Currently browsing Posts Published March 2012

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Solid Gold Oldie

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

I don’t usually think about my age, but when I do, I picture myself as…a cheerful prospector?

Seriously, someone asked me today how old I’d be at my next birthday, and when “35” came out, it sounded really, really weird to me.

(Commence Aunts telling me how young I am.)

Yep, Still At It

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

I did a lot of work on my spider-squashing animation this morning. Don’t worry, that’ll be finished soon, but as usual I’m doing a lot of learning and revising along the way. One thing I’m doing to facilitate that is animating in vague scribbles, rather than spending too much time laboring over each drawing. That way I won’t hesitate to revise drawings or throw them away completely.

Once I have the motion exactly how I want it, I can start to worry about filling in the details.

Ren and Stimpy animator John Kricfalusi has lots of great advice for budding animators, and makes a great argument for using simple early-1940s characters as the basis for animation practice. By then, animators had nailed down the best practices for animating, but were still tentative about moving beyond typical pear-shaped characters. So they’re perfect vehicles for a beginning animator to conceptualize how cartoons move and carry their weight, without getting thrown off by any zany stylization that later evolved.

So, after trying to animate a girl with a ponytail, I think my next twick will be the mercifully bald Elmer Fudd.

Howzat Grab Ya?

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


Had a little better luck with hands today; rereading the hands section in The Mad Art of Caricature reminded me of some simple methods for considering the structure of hands (such as: the two sides of your palm look like upside-down chicken drumsticks!).

Still, I feel like I’m back to square one; it’s almost like I need to come up with an exercise rotation to improve and retain these essential skills.

Mitt Supporter

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Tonight I practiced drawing hands, with some truly terrible results. Maybe I’ll just avoid them from now on?

Sometimes I wonder when I’m going to graduate from Drawing 101!

Pencil Perky

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

A rare slow evening at the Internet Video factory.

Sketchy Dreams

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Back in Action

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Hey look, I actually sat down and worked for a few hours! And I’ll spare you my customary apology for only cranking out 9 frames in that time; until I get the hang of this stuff–sometime in the Roaring 2020s–this pursuit will be more entertaining for me than it will for you.

As I mentioned before, I’m doing a very short animation in which Mary Rae sees a spider, hauls off and smashes it. This here is the seeing part, and it’s pretty much the same as the Kerkel clip from last week. However, I’ve also explored moving different parts at different speeds, such as her ponytail. In fact, when I come back to this, I’m going to give her ponytail a few more frames of drag; right now it settles too quickly, I think.

Dog Days of Spring?

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

This is almost a repeat, but there are a few new pups in here from this morning’s run. For tomorrow’s homework, I scanned all the dogs in my sketchbook that I wasn’t totally ashamed to show off, and arranged them as you see here.

After several homeworks that I put a lot of work into, I think this will warrant a collective yawn from the rest of the class, but hey, I’m shy about asking any species to pose for me.

Working Hard? Nah.

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

The problem with trying to make artwork on my computer is that I’m always distracted by innumerable shiny objects also available on my computer. Today I was trying out the new beta of Photoshop CS6. I haven’t discovered any new tools for animation, but I like the interface so far.

Sup Dogs?

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

This week’s homework assignment is to draw another species. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to go to the zoo or something, but if not there’s always these post-run sketches of off-leash pooches in Central Park. They move a bit too quickly for me to really study them, though.