Thursday, October 09, 2008

Cartooniness and Principles - the 2 greatest tool kits of cartoonists

Milt Gross Count Screwloose

Hi folks, sorry for the delay in new posts. I'm in the middle of a move. But in the meantime there is a ton of great stuff on Steve's Animation Archive:

Marc Deckter has been collecting classic comic strips and Steve has been putting them up.
This series of posts has some of the most cartoony strips ever - by Milt Gross and Otto Messmer.
Otto Messmer Felix

Disney Model Sheet
If you are an aspiring animator/cartoonist and need help with construction, go check out these great old model sheets from Disney - back when they were good.
Disney Model Sheet
The Disney Studio (in its heyday) got so wrapped up in principles and technique that it lost the idea of fun and creativity. They figured, just being excellent technique was enough, but I think think they fell into a dangerous trap. Principles are just your tool kit. By themselves they don't create anything fresh and wonderful. But you still need them in order to give yourself a broad palette to paint from. You can't be creative if your pencil refuses to do what you want it to. So get the basics down and then worry about being creative.

Charlie Thorson

You can't learn the basics faster than by copying the drawings from classic model sheets. Save yourself 4 years of debt piled up at a cheesy animation school that doesn't teach you anything.

If you combine these two broad concepts: 1) strong drawing principles with 2) fun wacky cartooniness and creativity, you get the best kind of cartoons - like the WB and Tex Avery cartoons.

Lots of control, without losing the idea that cartoons are supposed to be magic, ridiculous and fun.