Institute of Media Studies


Animation in Ephemeral Films from Austria, East & West Germany between 1945 and 1989: A Combined Film Analysis and Computer Vision Approach

Dr. Franziska Bruckner – Dr. Erwin Feyersinger – Dr. Matthias Zeppelzauer

Guided by the motto "We make animation visible!", the digital humanities project AniVision uses machine learning and computer vision to explore a hitherto marginalized area of the stylistic history of animation. The project, which is funded by FWF and DFG as part of the Weave Lead Agency Procedure, focuses on ephemeral films, i.e., nonfiction films that are produced for a specific, usually short-term purpose, such as educational films, commercials, or public service announcements. Animation is used in a variety of ways in these films, e.g., to advertise a product in a memorable way, to vividly show a process inside the human body, or to address the audience emotionally with the help of an animated character.

AniVision investigates these different uses and stylistic patterns of animation by analyzing a large corpus of ephemeral films produced during the Cold War period in Austria, West Germany, and East Germany, following an interactive, computer-assisted approach that closely integrates animation research and computer science. The three-year project (2023–2025) is a transnational collaboration of Dr. Erwin Feyersinger (University of Tübingen, Germany) with Dr. Franziska Bruckner and Dr. Matthias Zeppelzauer (University of Applied Sciences St. Pölten, Austria). Claudius Stemmler is academic researcher at the University of Tübingen. 

You can find further information on the project webpage at the University of Applied Sciences St. Pölten.