More articles Sunday 18 August 2019 8:14am
“Computer animation tends towards perfection and we don’t think perfectionism is actually a particularly good thing,” says Peter Lord
“Computer animation tends towards perfection and we don’t think perfectionism is actually a particularly good thing,” according to Peter Lord, co-founder of Aardman Animations with David Sproxton, speaking today at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Lord was speaking with Sproxton about their careers and new book Aardman: An Epic Journey. They were accompanied by Morph – one of their earliest characters.
The animators were asked their thoughts on the trend towards CGI animation; “With stop frame animation it is a performance.” Sproxton argued. “The best CGI which is done in the same way, you don’t let the computer do anything - you edit every frame.”
“There’s a tiny margin between what we do and what computer animation can do.” Lord added. “CGI now does what we used to do. I care about it very much that what we do is handmade.
“They’re pretending to be stop frame which really annoys me.” He said. “I wish they wouldn’t.
“With puppet animation the audience knows what it is, because you can see what it is, therefore it’s magic. You know it’s a clay puppet and it’s alive, therefore it’s magic.
“To appreciate an art form, properly, any art form, you appreciate it fully when you can empathically understand how it’s done. You can’t do it yourself but you understand. With computer animation you can’t empathically understand.”
Aardman Animations was transferred over to employee ownership last year, and the founders explained their reasoning behind the change.
“We can’t do this forever and don’t want to run it into the ground,” Lord said. “It would be better if the new generation started running things.”
“We never made the company to make money, that wasn’t what it was about and certainly we never thought of the company as a thing, as a commodity to be bought and sold.” He added. “It was our attempt to preserve what we created.”