Friday, October 30, 2009

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How to do the retro flat style right using The Cal Arts Bible....

11 comments:

Trevor Thompson said...

Typing 'Clampett' into search produces 'Vincent' first, the last post second, and so on....

Niki said...

Tom Oreb! I hope to start my career with a similar look but a lot more character in my drawings

Peggy said...

Seeing those squiggly weird shapes stretched all across the big screen (I saw it in front of a lovingly-restored copy of Sleeping Beauty, I think) is pretty awesome. I really wish all the Cal Arts stylers would learn from the sparseness of things like this and UPA; seeing these abstractions composed to command the entire space they inhabit a tiny corner of was almost religious for me.

Admittedly it's hard to do that when you're stuck in the crappy little box of an NTSC-safe field, but still.

JohnK said...

"Tom Oreb! I hope to start my career with a similar look but a lot more character in my drawings"

That's what I'm going to try to talk you out of. Oreb already has a thousand clones, none of whom have his skills or the decades of experience he had learning the Disney way - before his did this style. The last thing we need is more fake Orebs. One real one was enough.

It's a lot of hard work, study, experience for meagre rewards. Because nobody in the audience likes this style.

Only other animators like it, and it's not conducive to character.

Maximum Awesome said...

Not my favourite style - but clear, informative diagrams like that are what make your blog great.

A hard explanation of the style will give even more weight to your dismissal of people who fake it.

Really looking forward to this one.

The Jerk said...

just to second what you said about stylized character designs not being conducive to character animation-

even "frank'n'ollie" said as much in Illusion of Life:

"this type of animation is only illustrating rather than sustaining the story...the cavemen in toot, whistle could never play the role of th puppeterr in pinocchio... Art stevens concluded with this thought: "the characters in toot, whistle ...aren't flesh and blood."

Ken said...

I both love that artwork and agree with Frank and Ollie; the cave men were graphic tools to illustrate the lesson the Owl was teaching.

A lot of artists these days take what often appears to be a relatively simple style and try to achieve it in lieu of all the groundwork that needed to be done. I am still amazed by the Grim Natwick exhibit they had at the Animation Archive a while back; decade after decade of every style and he did absolutely wonderful work throughout, rubber hose arms, through Lanz, through UPA and more. He started by first learning Bridgeman anatomy and the tough stuff, and his cartoon work benefited from his hard work.

-Ken C

Jelter said...

cool, that's pretty interesting!

John Pannozzi said...

Hey, John K., you know how you're considering breaking up your blog? Well I got a great idea for how to do so:
1) John K. Stuff (or "John K. Presents" or "From Spumco"): stuff that John K. and the Spumco B*******s (past, present, and future), have worked, from the earliest crudiest scribbles that John K. did as a wee tot to abandoned projects the Spumco Guys and Gals have been involved (like Bobby's Girl) to new John K. projects in development. All things directly related to Ren & Stimpy, George Liquor, Jimmy and all of the other wonderful Spumco characters and shows would go here, as well as info on new and upcoming projects, and possibly webcomics.

2) John K.'s Cartooning Boot Camp: Want to be a cartoonist or animator, or at least hone your skills? Well, then this blog would contain everything about cartooning and animation you would ever want to know and much more. From basic construction to musical timing to exposure sheets and all the other nuts and blots, its all here, for free.

2) Animation History according to John K. (or John K.'s Cartoon Views): Sure to be a source of much debate, John K. gives you the history of animation according to him, as well as reviews on current animated films (and maybe some animation-related books and home video releases). The work of John K. himself is not necessarily discussed at great length here (see the "John K. Presents" blog for that). Warning: contains opinions and views that you may strongly disagree with. Proceed with caution.

Zoran Taylor said...

"Nobody in the audience likes this style. Only other animators like it."

WOOHOO!!! I'm a professional animator now! Wow, that was fast. Thanks, John! All that crap about it being hard work - I always knew you were kidding.

LeoBro said...

This was helpful, but what I'd like to know is why it comes off so lifeless, whereas Ed Benedict's designs are so appealing. I can feel the difference but I don't understand what makes it that way. (Thanks for asking.)