Sunday, April 19, 2009

GERTIE'S RIVAL?


On September 15, 1914, cartoonist Windsor McCay debut his animated masterpiece, GERTIE THE DINOSAUR to thrilled audiences of early cinema. As he so often did in other areas, McCay left his colleagues in the dust, advancing animation in one fell swoop from a crude novelty to a potentially sophisticated art-form. McCay single-handedly brought Gertie to life crafting an unprecedented number of drawings of equally unprecedented detail. His creature did not merely move; she breathed, danced, laughed and cried in fluid real time, like no other 2-dimensional character had ever done before. It was an artistic landmark unmatched for years to come.

Recently however, a rival film by an obscure contemporary has been discovered and verified as premiering just hours after GERTIE gave her initial bow. Are the similarities coincidental, or did an unscrupulous competitor merely view GERTIE, and then rush home and scribble out a copy? View the restored version (below) and judge for yourself.

video

24 comments:

Wormen said...

wonderful dude;)

joecab said...

Hilarious!! Funny how she didn't get much press; stupid pro-McCay lobby protecting their selfish interests...

Michael J. Ruocco said...

Wow. This really made my morning, Will. Amazing work!

p spector said...

Laughing all the way through!

Matthew Long said...

Haha, that was excellent. QWERTY is so much more likable than Gertie.

Will Finn said...

Thanks for the comments!

My apologies to a visitor named "Reynaldo"-- the computer I am on at the moment deleted his comment instead of publishing. Please re-send and I will publish when I can access a bug-free desktop.

Will Finn said...

Reynaldo, my apologies again I am not at my usual desktop. Try one more time and i will publish all comments later when i get home tonight. my thanks for your patience and please re-send the link to your flipbook films. I would very much enjoy seeing your work.
--WF

Will Finn said...

FYI--As a rule, I pre-screen comments before publishing them, although thankfully only declined publishing a very few. Today, however, apparently some sort of filter has been enabled at my work desktop that persistently deletes incoming comments instead of letting me publish them. I can view them, but the filter zaps them when I hit publish.

Please feel free to enter comments as usual and I will publish them from my desktop at home after 7 pm. pacific. My apologies for this frustrating inconvenience. Hopefully i can get it resolved soon.

BillRiling said...

Will,
Friggin' fantastic! Is there anything to the rumor that Loyd Snelgrove pre-dated Walt Disney with the first talkie with Gerald Gerbil in "Dreamboat Willie"? Can you research that? (Again great stuff, a well deserved round of polite applause.)

Brecht Debaene said...

really great, although I think you should have a live-action interaction like they did with gertie. :)

David Nethery said...

HA ! Excellent.

I really liked it . Thank you, Will.

Brubaker said...

Hee hee, this was much better than Gertie. I wonder why it didn't get such fame as it did, hmmm?

A fun tribute/parody.

Max Ward said...

That is an awesomely drawn dinosaur! Very appealing

Michael said...

Will. Wonderful. "Wonderful Will".

John S. said...

This is VERY cool and very funny!!!

This isn't Flash, is it? What ever it is, is it expensive? Is it easy to use?

Will Finn said...

John this is mostly DIGICEL FLIPBOOK. I set out originally to learn the limits of the program's camera tools. my first thought was to do the whole thing with just one drawing using E-W pans and N-S pans with rotations, zooms etc. (the one drawing theory didn't quite work out tho)

As far as camera moves go, It's got a wide range but it isn't quite what I would call unlimited. The problems start when you need to alter the axis for one of the levels in a given group--it throws everything off.

The drawings were all sooner or later exported to SKETCHBOOK PRO for cleanup and then imported back into DIGICEL for inking and painting, which I give the program very high marks for. The draw tools in DIGICEL are adequate, but not anywhere near SKETCHBOOK PRO. In order to convert them to files DIGICEL will recognize them as transparencies tho, I had to first run them thru Photoshop because SKETCHBOOK can't save in the needed format (TGA). The drawings for the motor cycle bit (all three of them) were done on paper and scanned directly into DIGICEL as transparencies without a hitch. Slow scanning tho.

DIGICEL's export worked well, allowing me to output movie files which i brought into iMovie '06 to edit together. i did the titles in Photoshop and added the aged film effects and variable speeds with iMovie "Video Effects" settings (i don't think the new version has them anymore.)

i have been trying to figure out a workflow for DIGICEL with the oddball setup that I have (mixing a tablet PC that doesn't have Photoshop and a Mac desktop that doesn't have SKETCHBOOK PRO). It's something of a rigamaroll involving a lot of back and forth with the USB flash drive I can tell you. Overall tho, DIGICEL is a good program--it does everything it says it can do and has a pretty intuitive interface.

pud said...

lol ! :-)
love this!
your first {un}official short ?

Patrick said...

Thank you for this Will !!!!!!!!!What a magicien you are!!!!!

Thad said...

A masterpiece.

Tom said...

Genius! And George McManus owes you twelve bucks.

Tom Minton

Malcolm said...

Wow...
That was..interesting.
Front-hand.

This was well worth my time.

david gemmill said...

hahahh this is great!!

Hey Will, have you ever considered using flash? I'm sure you'd like the drawing tools in Sketchbook pro more, but flash is pretty cool for animating and editing. Either way, whichever program(s) you use the stuff looks awesome!

keith said...

Completely, totally, and in all other ways, charming.

Pokey said...

Produced by Qwinsdfgtsor MicKae--and a faulty typewriter.


Love it.

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