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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Maybe Not Such An Original Idea

After getting quite well along with the detailed drawing posted last, I began to get a nagging notion that I had seen it somewhere before.  But where? 

There are many known examples among writers of inadvertent plagiarism.  We are not talking about the cases of blatant lifting of whole pages of copy that have made the news recently, but actual unknowing, unintended use of someone else's idea.  You saw it or read it, you then forgot about it, but then at some point it bubbled up into your consciousness again, whereupon you thought it was your own.

At any rate, I realized that if I had seen this idea somewhere before, because of the arcane nature of the subject it would have to have been in one of my books on animation technique.  And sure enough, I found it:




It's a little drawing by Richard Williams from his book "The Animator's Survival Kit".  Still, I think my version is a justifiable re-imagining of the idea of extra fingers on the animator's  non-dominant hand.

But that's not all I turned up!  I also recalled an unpublished gag cartoon I had done years ago, circa  the year 2000, and though I haven't been able to find the original, here is a recreation:
Richard Williams excellent book was first published in 2001, so perhaps I am vindicated, at least in my own mind. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

An Original Idea..maybe.

Here's a concept sketch I did two or three months ago, an idea to show myself flipping animation drawings bottom-peg style, but showing extra fingers on the left hand.  Just a quick scribble to jog my memory, and I filed it away.

Now I intend to start a second blog about animation only, and I got this out to work up as the illustration for the main page.  Here is the resulting pencil sketch:


This shows more clearly what I am talking about.  The flipping of drawings is specifically a Disney studio invention.  Turns out that Disney animators were trained to work on bottom pegs--that is, with the drawings secured in registration by means of pegs at the bottom of the paper rather than at the top.  Other studios like Warner Brothers used top pegs, and it has gotten to be like some sort of Swiftian divide among animators now.  Yes, the pegs at the bottom get in the way of your drawing hand, but the defense is that you can interleave drawings between your fingers, as you see here, and sort of roll them back and forth to see a simulation of animated motion.  Well, I once thought everyone did it this way, and so I trained myself to do it and now I prefer it.  Anyhow, if you had extra fingers, you could roll more drawings, right?  So there it is: the insanely happy animator.

I will be doing this as a full scale digital painting, so stay tuned.

But Next:  Maybe Not So Original An Idea?