Monday, September 17, 2007

Tonight. My Cartoon College, year 1

Aaron Simpson asked me this in an interview:

Imagine that you were creating the curriculum for an animation college. What course titles would you start with (like: Pencils Gone Wild - Jim Tyer's Crazy Drawings)?

and I answered:

I’m actually going to do a blog post breaking down my ultimate cartoon school course, year by year. I sure wouldn’t start with Jim Tyre or “crazy” stuff! I would teach power skills and would have the students learn principles in the same order that the original classic animators did.

So it got me thinking about it and I figured I would write up a curriculum for a cartoon school that I would have loved to attend.
A school with a definite practical purpose to it.

No mushy ambiguous or mystical courses, just meat and potatoes.
Designed to give the artists the most possible skills and super observant eyes that can discern the difference between style and principles.

To give the students the most control possible over their creativity and destiny.

The whole course is based on the fastest period of growth in animation history: from 1930-1938 or so.

What those amazing animators learned in that period they learned by trial and error and audience reaction. - While working on production!

We have the benefit of their learning and can surely learn something fast in 4 years if we follow what they did and take advantage of some hindsight.

I'll put up year 1 tonight.

18 comments:

queefy said...

This post is going to be epic

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Wow! I can't wait! This one's gonna be a classic!

DanielSardi said...

I just began studying at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, They have also begun a course in animation for the first time this semester.
I wanted to take that class but as I was looking through the curriculum it seems like a bore and nothing but learning how to do things you have already discussed in your blog more than twice. For instance how to squash and stretch, and a simple walk cycle.
I am looking forward to your post tonight!

MitchLoidolt said...

John,
Are you ever going to need Lesson 1 that I scanned and posted on my blog?

Art F. said...

i remember that interview. your curriculum made alot of sense to me. is that why you had us do the Bosko cycles?

Sean Worsham said...

Great, this will be fun!

Peggy said...

I hope your curriculum will have at least one day dedicated to the effects of evil-smelling cigars and cheap rotgut. I've always had this feeling these were essential ingredients of at least the Fleischer formula!

All kidding aside, I wish I'd gotten something designed like that instead of the mish-mash of limited shortcuts and basics I got taught in school.

Ryan G. said...

Sounds pretty sweet John.

Marc Deckter said...

So where do I register for Fall quarter?

Paul Stadden said...

Awesome! I'm especially interested in character construction. Hard to believe this stuff is free.

Ben Forbes said...

I can't wait for this. I'm at Sheridan. I'd like to see your take on curriculum.

peldma3 said...

Incredible THANK YOU!!!

sarah j. said...

I'm so excited, this is it. This is what the people have been waiting for.

Okapi Figment William said...

Id attend johns school! Looking forward to the post! :)

Agustin Croxatto said...

Amazing! all the stuff in your blog it's invaluable! I have posted on my blog some comic strips from an old argentine magazine from 1938, one of the cartoonists animated for Quirino Cristiani (they say he made the first full lenght animation feature in 1917), maybe you found it interesting, take care!

/\/\ikeB said...

I guess the PB manual fits in there somewhere.

Do you think this would be applicable to computer animators?

Callum said...

Best post yet. Do I recall reading something similar to this in an interview? Maybe one day animation schools actually follow these guidelines (We can hope)

Oh, and if anyone cares, I've updated my blog with lots of EU comics stuff (Shameless promotion over).

Tyler said...

I'd join.