Monday, February 15, 2010

Eye Direction Is Important

Eye contact was a seemingly impossible skill at Filmation, no matter how much they begged for it.

34 comments:

Mykal said...

John: I'm thinking of Carl Barks and his "eye darts" always used to such great effect. Clearly, no one at Filmation studied the Duck Man. -- Mykal

Mykal said...

John: I'm thinking of Carl Barks and his "eye darts" always used to such great effect. Clearly, no one at Filmation studied the Duck Man. -- Mykal

Alberto said...

that last picture of Shera and He-man is too close for comfort.

Cristian Avendaño said...

These posts are hilarious!

Well, hilarious for me. I didn't worked in any of these nightmares.
I still find some of these practices hard to believe. They don't go just against creativity or fun--they go against common sense!

Isaac said...

Funny stuff. Poorly drawn characters are always looking at some mysterious point in space.

HemlockMan said...

This is hilarious! You should make a cartoon about your cartoon experiences!

Chip Butty said...

I love how in both the Fat Albert and He-Man scenes, whomever is talking has to raise their arms at a 45 degree angle, palms out.

It's like the all-purpose generic pose of lifeless animation. Mike Judge makes fun of it on one of the Beavis & Butthead dvds, explaining how he had to break his animators of the habit and showing an early B&B clip where Butt-Head is making the gesture with one arm like he's Daphne from Scooby-Doo or something.

Niki said...

Dead! everyone is dead! And as long a Lou Scheimer works in the animation biz the bodies'll keep on falling!

Scheimer sounds like a Filmation villain name.

Mr. Tat said...

Slab and Oswald stare in the right directions but they only have pupils...

Everyone in Filmation has lazy eye.

JohnK said...

Darn rights!

If you actually did draw direct eye contact between 2 characters they would get mad at you for being too "cartoony".

Do you know how many times I have been told" We aren't doing Tex Avery here!" just for using a line of action?

Nicol3 said...

Looks like He-man wants some head in that last picture.. some fore-head, for that matter.

Whatta perv.

Brian Romero said...

He Man's disguise is worse than Superman's. At least he wore glasses, parted his hair the other direction and wore a suit. He Man just takes his clothes off and puts on a fake tan.

xynphix said...

Vallejo and the Hildebrandts are sometimes guily of the non matching eye contact/girl gasping at dragon while man swings sword, all characters in scene not in the same plane as each other but nobody ever seems to notice poor fantasy art layout.


Hey John, This is off topic, but you've got to check out Rob Zombie's "El Superbeasto" animation if you haven't already:

http://www.elsuperbeasto.com/ESB_main.php

I checked wikipedia to see who did the animation and there's not one name to be found. Looks like whoever did this surely borrowed a little Spumco design.

Isaac said...

That would be the style of Spümcø bigshot Lynne Naylor and Chris Reccardi, xynphix, along with all the other artists who worked on that film. El Superbeasto turned out very disappointing, considering it cost ten million dollars to make and had a lot of artistic freedom.

Ivy said...

I haven't seen your blog in a while, and I'm glad I went on to see how much I've missed -- (volumes and volumes!) -- because you're still going strong on it. This entry is great and cheered me up before I had to go to work. That is hilarious about Filmation, that they could never get eye contact right! I nearly spewed coffee out of my nose, "HA! Exactly!!" I guess the animators had trouble because I think any major movements in that show were rotoscoped, and I guess eye movement isn't obvious enough to trace? Ha, who knows..

Dorseytunes said...

xynphix,

Here's a list of animators for El Superbeasto. There are folks who worked on Ren And Stimpy...good eye.

Nathan Affolter - animation timer (worked on Ren And Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon as sheet timer)

Chris Battle - character designer(worked on Mighty B., Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Lab as character designer)

Joe Ekers - character, props design, storyboard and character layout (as Rocket Ekers)-(animator on adult Simba on the Lion King)

Richard J. Gasparian - timing supervisor (worked on the Simpons, King Of The Hill, and Family Guy as timing director)

Rafael Hurtado - character clean-up (worked on The Simpsons and Spaceball The Animated Series)

Mr. Lawrence - character, props design, storyboard and character layout (plankton of Spongebob and layout assistant for some Ren And Stimpy)

Lynne Naylor - character designer (worked on Monsters vs. Aliens, Foster's Home, Samurai Jack, Beany And Cecil, Ren And Stimpy, Mighty Mouse The New Adventures, etc...)

Spyros Tsiounis - story artist (story artist for Shrek Forever After, Coroline, The Bee Movie, The Rugrats Go Wild, The Wild Thornberrys Movie)

Erica Volk - assistant animator (only animated show for now)

Luisdiegolas said...

that last picture of Shera and He-man is too close for comfort.

Actually, that's Teela, not Shera...

Yeah... I'm ashamed to accept that I watched the show, but in my defense, I always felt that there was something funny about the animation.

KennethJ said...

It's kinda hard to make eye contact when all your characters seem to have double lazy eyes.

James said...

These cartoons aren't bad, they were just drawn that way... and planned that way, finished that way, and produced that way.

J Hobart B said...

Mr. Lawrence directed the animation for Superbeasto. I don't agree that it's borrowed from Spumco, but it is cartoony, and that's a good thing!

(I wish everything else about the movie were as good as the animation)

CJ Grebb said...

I used to have fun picking out the rotoscoped stock animations in every episode. Specifically, anytime He-Man had to pick something off the ground and hurl it. It took the same amount of effort whether it was a small boulder or a mountainside.

And no, my use of the word "fun" is not in any way a "defense" of the show, just so we can nip that one in the bud. :)

drawingtherightway said...

In that picture of Prince Adam looking off screen, it looks like he forgot his line and is looking for some direction from the director! I was looking through those hanna barberra layout notes I posted a few posts ago and to my surprise they actually mentioned using line of action and even had the page from the Preston Blair book in it! This was surprising since these notes had to be from the 80's since they had production images from shows such as the Smurfs, Happy Days etc. in it.

Ray said...

What the hell are they looking at lol?

Tim said...

This post is cruel. He-Man can't make direct eye contact, because he has a lazy eye. He can't help his disability.

xynphix said...

Sorry for going off topic butI think you'll appreciate this.
A more cartoony clip from el Superbeasto, reminds me a bit of the Tanacious D Spumco stuff, well, not really similiar but it's in the same genre

Warning!! Adult contentahead!
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xc8bvy_el-super-beasto-breast-expansion-bu_sexy

pappy d said...

No one got to draw eyes at all.

All the He-man stock poses are staring straight ahead. This means some trade-offs like no eye contact or expression of emotion, but you have to consider how much money it saved!

Sometimes a man has to choose between creativity & fun or a villa in Manhattan Beach.

Conceit Arturo said...

LMAO that was hillarious John, you made me picture a bunch of monkeys trying to figure out how to get eyes aligned on the same line :p....I know it was the production system and whatnot, but it's just a funny thing to picture

RooniMan said...

Ahh...yes, Filmations ignorance to have characters make eye contact with each other.

Oh Lou Scheimer, How I hate you so much.

Zartok-35 said...

Anyone ever seen "Hercules and Xena - The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus"? Lynne and Reccardi made that one, too.

Elana Pritchard said...

I always thought they didn't make eye contact because they all hated each other.

Iron maiden said...

"If you actually did draw direct eye contact between 2 characters they would get mad at you for being too "cartoony


lol being too cartoony for characters making eye contact?

maybe they should make them cross eyed then we could take them seriously

Jim said...

Hey John, have you turned into a lofi pop hipster?

http://www.last.fm/music/John+K.

Jokes.

Corax said...

That last picture... Are they seriously supposed to be looking at each other?

But... but, He-Man is IN FRONT of her, and he's staring... whaaa?

Pokey said...

LOL-
John K said:
"We aren't doing Tex Avery here!" So true. And so said. [Of course, Hanna-Barbera around then DID do with Tex Avery Kwicky Koala, and Cavemouse, with the same voice as "Fruit Forward" Strawberry Sh**tcake :). Sad end for Tex in 1980.


Then, my zen master Art Clokey felt encouraged to break--er, fix something of his that wasn't broken by puttin' me and my owner Gumby into that horrible re-heated-over 1988 Gumby series.

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