Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Number 2 and number 3

So during my post "And again..." I sort of threw out that Marc Davis constantly repeated "10 or 12 basic rules of drawing" or something to that effect, with "silhouette value" being one of those things. Well I was just shooting my mouth off without thinking, as usual, but sharp thinker Steve left me a comment asking me what the other 9 or 11 might be.

So I will force myself to come up with as many as I can - what I think Marc was talking about. Let's see how I do! Here's the first installment...2 things you can do to liven up any drawing (or 3D animation pose, for that matter).

Simple but effective. And, like silhouette value, easy to learn but hard to remember, especially when you're drawing a really difficult character or struggling to animate a complicated design, or trying to draw an especially elusive expression, or boarding a really tough scene, or trying to find the right staging on your boards...you get the idea.

4 comments:

Steve said...

I have a question for you Mark...

I have a character I'm trying to pin down, he's a very layed back simpleton, whose primary goal in life is to eat, and so he's not very expressive... sort of Larry David, meets Jabba the hut, and he's roughly 11 years old...

So my question is this... I'm exploring who this character is, but for the purposes of my film, he only needs to be what I just described... SO am I doomed, because he will be to boring, or in these instances should I try to do all sorts of expressions and attitude studies even if I know he'll never approach those types of emotions???

I'm struggling with what I see in my mind, and what I see so many successful artist's do with their designs, which is take them through their paces...

Any advice???

Thanks again Mark, this latest post is really helpful, and I did go home last night and read through my Preston Blair book... I still need to get the Illusion of Life though.

mark kennedy said...

Steve-
I guess I would say that there is nothing wrong with doing that kind of character in animation. The greatest animation in the world has a lot of restraint to it - look at the stepmother in "Cinderella". She hardly moved much when she didn't need to - it was all in her expression, her calculating gaze, the tilt of her head.

It's hard to say without knowing the point of your movie. For example, if he was the main character, I would make him entertaining by the situation he's in. If he gets just right in his favorite recliner to watch his favorite show, then drops his bag of Cheetos to the floor, it would be entertaining to watch him try to retreive his snack without getting out of the chair or spilling the drink resting on his portly stomach. Then I would think you would have a lot of fun with his tortured expressions as he tries to stretch his fingers towards his goal, etc. But if he's NOT the main character, and just a background character, who's just there to be absolutely flat and still, then do him that way.

The key (to me) to an entertaining peice of animation is observation. That's the smae thing that makes Seinfeld or Chris Rock funny - they point out something new about the world that we take for granted.

If you are doing the world's laziest character, find a situation that shows off his laziness, and find new ways to show the audience what you have observed about lazy people. Then they get a kick out of the recognition of their lazy cousin Larry, or their lazy cat, or themselves.

Does any of this help?

Steve said...

Very helpful Mark...

It's also helpful to ask you questions because it forces me to really think about the other things you have been talking about...am I really trying to apply what little I know, and the new things I learn daily thanks to great sites like your's.

I asked myself that and then I was able to start coming up with all sorts of ideas for the fat kid in my story. I also realised that what I find funny about the story I'm telling is the observations I find funny about really glutteness lazy people...

It's strange, but your really helping me put a name to a feeling, or an instinct I think might be right, but just couldn't figure out why, now that I'm finding out why it is or isn't working, I'm able to fix it easier =]

Great stuff, keep it coming =] And I'll try and get some sketches up with some story ideas I'm playing with...

Davis Chino said...

Your mention of Marc Davis made my ears stand at attention, and my heart warm. What a great artist.

(Just went to the Paris Disneyland and they have their version of the Blue Bayou restaurant filled with Davis's concept stuff for "Pirates..."--a great tribute.)

You trained with him at CalArts? I am very envious. I will look forward to reading more art wisdom, and certainly learning more. Thanks for the site!

p.s. I was referred to you by the notorious J. Ranjo, or rather, Skribbl himself.