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O Magazine
2015-2017

And we start again



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And we start again – O Productora Audiovisual

Volvulent at work.

“I’ve got a sixth sense to predict when people are going to enter a room and I tend to leave it, avoiding human interaction by 99%”, he posted in his tumblr. It’s difficult to know who hides behind Volvulent, user name of his self-titled tumblr and youtube accounts. His name is Colin MacFayden. Born in California, in 2008 he moved to New York, where he studied at the Parsons School Of Design. But like another tumblr user says it doesn’t matter too much: All of you should take a lesson on how to run your blogs from tumblr user volvulent; posts cool gifs, doesn’t say much except cool stuff that I will like, doesn’t post about feelings, and likes a lot of my posts.”

It’s true: he posts GIFS, among other things, that leave you perplexed. The best thing is that there’s no hierarchy in what he posts. Everything seems to have the same value, from a 4D film test with a TF3DM model to a photography portraying a cabbage to one of his animated drawn on paper GIFS. His tumblr is a huge sketchbook of his work where you can find anything from telesketch drawings to GIFS. An imagination that scatters producing a detailed observation of its surroundings, including reality.

We can find a little post where he took a first step to explain how he does his animations: “it took me two years of traditional animation to figure this out. While it looks complex, it is actually very easy! You can be as outgoing or as lazy as you choose. Perfect, right? You don’t have to worry about making it loop, because the universe you will be working in is inherently cyclical. Basically, no matter what you do, it will loop. It best fits a traditional animation process, meaning that it is done by hand, on paper, in real life. You have what you need already. And yes, anybody can do this. That’s the beauty of drawing!”

It’s really surprising to understand word by word that he’s right. When we see the GIF, the beauty of movements and shapes is astounding. It looks like something really complex. But when you open the GIF to take it apart and see each frame separately it wins you over completely. In this case it’s only about 35 frames and when looking at them one by one it seems impossible that what you have seen in the animation is all contained within those 35 drawings. He finds the perfect balance between speed and movements taking place on the same frame.

He masters the loop and has his own tricks: transformation, it all goes back to its initial position, shapes that are born and die or shapes that appear behind others and hide within others. Like all good masters, he’s very generous by saying we shouldn’t worry about the loop. For a beginner, he helps discover the magic of animation beyond our skills at drawing: if we keep on changing position, there will be movement, no matter what. But, evidently, his approach to animation with this GIFS goes a little beyond that. We can observe through his tumblr his own evolution from the first GIFS, more figurative and where there’s no search for a loop, to his abstract GIFS with perfect loops. In these last ones he seems to understand there is no beginning or end: animation is not conceived from the first frame to the last, but from any frame onwards, so that when he gets to the last one he’s still at the first one. He doesn’t understand each image as a unit, but as a sum of independent elements that he adds up and relates as he animates. But in fact, we shouldn’t consider him so good a master, because he only wrote that initial post on which, after apologizing for it being only in English, he said he would keep explaining what he did in the most visual way possible. But he finally deleted the post.