Database for Animation Studies


Independent Animation, Rotoshop and Communities of Practice: As Seen Through A Scanner Darkly

The article examines a particular instance of animation practice through a reading of how Bob Sabiston's Rotoshop software was used in the 2006 film A Scanner Darkly. By discussing the notions of communities of practice' and legitimate peripheral participation', and contextualizing the film in relation to different modes of working, the author excavates the ways in which a range of people came to work on the project. Moreover, he outlines some of the production history of the film to argue that certain assumptions and expectations about accepted working practice point to wider perceptions of independent' and studio' animation. Questions of division of labour and standardization, and how they relate to creativity, autonomy and animation production will be addressed; Rotoshop's position in the history of animation forms an interesting case study for interrogating these issues.

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Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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