Sunday, April 01, 2007

Roger Ramjet - "Woodsman" - clip 2 acting-reacting poses

Here's a great example of funny opposing poses from Roger Ramjet:Here's what I mean by opposing poses:
The animator added a lot to the already funny dialogue track by drawing funny poses of the characters.

The poses aren't funny arbitrarily either. They are in context of the scene.

Roger Ramjet proves that having a severely low budget doesn't mean you have to have boring unfunny drawings. It just means you can't afford inbetweens. Many producers today believe that whoever can afford the most inbetweens has the best cartoon. So they'll have a lot of boring bland drawings moving smoothly into the next boring bland drawings. When I watch a cartoon, or even an animated feature, instead of marveling at how smooth some animation is, I ask whether the actual expressions and poses are actually original or entertaining. (I actually don't ask anything...I just twitch around in my seat when I see the same old expressions and unnatural "animation gestures" for the thousandth time)

If the acting is entertaining and smooth as in an old Warner's cartoon, then that's the best of both worlds! But we can't always afford that. I'd settle at least for some funny expressive drawings in TV cartoons. That would be a start!

Smoothness costs money. Talent is rarer but cheaper if you allow the talent to do what they are capable of.

If you had to choose between smooth motion of stiff drawings and funny drawings with character, which would you choose? I'm sure some will choose fully animated in any case, right?

I love animation, but I want drawings that would be worth the trouble of moving them.


Kali Fontecchio said...

I'm all for big butts in cartoons- look at those cheeks swell!!!

Gabriel said...

you should talk someday about that flash Jetsons cartoon spumco did, the one where George and Jane argue because of Elroy's mischiefs. It was a revelation watching that, it's so dialogue heavy yet so visually funny.

Anonymous said...

I've not done inbetween work yet. And, I don't want to mess up and make something bland.

I've seen in a book called " Animator's guide." or something like that, he shows going from key to key.

Old Warner's did the same, right?
But, with more funny and interesting poses.

Especially Clampett, I freeze framed "Baby Bottleneck" like you said in your post. And, WOW! All those poses in Daffy's animation.

Daffy's speech impediment was more defined and prominent. I could see that he could barely talk with his thick, flapping tongue in the way.

I'm seeing that to make something that looks good doesn't need to have a lot of inbetweens. Just better drawings that are funny and interesting and tell a story.

I'm still practicing drawing poses.
I'm trying to make up poses as I work out the LOA, Silhouette. I'm not good yet. But, I am concentrating more on the drawings.


Tom said...

It is really great that you have introduced many of the readers to such forms of animation like limited or rubber hose. Your enthusiasm in animation still gives me hope for a better animation tomorrow especially in the 2D realm.

I have said it before and I will say it again. Thank God for people like John K!

Nate said...

Warning! i make NO reference whatsoever to this post in my comment:

So here's my new plan to save animation.
1) become a mechanic
2) use my experience to become a cartoon executive
3) hire John
4) make sure all other cartoons i produce follow the old school Warner-style production system
5) full orchestra soundtracks for all shorts and tv. (might need superman to help for this one)

Anonymous said...

I agree with Gabriel, I'd love to hear about that Jetsons scene. That's one of the cartoons I show to my friends who think that cartoon dialogue acting on The Simpsons and Family Guy is good enough.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Ha! I agree with Kali about the butts! I love the three shot near the bottom showing Rodger and two guys with big butts and the jackets that have to fit around them. I also like the room they're in. Sometimes the way characters are placed in a scene, the weird graphic spaces between them, is a joke by itself.

Jason Barnes said...

the cut to the guy grabbing Ramjet's bicep is fucking hilarious!!!

Mebbo said...

As a former inbetweener, yes it IS more interesting when you have interesting keys to work with, no arguments there.

But in the case of classic Warners, most of their inbetweening wouldn't pass a clean sweatbox today. Hell, it wouldn't even pass for a trainee inbetweener. The linework jiggles all over the place, but it doesn't MATTER because the posing and comic timing is so good that Feature-quality IBs just aren't needed.

JohnK said...

>>But in the case of classic Warners, most of their inbetweening wouldn't pass a clean sweatbox today. Hell, it wouldn't even pass for a trainee inbetweener.<<

Holy cow! I don't know about that. I've seen some pretty shoddy inbetweening in Disney features from the last 20 years.

The beast melts all over the place. So did Gaston. And the kid in Treasure Planet.Tarzan. etc.

Lots and lots of sloppiness.

The Warner's stuff varies. It was pretty tight in Clampett's unit. For some reason there was a couple years in the mid forties where it was really bad in both Friz and Chuck's units. Bugs Bunny and The Three Bears...

Amy said...

I'd say it's gotten tighter in the last ten years. Yeah, even Beauty and the Beast/Lion King wouldn't pass today. It was jiggle city watching it on Imax.

I think the blame can be partly laid on the shift from cels to digital painting. Little Mermaid had that nice rough quality of painted cels, but from B&B onwards, problems crept in. Digital scanning vectorises the drawings and can often warp them so the lines jiggle. Painters can tweak the linework back to the best of their abilities, but there's invariably some line distortion.

Yeah, I definitely notice some morphy stuff in Chuck toons sometimes.

david gemmill said...

sometimes its not practical to have super solid inbetweens, as long as they get from one key to another in a funny cohesive manner then that is what counts. I'd rather watch rough funny cartoons than polished turds. If your keys and held frames are shit then great inbetweens aren't really going to help things.

this roger ramjet is really hilarious. I think it is one of my new favorite limited animation cartoons.

PCUnfunny said...

"you should talk someday about that flash Jetsons cartoon spumco did"

I found that on Youtube one time, that was fuckin' hysterical. I also loved that shot at The Simpsons.

Andy J. Latham said...

John, I don't know how else to contact you other than this, so I just want to direct your attention to a post I put on my blog in response to an old post of your own.

I'd like to hear your thoughts...

Nick said...

I'm sorry this out of context but what is up with this?

Indeed, if novels, pop music, and live action movies have been going through a bit of a fallow period, we are arguably living in a golden age of cartoons, one that rivals in creativity and appeal to the era of "Looney Tunes" and "Betty Boop" over half a century ago.

Jeff Read said...


Jeff Read said...

Andy J. Latham, I really can't speak for John but I have my own response for your thoughts.

You're right: The Beatles didn't ruin the world as such. Postmodernism ruined the world, and the Beatles were merely early adopters, likely having caught the fever through Yoko Ono's infectious presence.

The goal of postmodernism, as with the Dadaist and "beat" movements that preceded it, is to completely tear down, disparage, and deprecate the artistic standards of the past. According to the teachings of the Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci, the reason why we had the artistic and cultural standards that we did was because of the "cultural hegemony" of the evil oppressive capitalist class, the same people who caused World Wars I and II and wrought untold suffering upon humanity. The only solution, according to Gramscians, is to reject the entire cultural and aesthetic foundation from which artists draw wholesale and to restart from scratch (ostensibly among Marxist lines), lest hegemonic influence creep in and corrupt the nascent utopia. Hence "Imagine", hence Damien Hirst's pickled shark, hence Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

Does that mean that every bumbling TV exec who greenlights crap like Fairly OddParents is a Communist agent of influence out to subvert American society? Of course not. But the Marxist outlook of the intellectual and artistic elites of the 20th century (including the Beatles) has a large part in planting the idea in that exec's head that talent and artistic judgement is completely optional when making cartoons.

Kent B said...

Jeff Read is onto something here. There are a lot of people who would argue that "skill" and "craft" are not only unnecessary, but evil.

Marxist dogma was taught in many colleges during the '70s and '80s (prior to the fall of the soviet state) - along with "deconstructivist theory" which declared that the creator of a work does not understand the "real" meaning of his work. - (it "really" means whatever the viewer thinks it means)

Stalin's plan to undermine American culture was more successful than he could have imagined!

Pushpendra said...

I agree! its good that you articulated it well along the pics.

Jason Miskimins said...

True. Pocahontas was the worst extreme of animators trying to do realistic humans. What a terrible idea. Facial features floating all over the place, bland expressions. Ugh.