Friday, December 18, 2009

to see what he could see

A desperate, knock it out in ten minutes and get it into the mail, Christmas greeting card for my brother and his family. Last year I made individual cards for them but it went unnoticed so I'm not going to great lengths this time. I'm not even going to worry about the fact that bears do not have long floppy ears.

They're not "art" people. The answer to most questions around their household usually contains the the words "hiking" or "skiing".

So what fitting gift accompanies this picture of a bear going over a mountain?

Four pounds of trail mix.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I recently finished a long stint on someone else's 3D project. I did this tonight to see if I could still draw.

Nope, guess not!

Monday, October 5, 2009

you've got to be a football hero

A quick sketch for an online drawing challenge about five years ago.

Topic: "the warrior"

I knew everyone else was going to be doing medieval fantasy armor so I was going to be different. Still didn't win though!

I think this came out of my year as a high school band director in the microscopic west Texas town of Sanderson. The school only had about 100 students so every boy HAD to go out for football no matter how pathetically scrawny he was. Technically not required but I'm sure the peer pressure was enormous. Of all the boys in my band exactly one was not on the football team and thus able to be in the marching band during football season.

That was Martin (mar-TEEN), about the only person in that whole town with what might be identified as having wit or cleverness. One Friday night he asked me if he could lead the band in the school fight song.

"Sure" I said. The game was just about over. The "Eagles" were losing again. It didn't matter and the band didn't really need a conductor for that anyway.

So, he gets up and does the best parody of conducting I've ever seen. He's giving cues and dynamics and everything, too. Imagine Stokowski doing a fight song for Fantasia but funnier. I wish I had film of it.

I have no idea what became of Martin after that year. I hope he got out of that sleepy town.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

do the inchworm

What can I animate in the time it takes to bake a pizza?

An inchworm!

The ink and paint came later.

Now that I look at it I think I should have made him a bit flatter where his front half touches the ground. That would have suggested solid contact more. And I should have done some squash wrinkles in his middle when he's scrunched up.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

shoe too

Another go at drawing a turn-around of the cartoon shoe.

First I drew a plain rectangle doing the diagonal rotation I wanted. Then I drew a shoe to match the perspective of the rectangle on each frame. Then I cleaned that up and slapped some happy paint on.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

the turn of the shoe

I decided I needed practice drawing the classic cartoon shoe so i did this turn-around as a little exercise.

That's followed by a new rough walk-cycle which was what convinced me I needed practice drawing those shoes.

Still chippin' away on that walk cycle stuff...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

one-legged jumps

The fifth Animation Mentor assignment was do three jumps with a one-legged ball. For this 2D revisit of the task I drew a one-legged torso somewhat like the "Norman" character in Eric Goldberg's recent book "Character Animation Crash Course".

The legs were the hardest part of this one. I redid many of the drawings several times to try to get them to maintain approximately the same proportions from frame to frame.

I also did a brief CG test of jumping motion to quickly experiment with timing and posing. I regret there's nothing quite as convenient as IK legs in hand drawn animation.

When I compare my hand-drawn animation to my original 3D version of the school assignment...

... I miss all the little jiggles and squetches I was able to add to the CG character.

In CG (Animation:Master in this case) if you want to adjust your squetch you just have to move one slider or shift a few bones. Try to adjust your squetch in 2D and you have to redraw the whole character, not just once but on many frames. Some of the CG squetches are so small i don't think they could be done in drawings.

That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Drawing Day 2009

A time-lapse drawing for Drawing Day 2009

It's like watching Polaroids develop!

I now return to animation...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

jumping ball with overlapping tail motion

My hand-drawn 2D interpretation of the fourth Animation Mentor assignment.

I've committed a classic art school student mistake here... making the assignment more complicated than it needed to be. The actual assigned task was just to animate the ball doing three jumps with overlapping motion on the trailing tail, all from a straight side view.

Trying to draw this from an angle made this mega harder. In CG the computer handles perspective and character size and volume for you automatically. In 2D that's a battle you fight on every frame.

The falling block was an off-topic addition too. If you watch it it does a nice little bounce as it hits the ground, but if you're watching the block you're not watching the ball and tail, which was the real object of the assignment.

Drawing that solid block in perspective as it tips over was a time-eating challenge, and I could have gotten a better result, faster by animating it in 3D (with Animation:Master, of course) and rotoscoping that into my drawings. Which I will do in the future if I need any tumbling solids.

I'll give myself a passing grade on this. I don't think this would be "A" work but I think it shows successful overlapping motion.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

why mickey wears shorts

As I was trying to draw some legs on a simple character it occurred to me that putting Mickey mouse in shorts wasn't just for modesty's sake.

If you look at a typical flat-colored rubber-hose style appendage as in "a" it's rather ambiguous as to which way it is really bending.

But if you add that pant cuff just a little bit down the leg as in "b" or "c" you get a clue as to the intended direction of the knee.

Of course, there are lots of times that Mickey doesn't wear shorts, but then they have to work harder at drawing him with real articulated knees.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

vertical jump test

This is really just a preparatory study for a more complicated exercise I'm working on, so I didn't spend any time doing cleanup on it. I'm working on a character jumping forward and I did this to simplify it down to just the up and down motion.

Monday, February 16, 2009

obstacle course with anticipation

A squetchy ball jumping (with anticipation) thru an irregular obstacle course. My 2D re-make of the third AnimationMentor assignment.

Includes a brief bit of "drybrush" motion blur drawn onto the frames with ArtRage Studio's "crayon" brush.

Rigorous physics simulation has taken a back seat here to trying to get the overall flow right. Some these bounces are weightier than others.

This is mostly two's with some brief one's. Not all of the bounces are full Preston Blair-style bounces; they seemed to be killing the momentum of the ball in spots.

Friday, February 6, 2009

damped pendulum started with a hook

A brief exercise in oscillating motion and slowly coming to a stop. This is all on twos except for the very last swing which was just too small to inbetween so it has a couple of fours in it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

red balloon, lead balloon

My hand-drawn, 2D interpretation of the second Animation Mentor exercise: the light ball, heavy ball test.

My goal was to make the light ball so light that air resistance is a major factor in its motion.

This is animated on ones, twos, threes and even some fours and fives. One surprising discovery was that more inbetweens did not necessarily make the light ball look smoother or lighter.

I recall when I was in elementary school that every year they would show us Albert Lamorisse's "Le Ballon Rouge" (The Red Balloon), which I guess was their subtle way of teaching us it was bad to beat up on red balloons.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

rotating cylinder

A rotating cylinder turning in perspective. A brief exercise in trying to be accurate.

I used the usual vector drawing tools to make smooth lines but no 3D modeling is involved here. The rotating box on the upper right is an "overhead" view to help me guesstimate the changing profile of the cylinder as it turned.

Pretty close.