Richard McHugh – Bournemouth Digital Media Student

Animation History and Practice

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Yesterday we had a lecture by Mik looking at the history of animation,
I studied Interactive Media at A-Level which looked into a lot of animation, so I have studied the history of animation before, but it was really good to recap on the things that I may have forgotten.

The animator which really stuck out to me was Windsor McCay, Mik showed us an animation which McCay did which was called Sinking of Lusitania which was made in 1918, 3 years after the event. The waves of the animation were so well done, you could see the movement of the waves and feel the strength of the sea.

The darkness of the explosion and the heavy smoke is terrifying to watch.winsor-mccay-lusitania

An animation which McCay made called Gertie the Dinosaur which Mik didn’t manage to show us was my favourite by McCay, this is because there is a lot of humour in the way Gertie moves around and some of the things Gertie does are quite funny. You can see lots of character in his drawings especially Gertie, which makes them really interesting to watch.

Gertie the Dinosaur

Its really amazing seeing how animation has progressed through the years, they used the most basic tools like chalk and chalk boards, cardboard cutouts and also spinny slit animation like the Zoetrope.


The Zoetrope is used by placing drawings inside a circular box which has slits going around, you look through the slits whilst the box is being spun and you see the image animate.

We had to try and create our own Zoetrope, I am not the best drawer so it was quite difficult but I had a good idea what to do.


This was a basic drawing of a balloon being blown up then exploding.
It worked quite well but i’m going to digitalise it in PhotoShop to make it look more polished and to swap some of the end frames around to make it more dramatic.


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