Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Fleischer Setback Process

YouTube user, ‘matbergman’, has taken the time to cut together scenes with the setback process used by the Max Fleischer studio. He has a good description of it and gives us the original name here: The rotograph, patent #2054414, was invented by animator Max Fleischer in 1936. Essentially an enormous, revolving, circular miniature set built in forced perspective, it enabled a fantastic sense of depth and parallax in cartoons produced by the Fleischer Studio in the 1930's.

I’ve included the video and some stills showing Max looking through a camera and setback scene, and a line art diagram that kind of explains the process yet again. These really give a striking effect and I’ve often wonder why they weren’t used on Fleischer’s feature works like Gulliver’s Travels and Mr. Bug Goes to Town?

 UPDATE: Here is a great scene form a Popeye cartoon. Watch the cages as they turn showing all sides.

Popeye 3D background
Scenes with 3D models for backgrounds like these would completely baffle me as a kid.
Posted by Joel Brinkerhoff on Friday, December 18, 2009

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Handy Models

I can’t get a model so I’m drawing my hand. Click on image to enlarge.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Letting Sleeping Dogs Lie

I’ve been trying to keep with my daily drawing. I like using the Wacom tablet because it forces me to sketch less, like using a pen instead of pencil. Here’s a visiting dog named Coco. Click on image to enlarge

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Albert Hurter

Hurter was the first Inspirational Artist in animation. His job was to draw anything unfettered by subject or schedule. Of course this could only happen at Disney. Albert Hurters book, “He Drew as He Pleased” has long been out of print and hard to find. I’ve spent years looking for it and could have paid a small fortune to own a copy. Then I found it through my local library and scanned the entire book. These images are a mere sample of this book’s delights. Click on images to enlarge.

Inspirational Artists

I spoke of knowing some excellent artist friends who draw like mad everyday for fun and profit. One that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with is Robin Ator. His range of styles and great sensibilities has made him a strong contributor to the old Will Vinton, now Laika Studios. Check out his great site here:

Drawing by Robin Ator. Click on image to enlarge

Monday, January 01, 2007


Here it is: 2007. I’m proud to have friends who are incredible draftsmen. They are truly gifted in drawing, painting, and sculpture and amazingly prolific. One thing I’ve noticed about these guys is they draw all the time, not only professionally but in their off hours too. I’ve made a resolution to draw everyday. I did some life drawings the other day and was appalled at how much ground I lost. It’s not like riding a bike or other things you can jump back into. You need to practice, practice, and practice. It’s easier for single people who have more personal time, but that is no excuse and I’ve got to devote time for this. These very rough drawings were done on my Wacom tablet. It’s a bit like Etch-a-Sketch for me right now but I hope to get better at it. Click on image to enlarge