Research into Jason and the Argonauts

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Jason and the Argonauts was made in 1963 and directed by Don Chaffey.

Taken from IMDB “Jason has been prophesied to take the throne of Thessaly. When he saves Pelias from drowning, but does not recognize him as the man who had earlier killed his father, Pelias tells Jason to travel to Colchis to find the Golden Fleece. Jason follows his advice and assembles a sailing crew of the finest men in Greece, including Hercules. They are under the protection of  Hera, queen of the gods. Their voyage is replete with battles against harpies, a giant bronze Talos, a hydra, and an animated skeleton army, all brought to life by the special effects wizardry of Ray Harryhausen.”

Ray Harryhausen is a stop motion animator, and did the whole skeleton scene himself in the film. He only did 13 frames per day, as he was such a perfectionist and wanted to get every frame right. He first got into animating when he was 13 years old, and went to see “King Kong” 1933. Willis O Brien was his inspiration to start looking into animation.

The skeleton scene is an iconic scene in the film where Jason has an epic battle with stop motion skeletons. Each one was animated individually by Harryhausen himself and then composited in the film.

I will be using either a skeleton from Z Brush that my tutor made so it will save time so I can animate it. Or I will use a different character, but still keep the style of Harryhausen.

How Harryhausen created the skeletons

Ray Harryhausen created the skeletons in stop motion using model animation. Model animation is a form of stop motion animation designed to merge with live action footage to create the illusion of a real-world fantasy sequence (taken from Wikipedia)

I wouldn’t be able to do model animation as it would take to long and now we have the technology that Harryhausen didn’t have. I will be using a 3D model character in motion builder instead which will leave me loads more time to animate and edit.

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One response »

  1. Pingback: 2nd and 3rd Weeks for my Journal « Heather Adgie's Animation Blog

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