Friday, December 05, 2008

Constructing ELMER



Here's a god exercise if you wana teach yourself cartoon construction and get your own drawings more solid.


trace the frame grabs in photoshop using construction

1) draw your line of action through the figure
2) Draw your major forms around the line of action

-torso
-head
-legs
-hat
3) draw center lines through the middle of the forms first vertically, then horizontally - following the perspective of the forms
you use these to aim the details - like eyes, nose, mouth, collar, hat details etc...
I screwe mine up by drawing my construction on the same layer as the frame grab.

You should draw them on a separate layer (or layers) so you can turn off the frame grab layer and look at the construction by itself

then you can try to finish the details yourself by eye, by placing them along and beside the construction lines.

That's all I got for today. This will teach you a lot. Do lots and ots of poses and you will start to understand how to move your characters in space

when you add details like clothes wrinkles and bulges, don't bulge them too much or you will break up the forms and line of action and silhouette

20 comments:

trevor thompson said...

Thanks John!

If we link to our drawings, will you post them or critique them?

This will make my weekend. Thanks a bunch!

- trevor.

Elana Pritchard said...

Very helpful exercise! I will give it a try...

Hey Trevor I started up the critique blog-
www.cartooncritique.blogspot.com

we'll see if it catches on...
-E

Ryan Kramer said...

i think this practice really helps...i find it really fun too! It's almost like solving a puzzle!

Paul B said...

Hi john
I started my practice
here's the link

http://paulbadilla.blogspot.com/2008/12/construccin-de-elmer-siguiendo-las.html

Can i get some critique please?

your pal Paul

The Butcher said...

Could we instead print out the frame and construct it with a real pencil? Or maybe see this as a Preston Blair type exercise and try to get our seperate drawing as close to this one as possible? I really hate photoshop. I don't know how to use it at all.

Christine Gerardi said...

Darn it, I wish I had photoshop...

Brendan M said...

Thank you so much. I don't know why I haven't tried this yet

Putty CAD said...

Cool, I'm gonna try this too! :D

Nicolas Martinez said...

Great advice as usual, John.

I actually came up with a similar strategy, when I did a "Falling Hare" pose a few weeks ago; except I printed the frame off the computer and traced it by hand. It has the same result though. It helped me when I did the same pose from pure observation.

Feel free to check out the drawings in the links below.

"Additional Falling Hare Strategies"

"My Final Falling Hare Drawing"

-Nico

Michael R Darbyshire said...

Great! I knew my old graphics tablet would come in handy some day.

J.R. Spumkin said...

Boy, does this take me back to the "Falling Hare Post" days.

"It was that year of 1942. The grapefruits were coming in and the cole slaw wars were at their worst. Ya see, in my day, we called Cole Slaw by the name of Liberty cabbage, and the story of how that got its name is full of excitement and action, but I don't want to tell it, so there..."

I have to stop rambling like this.

Deniseletter said...

John,Thank you very much!!I'm keep reading all these very important lessons to try

Niki said...

Good knight Mr.John! I'd been thinking of this too! But I didn't think it would work out right. I thought I would end up doing the wrong pictures. This is indeed an excellent post sir!

javier suppa said...

incredible john
i like your drawings and your animation .
im from argentina and i an animator 2d too.
you have fans here
good luck

Amrinder Singh Nagi said...

it was a great exercise.
this question clicked in my mind yesterday-What are your thoughts on tarzan??never heard you talk about it.

Niki said...

Mr.John a friend of mine did this thing where he found two frames of a character and animated the inbetweens, I think its a goods idea here's his

http://fc32.deviantart.com/fs24/f/2007/349/b/0/Charlie_B__Barkin_challange_by_tyokio.swf

Louise Smythe said...

I freakin' love you for this.

Looney Moon Cartoons said...

This is a great idea. I'm definitely going to try this

J.R. Spumkin said...

John, seeing as I don't have a Wacom, should I trace the construction by drawing off the monitor?

Nick A said...

"You should draw them on a separate layer (or layers) so you can turn off the frame grab layer and look at the construction by itself

then you can try to finish the details yourself by eye, by placing them along and beside the construction lines."


Does this mean we should turn off the frame layer completely and attempt the final layer from memory, or should we just toggle it on and off to check details?

It's pretty hard to draw elmer from memory, even with the construction already done.