Hey Folks! I got a request to talk a little about design. Now, for sure i am not an expert on design but it is something i so completely wish i was more interested in when i was a kid. It wasn't until CalArts that i feel in love with design and saw how completely important it is to know what makes for a good design. Hand drawn or CG!
This first page here is just the very basic principle i'm sure you all know and that's finding your basic shape. Animation at it's best is about simplicity and finding the essence of something. Here Milt Kahl's Little John from Robin Hood is basically a rounded out triangle. That's his shape, when he walks on screen that's what you and i read and say "oh, it's Little John". This is why when your designing charactes it's important to keep their shapes distinct and personal unto them.
The other thing here is also the basic concept of keeping your purportions interesting. I used to think that meant totally caricaturing something to a point where it wasn't believedable. Like haing a huge huge guy with itty bitty legs. But remember these designs have to run and walk and jump, and act! So your design HAS to be functional. That's why the Cartoon Network stuff works well for what it is, is because it isn't being fully animated. Those charcaters can't turn. But these characters HAVE to turn. So remember to keep your purportion interesting. Even is boring!
Ahh, Hirschfield! who doesn't love this guy!? Another basic thing is straights and curves. The whole idea is finding a balance and a way for them to support each other. Some might find it ironic that i am using Hirschfield for the example of STRAIGHTS since he is known for his curvy streamline, but really look at it. He has IMPLIED straights, not literal ones. You can see this more clearly in the drawing at the very bottom. But in this drawings with the man holding the staff there is a balance of straights and curves in his design and gesture. The back, although it has a curve to it, is the straight that strengthens the curve of the chest in front. Makes the pose feel stronger. Incidentally, for gestures and balance, always have head somewhere over the main "supporting weight foot". If you don't the character will look like he's falling over.
And here's our examply of implied straights. Not to much to say really besides, DANG THAT CAT COULD DRAW!
I just wanted to say THANKS to the Spline Doctors for plugging my blog! It was awful nice of'em and they didn't have to do it but i appreciate it. Doing these tutorials has been fun and i hope everyones enjoying them. I am going to get more back into animation with the next few tutorials, but in the mean time i m gonna finish this script and try and finish a piece of animation. Willermess out!