Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Power Of Inbetweens and Accents


Holds and keys are the drawings you see on a conscious level in animation. That doesn't mean that the drawings you don't see have to be straight inbetweens of the keys.You can get a lot more meaning, feeling and power by controlling the drawings that are on the way to the moments you absorb consciously.
I found this out by studying Rod Scribner's animation and live action frame by frame.
This part of a comercial for Barq's Root Beer was only 5 seconds long and I wanted to get a lot of stuff crammed into it. That meant no pauses or hookups, less antics or at least shorter ones, so this became an experiment in making things read fast. No drawings could be wasted.






I drew a bunch of keys and had Elinor Blake (April March) animate the commercial with these theories in mind.Here's one of her early bands, The Shitbirds.
I wonder why so many animators are also musically talented.

HUMAN EXPRESSIONS
Human expressions are generally a lot more specific and interesting than animated expressions.
Watch Norton's face crawl around and do all kinds of extra things that the script doesn't require, but add extra life to the story.
This is very hard to do, if not impossible in animation. A lot of these expressions can't be translated well in line; they need the subtle shadows and shapes made by the many muscles in his face.
If we want to compete with this specificity, we have to be more exaggerated in our accents, but we can do very subtle expressions in between the accents as you can see in the Barq's frames above.
You can't compete at all with this kind of acting if you are habituated to approved animation stock expressions - no matter how smooth the action is. Plus it's a lot more fun to customize specific expressions to your characters and story. Of course for some mysterious reason most studios won't allow it. They all say they wanna compete with live action, but no way in Hell will they actually let you do what's required.


You can really see how much subtlety is in Art Carney's acting when you watch the clip of one simple line of dialogue. A Hell of a lot of stuff happening for just one script sentence!

http://www.cartoonthrills.org/blog/01Principles/DialogueActing/NotThatImSelfish.mov

More from Barq's and this subject in another post...

21 comments:

Niki said...

I've started practice with custom faces during my break. Some worked and some didn't; or I couldn't get them to work. I think I'll redo everything to improve more. Learning the draw Fred Flintstone will be a start, then the gators. Strange faces and all, wish me luck!

Lluis said...

yeah, this is great!! it's amazing how the different drawings played one after the other create a real feeling and the chracter really expresses himself... hehe That stuff really amazes me, I noticed on the Sody pop Banner you used to have on the blog, I stopped it & studied it and it blew my mind how the drawings were so different from each other but played together made Sody pop bounce up and down really enthusiastically!!
it's got nothing to do with what I imagine they teach at animation schools, kind of Disney smoothing till it becomes a bland mush,
These posts are awsome!
thank you!!

Trevour said...

Now I'm really thirsty for a Barq's!

ratigan said...

"I wonder why so many animators are also musically talented."

An innate sense of timing, perhaps?

Great post; keep 'em coming John!

Rick Roberts said...

John, you really need to check out the lost episodes of the honeymooners. IMO, they are even better then the classic 39.

Colter said...

I remember Barq's but I don't remember this commercial :(.

pappy d said...

These are some gorgeous Georges, John!

Ryoko said...

I've been trying to read your blog for a while now, because I heard there were good tutorials on here somewhere.

All I found was, sadly, more obnoxiousness than I could handle. If there was a good tutorial anywhere in here, it's lost.

Ryan G. said...

For such a short commercial, why dont you guys animate the whole thing yerselves?

Ryan G. said...

>>I've been trying to read your blog for a while now, because I heard there were good tutorials on here somewhere.

All I found was, sadly, more obnoxiousness than I could handle. If there was a good tutorial anywhere in here, it's lost.<<

Thats cuz you like anime which dont go over well 'round these parts..

Rick Roberts said...

"All I found was, sadly, more obnoxiousness than I could handle. If there was a good tutorial anywhere in here, it's lost."

Really, all you have to do is click on the tags listed. I doubt they would have helped you anyway because I see on your blog the same sterotypical anime art that everyone draws. This blog is for cartoons mam.

JohnK said...

>>For such a short commercial, why dont you guys animate the whole thing yerselves?<<

We did, Ryan

I'll put it up in a couple days with more pics.

Ahahnah said...

I like the force created when he pulls back then goes all bug eyed showing his enthusiasm.

I think animation and music requires good rhythm and an ability to create an emotional feeling within the audience.

Ryoko, check the right column of the animation archive for some of the animation tutorials.
http://www.animationarchive.org/

Alex M said...

Hey John, I wanted to thank you for the knowledge and time you share in these here blogs. Im a student at the Art Institute of Las Vegas and i'm in the Animation program. To my unpleasant surprise they focus heavily on 3d and lack any REAL 2d instructors. I've been following your blog for a few good months now (almost daily) and find it extremely helpful and refreshing.Your time and knowledge is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Shawn said...

>>They all say they wanna compete with live action<<

WHY do they want to compete with a completely different medium? What's wrong with making funny and creative animation and just letting be that art form?

Alex I.R., Esq. said...

I've seen the Barq commercial. And while I find the drawings look stunning and lavish, I was mildly disappointed that the animation didn't move with the fullness and lush qualities you'd find in the best of Spumco-era 'Ren & Stimpy'.
Still good, though.

JohnK said...

Did you see it on Youtube? With half the frames missing?

I'll post it with al the frames and hopefully it will appear smoother. It does to me anyway.A lot of Ren and Stimpy is not very smooth - especially 1st season.

Rick Roberts said...

"A lot of Ren and Stimpy is not very smooth - especially 1st season."

Yeah there is alot of sloppy drawings in that first season until Stimpy's Invention.

Zoran Taylor said...

What happened to the third Barqs post??

JohnK said...

I accidentally posted it too early.

It's coming


tomorrow I think.

Sorry!

Zoran Taylor said...

Premature articulation, eh? I've done that.