David M. Daniels a commercial director, filmmaker, and animator created a very unique and innovative style of animation called stratacut animation. This form of animation deals with large loaves of oil-wax based plasticizes clay that he cut into thin slices revealing a pre-sculpted images within. Creating a stratacut animation takes a lot of time and planning to insure for consist shapes and a smooth animation. Some of David M. Daniels animations he has created in his style of stratacut include shorts during the Pee-wee’s Playhouse show, some music videos and shorts during Sesame Street.
Throughout David M. Daniels work he shows off his incredible eye for design and sense of motion, while he is creating his strayacut animations. In most of his animations he includs very bright and vibrant colors that easily attract your eyes. Along with these bright colors he creates unbelievable 3 dimensional constant objects. He also includes some claymation and stop motion animation with other materials such as different clays, foams, and other mixed-media in some of his other pieces he has created over the years.
David M. Daniels starts his career at The California Institute of the Arts or Cal Arts with a master degree in animation. During the late 1980’s and early 1990’s David worked on the some parts of the Pee-wee’s Playhouse show creating educational stratacut animations for the kid viewers. He also created a music video with Peter Gabriel called “Big Time”, which includes stratacut, claymaion, and stop motion animation. During this music video David really got a chance to show off his work to a new audience. In 2002 David would go on to co-found Bent Image Lab with Ray Di and Chel White. Later he would go on to work for companies such as Levi’s, Foz, MTV, NBC, Pepsi, Nabisco, and Nintendo.
While trying to recreate David M. Daniels techniques and style I ran into some huge problems. When trying to create a stratacut animation I tried to adapt David’s smooth style of animation. I foolishly underestimated the large amount of time and skill it takes to create moving 3D objects when doing stratacut animation. Multiple times I tried to create a blinking eye in his style, but I failed each time. I had to resort to creating an abstract animation with twisting and turning bright colors in two large loaves of clay. I feel I was successful in this animation and I really did enjoy working on this project even though it was difficult.
Below is a link to a collection of some of David M. Daniels best work