated films.
Sabrina Kainz is a freelance animator based in Vienna, with love for charming characters and passionate interest in the theory and technique of animation of different kinds. She graduated from University of Applied Science Upper Austria with a master’s degree in Digital Arts. Together with two fellow students, she directed and produced an animated narrative short film with animal characters as a homage to the city of old Vienna as well as Film Noir.