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Sesame Workshop Films
Drawing. Since we’re going into tying down animation, I would like to talk about drawing. Your film is of the rubber hose style and I know your hero is John K. so I thought I would highlight one of John’s favorite projects: the Fliescher Bros. Popeye series.
The Fleischers are the kings of rubber house animation. Disney was was great, Warner Bros. was still struggling in the 30’s, but the Fleischer’s ruled this style. One of the reasons why is the inking and the advancement of the medium while retaining this style, unlike the Disney studios that decided to advance anatomy along with their filmmaking.
Lucky for us, we have the Fleischer’s example to remind us to do our best no matter how simple the style is.
Now look at the drawing in these shots. It’s TERRIFIC! Sure there are no rhomboids and trapezei, but those characters sure are solid. One thing is for sure, the all important pelvis isn’t missing, which is an area in anatomy that many green artists forget to master. How it the character supposed to sit down? How does the character distribute his weight? How do you spit the body in the dorsal plane without giving your character a booty? How can Popeye and Bluto beat each other up properly without the animator knowing his way around the shoulder girdle? Sure it’s easier to draw the arms raised about the head on a rubber hose character, but the animator still needs to know how far to extend Popeye’s arms. The elbows do not past the top of the head–that is unless you are animating Olive Oyl.
Look at Poop Deck Pappy. Notice the balance of kinesthetics. We have loose anatomy for the sake of movement and anatomy for the sake of design. It’s wonderful. Flexion and contraction at it’s rubber hose finest.
Inking. The clean up line of part of what sells this style. I am using it myself of my own film it’s great for covering up mistakes. Don’t use inking as a crutch though. The more soiid the rough, the better the clean up.
BG’s. Art direction. Though not as important as story. Don’t even think for a second that it does not sell the film.
Tint Tone and Shade–and Fade for depth of field!
So, as we spend the next month on animation, let’s fortify the drawings. This is your FILM! With the pressures of the 96 hour work week industry and family, it will be a long time before you make another one. So let’s know Eye Ball and Bowling Pin some love.
…and don’t think I won’t make your life hell if you try to avoid doing so. What kind of teacher would I be if I didn’t?