Anatomy of a puppet

Design driven categories for animated puppets’ skin

Autori e curatori
Contributi
Michael Cusack
Livello
Studi, ricerche
Dati
pp. 162,      1a edizione  2020   (Codice editore 319.9)
Peer reviewed content
Peer Reviewed Content

Anatomy of a puppet Design driven categories for animated puppets’ skin
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In breve

The history of puppets happens to be the one of human evolution, because puppets have inhabited human religious rites, technological experiments, artistic purposes and have been used as entertainment tools. This volume focuses on a specific typology of puppets, the animated ones, used even today as protagonists of stop-motion films. By engaging an interdisciplinary analysis of animated puppets’ manufacturing processes, this book places a challenge: it merges design and film studies’ methods of analysis and applies criteria of material examination of design objects to investigate puppets’ material aspects.

Presentazione del volume

How many things can a puppet be? Victoria Nelson's examination of puppets' history reveals that these objects have always mirrored the specific purposes they have been used for, and the historical periods they have been designed in. Puppets are objects made of material, manufactured according to specific techniques, and produced by human beings in order to satisfy different needs. They hold an interesting attitude to cross fields of application - from technology to art, and from psychology to sociology - and, in each of them, they show specific "anatomies", characteristics and meanings. The history of puppets happens to be the one of human evolution, because puppets have inhabited human religious rites, technological experiments, artistic purposes and have been used as entertainment tools.
This volume focuses on a specific typology of puppets, the animated ones, used even today as protagonists of stop-motion films. By engaging an interdisciplinary analysis of animated puppets' manufacturing processes, this book places a challenge: it merges design and film studies' methods of analysis and applies criteria of material examination of design objects to investigate puppets' material aspects. As a result the book frames "design-driven" categories of animated puppets that classify stop-motion films according to puppets' skin material and manufacturing features, and suggests linking those features with historical roots and anthropological scenarios. What happens if these categories are used also for gathering new levels of narratives and interpretations? This question closes the volume, and invites embracing a path of research that relies upon the engaged fields as it suggests giving value to puppets' material aspects to identify new instruments of interpretation.

Vincenzo Maselli attained the title of Doctor Europaeus of Planning, Design and Technology of Architecture at the University of Sapienza in Rome. His interests focus on animation and motion design and his researches concern the study of puppets' material and technological features in stop-motion animated films, the technological evolution of video-art, the pedagogical approaches to motion graphics and animation, and the aesthetic, contents and production analysis of eastern animation tradition.

Indice

Michael Cusack, Foreword
Introduction
(Theoretical framework and contribution; The structure of the volume)
From objects to puppets
(Objects' significations; Puppets)
Meanings of traces on puppets' skin
(Skin identities; The ontologies of objects' skin; The visually perceived communicative skin; Puppets' material skin; Material traces on puppets' skin)
A matter of classification
(Animated puppets material categories; Victoria Nelson's anthropomorphic entities; William Cromar's manufactured skin)
Design driven puppets' categories
(Assembled materials' skin puppets; Modelled materials' skin puppets; Carved materials' skin puppets; Casted materials' skin puppets; Layered materials' skin puppets)
Future perspectives
(Digitally altered skin puppets; From categories to meanings: a matter of interpretation; Animation of objects and design of characters)
Index
List of figures
References.