Saturday, March 29, 2008

Learning Paperless Animation

TV Paint Opening Logo
This posting is about my trying to learn the program TV Paint. TVP originated in France. It’s heavy software with more features than I will ever use and can do effects and compositing like an Avid. It also has 2D capabilities that I wish they would break out and make a separate module. There is a 460 page manual poorly translated and not arranged in any usable manner. The terminology is cryptic and not intuitive, (to me). So I chucked the manual and started pushing buttons. But having said all that, I find I’m beginning to like it.

These tests show color pencils normally used in roughing out things, (in my case very rough). You have erasers for each color so you can be discrete. Also you can turn the whole drawing into a solid color and draw with a different one on top.

The animation didn’t warrant going as far as I did because of sloppy inbetweening and just being bad but no one was paying me to do this and I wanted to learn to paint. So after playing around I found it easy to do a colored line and went for the old school ‘self traced’ line I’ve always loved. I also found ‘toning’ to be very easy too so I threw in shadows with no highlights because I found I could do it and that was all I cared about. I still haven’t tried panning and zooming and I still don’t know how to make an exposure sheet or how you would get other people involved. I think I’ll keep playing with it and it is kind of nice not having all that paper lying around. All those wigglies are driving me nuts, I may have to go in and fix those.

Paperless Comics

In March of 2006 I posted some of my original “Kibble & Bits” comic strip. Well March of 2008 ends with the digitally drawn RETURN OF! Yes, I’m sorry to say I wanted to see how a paperless strip might work. The line quality isn’t quite there yet but the lettering is more legible. Now if only it were funny.

Click on image to enlarge.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bruce Bickford

Bruce Bickford is a Seattle animator who gained notoriety when Frank Zappa discovered his unique style and commissioned animation for The 1979 music video "Baby Snakes". A compilations of Bickford works was released in 1989 as "The Amazing Mr. Bickford" and a recent 2005 documentary called "Monster Road" is now on DVD.

Mr. Bickford came to the Portland based Will Vinton Studios,home of Claymation, during my time there and considered doing some commercial directing. He later concluded it was too restrictive.

His work has always awed and frightened me. Check out his website here:

Click image to enlarge.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Robots Robots Robots

Here's another segment of "The Mr. Men Show" someone posted on YouTube with more of my animation. I did the sequence up until the orange diagonal wipe, and some other shots toward the end when Lazy returns with the broken robot. My friends Sam Niemann and Ben Burch juiced up my stuff with nice effects like dust and bubbles. I have a feeling CN will have these removed when and if they find out about them so check em out while they last here:

Triangle of Interest

I hate to keep bringing up the same sites again but K. Koch has another great lesson about eye movement in animation. I first noticed Pixar characters eyes scanning as they thought and although the idea was used in traditional animation it seemed to give these plastic c.g. entities immediate humanity. They became thinking beings. Now everyone seems to be using this technique but the reasoning behind doing it is well explained in this lesson found here:

Thanks Kevin for another great article!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bolt From The Past

Aint It Cool has a tiny peek at what the Disney film "Bolt" would have looked if it had stayed as Chirs Sanders' "American Dog". Check it out here:

Thanks AinItCool and Abel Salazar

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mr. Men on YouTube

I don't expect this to last. Someone has posted segments of the new "The Mr. Men Show" and this portion has some of my animation in it. If you like M&M check out more before they are removed here:

Monday, March 10, 2008

James Batxer Podcast

While paroozing Kevin's site I saw this two part interview with James Baxter and felt the second part had some great insights on how this Master of animation works. Find it here:

Kevin Koch Rides Again

Animator/Mentor Kevin Koch has aother great piece on 'secondary action' using clips from "The Apartment" with Jack Lemmon on his blog that is well worth looking into. These bits of acting analysis are things every animator should keep in mind. There is also a wonderful article on the Daffy vs Donald segment in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" that pin points some bad directorial decisions which made the actions hard to read and understand what was taking place. Both can be found here:

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Dynamic Dinosaurs

I've been meaning to post some of my buddy Tony Merrithew's sculptures, and now I have. He's got some full scale Dinosaurs battling that are pretty impressive. Tony is also a master animator. Check out his other works here:

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Disney Family Album

Animator Steve Vitale has posted many of the Disney Family Albums which feature some the major animators who defined the look and style of the studio. You can find it here: