Currently browsing Posts Published February 2012

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Get Ready, Get Set…

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Another thrilling frame from the animation I’ll submit tomorrow. Continuing a tradition I started in college, I’ll finish it up in the morning.

4 Pictures a Day is Kid Stuff

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


Ow my crampy hand. I promised Kerkel that if he’d finish my animation for me, I’d rustle up some votes for week 4 of the never-ending comic strip contest. Click here and search for Kerkel!

Amazon Woman

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Oh hey, I’m busy animatin’, so have a naked lady from yesterday’s class. This time round, we were studying tone by using white chalk and charcoal on gray paper. And yes, the model was reading her Kindle.

She’s Alive!

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

And now she just needs someone to talk to. You’d think I’d have started on character #2 by now, but hey, I was having fun getting the Poehler stand-in just about right. Every time something felt a little stiff, I referred to my trusty Animator’s Survival Kit and found ways to make her more dynamic. Not saying I got everything right, but I’m really happy with the way it evolved.

4 days left, so I’ll start the exasperated husband just in the nick of time. Luckily he won’t also be moving like a hummingbird on crack. He’s onscreen for three more seconds than she is, so it’ll be interesting to see how the time spent animating compares.

Frame O’ The Day

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

God I love 2D animation. Frozen in time, this looks like Angela Lansbury after a date with a steamroller. At 24 frames per second, it provides a barely perceptible indication of speed.

Back in the `30s when animators started studying live-action films, they noticed that fast motion resulted in a lot of blurred, smeared frames. If you study Warner Bros.cartoons frame-by-frame, you’ll see how they applied the concept to animation. “The Dover Boys” is a film that used it especially liberally.


I didn’t have high hopes when I tried it with my own animation, and was ecstatic to find that it actually works really really well.

Coffee Beings

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

My current favorite morning ritual: running up to Grant’s Tomb, then sitting in the Coffee Bean drawing passers-by.

(This is not an invitation to stalk me, ladies!)

It’s an Albino Klansman in a Snowstorm

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


The dichotomy has been especially pronounced this week: In the morning, I’m off like a rocket. In the evening, I’m off like a gas leak on the short bus. I blame you, day job! For being so goshdarn fulfilling, I mean.

I’ve been animating in the morning, and that’s progressing nicely. But I’ll spare you incremental updates on that. Tune in next week!

Wrangling Scribbles

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Slooow-goin’ over here. I didn’t really want to post the animation at such a nascent stage, but I didn’t have anything else to post tonight. So gather `round, kids, and witness how the sausage is made.

This month the contest is using a clip from Parks and Recreation, featuring the obnoxious Amy Poehler. I decided to make my animation about an 1890s couple having a quiet Sunday at home, until the wife gets all Poehler-y.

The first two seconds of her character are close to finished; you’ll see how the remainder of the animation is a choppy roadmap of “extreme” frames, waiting to be fleshed out.

You’ll also see, in red, my very rough sketches of the husband, who although silent, is actually onscreen longer than the wife. He spends most of the clip trying to retrieve his newspaper and hat after the wife obliviously knocks them to the floor.

I’m not sure if the husband will be easier or harder to animate. Probably easier, since his movements will be much more deliberate and he’ll just have a couple of slow-burn facial expressions.

Anyway, hope seeing this sloppy mess today will make the finished product seem freakin’ amazing next week.

A Peek Inside the Drawing Room

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Hey, it’s contest season, everyone! As I may have mentioned, I’m following up January’s comic strip contest with a shot at February’s 11 Second Animation contest. The basic concept is, you’re provided an 11-second audio clip from a movie or TV show, and your job is to add visuals in the form of character animation.

Between my tendency to procrastinate, and my lack of experience, I wasn’t too sure I’d be able to get through this one. But this weekend I whittled my idea into something within reach of my current abilities. ┬áToday I finished a rough, scribbly animatic, which means the whole thing is mapped out. Now it’s just a matter of spending all of my free time over the next 8 days drawing furiously.

As happy as I am with my progress, it’s still a bit of a mess to anyone looking over my shoulder. However, in a few days I’ll probably feel comfortable posting some rough draft videos here.

Smokey Bear

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


It’s Kerkel’s 3rd Election! Vote for his week 3 comic by clicking here and searching for Kerkel.