Kowabon - Netflix

Kowabon is an original horror story which examines the possibility of there being a darker side to the digital age. What if someone, or something, was observing us through all our cameras and other digital devices for its own sinister purpose? Are there sinister supernatural elements at play in this age where people can't go one minute without looking at their phone?\ \ The series is animated using a technique called rotoscoping. In other words the animators are tracing live-action footage frame-by-frame to recreate it as animation.

Kowabon - Netflix

Type: Animation

Languages: Japanese

Status: Ended

Runtime: 3 minutes

Premier: 2015-10-03

Kowabon - Rotoscoping - Netflix

Rotoscoping is an animation technique that animators use to trace over motion picture footage, frame by frame, to produce realistic action. Originally, animators projected photographed live-action movie images onto a glass panel and traced over the image. This projection equipment is referred to as a rotoscope, developed by Polish-American animator Max Fleischer. This device was eventually replaced by computers, but the process is still called rotoscoping. In the visual effects industry, rotoscoping is the technique of manually creating a matte for an element on a live-action plate so it may be composited over another background.

Kowabon - Uses by other studios - Netflix

Fleischer's patent expired by 1934, and other producers could then use rotoscoping freely. Walt Disney and his animators used the technique in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs during 1937. Leon Schlesinger Productions, which produced the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons for Warner Bros., occasionally used rotoscoping. The 1939 MGM cartoon “Petunia Natural Park” from The Captain and the Kids featured a rotoscope version of Jackie. Rotoscoping was used extensively in China's first animated feature film, Princess Iron Fan (1941), which was released under very difficult conditions during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. The technique was used extensively in the Soviet Union from the late 1930s to the 1950s, where it was known as “Éclair” (эклер in Russian) and its historical use was enforced as a realization of Socialist Realism. Most of the movies produced with it were adaptations of folk tales or poems—for example, The Night Before Christmas or The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish. Only during the early 1960s, after the “Khrushchev Thaw”, did animators start to explore very different aesthetics. The makers of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine used rotoscoping in the “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” sequence. Director Martin Scorsese used rotoscoping to remove a large chunk of cocaine hanging from Neil Young's nose in his rock documentary The Last Waltz. Ralph Bakshi used rotoscoping extensively for his animated features Wizards (1977), The Lord of the Rings (1978), American Pop (1981), and Fire and Ice (1983). Bakshi first used rotoscoping because 20th Century Fox refused his request for a $50,000 budget increase to finish Wizards; he resorted to the rotoscope technique to finish the battle sequences. Rotoscoping was also used in Heavy Metal (1981), What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown? (1983) and It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown (1984); three of A-ha's music videos, “Take On Me” (1985), “The Sun Always Shines on T.V.” (1985), and “Train of Thought” (1986); Don Bluth's The Secret of NIMH (1982), An American Tail (1986), Harry and the Hendersons (closing credits), Titan A.E. (2000); and Nina Paley's Sita Sings the Blues (2008). During 1994, Smoking Car Productions invented a digital rotoscoping process to develop its critically acclaimed adventure video game The Last Express. The process was awarded U.S. Patent 6,061,462, Digital Cartoon and Animation Process. The game was designed by Jordan Mechner, who had used rotoscoping extensively in his previous games Karateka and Prince of Persia. During the mid-1990s, Bob Sabiston, an animator and computer scientist veteran of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, developed a computer-assisted “interpolated rotoscoping” process, which he used to make his award-winning short movie “Snack and Drink”. Director Richard Linklater subsequently employed Sabiston and his proprietary Rotoshop software in the full-length feature movies Waking Life (2001) and A Scanner Darkly (2006). Linklater licensed the same proprietary rotoscoping process for the look of both movies. Linklater was the first director to use digital rotoscoping to create an entire feature movie. Additionally, a 2005–08 advertising campaign by Charles Schwab used Sabiston's rotoscoping work for a series of television commercials, with the tagline “Talk to Chuck”. The Simpsons used rotoscope as a couch gag in the episode Barthood. During 2013, the anime The Flowers of Evil used rotoscoping to produce a look that differed greatly from its manga source material. Viewers criticized the show's shortcuts in facial animation, its reuse of backgrounds, and the liberties it took with realism. Despite this, critics lauded the movie, and the website Anime News Network awarded it a perfect score for initial reactions. In early 2015, an anime film titled The Case of Hana & Alice (animated prequel to the 2004 live-action film, Hana and Alice) was entirely animated with rotoscoping, but it was far better-received than The Flowers of Evil, with critics praising its rotoscoping. In 2015, Kowabon, a short-form horror anime series using rotoscoping, aired on Japanese TV.

Kowabon - References - Netflix