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.