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.



SoleilSmile said...

Sexy girls are very easy to draw. It's you menfolk with no hips who are difficult. No friggin' landmarks aside from the shoulders. Whatta headache!

Trevor Thompson said...

I've just noticed so many more things about this that I like that I've never seen before. Did you do any 'energy sketches' before to figure it out or is this straight-ahead by definition?

I also never noticed that the fish changed color three times.

On a technical note, it looks like the movement was a little bit static. If yer using Snapz Pro to capture your video from a DVD, I've noticed sometimes that eats up yer memory and plays the movie back all choppy which of course makes the video you record choppy.

It may be me, but I remember it being more fluid.

Sorry if this comment is a bit of a bummer. I've sent you some sunshine via post to compensate for yer loss.

- trevor.

gracesix said...

I never noticed any jitters, but then again, I don't have a trained eye.

marco's blog said...

i was going to ask about the process too. thanks for reading my mind trevor.
how much exploring do you do? do you think about the story first or just start doodling?

Kevin Williams said...


I love the drawings and design!

I have one "technical" question.

You used a lot of exaggerated accents, but no smear drawings or multiple images.

I'm assuming this was either a conscious artistic decision or a technical restriction.

Care to comment on it?

Kali Fontecchio said...

The two scenes I drew the most were this one and Sanjay's I think!

This scene by you!

Sanjay scene!

Thanks for inspiring me back then!

JohnK said...

>>You used a lot of exaggerated accents, but no smear drawings or multiple images. <<

I don't do a lot of that. I kind of feel like I'm cheating.

Patrick Désilets said...

I remembered that scene was crazy, but man those poses are insane!

drawingtherightway said...

So how did you come up with the main character design of the cartoon Bjork? Did you look at photographs and videos of her or have her do different poses for you in person?

patrick said...

all very drool-worthy!

Shawn said...

The animation and art in this video is some of my favorite stuff of all time. ESPECIALLY this scene!

But the video also had some weird 3D animation of Jimmy that seems too unlike something you would do. What was up with that?

Jake said...

Sorry to turn your attention away from your smutty cartoons about young ladies with exposed skin, but I'd like to inform you about a lovely and beautiful new cartoon with a powerful message about the environment, full of moving stories about good and evil that focus groups show kids can relate to in a positive way.

It's called Whale Magic.

Anonymous said...

I miss animation being done traditionally, painted on cels, shot on film. God, what a difference it makes!

Niki said...

I got these two things so here, they are very important

Rudy Tenebre said...

It's almost more compelling as a series of stills.
I see Bjork around town, here an' there. She's gettin' a bit long in the tooth, but she's got presense. You guys can argue with her husband about drawing the "right way", he'll be laughing.

Rick Roberts said...

OT but I saw this video of Bjork just getting off a plane at an airport in India and she just went buck wild on a camera man.

Severin said...

when I first saw this video I thought the different versions of Bjork were different characters! It probably had partly to do with the different takes each artist had of the character, as well as that "fighting the spumco generic female model" you mentioned, but actually it was the change in hair color I found most confusing. Even so, I just sat back and let it all wash over me in enjoyment.

Also, last weekend I found the first issue of Comic Book for sale for the cover price in a comic book shop. Amazon has it available for twice the price! It was a sweat deal.

edmundo said...

what's the name of the music video this scene is in?

Paul said...

Edmundo; this clip is from Bjork's "I Miss You."