Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Credit For "Energy Sketch"

Bob Clampett used to do quick sketches for his animators when he handed out scenes to them. They didn't have all the detail in them, but described the extremities of the actions and expressions. This is partly what makes his cartoons look so different from everyone else's. You see those same animators working on other directors' cartoons and their drawings and animation are nothing like their Clampett animation.

Milt Gray asked him what to call these sketches-were they "layouts"? or anything typical? Bob didn't have a name for them, so Milt came up with "energy sketches" which I thought was perfect.

Correct me if I'm wrong Milt.


Milton Gray said...

Hi John, I think I finally figured out how to leave comments on blogs. Anyway, your story about how I came up with the name "energy sketches" is exactly how I remember it. Bob Clampett himself later gave me credit for inventing the name. I came up with it because Clampett used to make lots of extra sketches for his animators that were not complete sketches of characters so much as they were sketches of paths of action when a character was exerting a lot of energy and emotion. These were in addition to the usual character layout drawings.

JohnK said...

Hi Milt

thanks. It's a great term and I'm sure destined to become standard, so I wanted people to know where it came from.

I'm still gonna post your info about Clampett's layout/bg artists in the next Corny Concerto post.I just wish I had a better copy to pull clips from.

You should have a blog too! Post some of your interviews with the classic animators. It would be a service to humanity.

Tony W. said...

Are any of these sketches online?

Herman G said...


:: smo :: said...

i really love this blog.

thanks guys! energy sketches, sound more intense and motion based than gesture drawings?

it'd be great to see some of these!