Thursday, April 11, 2013

More ruff animation

I love doing rough animation. I wish I had a clean up artist.


  1. Clean up is tough, no doubt about it.

    But it helps to be as careful as you can with the rough animation -- but by "careful" I don't mean trying to work too clean in your initial rough pass (because that can have the effect of making your animation look too stiff) , but I mean making sure you have really analyzed the construction of the characters so that the PROPORTIONS and placement of DETAILS (facial features, especially) are CONSISTENT , even if the lines are very rough and sketchy .

    Do you have the book "The Illusion of Life" ? There's a great set of notes in the appendix , transcribed from a lecture given at Disney's in the late 30's by Bill Tytla. In that lecture Tytla talks about the necessity of strong drawing and not leaving too much to the assistants to figure out , especially if you're trying to show subtle acting . At one point in this talk , Tytla uses a phrase like: "Don't get fooled by the flickering of the mass of lines on the roughs" , by which I think he means it's all too easy for us to kind of "squint" at our rough animation and through squinting at it we fool ourselves into thinking there's more there in the rough drawings than there really is. (our imagination of how we see the scene looking in our head fills in the gaps) .

    But then when it comes down to the Moment Of Truth , putting down the final lines that will define the drawings , we are often disappointed to find that the rough animation wasn't really thought out as well as it should have been (because we let ourselves get "fooled by the flickering lines of the roughs").

    And make no mistake about it: Tytla worked about as ROUGH as anyone in the business in his first pass animation. Some of his surviving roughs are really sketchy . Talk about a "mass of lines" and "flickering roughs" ... it's like he was talking to himself, not just the junior animators he was giving the lecture to ... BUT Tytla could really draw well and when he did his tied-down rough pass (before sending the scene along to his assistant for clean-up) he had made sure that the roughs were working.

    That's what we all have to do.

    I have some notes on how to approach Clean-Up that I can send you.

  2. I do have the book, and will check that out. I'll check my email for those notes as well, thanks for the response.

  3. Sending you another email with some thoughts on the clean up of these characters.