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Henderson, S., Markey, D., 2019.

Resurrecting the Archive: Using Digital Technologies to Bring Animation Collections to Life

Output Type:Conference paper
Presented at:Animation and Science
Venue:Stuttgart, Germany
Dates:1/5/2019 - 1/5/2019

As a bourgeoning field of study, animation archives and by extension animation archiving is the practice of managing collections of objects produced during the process of creating animated works such as cels, puppets, scripts, sketches and storyboards, as opposed to the completed audio-visual output (i.e. the film) itself.

There are many challenges that traditional animated filmmaking objects such as animation cels and puppets present as they consist of materials that commonly degrade after their primary use. As mixed media artefacts (Barbagallo, 2011) animation puppets vary in size, shape and material presenting challenges in traditional preservation.

As this paper concentrates its efforts on innovations pertaining to the archiving of puppet animation materials using 3D scanning techniques. This would a digital copy of the model for cataloguing purposes. The creation of a digital archive of materials provides digital duplicates of fragile artefacts that can be accessed without risking damage to originals. Data collected through the scanning process creates subsequent metadata possibilities such as the mass, mathematically accurate measurements, and exact colour information. Digital models created in the scanning process would have the potential to be exhibited through digital and additive manufactured methods.

There are digital capture issues around construction materials. Techniques to be evaluated to deal with these issues include: Photogrammetry, and 3D laser scanning. Balancing these techniques whilst establishing parameters and guidance for their use with different model types is one outcome of this project.

Beyond artefact capture, the craft processes could be recorded and retooled using digital capture

techniques. Examples include recreation of model moulds, and volumetric capture of the craft process; Here a 3D visual recording of an artist working through their process is captured so that the techniques and approach utilised are recorded for future generations to see as if looking over the shoulder of the craftsperson. Extending these digitised models, they could be re-rigged using the original armatures and re-animated using modern animation tools or re-packaged through mobile apps or AR/VR/MR to allow modern audiences to interact with and animate the models combining art and technology.