E3.3: Accumulation, destruction or trace

Visible Animators: Material Accumulation, Erosion and Trace

Great care is normally taken to hide the animation process and presence of the animator to avoid distracting from the continuity of the movement. In stop-frame, shots including the shadow of the animator are deleted and re-shot. When the audience notices the presence of the animator through, for example, the tactile fact of a drawing on paper, this is a distancing effect. The viewer is made aware of the animator through production time; the build-up of layers of a substance or through the life and durability of the material itself.

TASK: Make a quick 30-90 second animation exploring one of the following three animation techniques: accumulation, destruction/erosion or trace.
To start, you may want to restrict the materials you work with, so your animation can explore the possibilities of accumulation, destruction or trace by experimenting with mark-making, objects, or physical materials. Alternatively, you may want to explore these themes through image-making and metaphor by drawing, photographing or using found materials. Either way, be playful in your approach, and log all of your experiments on your learning log as well as your final piece.


Catherine Anyango-Grünewald uses a similar technique to Kentridge. She draws repeatedly on the same sheet of paper, but instead of using the residue of a material, she focuses on the durability of the surface that she is drawing on. The disintegration of paper beneath her aggressive drawings expresses her personal frustration and anger at police brutality and echoes the imbalance of power of her subject.