Saturday, April 18, 2009

Big House Blues Spumco 2 - Why Ren no longer Has a Tail

I had to explain that ring around the toilet in an executive meeting. Maybe they had never seen one.
Some people have asked me why Ren had a tail in the pilot and not in the series.
This scene is the reason why. I was always trying to combine limited animation techniques with bits of smooth animation. This was one of those scenes that kinda failed.
I got this dialogue theory from Bob.
Before hitting a big vowel mouth, anticipate it with a tight lipped consonant that is trying to hold back the energy of the loud vowel building up.
then explode into the open mouthed vowel

Insect Ren
This was part of Ren's character from the beginning. He would have moments of lucidity and emotion, but then would revert to insect instinct as he ventured dutifully to his next emotion.
Ren turns his body all the way while leaving his Mantid head in the same position.

This walk was a bugger to animate. I wanted him to be all floppy in the feet and to have his insect head bob up and down as he walked off stage without emotion.
The tail drove me nuts. I was trying to do an old style rubber hose wave cycle on it, and it just kept popping and jerking on me.
Wave cycles are supposed to be simple, but it baffled me this time.
I got so frustrated with this walk that I swore to never animate another tail again.

And that's why Ren had no tail in most of the series - even though I had always drawn him with one in presentations and story pitches.