Monday, May 7, 2018

Animation considerations

Been getting back into the swing of animating things again! I learned a lot on my last movie but it wore me out! So I'm finally getting the chance to revisit and revise my process. heres some new stuff im noticing:

drawing and animating is all about practice. i think theres a n anxiety about doing the work to animate in modern day, because we have a lot of computer shortcuts that make it accessible, and so we automatically assume that they are the best way to create "the art" because of this, but in practice this creates a lot of out of practice animators, people who are given the task of officiating direction to others but who rarely get  or have rarely been given the chance to animate for themselves. or they havent since school. but i find the easiest way to fix problems is to draw them! the more you do it the quicker and more confident you are, and pencils are very versatile tools. it costs like one or two bucks for a great pencil! film is fakery and in its simplicity is where you will find effective work

drawing everything on the same paper is very important. tracing is the name fof the game, start to finish. drawing storyboards on your animation paper means you ca n exaggerate and refine them easily. you can draw a board and move right into animation! tho its better if you have a layout stage. i jump sometimes into background painting and exaggerate the layout in that but i think good layouts important. i do this alone but a group would be better.

note also! i say teacings what its about and thats true but dont ever trace just lines (outlines) exactly, its always gotta be in service of exaggerating or developing or understanding the form. easier to do on paper i think...and again easier with a group of people! a good geoup makes all the difference.

something ive been doing: i dont have a peg bar so im just lining up the paper by hand, which is fairly easy! works fine, and it  adds a special perk: you can now use more than the frame of the paper. if you make sure to add registration marks, you can basically do anything with the paper. this i think is harder to do in a group than it is alone but if your notes are clear i say try it! also no pic bc:spoilers

gouache is a great media for background painting, easy to work with and correct, vibrant color, cheap, versatileversatile, i could go on. ive been making about one painting a day, depending on complexity. heres one!

i read a book halfway by dead maurice noble and it had some great design ideas.....his work on bambi is really inspiring. i love seein that old paintwork! these guys were fine artists doin this, animation school didnt exist because they invented animation

im also inspired by terrytoons backgrounds here theyre always very weirdly beautiful and detailed, i suspect because new york was full of great painters for hire that could render cartoon images for cheap. gandy goose and sourpuss have lots of clouds randomly everywhere because they are always dreaming. is this fight a dream????? i dont know, possibly

anyway: next time: the space jam post i swear to god, i got at least....three things to say about space jam

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Nemo the Duck test page

When I write the Duck Comics (starrin' nemo) i think a lot in advance about pages in later sequences in the story i don't quite have figured out yet. For example, there is an Arabian Nights section starring fan favorite The Slug King that I do iterations of from time to time. I've been working on character building pages for past the event coming up in the next few pages for a while....most of that is inked and awaiting painting but a lot of the pages i have are third drafts, remixes of jokes and visual ideas I've been developing, but that are either not at their best or no longer fit into the ebb and flow of a narrative. If you can make an idea better there is no reason not to do so, I say!

For example, here's the second page I painted when I got some new paints a month or so's a little sloppy and the scene depicted is a very far down the line concept so i would likely want to redo it by then anyway.....BUT I had some color ideas about this environment and wanted to try them out, i had a tube if red paint and wanted to try IT out! and the best way to do this is o course in the form of a comic, where every image is required by law to be a new image. I learned a lot doing this page's fun painting comics i think because you can play with outlines as you go in ways you can't with ink! of course inks got its advantages....of course of course

Here's another page I'm not using for various reasons, even though I like it a whole lot. I won't give away too much because a little ways down and features at least ONE secret character, and probably I'm going to reinterpret and build on elements of this later in other pages...the lamppost is certainly a better layout idea than I've had in a while! Anyway the duck is kind of a mangy creep but he too is vulnerable and we'll start to see that come out later more, this page was my first taste at that. This is an early page too! I drew it in june or july and i think it was my first time drawing him in the city. We'll probably get to the part of the story this was supposed to be by this year, but it might be a full year after i'd completed this page!

Anyway, maybe next time I'll talk about space jam. I mean it. We'll talk about this joke that belongs on tiny toon adventures

Friday, March 2, 2018

This is a cartoon I like...The Runt

I've been watching a lot of TerryToons lately and I want to post about some things that I like about them. This is a Farmer Alfalfa short, which is a nice cozy little cartoon series that uses the framework more to tell stories about animals than the dull human, Al. Sometimes I think about the guys drawing these thinking about their childhoods on the farm or some other place with bugs or animals. Now all cartoonists draw remembrances of is pokemon games! This is a joke because I do this also but now I'm just ramblin', here's what I likes.

The Terrytoons were made for very cheap as most cartoons were at the beginning, like the koko the clown stuff or felix. I say "most" like I have an understanding of the market in the 1910s-40s but ad far as i can tell ink and paper were not the most expensive ways to produce a film. Especially not here, where they're inventing limited animation techs hannah-barbera probably both takes credit for and has completely forgotten. The pig's mouths are animated separately from the bodies, which are running on weird little cycles. Apart from cost this probably helps lip sync easier. It doesn't really track correctly and it's full of wee glitches but i think this makes it more charming.

Anyway this cartoon's not about those other pigs, it's about the runt! The other pigs hog all the food and we arrive at this great little scene of the runt crying and singing. The tune sounds old, I almost think it was supposed to sound old then, like a foggy memory of some childhood tragedy you wouldn't be fazed by now. The lyrics are also very simple, which I think they shoud be. Cartoons should be simple.

Anyway some frog notices

And hey! now a bunch of frogs are jumping around and playing, it ain't all bad kid. The animation in this scene is also really something, very fluid and full of specific well executed lip sync. I might have to scrub through but I get the impression it's more "full" compared to the rest of the cartoon's cycles.

This guy is great and the image is a still painting (or inkwash)


There is little funnier than a direct, printed lie

Anyway Honest John captures the fat pigs but The Runt escapes unscathed, because he is too little to be of much eating use. I won't spoil the rest of the cartoon, what are you doing reading me talking about the plot of this cartoon like the plot of the cartoon is important or like you just didnt watch it already in the beginning. I like that the runt turns into a horn.

Anyway next time I can talk about some reasons I find space jam good. It's the best episode of tiny toons for sure, and speak of the devil here they are now!!