Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Inbetweening Tests

Inbetweening is a skill that takes time to learn in traditional 2D animation. That's one thing the computer can do in 3D, but the animator must constantly adjust their curves in the graph editor to get it looking natural and not mechanical. Keeping the character on model is another skill, that's why Key poses are so important. Each Key pose should have the character looking in the same proportions throughout the scene. There is no formula for this, only skill at drawing the character in any pose.

And so, here are a collection of different inbetweening tests that you can download and use the register marks or peg holes to line up the drawings onto animation paper or in your 2D program, Harmony or TV Paint. Note the timing charts show how to do the in-between drawings.

These are 4 Key Poses of Skippy from Animaniacs doing a "Take". The first is a starting pose.

 Skippy Anticipates down

and pops up into an Extreme Take

and then settles down into the final pose.

Note: This Key drawings requires you to create a Clean up drawing of the head with no Eyes. A separate series of drawings can be created for a blink; Open eyes as E1, Half lids E2 and Closed lids E3.

Here's another animated reaction of Ernie Keebler.

From John from Peter Pan, used at CalArts. 

Draw the Passing Position.

Try inbetweening Merlin stepping in

Here's a big guy lifting something heavy.
A5 is the anticipation.
Then the lift up.
A11 is the settle.
This was from one of the first animation job where I was an assistant animator and got to inbetween and cleanup this Disney character called Figment. I learned a lot about inbetweening from my mentor Jon McClenahan, who animated this character for a Disney educational series before opening his own animation studio called "StarToons".
  Here was my solution to a body and head turn during the dialog.

Daffy Animation Keys

Bugs Animation Keys

Here are a series of Keys with the Animator's chart on the side for the inbetween drawings. Use the black peg holes to line up your drawings and tape them onto animation bond. Clean up the Keys and then inbetween the rest.

Copy these frames and use the peg bar holes to register them together.

Copy these frames and use the peg bar holes to register them together.

Keep checking back, I will be adding more tests soon!

Gene Wilder RIP

I really liked the actor, Gene Wilder. I grew up watching him in movies as the original Willy Wonka, a cowboy drunk with the fastest gun in the West, a rabbi cowboy, comic partner to Richard Pryor and even a mad scientist. And so, when I discovered this from a few years ago animated by Patrick Smith, I thought you might enjoy this interview with the late great Gene Wilder, who pass away a few days ago.

The world needs humor to laugh when things aren't so great. So as another great comedian, Red Skelton once said.. "Don't take life too seriously, son, you don't come out of it alive anyway." So, what's your take on this? Any comments, thoughts, other great quotes?

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Kubo and the Two Strings

"Kubo and the Two Strings" is the latest animated feature from Liaka and is a very interesting story with amazing animated imagery and character design. This is stop motion at its best that blends together to tell an amazing story of Kubo and his journey. I don't want to spoil anything, because I saw it without seeing all the trailers and promotional material.

I will say, if you want to be amazed and taken on an exciting journey, this is the film for you. If that's not your thing, then maybe "Sausage Party" is for you.

Here are some of the animated armatures from the film. To call them puppets is almost an insult, since they are so alive on the big screen. I would also recommend watching this in 3D to get the full effect.

And without spoiling any of the story, here is a few scene set ups from the film featuring Kubo, Beetle and Monkey.

 Photos above by Kevin MacLean

Here's a quiz for you: Travis Knight told me that The Moon King's facial design was inspired by two very famous movie villians. Can you guess who they are?  
Send in your guess to the comments section below...

If you live in the Los Angeles area, you can see a free exhibit, “The Artistry of Kubo: A Magical LAIKA Experience” at the Japanese American National Museum to coincide with the start of Nisei Week, the annual festival celebrating Japanese American culture and history in the Little Tokyo neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles.

Visitors will get a behind-the-scenes interactive peek at Kubo and the Two Strings through puppets, sets, props, monsters, origami, and costumes from the production presented in JANM’s George & Sakaye Aratani Central Hall from Saturday, Aug. 13 to Tuesday, Aug. 30.