Sunday, October 04, 2009

L.O. 6: Analyze and Check your Layout against the storyboard. a sample lesson from secret cartoon college - using words to analyze an image

Let's just look at the poses of the 2 humans...

Now you should analyze what's different with this copy and correct it before cleaning the whole picture up

Knowing what to fix and what to leave alone and what to push further

This is all very tricky stuff but here's the goal:

Each artist in a cartoon production line has is or her specialty.

A storyboard artists creates the continuity and some acting and posing, and if he is good at it some rough composition.

The layout artist polishes the poses, draws the backgrounds and tightens everything - then adds some breakdown poses.

The animator moves the layout poses and adds more breakdowns and subtleties.

Each artist must take what the person before him/her has created and make decisions:

What are the good parts I should preserve? The essence.

What is a mistake or rushed part that I should fix?

Is there anything I can do to push the idea, to make it stronger? But not until you at least preserve the good parts you have been given by the director and the artist before you. You can't tone it down.

This calls not only for skill, creativity, but a clear thinking practical, analytic brain.

You don't want to just throw away what some other poor artist or writer has done just because it's your turn to draw the scene within your particular department. You yourself wouldn't want the next person in line to do that to your own chunk of the show, right? Well they do it all the time - except at my studios if I am watching.

So we have to learn the difference between arbitrarily changing things and taking the good essence of an idea and polishing it and pushing it.
Step by step all through the production of a cartoon.

This is somewhat personally limiting (and frustrating) at first, but once you get it, it will free you to achieve personal creativity on a whole new level you never thought possible. It's balancing control and common purpose with individuality.

Analysis is not creative. It's your brain helping your magical talent get a job done best.


O gato said...

This was quite informative! Thank you John. :)

O gato said...

Also, I just noticed you cleaned up the lines, nicely done!

Niki said...

Well said, I'm still reflecting on yesterday's post, you should really get a medal or something for all of this.

ThomasHjorthaab said...

Hi John!:)

Thanks alot for your critique, and for this helpful sneak from the college!

I'll try hard to do what you said, and link you as soon I've done it!:)


Paul B said...

ok, I get it!
much more clear

it's difficult to me not to hasten in the process of the drawing, I will try to take my time analyzing better the drawing and then, with the gathered information, to throw myself to draw step by step.

thanks John

HemlockMan said...

I'm not a graphics artist. I'm not a cartoonist. But I very much enjoy reading this blog as often as I can. It's a classic "think" exercise. Just because I'm not working on becoming a cartoonist doesn't mean that I'm unable to glean helpful content from the site. I find it a great help in logical thinking.

Ben Fried said...

This looks awesome.

I've been copying a lot of Clampett and Tex Avery stuff along with trying to do Preston Blair for awhile, but I haven't scanned much of it at all or really even kept track of it. Should I start scanning and posting what I've been doing?

John said...

Okay, I wrote a few notes on this one - here ya go!

Mark Jackson said...

How do you join??

What can it offer?? Studies here

Paulo said...

yeah, thats a nice lesson, I learned that from a teacher I had long time ago. boy, I wish I could join this secret cartoon school :(

Amanda H. said...

I think I get it. :/

Jack G. said...

Thanks for the sneak-peak.
I was curious to what was going on "behind those college walls".

Herman G said...

Thanks john, for the good info..especially on the teamwork which has to be essentially kept together.

ZezoZoseZadfrack said...

to those wondering about the john k influence on rob zombie's el superbeasto, page 2 of this interview covers it:

Bryce Johansen said...

The bear isn’t really look at the characters…His eyes aren’t as focused on the characters as the draft, he looks like he’s looking at the father’s hat (The draft had more stretch to the eyes).

The roots in the stump don’t look like it’s in the ground. They look round, focused on the design and not on the factor that they are mention to go in the

The whole ground plane doesn’t like stable, if this was animated the characters would look like they’re floating.

The Characters don’t look like they’re walking out the door anymore like the draft, they look like their walking past the stump itself.

Just things I felt were missing in the second drawing besides the posing in the two character's walks said...

Hey, John. Just caught up to your blog. Got a lot of old boards if you like. TB

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the lesson, here's what i think:

being a critic is easy being an artist is hard

Now i have to draw it or eat my words!


Dorseytunes said...

Thanks John for the lesson. I'm starting my Preston Blair book, if you want to see.

AShortt said...

Geezus, no wonder yer work is so good Mr. K.

Freckled Derelict said...

Love this post John, so helpful!

John said...

Great to get a peak at the elusive secret school. I'll try my darndest to get an invite.

Lesson 1 to 4 up so far with 5 on its way:

My study blog