Blog 008 | New Media Animation

  • 03/31/2016

This blog, brought to you by UPP Studios, discusses the growth in popularity of animation, as it relates to a new media audience. When most people think about animation, two words immediately enter their minds: cartoons and children. On the contrary, however, the rise in popularity of animation is as a direct result of its being geared towards an older, (but not necessarily more mature), audience. It started with The Cartoon Network who, in 2001, created a programming block called "Adult Swim." Consisting of vulgar, sexually explicit, and outrageous content, Adult Swim aired from 8pm to 6am, and catered to an older audience.

While The Cartoon Network was not the first network to air animated series with adult content, it was certainly the first to popularize such series. With a show like Ren and Stimpy (which pre-dates Adult Swim) becoming a cult classic, the world saw for the first time the true vile depths to which animation would sink for the sake of comedy and this facilitated the creation of many outlandish shows. In a world of people who have short attention spans, it makes sense that animation would thrive. Adult Swim was one of the first places where you could see a show that was as short as 15 minutes. Shorter running times and quick cuts in editing, also led to hugely popular shows like Family Guy.

Animation for adults keeps pushing the envelope further and further with its content, paving the way for the creation of shows like “F is for Family” and an upcoming animated point grey pictures production, by Seth Rogen film called “Sausage Party.” UPP Studios looks forward to adding animation to it’s list of new media formats.

The Production of Animation | UPP Studios

Animating is generally extremely tedious and time consuming. Some of the best animation uses “stop motion” techniques which force the animator to work moment by moment or frame by frame. Producing animation, particularly in a timely fashion, is also very expensive. As a result, rather than produce animination in the U.S., most companies interested in animation outsource their projects to other countries where costs are greatly reduced. While there are many programs that allow the masses to animate, these programs are either very costly or so technical that they are inaccessible. As of March of this year, Toonz animation software became free and open source. The Toonz software is the same software that was used to create programs such as “Spirited Away” and “Futurama”, so users familiar with these shows understand the software's massive capabilities. With the software now available to the public, there is likely to be a large influx of new media animations hitting the Internet in the coming years. Animation allows for opportunities in storytelling that are beyond the limits of live-action cinema. Ideas that are seemingly unreachable, (particularly to beginning filmmakers), due to a lack of access to funds or resources, suddenly become plausible and executable; explosions without safety concerns and characters taking flight without strings, rigs, green screens and motion capture suits. UPP Studios plans to spread it's creative wings and be among those developing animation for an ever expansive new media audience.