Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Milt Thumbnails

If you know much about Milt then you know he thumbnailed his scenes extensively. Supposedly he would try every way he could think of to do the scene; experimenting with different poses and expressions and attitudes. In one of the audio clips of him floating around on the web (I got it either from Jim Hull's site or The Animation Podcast) I think he talked about how he tried every variation of pose and attitude in the thumbnail stage. Then he would know exactly what worked and what didn't. In the course of his lecture he implied that he didn't have much use for comments from others about how to improve his scenes. After all, he had already tried everything in the thumbnail stage and figured out which idea was best. Anyone criticizing his work off the top of their head hadn't put as much thought into it as he had!

I thumbnail every sequence I storyboard for the same reason. Thumbnailing is a fast and easy way to try out different acting poses, layouts, compositions...everything that makes for a good sequence. If you don't thumbnail then you are just settling for the first idea out of your head. This works occasionally, but most of the time you want to dig deeper than your first idea. Just like Milt, you should strive for the best way to do it. Unlike Milt you should always be open to criticism about how your work could be improved (unless you happen to be a genius). If you don't thumbnail and you just jump in and start working you will undoubtably run into problems in the middle of your scene or sequence because you encounter a problem you didn't anticipate. Then you won't know how to get out of it!






Click to see these bigger.

11 comments:

J said...

Good lord.....
Well thats certainly something to shoot for.

Jason C said...

Thanks for posting all the Milty goodness.. These are great!

Jason Lethcoe said...

There is nothing like a good Milt sketch! Wonderfully inspiring!
-Jason

Benjamin De Schrijver said...

Awesome stuff! It's always great to see an animator "at work"! Let alone such a good one.


"If you don't thumbnail and you just jump in and start working you will undoubtably run into problems in the middle of your scene or sequence because you encounter a problem you didn't anticipate. Then you won't know how to get out of it!"
Let's play Devil's Advocate here: Sergio Pablos doesn't thumbnail. But I guess that's an advantage of being a genius ^^

mark kennedy said...

Glad everyone likes the stuff. Jason! Long time no see.

Benjamin - Milt was a genius too, but he thumnbnailed! Perhaps maybe Sergio is the exception that proves the rule.

Victor Ens said...

These are real treasures, thank you, thank you !! :-)

Steve said...

Great posts lately Mark, haven't posted just trying to soak it all in =]

The toes fine now, thanks for the concern =]

Kepp the great stuff comin' I'll never get enough =]

Jez Hall said...

Fantastic blog Mark. Many thanks.

Marmax said...

I love doing thumbnails...whether it's for storyboards, character designs or illustration. YOu can explore so many options really quickly.

Ninja Dodo said...

Benjamim: Sergio does act stuff out in front of a mirror though, so I guess it doesn't matter so much how you explore your ideas, as long as you explore them. Even if it's just in your head.

Yavuz said...

MILT WAS A GENIUS!!!