March 18, 2008

Muybridge XTREME!

You know that feeling of wonder and awe you felt when you first discovered those remarkable Muybridge photographs? Those step-by-step explorations of simple motions in humans and animals revealed subtleties that were up until that point unnoticeable. Those pictures are fascinating to anyone who never knew that horses fly, but particularly so to animators. Animation is, after all, a study of motion.

I've just finished watching a show on Discovery called "Time Warp" and I'm thrilled to announce that it is Muybridge 2.0, Muybridge To The Max, Muybridge On Acid, MUYBRIDGE XTREME!!! The concept of the show is simple: take common actions and film them at 3,000 to 10,000 frames per second. And the results are astonishing. A man gets punched in the abdomen and his body becomes liquid- with tremors rippling in all directions from the point of impact. As his head snaps back from a clock to the jaw, his nose literally gets left behind. A balloon is popped with a pin and reveals a second smaller balloon inside and then that pops too (I still have no idea how that's possible or what that means, but its friggendy cool.) Did you know that a dog laps up water not by curling his tongue forward and making in a little tongue-bowl, but by curling his tongue backward and tossing the water in his mouth? WEIRD!

So to all you animators and everyone interested in the poetry of motion, you must make a weekly date with this show and goggle. I know I'll be adding it to my reference library the 3,000th of a second it comes out on DVD.


Elliot Cowan said...

Balloon inside balloon:
First you stick an uninflated balloon inside another uninflated balloon, but with the "neck" of the inner balloon poking out.
Then inflate the inner balloon and once it's reached the desired size, tie it off.
Then blow up the outer balloon around it.
Make sense?

Jo said...

Yeah, I think I missed the part of the show where they mentioned that. I was under the impression they were demonstrating some bizarre property of latex.