Ideas & Art from Rob Elliott and Christine Cosby

Tag: animation

The Comfort Maple project, now on your phone


If you’re taking a road trip this weekend, bring along a full-screen smart phone. The Niagara HERE projects are now installed in locations throughout the Niagara region. These projects include video, audio, animation and augmented reality art works, all activated by scanning sign-mounted QR codes. It’s all a bit newfangled, so find out all the details, a map and descriptions of all the projects at the website:

My project, The Comfort Maple Wishes To Be Alone, is a short animated film exploring the history of the region through the viewpoint of a cranky tree. The actual Comfort Maple is over 500 years old, so I figured it would have witnessed a lot of change. As the voice-over demonstrates, the deluded tree believes that it is the agency of these changes.

The Comfort Maple is located on Metler Road, between Cream and Balfour Streets, in Pelham, Ontario.

The Comfort Maple is located on Metler Road, between Cream & Balfour Streets, in Pelham.

Animation drawings of the growing Comfort Maple

Animation drawings of the growing Comfort Maple

When a smart phone or tablet is pointed at the actual Comfort Maple, the screen turns into a drawing of the view, with the tree as a seedling. The film passes through four significant historical events: the destruction of the Neutral people by the Iroquois, the logging of the White Pine forests, the extermination of the Passenger Pigeon, and the recent closure of the soft fruit cannery and subsequent poisoning of the fruit trees.

"These creatures and their smoky campfires are really starting to bother me."

“These creatures and their smoky campfires are really starting to bother me.”

"These pine trees are crowding me!"

“These pine trees are crowding me!”

"Scram! Scram Already!"

“Scram! Scram already!”

"Don't stand so close to me."

“The Comfort Maple wishes to be alone.”

Boardwalk bumper

I’ve been using the “smoking aunt and boy in gorilla mask” as Swizzle Studio mascots since 2010. The original drawing was an offshoot of a carnival-themed CD package I designed five years ago. The artwork wasn’t used for the project, but I’ve always liked the figures’ seaside mystery.

Last Friday was a quiet day in the studio, so I used the time to create this “bumper” with Flash and an accordion sample.

And Also Sharks animated trailer

To promote her new collection of short stories, And Also Sharks, author Jessica Westhead asked three artists (Aaron Leighton, Evan Munday, and myself) to create artwork for a short animated film. Each artist illustrated scenes from one her stories, which were then animated by Mike White. The film debuted at a raucous book launch at the Toronto Underground Cinema.

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