I always admired the way guys like Shane Glines, Bruce Timm, Joe Sinnot and the Harvey Comics inkers could wield a brush. I never had the dexterity to use a real brush with ink myself.
But once I got a Cintiq and started inking on the computer I found programs that allowed me to do the thick and thin styles I like so much in Comic books - and without the mess.
I started first with Illustrator -which was a bear to learn. Now I'm finally used to drawing in Photoshop - I can do the kind of lines I like, but can't use the paint bucket to fill flat colors because to get the smooth lines, PS antialiases the edges which buggers everything up. - We used to do Thick and Thin in Flash but that was a monstrous process - expensive, tedious and time consuming.
But in Toonboom's programs, it's really easy to do good lines (even for a non-dexterous person like myself).
We made a demo to show how easy it is to ink on the computer in "Animate".
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Here's a submission from Paul. I like that he is instantly wanting to get into the characters. His continuity here is focused on their feelings about what's happening.
I would have aded a bit more context though - by drawing WHAT it is they are reacting to. They are watching the SUPERFRIENDS and the gags in the story depend upon knowing some things about the animation in the SUPERFRIENDS - like the fact that they have flesh colored eyes, or that the xerox pencil lines look really itchy. You'd want to SHOW that on the TV screen first and make it obvious to the audience.
I also would suggest punching up their feelings with staging and acting.
For example, you could:
open the scene on a close up of Slab N Ernie's face as they listen to the exciting soundtrack coming from the TV.
Light from the TV plays across their mesmerized faces.
V.O. "OK, Zarkon! You've committed your last atrocity on Earth 3! Now all 73 SuperFriends will stab or thumbs into your evil flesh colored eyes!"
Zarkon: No No! Not that!!
Then maybe cut to a shot to show the TV set. End credits of a hundred Korean names are racing by at 6 times the speed of light as triumphant synthesizer music blares.
Then cut back to the kids all excited and impressed by the fantastic 70s Hanna Barbera animation they just witnessed.
(There are other ideas that can be inserted into the opening too - maybe showing the crappy Superfriends style staging with stiffly drawn characters not moving while their lips barely open and close like wobbly shutters - this would all be quickly sketched out and the order of the sketches would be moved around until we get the best possible flow of the ideas and story -which is what we'll do at the story workshop next week.) It might be funny to contrast the lively acting in the Slab N Ernie cartoon
with the mannequin-like 70s posing-although I'm not sure where to fit it in.
Now, it's too bad Paul doesn't live anywhere near Toronto where he could participate in my Story workshop at TAAFI, because this is just the kind of submission I would like to have.
He, likes me wants to focus on the characters and has taken the time to learn to draw the characters well enough for a storyboard. -and he seems to have a feel for continuity. Some submissions I have seen seem to have disconnected storyboard panels where one even just jumps to another event without and connections between the panels and it makes it hard for me to be able to follow what is happening.
Over the years I've seen that "continuity" is not a skill every artist has. The ones that do have the instinct for it are generally more suited to storytelling and can be taught more story skills to help their natural abilities. Of course being able to draw well enough to convey a story is essential too.
The folks at the Toronto animation festival came up with a unique workshop idea and asked me to demonstrate the way I write the stories for my cartoons.
As most people who've read the blog know, I don't use scripts; I use the classic cartoon method of writing the details of the story with drawings on storyboards. My writers are all cartoonists and animators. Of course, not all cartoonists have story ability but the ones who do write the best cartoons because they understand what works when you have to draw every frame of the story.
Mike Kerr, one of my funniest story partners will be joining me on stage to conduct a "gag session".
We'll want to involve some of the artists in the audience and have you suggest gags and draw them out on storyboards which we will pin up and review and add to.
Their may be around 80 people in the audience, so I wouldn't be able to personally spend time withe every artist, so I'm trying to figure out a way in advance to maybe see some of your work and select a few funny cartoonists.
I will do another post with some links to storyboards I've done and character designs and descriptions.
CAN YOU DRAW FUNNY? APPLY NOW
In the meantime if you'd like to participate in the event, you might get used to drawing some of my characters. (They don't have to be perfectly on model, but the drawings should feel like the characters and express their personalities).
The characters I am thinking of using are Slab N Ernie, Bobby Bigloaf, maybe George Liquor, Sody Pop and The Heartaches.
Maybe we can get 2 or 3 cartoonist units together and each unit can storyboard a section of a different story.
If you wanna do some sketches and upload them to a blog or web site to show, put an (active) link in the comments to this post. If I think you have story potential, I may select you and give you a heads up on a rough story idea to start sketching up. Or if you already are familiar with my characters, you can suggest your own story or gag idea. - REMEMBER - DO IT WITH DRAWINGS, NOT JUST TEXT.
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