Friday, September 28, 2012

Toonboom's Animate on sale today

Toon Boom Animation: Toon Boom Animate Professional Animation Software

seems to be on sale for $350 today. That's a pretty good deal

$349.00 $699.99
$149.00 $299.99
$199.00 $369.99

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Inking Test in Toonboom

 Some folks have been sending me some pretty good inking samples. If you want to do a test on an actual scene in Toonboom, let me know.

Here's a swell George by Julian.
I like Ethan too.
He has a nice sense of organic form.
His inks of the characters feel alive.

 Paul is good but still a bit mechanical. Some of his curves look like he is using a circle template. It could benefit from a more organic approach.
Nik is pretty good but I think he may have changed some shapes.
Like Slab's cuffs
also the thin lines in the details are a bit too thin.

I suggest if you want me to look at your samples, that you

PUT AN ACTIVE LINK in the comments so I can just click it and get to your page.

YOU gotta make it easy for me to comment and find you. 
none of this crap:

I tried filling it
this damn Craptha thing 6 times
and never got through.

Oh and if you're crazy, don't bother to send me any more
unless you want the cops to come haul you away again.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dream Pets To Draw 1: Crotchy

 Here's Crotchy the Pup proudly displaying himself so you can learn to draw toy anatomy.

 Crotchy has always dreamed of being a nude life model - see his sad puppy eyes

Drawing toys is a very good way to sharpen your construction and perspective skills.

Use his seams to help you see how his construction works.
Add caption

Friday, September 21, 2012

Posing: FRAMING one character's pose with another's

 This is a good technique to use with the others I have been tailing about.
 You can have one character's pose create a frame around the other's.
 The frame is created by the space between the 2 characters.
 This makes the 2 poses easier to read and it looks swell too.

You can also use background elements as framing devices.

The master of this (and other posing techniques) is Harvey Kurtzman.

John K Stuff: Harvey Kurtzman - Opposing Poses, LIFE

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Inking: Hold the big forms together with consistent line weight

Here is an ink of Slab that Paul did. Paul is quite talented and his lines are real clean. Almost 2 clean

But the character's form doesn't hold together because of the inconsistencies in line weights. My eye is drawn right to his chin because of the super heavy line there. I should be looking at the whole character, not one insignificant part of him.

Also his head doesn't hold together. The line is thick on one side, thin on the other.

The undersides of the big forms should also have consistent slight heaviness.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Posing: Action and Reaction

 The most obvious simplest way to compose 2 characters talking to each other is

have the one who is talking lean towards the one who is listening
the listening character leans back at less of an angle than the speaker leans forward

Aim the eyes at each other too for good communication between the characters

Of course you don't always want to use that formula. It wouldn't be natural.

Here the character talking is leaning back and thinking out loud while the other character leans in the other direction-but she connects to him with her eyes.

 In continuity, you should vary the degrees of action and reactions and have the characters take turns.

Variety of poses and expressions is more natural than repeating the same poses or having each character in the same pose in a scene.

Oh and thanks to Ger Apeldoorn, Mark Christianson, Mark Kausler and Yowp for making these beautifully drawn comics available to the world!

Posing: Static VS Dynamic

Here is a scene with characters in dynamic poses. They look alive.
Here are some characters in static poses.
1) evenly spaced apart
2) Standing straight up and down
This is obviously a publicity shot - and those are usually kind of bland and generic for some reason.

Here is another static evenly spaced group of characters from a comic.
Compare to a more lively couple of poses.
Fred and Barney's poses have strong lines of action and they have different degrees of action - they aren't in the same poses. Barnet's pose is stronger-he is leaning back on a diagonal line of action. Fred is on an arc that leans to the right at his head. the space between them is creating a V shape that leans to the right.

Again to drive this is a static line up of characters who have no poses. They are all vertical and evenly spaced.
Here is Wilma in a pose. She isn't standing straight up and down. Her pose tells us her attitude and what's happening in the story.
Here is Ranger Smith in a static pose next to a cook in a subtly dynamic pose. Dynamic poses don't have to be extreme in every case. The pose should be appropriate to the scene, character and story.
Here is a nice frame that shows Yogi in a very subtle pose, his body very slightly leaning back and his head cocked subtly away from the man. The other character has a stronger more definite pose leaning forward; they aren't mirror images of each other.
This is a good technique for scenes when 2 characters are talking to each other. Usually, when one character is doing the talking, his pose is more dynamic that the other's.
But also, the character doing the listening is REACTING to the one talking. Boo Boo's pose is leaning back in a less extreme arc than Yogi is leaning forward. Yogi is the cause, Boo Boo is the effect. Yogi's forward pose is pushing Boo Boo backwards.

Dynamic poses are much more entertaining than static poses and when used in context, they tell the story better. The last thing you want in animation is to have characters just stand there reading dialogue.

Next: more action and reaction.