Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘animation’

02 FEBRUARY, 2012

Three Primary Colors: OK Go and Sesame Street Explain Basic Color Theory in Stop-Motion

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In my nearly six years of writing and editing Brain Pickings, I’ve used the word “awesome” as an adjective exactly once. Today, this is about to change — because Three Primary Colors, a new collaboration between OK Go and Sesame Street explaining the basics of color theory in stop-motion, is nothing short of awesome. In fact, it might just be the finest treat for budding designers since Geometry of Circles, the fantastic 1979 Sesame Street animation with original music by Philip Glass.

UPDATE: Reader Jesse Jarnow points out the video was conceived and directed by his father, the legendary PBS stop-motion animator Al Jarnow of Celestial Navigations fame, and is his first PBS animation in a quarter century.

There’s also a companion OK Go color game for your edutainment. For another color-lovers treat, don’t forget the excellent PANTONE: The Twentieth Century in Color.

via PopTech

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31 JANUARY, 2012

The Dot and the Line: A 1965 Romance in Lower Mathematics by Norton Juster

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On finding the girl who is perfect from every direction.

The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics is a fantastic 1965 Academy Award winning short film based on the 1963 book of the same name by Norton Juster, best known as the creative genius behind The Phantom Tollbooth, one of the greatest children’s books with timeless philosophy for grown-ups. It was inspired by the Victorian novella Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions and tells the story of a straight line who falls in love with a dot. (Cue in last week’s Schematics, a love story in geometric diagrams.)

Produced by legendary one-man cartoon powerhouse Chuck Jones, the film is a masterpiece of word play, sprinkled with gorgeous vintage design and typography.

The film can be found in the special features section of The Glass Bottom Boat, a 1966 comedic gem starring Doris Day. Juster’s book itself is also a treat in its own right.

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27 JANUARY, 2012

An Animated History of Human Communication: 1965 Educational Film about the Telephone

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Barely a decade into the age of the social web, it’s already difficult to remember — or imagine — how the world operated before it. As difficult, perhaps, as it was for kids in the 1960s to imagine a world before the telephone.

We Learn About The Telephone is a 1965 educational film that traces the history of human communication, from the messenger runners of the Ancient world to Native Americans’ smoke signals to the invention of the telegraph and telephone, and explores the science and technology of how the phone actually works, from the anatomy of speech production to the physics of sound waves. Animated by the legendary John Hubley, the film is as much a treat of vintage animation as it is a priceless piece of cultural memorabilia from the golden age of media innovation.

Bonus: At around 10:56, you get a detailed tutorial on how to dial a rotary phone — for your collection of obsolete life skills — followed by some phone etiquette lessons. (“You should let the phone ring 8 to 10 times.”)

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