Thursday, March 31, 2022

Post 472 - Itching to start the next film from scratch - with progressions - updated 17 September 2022

 Just need to fill in the other 120 frames... piece of cake...

Test #2:

 Test #3

Test #4 (taking too long for this!!!)

Test #5 (want this done by IAD!!!!)
 Test #6 - and now for sound!

And, for those who crave SOUND -
 (c) Jim Middleton, The Animating Apothecary

Post 471 - 1970 - Earliest Animation - "It's A Dog's World"

Summer 1970 - up at the crack of dawn to driver's ed, Sunday nights devoted to The Wonderful World of Color, a PBS animation showing an animated satire about picking a round table for the Vietnam negotiations in Paris that TOOK 500 DRAWINGS, so - well, that was a challenge.  It was certainly more relaxing than the prospect of making left turns against traffic on 28th Street in Grand Rapids (and that's still no picnic).

So after 2000 drawings, this happened.  My poor brother was enlisted into the adventure.  Even at just two minutes, the file seems too large for Blogger, so here's the vimeo link:

Our parents decided afterwards that we needed to "learn a trade." 

(c) 1970 Jim Middleton, boy without a driver's license

And shot on this advanced bit of mechanical technology:

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Post 470 - More Thoughts from "The Anatomy of Melancholy" (1621)

 A Less Brief Section from The Anatomy of Melancholy, by Robert Burton  (1621)
“The Madness of War - A Reflection on Causes of Melancholy”

Burtons Horoscope
    If Democritus were alive now, and should but see the superstition of our age, our religious madness,
as Meteran calls it, Religiosam insaniam.  So many professed Christians, yet so few imitators of Christ; so much talk of religion, so much science, so little conscience; so much knowledge, so many preachers, so little practice; such variety of sects, such have and hold of all sides, obvia signis Signa, such absurd and ridiculous traditions and ceremonies:  If he should meet a Capuchin, a Franciscan, a Pharisaical Jesuit, a man-serpent, a shave-crowned Monk in his robes, a begging Friar, or, see their three-crowned Sovereign Lord the Pope, poor Peter's successor, the servus servorum Dei, to depose kings with his foot, to tread on emperors' necks, make them stand barefoot and barelegged at his gates,  hold his bridle and stirrup (O that Peter and Paul were alive to see this!), if he should observe a prince creep so devoutly to kiss his toe –  and those red-cap cardinals, poor parish priests of old, now princes' companions;  what would he say?  Coelum ipsum petitur stultitia.   

    Had he met some of our devout pilgrims going barefoot to Jerusalem, our lady of Lauretto, Rome, St. Iago, St. Thomas'  Shrine, to creep to those counterfeit and maggot-eaten relics;  had he been present at a mass, and seen such kissing of paxes, crucifixes, cringes,  duckings, their several attires and ceremonies, pictures of saints, indulgences, pardons, vigils, fasting, feasts, crossing, knocking, kneeling at Ave-Marias, bells, with many such;  jucunda rudi spectacula plebi, praying in gibberish, and mumbling of beads.  Had he heard an old woman say her prayers in Latin, their sprinkling of holy water, and going a procession,

"Incedunt monachorum agmina mille; quid momerem vexilla, cruces, idolaque culta,"

    A thousand bands of monks march - what are their breviaries, bulls, hallowed beans, exorcisms, pictures, curious crosses, fables, and baubles?

    Had he read the Golden Legend, the Turks' Alcoran, or Jews' Talmud, the Rabbins' Comments, what would he have thought?  How dost thou think he might have been affected?  Had he more particularly examined a Jesuit's life amongst the rest, he should have seen an hypocrite profess poverty, and yet possess more goods and lands than many princes and have infinite treasures and revenues;  teach others to fast, and play the gluttons themselves, like watermen that row one way and look another.  (They) vow virginity, talk of holiness, and are yet indeed a notorious bawd, and famous fornicator, lascivum pecus, a very goat.  Monks by profession, such as give over the world, and the vanities of it, and yet a Machiavellian  rout interested in all manner of state.   Holy men, peace-makers, and yet, composed of envy, lust, ambition, hatred, and malice.   Firebrands, adulta patriae pestis, traitors, assassins, hac itur ad astra, and all this is to supererogate, and merit heaven for themselves and others.

    Had he seen on the adverse side, some of our nice and curious schismatics in another extreme, abhor all ceremonies, and rather lose their lives and livings, than do or admit anything Papists have formerly used, though in things indifferent (they alone are the true  Church, sal terrae, cum sint omnium insulsissimi).  Formalists, out of fear and base flattery, like so many weather-vanes spin round, a rout of temporisers, ready to embrace and maintain all that is, or shall be, proposed in hope of preferment:   another Epicurean company, lying at lurch as so many vultures, watching for a prey of Church goods, and ready to rise by the downfall of any –  as Lucian said in like case:   what dost thou think Democritus would have done, had he been spectator of these things?

    Or had he but observed the common people follow, like so many sheep, one of their fellows drawn by the horns over a gap, some for zeal, some for fear, quo se cunque rapit tempestas, to credit all, examine nothing, and yet be ready to die before they will adjure any of those ceremonies to which they have been accustomed;  others, out of hypocrisy, frequent sermons, knock their breasts, turn up their eyes, pretend zeal, desire reformation, and yet remain professed usurers, gripers, monsters of men, harpies, devils in their lives, to express nothing less.

    What would he have said to see, hear, and read so many bloody battles, so many thousands slain at once, such streams of blood able to turn mills.  Obnoxious and furious, to make sport for princes, without any just cause,  "for vain titles precedency, some wench, or such like toy, or out of desire of domineering, vainglory, malice, revenge, folly, madness” (goodly causes all, ob quas universus orbis bellis et caedibus misceatur),  whilst statesmen themselves in the mean time are secure at home, pampered with all delights and pleasures, take their ease, and follow their lusts, not considering what intolerable misery poor soldiers endure, their frequent  wounds, hunger, thirst;  the lamentable cares, torments, calamities, and oppressions that accompany such proceedings.  They feel not, take no notice of it.

    “So wars are begun, by the persuasion of a few debauched, hair-brain, poor, dissolute, hungry captains, parasitical fawners, unquiet hotspurs, restless innovators, green heads, to satisfy one man's private spleen, lust, ambition, avarice,"  Proper men, well proportioned, carefully brought up, able both in body and sound mind, led like so many beasts to the slaughter in the flower of their years, pride, and full strength, without all remorse and pity, sacrificed to Pluto, god of the underworld, killed up as so many sheep, for devils'  food, 40,000 at once.  At once, said I, as if that were tolerable, but these wars last always, and for many ages; nothing so familiar as this hacking and hewing, massacres, murders, desolations– ignoto coelum clangore remugit (they care not what mischief they procure, so that they may enrich themselves for the present);  they will so long blow the coals of contention, till all the world be consumed with fire.

    The siege of Troy lasted ten years, eight months, and there died 870,000 Grecians, 670,000 Trojans, at the taking of the city, and after were slain 276,000 men, women, and children of all sorts.  Caesar killed a million, Mahomet the second Turk, 300,000 persons;  Sicinius Dentatus fought in a hundred battles, eight times in single combat he overcame, had forty wounds before, was rewarded with 140 crowns, triumphed nine times for his good service.   M. Sergius had 32 wounds; Scaeva, the Centurion, I know not how many;  every nation had their Hectors, Scipios, Caesars, and Alexanders!   Our Edward the Fourth was in 26 battles afoot –  and as they do all, he glories in it, 'tis related to his honour.

    At the siege of Hierusalem, 1,100,000 died with sword and famine.  At the battle of Cannas, 70,000 men were slain, as Polybius records, and as many at Battle Abbey with us; and 'tis no news to fight from sun to sun, as they did, as Constantine and Licinius.  At the siege of Ostend (the devil's academy) a poor town in respect, a small fort, but a great grave, 120,000 men lost their lives, besides whole towns, corps, and hospitals, full of maimed soldiers; there were engines, fireworks, and whatsoever the devil could invent to do mischief, with 2,500,000 iron bullets shot of 40 pounds weight, three or four millions of gold consumed.  "Who" (saith mine author) "can be sufficiently amazed at their flinty hearts, obstinacy, fury, blindness, who without any likelihood of good success, hazard poor soldiers, and lead them without pity to the slaughter, which may justly be called the rage of furious beasts, that run without reason upon their own deaths:"   Quis malus genius, quae furia quae pestis? (“what plague, what fury brought so devilish, so brutish a thing as war first into men's minds?”)  Who made so soft and peaceable a creature, born to love, mercy, meekness, so to rave, rage like beasts, and run on to their own destruction?

    How may Nature expostulate with mankind,“I made thee an harmless, quiet, a divine creature,” And how may God expostulate, “and all good men?”  Yet, horum facta (“these things were done,” as one condoles), tantum admirantur, et heroum numero habent – these are the brave spirits, the gallants of the world – these admired alone, triumph alone, have statues, crowns, pyramids, obelisks to their eternal fame, that immortal genius attends on them, hac itur ad astra.  

    When Rhodes was besieged,  fossae urbis cadaveribus repletae sunt, the ditches were full of dead carcases – and as when the great Turk Suliman beleaguered Vienna, they lay level with the top of the walls.  This they make a sport of, and will do it to their friends and confederates, against oaths, vows, promises, by treachery or otherwise;  dolus an virtus?  quis in hoste requirat  ?  leagues and laws of arms (silent leges inter arma,) for their advantage, omnia jura, divina, humana, proculcata plerumque sunt – God's and men's laws are trampled under foot, the sword alone determines all – to satisfy their lust and spleen, they care not what they attempt, say, or do, Rara fides, probitasque viris qui castra sequuntur (The rare faith and honesty of the men who follow the camp).

    Nothing so common as to have "father fight against the son, brother against brother, kinsman against kinsman, kingdom against kingdom, province against province, Christians against Christians – "a quibus nec unquam cogitatione fuerunt laesi,”  – of whom they never had offence in thought, word, or deed.   Infinite treasures consumed, towns burned, flourishing cities sacked and ruinated, goodly countries depopulated and left desolate, old inhabitants expelled, trade and traffic decayed, maids deflowered –  Virgines nondum thalamis jugatae, et comis nondum positis ephaebi –  chaste matrons cry out with Andromache:  Concubitum mox cogar pati ejus, qui interemit Hectorem –  they shall be compelled per adventure to lie with them that just killed their husbands:  to see rich, poor, sick, sound, lords, servants, eodem omnes incommodo macti, consumed all or maimed.    Et quicquid  gaudens scelere animus audet, et perversa mens, saith Cyprian, and whatsoever torment, misery, mischief, hell itself, the devil, fury and rage can invent to their own ruin and destruction.  

    So abominable a thing is war, as Gerbelius concludes, adeo foeda et abominanda res est bellum, ex quo hominum caedes, vastationes -  war is such a disgusting and abominable thing – the scourge of God, cause, effect, fruit and punishment of sin, and not tonsura humani generis  as Tertullian calls it, but ruina.  

    Had Democritus been present at the late civil wars in France, those abominable wars– bellaque matribus detestata – wars detested by their mothers –  "where in less than ten years, ten thousand men were consumed," saith Collignius, twenty thousand churches overthrown.  So many myriads of the commons were butchered up, with sword, famine, war, tanto odio utrinque ut barbari ad abhorrendam lanienam obstupescerent –  with such feral hatred, the world was amazed at it –  or at our late Pharsalian fields in the time of Henry the Sixth, betwixt the houses of Lancaster and York, a hundred thousand men slain, one writes, ten thousand families were rooted out, "that no man can but marvel," saith Comineus, "at that barbarous immanity, feral madness, committed betwixt men of the same nation, language, and religion."

    Quis furor, O cives?  "Why do the Gentiles so furiously rage," asked the Prophet David, Psalms. ii. 1. But we may ask, why do the Christians so furiously rage?  Arma volunt, quare poscunt, rapiuntque juventus?  - Why do they demand weapons, and then snatch away the youth? –  Unfit for Gentiles, much less for us so to tyrannise, as the Spaniard in the West Indies, that killed up in 42 years (if we may believe Bartholomeus à Casa, their own bishop) 12 millions of men, with stupend and exquisite torments;  neither should I lie (said he) if I said 50 millions. I omit those French massacres, Sicilian evensongs, the Duke of Alva's tyrannies, our gunpowder machinations, and that fourth fury, as one calls it, the Spanish inquisition, which quite obscures those ten persecutions.   Is not this mundus furiosus, a mad world, as he terms it, insanum bellum, insane war?

    Are not these mad men, as Scaliger concludes – qui in praelio acerba morte, insaniae, suae memoriam pro perpetuo teste relinquunt posteritati – which leave so frequent battles, as perpetual memorials of their madness to all succeeding ages? Would this, think you, have enforced our Democritus to laughter, or rather made him turn his tune, alter his tone, and weep with Heraclitus, or rather howl, roar, and tear his hair in commiseration, stand amazed;  or as the poets feign, that Niobe was for grief quite stupefied, and turned to a stone?

    I have not yet said the worst, that which is more absurd and mad, in their tumults, seditions, civil and unjust wars,  quod stulte sucipitur, impie geritur, misere finitur.  Our Christian tactics are are no different than the Roman acies, or Grecian phalanx, to create a soldier as a most noble and honourable profession (as the world is), not to be spared, for they are our best walls and bulwarks, and I do therefore acknowledge that of Tully to be most true:  "All our civil affairs, all our studies, all our pleading, industry, and commendation lies under the protection of warlike virtues, and whensoever there is any suspicion of tumult, all our arts cease."  

    Wars are most behoveful, et bellatores agricolis civitati sunt utiliores, as Tyrius defends;  and valour is much to be commended in a wise man; but they mistake most part, auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus virtutem vocant  – they term theft, murder, and rapine, virtue, by a wrong name.  Rapes, slaughters, massacres, jocus et ludus, are pretty pastimes, as Ludovicus Vives notes. "They commonly call the most hair-brain bloodsuckers, strongest thieves, the most desperate villains, treacherous rogues, inhuman murderers, rash, cruel and dissolute caitiffs, courageous and generous spirits, heroical and worthy captains, brave men at arms, valiant and renowned soldiers, possessed with a brute persuasion of false honour," as Pontus Huter in his Burgundian history complains.  

    It comes to pass that daily so many voluntaries offer themselves, leaving their sweet wives, children, friends, for sixpence (if they can get it) a day, prostitute their lives and limbs, desire to enter upon breaches, lie sentinel, perdu, give the first onset, stand in the fore front of the battle, marching bravely on, with a cheerful noise of drums and trumpets, such vigour and alacrity, so many banners streaming in the air, glittering armours, motions of plumes, woods of pikes, and swords, variety of colours, cost and magnificence, as if they went in triumph, now victors to the Capitol, and with such pomp, as when Darius' army marched to meet Alexander at Issus.  

    Void of all fear they run into imminent dangers, cannon's mouth, ut vulneribus suis ferrum hostium hebetent, saith Barletius, to get a name of valour, humour and applause, which lasts not either, for it is but a mere flash this fame, and like a rose, intra diem unum extinguitur, 'tis gone in an instant.

    Of 15,000 proletaries slain in a battle, scarce fifteen are recorded in history, or one alone, the General perhaps, and after a while his and their names are likewise blotted out, the whole battle itself is forgotten.  Those Grecian orators, set out the renowned overthrows at Thermopylae, Salamis, Marathon, Micale, Mantinea, Cheronaea, Plataea.  The Romans record their battle at Cannas, and Pharsalian fields, but they do but record, and we scarce hear of them. And yet this supposed honour, popular applause, desire of immortality by this means, pride and vainglory spur them on many times rashly and unadvisedly, to make away themselves and multitudes of others.  

    Alexander was sorry, because there were no more worlds for him to conquer.  He is admired by some for it, animosa vox videtur, et regia, 'twas spoken like a Prince; but as wise Seneca censures him, 'twas vox inquissima et stultissima, spoken like a Bedlam fool;  and that sentence which the same Seneca appropriates to his father Philip and him, I apply to them all,  Non minores fuere pestes mortalium quam inundatio, quam conflagratio, quibus – they did as much mischief to mortal men as fire and water, those merciless elements when they rage.  

    Which is yet more to be lamented, they persuade them this hellish course of life is holy, they promise heaven to such as venture their lives bello sacro, and that by these bloody wars, as Persians, Greeks, and Romans of old, as modern Turks do now their commons, to encourage them to fight, ut cadant infeliciter. "If they die in the field, they go directly to heaven, and shall be canonised for saints." (O diabolical invention!) put in the Chronicles, in perpetuam rei memoriam – to their eternal memory.  When as in truth, as some hold, it were much better (since wars are the scourge of God for sin, by which he punisheth mortal men's peevishness and folly) such brutish stories were suppressed, because ad morum institutionem nihil habent, they conduce not at all to manners, or good life.

    But they will have it thus nevertheless, and so they put note of "divinity upon the most cruel and pernicious plague of human kind," adore such men with grand titles, degrees, statues, images, honour, applaud, and highly reward them for their good service, no greater glory than to die in the field.  So Africanus is extolled by Ennius: Mars, and Hercules, and I know not how many besides of old, were deified;  went this way to heaven, that were indeed bloody butchers, wicked destroyers, and troublers of the world, prodigious monsters, hell-hounds, feral plagues, devourers, common executioners of human kind, as Lactantius truly proves, and Cyprian to Donat, such as were desperate in wars, and precipitately made away themselves, (like those Celts in Damascen, with ridiculous valour, ut dedecorosum putarent muro ruenti se subducere, a disgrace to run away for a rotten wall, now ready to fall on their heads), such as will not rush on a sword's point, or seek to shun a cannon's shot, are base cowards, and no valiant men.

    By which means, Madet orbis mutuo sanguine, the earth wallows in her own blood, Savit amor ferri et scelerati insania belli; and for that, which if it be done in private, a man shall be rigorously executed, "and which is no less than murder itself; if the same fact be done in public in wars, it is called manhood, and the party is honoured for it."

[It is interesting to hear commentary from a perpetual, lifelong student at Oxford in the early 17th century, not a generation from the age of Shakespeare, barely a few years from the Virginia colony founding and a mere 12 months from the landing of the Pilgrims, expressing sentiments in fairly accessible prose that speak contemporaneously.  Burton's book runs over 1300 pages, its text has been placed in the Gutenberg Project online, and exists in print in several forms, truncated and whole, for anyone with a sense of adventure to explore.  His references may seem obscure to us, the frequent use of Latin enough to create unwitting translators by osmosis, but he offers a sweeping history from the ancients to his time, laying the foundation for many a thought and theory that followed.]

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Post 469 - Lost on a Keyboard - Dialogues for Yet Another Unproduction

"Forsooth, mine tooth, that enamel'd bone so balanced betwixt the popp'd corn, kerneled and besotted with buerre blanc, what further agonies can set mine gums into retreat at the prospect of another bite?

"But bite shall I, and so bitten be shall be said corn, ere it becomes plastered and lain waste utterly.
"Yon gastric gurgles portend to greater pomposity below, so shall I now withdraw to la salle de bain, the bane to banishment and be hoist by my own petard, plus tard, Plutarch, Pluto. 

"I bid thee bye, and bye a good buy to say hello. 

"My encyclopedia is naught but naughty, and barely alphabetical, all zed and no aleph."
                -- culled from the notebooks of Juan Willie Shak-Aspire, ca 1653 
And later, another culling upon a goading, goated, as it were, by an ascendant of the trade:
"Oh, youthful, namesaked Nan, taunt me not, 'ere the zephyrs of the west anoint an appointed blast of bluster, a filed fill of fulsome flotsam, upon our gaze, amaz'd and dazed amid pumped circumstance.  
"Who would bared be borne and bounced as chided child on knobby knee? A touch, a clutch upon harried hart, whose heart is steeped, ill, and chased by shadows great and grating, unfair fares, and snatched souls ensconced in burlap, bagged for drag in the Stygian Styx, stuck and woven as knitted night descends and deems its shadows stay.
"Sooth to soothe, signs to sigh, screams to dreams. Soft you, now. I rest."
 (c) 2022 Jim Middleton

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Post 468 - Bunny Time's A Comin' - get your eggs in a row...


(c) 2022 Jim Middleton, The Animating Apothecary

Caption - either "Stocking up!" or "This one's not quite ready!"

A dozen eggs daily can improve your aim.

Watch your step - may be a relative...

Even a tough egg would have to be a little cracked to lift that much weight.

(c) 2022 Jim Middleton, The Animating Apothecary

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Post 467 - Wisdom from the Shakespearean Era for Today

 Anatomy of Melancholy eBook by Robert Burton - 9781455386512 | Rakuten Kobo  United States

 A Brief Portion From The Anatomy of Melancholy, by Robert Burton (1621)

    Many poor men, younger brothers, &c. by reason of bad policy and idle education (for they are likely brought up in no calling), are compelled to beg or steal, and then hanged for theft; than which, what can be more ignominious, non minus enim turpe principi multa supplicia, quam medico multa funera (1), 'tis the governor's fault. Libentius verberant quam docent (2), as schoolmasters do rather correct their pupils, than teach them when they do amiss. "They had more need provide there should be no more thieves and beggars, as they ought with good policy, and take away the occasions, than let them run on, as they do to their own destruction:  root out likewise those causes of wrangling, a multitude of lawyers, and compose controversies, lites lustrales et seculares (3), by some more compendious means." 

    Whereas now for every toy and trifle they go to law, Mugit litibus insanum forum, et saevit invicem discordantium rabies (4), they are ready to pull out one another's throats; and for commodity "to squeeze blood," saith Hierom, "out of their brother's heart," defame, lie, disgrace, backbite, rail, bear false witness, swear, forswear, fight and wrangle, spend their goods, lives, fortunes, friends, undo one another, to enrich an harpy advocate, that preys upon them both, and cries Eia Socrates, Eia Xantippe (5); or some corrupt judge, that like the kite in Aesop, while the mouse and frog fought, carried both away. 

    Generally they prey one upon another as so many ravenous birds, brute beasts, devouring fishes, no medium, omnes hic aut captantur aut captant; aut cadavera quae lacerantur, aut corvi qui lacerant (6), either deceive or be deceived; tear others or be torn in pieces themselves; like so many buckets in a well, as one riseth another falleth, one's empty, another's full; his ruin is a ladder to the third; such are our ordinary proceedings. 

    What's the market?  A place, according to Anacharsis, wherein they cozen one another, a trap;  nay, what's the world itself?  A vast chaos, a confusion of manners, as fickle as the air, domicilium insanorum (7), a turbulent troop full of impurities, a mart of walking spirits, goblins, the theatre of hypocrisy, a shop of knavery, flattery, a nursery of villainy, the scene of babbling, the school of giddiness, the academy of vice; a warfare, ubi velis nolis pugnandum, aut vincas aut succumbas (8), in which kill or be killed; wherein every man is for himself, his private ends, and stands upon his own guard. 

    No charity, love, friendship, fear of God, alliance, affinity, consanguinity, Christianity, can contain them, but if they be any ways offended, or that string of commodity be touched, they fall foul.  Old friends become bitter enemies on a sudden for toys and small offences, and they that erst were willing to do all mutual offices of love and kindness, now revile and persecute one another to death, with more than Vatinian hatred, and will not be reconciled. 

    So long as they are behoveful, they love, or may bestead each other, but when there is no more good to be expected, as they do by an old dog, hang him up or cashier him: which Cato counts a great indecorum, to use men like old shoes or broken glasses, which are flung to the dunghill;  he could not find in his heart to sell an old ox, much less to turn away an old servant:  but they instead of recompense, revile him, and when they have made him an instrument of their villainy, as Bajazet the second Emperor of the Turks did by Acomethes Bassa, make him away, or instead of reward, hate him to death, as Silius was served by Tiberius.

    In a word, every man for his own ends. Our summum bonum (9) is commodity, and the goddess we adore Dea moneta, Queen money, to whom we daily offer sacrifice, which steers our hearts, hands, affections, all:   that most powerful goddess, by whom we are reared, depressed, elevated, esteemed the sole commandress of our actions, for which we pray, run, ride, go, come, labour, and contend as fishes do for a crumb that falleth into the water. 

    It's not worth, virtue, (that's bonum theatrale [10],)  wisdom, valour, learning, honesty, religion, or any sufficiency for which we are respected, but money, greatness, office, honour, authority; honesty is accounted folly; knavery, policy;  men admired out of opinion, not as they are, but as they seem to be:   such shifting, lying, cogging, plotting, counterplotting, temporizing, nattering, cozening, dissembling, "that of necessity one must highly offend God if he be conformable to the world, Cretizare with Crete, or else live in contempt, disgrace and misery."

    One takes upon him temperance, holiness, another austerity, a third an affected kind of simplicity, when as indeed, he, and he, and he, and the rest are "hypocrites, ambidexters," outsides, so many turning pictures, a lion on the one side, a lamb on the other.  How would Democritus have been affected to see these things!


(1)  For it would be  no less disgraceful for a prince to suffer  many punishments  than for a physician to have  many deaths.

(2)  They beat  more  readily  than  they  teach.

(3)  purifying and secular strife

(4)  The  mad forum  rumbles with lawsuits, and  the fury  of the discordant rages against each  other.

(5)  Hurray, Socrates!  Hurray, Xanthippe!

(6)   all here are either caught or captivated; or the carcasses that are torn

(7)  madhouse

(8)  where  you wish  you would not  like to fight, or you will win or you will fall

(9)  ultimate good

(10) good theatre

Tuesday, March 08, 2022

Post 464 - Deconstructing the Sfumato Otto "Uvula" (2022)

Some festivals have standards, yet they pick my films anyway.  This exercise in slash and paste editing was for those that have a three-minute minimum.  The 55-second "Uvula" just didn't make the grade, so it earned a prologue describing it as 27 days between projects, and viola! a 3 minute, 14 second entry.  Readers of this blog (all three of you) may recognize some of the elements from earlier postings (a Vimeo link): Uvula on Vimeo

The "27 days" were from a countdown to my final day as a full-time pharmacist, a daily project of brief clips, making use of original sketches, or bits grabbed from the archives and integrated into experiments in software.  Some notes:

27 Days - Eleanor Powell jump roped in the 1939 film "Honolulu," directed by Edward Buzzell, who also directed "At the Circus" with the Marx brothers that year.  I think he paid more attention to this film.  I snagged a few frames and did a quick rotoscope of Ms Powell, and for a background used a paint experiment in acrylics that had been lying around the studio for almost 7 years at that point.


25 days - Goofing around with how many layers Flash CS5 could tolerate.  The slot machine had seven, the coffee cup had three, the table was a basic rectangle, and the background is another 7 year old acrylic experiment.


23 days - A cutting room floor bit from a 2018 anijam that ran too long, so I saved the three-second clip for this experiment.

22 days - Fred Astaire as death, repurposed from a 1984 Super 8mm film Alpha and then multiplied as symbols through the magic of digital animation.  The background is a third acrylic experiment.  I don't throw much out around here.  But, with everything safe and secure forever in THE CLOUD, I should be able to someday.  Yeah.  Sure.  I have a 1984 Super 8mm film I can still play, but most of my pre-2000 *.mov files are foo.


20 days - This is a clip from an animatic for an unfinished Creation Legend education film for a Michigan casino.  I sent them a 20 second sample with a request for a narrator on the legend.  That was in 1998.  Kept the drawings, though!

19 days - Another drawing from the same clip, this one a study of a cartoon crane flying.  Discovered in the process that drawing an actual crane's movement just didn't look real when animated - so I moved the head and body as a cantilever around the neck as the wings flapped, and suddenly the unnatural seemed normal.  Oh the challenge of POV!


9 days - Melies' A Trip to the Moon from 1902 has been etched into my brain since I first saw it on a Sunday morning documentary in 1968, so I had to draw a tribute to it.  I intentionally made the color and outline layers slightly out of register, to give the illusion of an early Technicolor film test.  It found a use as a clip in the 2021 Seule Tod


8 days - A quick scribble of me (it's all about ME, of course) rotoscoped sliding from a 1974 vampire comedy, never really finished, called Joy.  Had the chance to experiment with TV "noise" in the recollection of life in an off campus apartment. 


7 days - Using a clip of the public domain version of Metropolis by Fritz Lang for the movie, this one had Benny chomping down popcorn from a class exercise template discovered among many a too-disorganized collection of files.

5 days - Wanted to show the abuse the poor slot machine had in the intervening 20 days from its first appearance.

Monday, March 07, 2022

Post 463 - Reworking Some Very, Very Old Files - Sfumato #2

On the 4th of July in 2001, G. Bush, as his polling was sliding, was asked by a reporter if he thought it was due to his bad performance up to that time.  Bush responded, "Who cares what you think?"  before it dawned on him that he was speaking to a reporter.  "Be sure you get that right!"  he called back.  Later the reporter's boss said he'd received a call from the White House stating how rude he was to the president.  

 (cc) 2003, Jim Middleton, The Animating Apothecary, use with permission (please)

It was just a taste of what was to come, hardly a whiff, as we saw.  It was enough for me to revisit an old high school film that was not much more than a series of editorial cartoons on a Nixonian theme.  Only now, instead of Super 8mm film, I had Autodesk Animator Pro for DOS!  And a digital tablet!  Twenty seconds of material came of it, with a recording from 1917 to use as pacing, when the usual things happened, and it never wrapped.  I started and finished Sfumato #3 in the meantime, and even that took me until 2021 to get around to it.  Time flies when everyone is having fun.

So after Sfumato #3, it was time to look at the old flic files and try to convert them into jpg format, only to find everything was in 720x480, the State of The Art in 2000, where the currently soon-to-be outmoded format is 1920x1080 (if ever I go to anything approaching 4K, it'll take a new computer).  Anyway, a bit of work in a new-ish version of Flash (a version one can actually buy) with some framing learned from updating an even earlier film, along with some effects courtesy of Sony Vegas, and the existing footage from 2001 has been converted to this file -- 

 (c) 2022, Jim Middleton, The Animating Apothecary

Still silent, with some earlier tests for the stop-motion ending of this 180 second opus posted elsewhere around here.  Just have to fill in about 140 seconds now.  Let's see - 140 seconds, 24 fps -- that's 3360 frames, or 1680 if I "shoot" on twos... and in another 20 years it should be done!  Now to look at all those boxes in the basement...

We all need goals!

Wednesday, March 02, 2022

Post 462 - Russian Animators Against Putin's War in Ukraine - Three Compilations to 1 March 2022

Over 100 Russian animators have been creating short anti-war animations, reflecting their dismay at the lunacy of Putin.

Here are three compilations, with more being promised.   Youtube links are at the bottom of this posting.

From the Prague Project:
"We believe peaceful methods are the only answer in resolving any conflicts between countries. Everything that is happening right now in Ukraine is a horrible tragedy. There is no way to justify this terror the war has brought to peaceful Ukrainian people on our behalf. We urge to stop all the military
action against Ukraine immediately! We demand Peace! We demand respect for the territorial integrity of Ukraine! We demand respect for human life in every country of the world!"
"We will continue publishing new compilations!"

You can find these 3 compilations (so far) at youtube:

(Note from yr hmbl typst - I have reposted mp4 versions onto my blog in case "something happens" to the youtube postings above.)