I made Jinn Jinn Meets Sadiqi over the CoVid lock-down purely as a distraction. During the making, I fell in love with the scratch track by Ravi Shankar because it captured the playfulness and spirit of what I was trying to do in animation. As it usually happens, I couldn’t get the rights to use the music in its entirety and had to find free music that fit the flavor and action but it changed the whole level of energy and mood. It works, and you can see it here: https://vimeo.com/447473057 But, I still missed the Shankar tribute version, so I put this version of the Ravi piece here on my blog just to show how much music can influence the feel of an animated cartoon. Sorry for the poor quality, (go to the linked version above for better image quality and the alternative sound track), but this way I won’t get any strikes or violations…
Tuesday, November 03, 2020
Thursday, September 03, 2020
I never know who or when someone is looking at this blog, I don’t tend it every day or give it much attention, but it’s been a great way of learning things!
Just recently, a comment on one of my View Master posts led to the discovery of a new artist who worked on translating my favorite cartoon characters into 3d sculptures for the View Master reels.
Meet Martha Armstrong Hand who, I can only conclude, worked around the same time as the already mentioned Florence Thomas and Joe Liptak. There seems to be some confusion between Martha and Florence on who is who when it come to the photos, and I am thinking some got miss labeled as Florence when they should have been Martha. Regardless, we have more information on Martha, and learn which View Masters she actually worked on plus learning of her career as a doll designer for Mattel Toys!
Read more about Martha Armstrong Hand here: https://www.niada.org/portfolio/martha-armstrong-hand/
Special thanks to Lori for sending this article!
Martha Armstrong Hand
Wednesday, April 01, 2020
It's the Corona virus self quarantine here, and I’ve decided to spend my time working on another ‘homegrown’ cartoon from my home studio. I'm expanding on something I wrote about earlier in a posting called Seeing Things that goes over the same discovery process talked about here.
Here are three tests strung together with a scratch audio track added, (it might not play too smoothly).
Jinn Jinn doesn't have pupils yet in these tests which makes him look more evil than he is...
|Design test with Stand-in Jinn Jinn and Sadiqi|
|Title Card Idea_01|
|Title Card Idea_02|
|Trying to find expressions with this design|
|More expression exploration|
|More exploration with a 3/4 head turn and a happy Jinn Jinn|
|A hungry Sadiqi design|
|Sadiqi expression test|
|The original tablecloth that inspired Jinn Jinn|
|Jinn Jinn against the tablecloth Vimana|
|Rough version of the Vimana & Jinn Jinn over the original tablecloth|
|A harder to see Sadiqi, which I modified quite a bit, from the tablecloth.|
Friday, March 06, 2020
|Riders descending staircases in Fox Hunt|
|Ringo's car descending staircases in The Yellow Submarine|
Thursday, September 19, 2019
|The Narrators hands forming the tack clue|
|Eunuchs announcing the coming of Zigzag|
|Zigzags gift to King Nod as Yum Yun looks on|
|Mombassa peeks out of her cage|
|Yum Yum watching in disgust|
|King Nod, Mombassa, and Yum Yum at a Polo match|
|King of the One Eyes sitting on his throne of women|
|The Witch who has an obvious prophesy|
Sunday, August 04, 2019
Since childhood I watched cartoons and was moved emotionally by the imagery and the music. I saw the potential to touch people in a way that live action movies could not. Animation seemed then, and now to be the culmination of all the arts: Cinema, music, dance, painting, writing, etc.
As I was making Philo I tried to pay homage to the studios and individuals who influenced me. I am an admirer of Walt Disney of course, but also the renegades, who broke away from the emulation toward realism, that birthed the stylized look of UPA. Artists like Art Babbitt, Jim Tyer, Chuck Jones, and writer Michael Maltese, along with John and Faith Hubley, Ward Kimball, Bobe Cannon, were and still are reasons why I became an animator. Another early influence for these people as well as myself were the works of the early silent comedians like Charlie Chaplin and the great Buster Keaton.
If you are familiar with any of these, you will immediate see the influence.
Monday, August 27, 2018
Design, like animation, is a discipline that people devote their entire careers to, but it has never been a strong skill set for me. Color and composition are further considerations important to good backgrounds and I'm so glad to be able to work digitally doing much trial and error but not burning through materials and supplies as I grope along.
Making my personal films show how indebted I am to others who went before me and also why the studio system works the way it does. The burden of all those specialized skills suddenly left to me reveals great weaknesses and areas of insecurity, but it's also an opportunity to explore and grow.
As I make this particular film I'm seeing the influences of individual pioneers such as John and Faith Hubley whose playful loose style still feels fresh, fun and exciting to me. Like UPA breaking the push toward realism that Disney was doing at the time, I see my film as a departure from the photo-real look of modern C.G. although it too is getting freer in style and more cartoony.
It wasn't intentional but I seem to be reliving my childhood and rediscovering my love of animation and the fun and wonder of it.