Sunday, January 9, 2011

Animation Drawing - Try a soft-B pencil


When we sat down around the studio table for our first animation class, our first ruff draw, I asked what do the new animators like to draw with?

As we draw I continue to talk. Animators go into the zone while drawing. That's an 'altered state of awareness', usually an alpha state. A place with no time, a place where cats spend most of their 9 lives.

I talk hoping that the animators are engrossed in their altered state and not consciously listening. So I can implant an idea in their brain - "Use a soft B pencil. 4B or 6B is good. Like Glen Keane." Work ruff and loose, tease your drawing out of the lines, the arcs of marks.


Animation drawing is a new way of "drawing" for many animation students. The best draftspeople, the people who 'can draw', seem to suffer the most. It's because animation is about observation and thinking, and then expression. Expressing movement and motion, energy and emotion through lines and paths. Animation drawing is about observing. Eventually the drawing gains energy and reality starts to look different the more you study animation.

6B or not 6B... or maybe 2B? That is the question.

The Art of Glen Keane Blog.

"Draw Clear Not Clean," Ollie Johnston


The Loud One said...

To 6B :)the expresstion,simplicity and with time the speed of your animation drafting incrases by magnatudes when using a softB penil.

By the way, wonderful resourse drawings Frank. I still need to see tangeled

Frank said...

Hi Sarah. Tangled has been a bit wiped from memory. I'll have to see it again.

Glen Keane's ruff drawings are great to see.

The Loud One said...

Hey Frank

Saw tangled on sunday. The character animation was mindblowing. I especially loved the horse. Have you seen the 'Art of' book for Tangled?

Frank said...

Hi Sarah. I have to see it again. The floods have washed it from my brain. I ahve not seen the art book as yet and hope someone might bring it to class. It is rumoured to be full of Glen Keane sketches.

I noticed Animation Mentor have now advertised a masterclass in animal and creature animation. Animating 4 legs and understanding the body mechanics in a 4 legged creature is a whole new animation challenge animators should add to their reel.

If you want to see more excellent horse animation look at James Baxter's work. Tatiana posted about it on her blog a while back.