Saturday, March 31, 2007

Paperless Animation

These images and writings are from D.T. Nethery and taken from his blog:

He’s talking about paperless animation using the Mirage software. I think the results are pretty amazing and a hopeful sign that hand drawn animation won’t go away or turn into Flash looking robotics. I don't know if I could ever give up the freedom of drawing on a disk, but I want to get my hand on something like this soon.

Here's what else is on my computer right now : I'm having a ball learning to work with a program called Mirage, from Bauhaus Software. Mirage is a 2-D animation program that allows the animator to draw directly into the program, frame by frame, more or less replicating the traditional hand-drawn animation experience in a digital environment. The drawing tools are some of the best I've used. They can be customized to feel something like your favorite pencil or pen. It's not exactly the same as drawing on paper, but it's pretty darn close and not at all difficult to get used to.

I love that it allows me to draw naturally and not feel like my line is getting "digitized" or changed by the program. You can animate in full screen mode as shown in the first image, with ability to zoom in and out on the drawing (shown zoomed in here); you can access the toolbars when needed by a simple keystroke to toggle the toolbars on and off. (see next image showing the expanded toolbars) .

I like that Mirage allows the user to customize the pencil and pen tools to be anything from a very thin , fine black line for clean up , to something resembling a big ,soft Prismacolor for roughs :

I don't know how well the texture shows up in the posted images, but look at this close-up screen grab showing the "light blue prismacolor" pencil used for roughing-in drawings. Does this look like a computer line to you ?

The above images were all drawn at home , using my regular old Wacom Intous 2 tablet,but let me tell you, Mirage really takes off when used with a Wacom Cintiq tablet. I have a Cintiq at work and using it has totally sold me on wanting to buy one for my own use at home .

I'm just now starting to work with Mirage in earnest again . I started messing around with it when I purchased it last year, then other things got in the way and I didn't do much with it . Now I'm back at it and really excited by the possibilities. Mirage is a 2-D animation studio in a single software. Design, storyboard, animate, clean-up, color, paint backgrounds, composite all in Mirage.

Walter Stanchfield Notes

The internet is proving to be a great resource for animation information. Animation Meat has 65 handouts from a Disney class taught by Walter Stanchfield. This is just one page analyzing two drawings. All the other handouts are equally inspiring. Find it here:

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ward on Illusion of Life

Animator Colin Giles uploaded this video of Ward Kimball from the Disneyland TV show. Colin also has a great clip of legendary animator Marc Davis that you can watch here:

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Adult Ward Kimball

I saw this film at Ward’s home in 1979. He showed it on his own 16mm projector for us. It typifies his humor and shows a more earthy side than the Disney work allowed. I remember seeing an original Herriman Krazy Kat framed on his living room wall hanging right next to an original Robert Crumb orgy scene that was very graphic. It told me a lot about Ward and his wife Betty. I hope to have as much fun out of life as he seemed too.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Mary Blair

I just found this on Youtube posted by crpeoplemover and want to share it. This shows Mary Blair talking about her work for Disney. I've loved Mary's work as a child and still do. It's also nice to see Unka Walt again too.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

More Albert Hurter

Just when I thought no one was reading this stuff, I got a very nice comment from Henkus Schumacher in Holland wanting to see more from the long out of print book by the Disney inspirational artist Albert Hurter called He Drew as He Pleased. Henkus these are for you.

Click on image to enlarge.

Find more Hurter work here:

More Ward Goodness

Most everyone knows two of the Disney Nine Old Men were Frank Thomas and Ward Kimball. Not everyone knows they also played in a band made up of other animators call The Firehouse Five. Here’s a sample and description from boberwig. Thanks!

Everybody loves my Baby Firehouse Five plus Two 1951
One of the American West Coast Dixieland Jazz Bands in the fifties was the Firehouse Five Plus Two. Here you see a filmclip from 1951 of Ward Kimball's very popular band. Ward on trombone, with Danny Alguirre on cornet, and Clarl Mallory on clarinet. In the rhythm group we see Frank Thomas piano, Harper Goff on banjo, Ed Penner on tuba and Monte Mountjoy on drums. They play "Everybody Loves my Baby"

Friday, March 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Ward Kimball

One of my favorite sites is Animation ID hosted by Thad Komorowski. He has a brilliant on going break down on what animators did what scenes. This is part of a tribute to Ward Kimball that he posted on Wards birthday March 4th. Please visit the site for more wonderful Kimball animation and other great stuff. You can find it here: