Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bath Time in Pepperland

Click image to enlarge

Heinz Edelmann, who developed the psychedelic look of the Beatles’ animated 1960s film Yellow Submarine, died on Tuesday, aged 75.

I didn't intend this as a tribute to him but this 3D free view painting of mine clearly shows his influence.

To free view this image you must cross your eyes and focus on the image formed in the middle.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fourteen Indians

Occasionally I've mentioned my mother and her influence on my paintings. Recently she had me scan some of her Indian paintings. The originals had been sold and all she had were pretty bad photos. Even so the handling of her brush strokes and the expression in the faces re impressed me as to how good she was in her prime.

Mom has rheumatoid arthritis and is battling the slow loss of her hands. I'm grateful to have a few of her many paintings saved digitally and glad the originals are hanging in someones homes.

The Indians were only a favorite subject for my mother and her paintings ranged from portraiture to landscapes, fantasy to still-life. She worked not only in oils but did water-colors, pastels, charcoals, and sculptures too.

It would be fantastic to get a collection of her work together but I have no idea who owns what. Maybe mom has an address book of past clients.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

3D Rumpus

It wasn't used because apparently you need to be invited but here's my free view stereoscopic offering to Terrible Yellow Eyes, Cory Godbey's blog that celebrates Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are" Click the title to check out more artwork by various artists.

Clicking the picture will take you to my Flickr page where the double image lives. There you will be able to free view in 3D.

If you are unfamiliar with 3D free viewing, you must cross your eyes and focus on the image that forms in the middle. It's a great headache inducer!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Walt's Vision...

Click image to enlarge

This is one page of an eight page letter from Walt Disney to Don Graham about Disney's idea of night classes for his animators.

Clicking the title or pasting the link above will take you to Michael Sporn's posting of the entire letter and a little history on how these classes later evolved into Cal Arts.

What leaps out to me is Walt's understanding of the needs to be communicated in animation and how best to teach these ideas. He shows an understanding of how motion is influenced not only by physicality but also motivated by emotion.

Walt doesn't shoot out some ambiguous letter full of generalities on improving the product and building moral. This letter is a well thought out strategy suggesting the needs and how to meet the needs to push his studio beyond what everyone else thought animation could be.

The success of Disney animation clearly came from Walt's willingness to equip his artists with a full training in draftsmanship and motion analysis and his practical suggestions on how to go about achieving that.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Enchanted Dolls

Doll maker Marina Bychkova has a site displaying her beautiful articulated porcelain dolls. They are intricately fashioned with graceful hands and expressive faces and are anatomically correct.

Bychkova has a real design sense and some of the figures wear elegant tattoos and exotic head ware.

These beauties are extremely pose-able and a section of the site has demos of their versatility and ability to hold a pose. The figures immediately suggested stop motion puppets to me and would probably lend themselves very well to it.

I believe these lithe ladies would be great aids for artists and more useful than those ugly wooden manikins.

Click on the title or paste this link to see more:

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Style vs Style

I ran across the cool promotional video for Kevin Dart's art book,“Seductive Espionage: The World of Yuki 7,” on Cartoon Brew.

Although the design is lovely I feel it suffers from the curse digital animation seems to promote and that is a tendency toward robotic hinged movement. It's understandable because the method is to literally cut the artwork up into pieces and assemble it like paper cut-outs. The limbs rotate from fixed pivot points and everything is flat flat flat.

The argument is an aesthetic one where the artist has deliberately chosen that look. This may be true, it certainly is becoming wide spread.

I love high styled designs in animation but I think I would have done some hand drawn animation on top for hair and clothing to ease some of the stiffness.

Stylistically the design could have been the same and treated in a more graceful way emulating traditional drawn animation. Take a look at one example of high styled limited animation from the opening of "I Dream of Jeanie" and try and imagine the World of Yuki trailer retaining the graphic style but moving like that.

Now before you get all upset let me clarify that I understand this trailer was done on a very short schedule and I think they did a brilliant job but I would love to see the same graphic style in a more lush manner.

"A Kiss From Tokyo" Theatrical trailer from Stephane coedel on Vimeo.