Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad!

I was digging through some old photos in Ottawa and discovered the evolution of my Dad.
Here he is below joining the airforce at 10 years old. He had to lie about his age and say he was 11.
Being a hardy Slav and raised on a farm in the depression, he matured early.
Here he is at 12, ready to kick some man ass.
One of his first jobs for the Royal Canadian Air Force was to search for UFOS by impersonating them. That's his head floating along the sky about to inspect a suspicious otherworldly truck.
 Once he assessed the truck as being an authentic earth  vehicle, he rematerialized his body.
 He was a suave rascal. Here's one of his girlfriends.
Here's another....Hey! It's my Mom!

 Here's the first ill consequence of that meeting. Dad's about to hurl me overboard after he discovered I wasn't maturing at the rate of a true Slav. I'm 14 there.
People used to say Dad shoulda been a movie star - Canada's Clarke Gable or Moe Howard. I wish he had. Then he could have financed all my wacky cartoon stories.

Instead the air force assigned him to our military base in Iraq. Here's Mom and him celebrating Christmas with Saddam Hussein. Even dictators love a good barbecue before a torture session.

Here he is back home for a true Canadian Christmas. Look how happy he is.

This must be him all gussied up ready for Church (doesn't he look like one of the moral majority?), while Mom stays home to honor the Lord in her own way, with a stiff drink - probably a rum and coke, Jesus' favorite.

 Elizabeth and I also on our way to Sunday School where I'm about to stir up some trouble again. Elizabeth is carrying our lunch.

Here's me with the girl hair that drove Dad crazy. 

But Holy Crap! Even he was kind of a damn hippie himself in the early 70s! But he still swears that the Beatles were just a gimmick - even as he proudly displays his mod shirt and apache scarf.

Here's Dad and Uncle George who is wearing his John Lennon cap and getting a stern lecture from the ol' man.

Do you wanna mess with this guy?

Monday, October 22, 2012


Hey thanks for the tip on rotating

I'm gonna go try the command-alt keys now

I couldn't find that in the toonboom shortcuts menu

I still can't figure out why they put that image in front of what you are doing though

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Rotating Tool irritation

I love using Toonboom Animate but it does have some mysterious irritations, like the rotating tool:

Irritation 1: There is no key command for it. You have to constantly interrupt your drawing by going to the toolbar and dragging out a menu and dropping down to get the damn tool

Irritation 2: It puts an image of an animation disk on top of the drawing so you can't see what you are doing when you rotate the screen. Incredible!

an animation disk (a real one) is designed so that you can rotate your drawings easily to draw lines that are hard to draw from certain angles. It's a great idea.

It's also a great idea to include rotation tools in any drawing program but Toonboom's is completely awkward because it takes too many steps and obscures the drawing you are working on.

They ought to just have a key command - like "R" that you can hold down with one hand

while you rotate the screen with your stylus.

That would be too easy though! 

Maybe I'm missing something though. Does somebody know of a secret key to rotate the canvas? And that doesn't put an image in front of your drawing while you try to turn it?

Next Toonboom irritation: The select tool It also doesn't have a key command! Which is nigh incredible to me.

Seriously though, it's a great program and I am just making some common sense suggestions to make it easier and quicker to use. - and more intuitive.

...I'm also amazed that the cintiq itself doesn't have a simple rotating screen.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Work from the constructed poses

 Here are 3 poses from a layout scene, drawn in pencil
 scanned very strangely but ignore that
Before inking, (or animating or anything else) it helps to understand the larger forms that are controlling the action.

I make a layer in Toonboom where I race the big forms over the layouts

 This way inkers, animators, inbetweeners can see what is happening without getting lost in the details

 when you turn off the layout layer you can see the construction and animating these simple shapes first is easier than trying to keep track of a million details from frame to frame

You can use the onion skin to see how the shapes relate to each other from pose to pose
Once this is done, you can start to add details and it is a lot easier process.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

INKING: Ink the forms, not just the lines

 I'm working with a bunch of inkers and finding that I have to explain the same concepts multiple times to each artist individually. So I figure if I just put the tips up here where everyone can see them, maybe it will save me time explaining so much.

This pencil layout is lively and almost constructed. It's slightly disconnected so let's enhance it through the miracle of construction.
 Some of my inkers can draw cleaner smoother lines than me and that's great. However there is more to a good clean up than just smooth lines. The lines need to describe the forms underneath and all the details need to be in agreement with the forms they belong to.

The line of action is always the major form or force that guides the rest of the drawing. Analyze the pose you are tracing and make guides to help your understanding and placement of the forms upon the line of action.

 When connecting one part of the body to another you should aim the connecting parts to the centers of the foams they are attached to. A neck connects the back of the skull through the centre of your torso.

 Draw your biggest forms first and connect them to each other. Then you can do the next biggest forms that are part of the bigger ones. Eyes are part of the head so they should look like they are in the same position in space that the head is.
That doesn't mean they are perfectly symmetric though. They still should feel organic and alive.

Next I'll show you buggers how to connect limbs to bodies and hands and feet, ok?


Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Approved By Walt