Sunday, September 12, 2010


The illustrations above are by Bryan Ballinger. Bryan has a university degree in illustration. He is also a professor of Digital Media Arts at Huntington University in Indiana USA. So the intro should actually read as Prof. Bryan Ballinger. Why is he drawing like that and what has it got to do with animation?

The more we study animation the more we understand that it takes a lot of work to make simplicity look good. Or does it?

It might just be a matter of practice. Well, yes, it is a matter of practice. A simple practise based in fun and free sketching. Simplicity, like animation, is learnt in the doing. Sometimes burdening a course of study with the term "hard work" too much, too often, sucks the fun out of things.

By setting our ruff feet firmly on a foundation of the 13 principles of animation, an animation student gets the secrets to making a simple character animate with Appeal (well, c'mon, if I'm going to be constantly juggling 13 Animation Principles, eventually I have to drop one... into a blog post).

The first years just handed in a 2D character animation. A few of them discovered the power of simplicity as an animation tool. The second years are wrestling with their major projects and some are learning that planning for simplicity in design may have allowed a bigger sleep budget in the production schedule.

The end result is that as animators we should get out our simplicity and exercise it.

Here is a blog post entitled "Exercising my Simplicity" on Breadwig that some of the drawing, sketching, illustrating animators may enjoy? (and the self assigned* non-drawers may find a spark of inspiration). Also check out .

I found Breadwig via Keith Lango's blog. The simplicity theme is inspired by Simon's Cat, Alexeev's Forest Trio, and Cameron Miyazaki's balls. *I believe everyone can draw.


Breadwig said...

Thanks for the props Frank! Speaking of simplicity and the idea of everyone being able to draw have you seen Baman and Piederman?

or The JCB Song?

both are great examples of effective simplicity.

Corey said...

Thanks for posting, Frank! Simplicity rawks!

Frank said...

G'day Bryan. Thanks for surfing passed and adding to the post. The second years have discovered Baman and Piederman. I hope they drop by your web sites for some inspiration.

Frank said...

Corey. Thanks for rawking and leaving evidence that I am not just singing into the hurricane.