Saturday, April 04, 2009

Bjork In Tub Animation

As I've said before, model sheets tend to be stiff, so should just be used as jumping off points rather than law.
As you get used to drawing a character, you also loosen up, and should be allowed to take advantage of it, rather than be shackled to stiff first impressions.

In most productions, I try to reserve the odd scene to animate myself. Naively, I tend to pick the harder ones that have too many complicated levels to deal with.
In this one I wanted to have Bjork bounce up and down to the beat like early rubber hose cartoons. Unfortunately I didn't design her like Oswald the rabbit, out of circles. She's very difficult to draw for 2 main reasons:

1) she's a sexy girl
2) she's a specific design of a sexy girl.

I also had to control the bubbles going up and down, and then reacting to her movements.
It also had to match the singing on the track and I tried to get some of her individual mouth shapes and expressions that she actually makes while singing.
I think the scene almost killed me.
It was assisted overseas at my friend Bin's studio, supervised by Eric Weise who has hilarious stories to tell about the working conditions there. Maybe if we're lucky he'll share them with us in the comments.
I had to undo many habits I had drawing stock Spumco pretty girls, and that was another element of constant frustration.

In this complicated process I lost some timing punch and ended up with some jitters, but was still somewhat pleased that it at least looked different stylistically than what we were used to doing. I'd rather have a couple technical flaws with some guts and invention than perfect and smooth formula, but of course would like it even better if it had both.
I imagine that's how fans of Jim Tyer, Rod Scribner and Grim Natwick feel.

There were a few different animators on the Bjork video and they all drew her somewhat differently. Sanjay Patel did the cutest version, and I'll show you his work next.