I don’t work at Cartoon Network any more. But I’m going to give you a very quick portfolio review in hopes that you find it helpful!
Here are some things I noticed when looking at your stuff - lessons I learned from brilliant people while working on AT for two years:
1) AVOID SYMMETRY. Humans are organic, randomly shaped animals. Perfect symmetry rarely exists in nature and if it does, it’s conspicuous - it’s the exception rather than the rule. Find interesting ways to throw your characters off-balance.
Don’t repeat objects in twos - (buttons or rips or whatever) - it feels prescribed - cluster things in threes or fives if necessary.
2) AVOID CONCAVITY - I don’t know what else to call this. But it’s those lines that go “in” rather than “out”. You are using inward sloping lines to describe many of your characters. As an exercise, try using outward, rounded, voluminous lines to draw EVERYTHING. Humans are fleshy lumps connected together by other fleshy lumps. Each mass is either in front of or behind other masses and as a designer, it’s your job to tell the animator where it is. As a designer, you are providing a technical blueprint for the location of masses.
Only occasionally allow a concavity to connect two convexities. Look at the work of Robert Ryan Cory (spongebob), Tom Herpich (Adventure Time) or Phil Rynda (AT / Gravity Falls) - master character designers - for examples of this. If you need to, trace a couple of their drawings and you will see what I mean.
3) AVOID GRAPHIC DETAILS - Some shows use a graphic style; it’s very appealing and looks clever when done right. But in animation, everything needs to move in space - so if you use a graphic element - it needs to correspond with an actual 3D thing that can move. Therefore it is better to start with a voluminous style and then revert to graphic elements where appropriate. Art directors will look for this. Do not jump straight to graphic representation if you do not yet know what you are representing.
Look at the work of Tiffany Ford and Jasmin Lai for amazing examples of volume expressed graphically.
4) STUDY JAMES MCMULLEN - To truly understand volume, and fully respect your subject, you should read very carefully High Focus Figure Drawing by James McMullen. Slow down and think about drawing “around” your subjects. It’s a truly meditative experience when you get there. Think about the weight and mass that your characters, props and effects are experiencing. Many students from SVA - Tomer Hanuka, Becky Cloonan, Rebecca Sugar, James Jean - studied under McMullen’s philosophy and you can see this common richness in their work.
Jeffrey Smith, a top student of McMullen’s now teaches life drawing at Art Center. These are two of the best illustration schools in North America - anyone who is interested in drawing living things, should probably read his book.
Also look at the work of Andy Ristaino or Danny Hynes - two other character designers’ whose work is seething with volume.
I hope this is useful and I hope you have a wonderful career.
Hi there! Sorry if this seems silly, but your style is a big inspiration to me, and i've started first year in animation. I was wondering would you have any tips for it? :) we're being taught a good bit, but it's a bit overwhelming trying to figure out a way to make anatomy and perspective work. If you don't have tips thanks anyway, and again, love your work!
Ahhh thank you so much your words mean a ton seriously thank you.
ALRIGHT WELL ILL DO MY BEST
First of all. Welcome to animation. You’re gonna lose your mind. Because animation tends to do that. You’ve probably already figured that out. Most people dont end up level headed after working 40+ hours on something that stays on screen for 1-5 seconds. It’s alright. No biggie. OKAY SO
I’m not the best at teaching things. But I know resources that are. FIND PDFS IF YOU CAN OF THE FOLLOWING BOOKS:
The pdf’s are actually pretty widely available. do a little gaggling you’ll find em trust me. AND READ THEM. i personally enjoyed all of em.
11 Second club: list of animation exercises<—- YOU SEE THIS? YOU SEE THAT LIST OF THINGS TO ANIMATE? DO ALL OF THOSE THINGS. ALL OF THEM. dont just read it and scroll thru it and go “kay”, bookmark it, and move on. NO. Every week. Animate one of those things. Get feedback on each of those things. Feedback from your teachers, from your friends, from your peers, from your dog, from a rubber duck. Then make changes. THEN CONTINUE TO ANIMATE ALL THOSE THINGS.
PINTEREST BOARD STRAIGHT FROM THE ART GODS THEMSELVES: Character Design Reference<—-goodness where do i start with this. Everything is here. Character sheets. Color keys, Stylization, illustration, reference for animation, anatomy, the kitchen sink, VIS DEV OF THE KITCHEN SINK. This is how I check to see how far I am from being industry ready. This is how I keep myself motivated. This is how I surround my self with art that is much better than what I produce so that I keep improving. Do studies of the things here. Pick a character sheet, do a study of it, and throw that study away and burn it. Then do another. No drawing is precious. Frames, drawings, sketches, all temporary. With good reason.
AUTODESK MAYA, 3DS MAX AND MORE: free for students. You see that? Free. Like. FREE FREE. As in, this is how you get maya as a student. This is how you have access to a two thousand dollar program and learn how to use it. If you havent yet, get it. Maya animates cg stuff. Get to it kiddo.
Arcs. Many times the reason your animation isnt working is because your arcs are broken. Find them. Fix them. ARC THE CRAP OUT OF YOUR ANIMATION.
Nothing is precious. Animation is essentially a slaughter fest of drawings/frames that dont work. Kill all of them. Distance yourself from your drawings like a warlord hellbent on taking over the goddamn universe and embrace it. If you like a frame that much you can turn it into an illustration later. You’ll be better off for it.
Learn 2 storyboard. You’d be surprised how well learning how to frame a shot helps with your animation. Heck, sometimes when I storyboard I animate out my key drawings on accident but IT WORKS AND ITS GREAT. Good framing can help a shot loadsss.
Dont be afraid of 3D tools to help. Maya, google sketchup, heck even blender, if you cant figure out how to move something thru space chuck a sizable equivalent model into 3d and move it in space and use it to help. It’s not cheating it’s being practical.
DO GESTURE AND FIGURE DRAWING EARLY, OFTEN, AND WILLINGLY. Build up a library of poses and work out all the kinks of anatomy while sketching so when it comes to actually animating youve already worked out all the details. And kick fore-shortening’s butt into the next dimension.
Finally, for goodness sake enjoy yourself. Not many people can create life and summon a living, breathing character without giving birth first so freaking enjoy it and GET STUFF MOVING YA CHUMP I BELIEVE IN YA
Going over the basic shapes and proportions that you need to be aware of when drawing hands, as well as covering some common mistakes that people make when drawing the structure of the hand. Subscribe to get notified when Part 2 goes up! In Part 2 we’ll look at the hand in 3D and how it moves!
ashthorp: This concept piece for GITS was an earlier one in production that was a fun collaboration between @rupertmsanders and I. Rupert being an artist himself had drawn napkin sketches of buildings with enormous faces and things around them. I proposed the idea of massive koi drifting around them elevating the idea of an altered reality. A reality where the rules don’t apply and the things we once know have perished. It was really rewarding to see how far this concept made it into the film and marketing. I can remember seeing commercials and advertising for the film and this concept come to life moving in 3D. Pretty damn euphoric! Got to love those moments :). (This was made primarily in Photoshop with the aid of c4d)
Again some shots from Dofus the feature film we did at Ankama Animations, it was the first time I animated fx with a (fake) 3d camera move. They are both shots where the camera is following the action so close that we feel we are travelling with the effects.
I thought it was going to be complicated but is actually a simple trick. We give the illusion that the background is moving so fast that it turns into speedlines, then, when the shots hit the character, the speedlines disappear to reveal the same background in a different position. it gives very nice dynamic feeling to the scene and there is no need to spend hours painting a super long BG!
Hello everyone! I’m moving soon and so I’m sorting through my stuff, and I came across these pages from a Play Magazine cover story about Okami from March 2006. Thought I’d scan them in for y’all bc it’s really interesting to see what the opinions were from nearly 11 years ago.
The article and interview transcriptions are below the cut, just in case you can’t see the pictures properly. Note: I have transcribed most of the article as it appears in the magazine. The exceptions are that I broke up an exceedingly long paragraph in the main article and inserted like two brief notes on English translations.
Okami: Capcom’s wolf in celestial clothing is a breed apart
By Dave Halverson (Cover story, Play Magazine, March 2006)
3DS Update: If you plan to convert to CFW, do not update to 11.3
I just found out that Nintendo released a new 3DS update, 11.3, SO IF YOU PLAN ON DOING ANY CFW MODDING OF YOUR 3DS DO NOT UPDATE PAST 11.2.0-xx OR YOU WILL BE SCREWED FOR CFW. You will NOT be able to downgrade until an exploit for the new update is found.
THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO SOUNDHAX. If you are using Soundhax to do ACNL edits, or other game edits, you may still do so. Turns out you may want to avoid updating as well for now if you want to continue using Soundhax, per the devs (specifically Smealum, who does the other app payloads if I’m correct). Thanks @capreola.
THIS IS FOR PEOPLE LOOKING TO MOVE THEIR 3DS TO CFW. DO NOT UPDATE IF YOU PLAN TO DO SO. If your 3DS is already fully on CFW, you are fine.
If you don’t know what CFW is, don’t worry, this post is not for you. But feel free to google. <3
A/N: Short, sweet & different. Happy Valentine’s Day Queens ♥.
It had always seemed futile to Spencer, buying cards and flowers and chocolates and stuffed animals just to say what you already know. But it didn’t stop him looking at everyone else in jealousy as they planned their evenings with their loved ones. JJ was going home to Will. Rossi had plans. Emily was planning a night with Sergio. Even Penelope said she had a secret rendezvous.
Valentine’s Day, every year, seemed like a rotten reminder that Spencer didn’t have a special someone to share the day with. The group were full of chatter as he slowly packed up their homeward bound items, finishing off the last little bits of paperwork.
Nobody had asked him if he was busy. He doubted anyone thought he had plans anyway. JJ and Garcia were the first to leave, loudly discussing the level of cuteness they expected from their evenings. Rossi made some witty remark as he trotted down the short staircase from his office, but Spencer had only been half listening; shooting back a smile as if he’d understood. When Emily finally appeared from her doorway, she smiled sweetly, looking at Spencer who continued to pretend he was busy.
“Don’t work too long, Spencer,” she said, waving as she moved through the glass doors. Spencer just waved back, sighing as soon as the doors closed.
How long would he be able to keep himself busy? Perhaps tire himself out so he didn’t have to think about being alone? Who was he kidding, when coffee called from the kitchen?
Standing from his desk, he picked up his mug, pushing in his chair before turning away from his desk. The office was quite eerie this late, but he’d become desensitised to most things from cliche horror. In fact, he almost autopiloted from his desk to the doorway, opening it without watching where he was going.
“Surprise!” The voice nearly gave Spencer a heart attack, his grip on his mug becoming dangerously close to failure. Standing on the other side of one of the work tops was a very excited looking Penelope Garcia, brandishing a single cupcake with heart-shaped icing.
“G-Garcia? W-what are you doing here?” he asked, his chest still thundering. “I thought you had plans?”
“I do, silly,” she beamed, pushing the cupcake into his hand. “They’re with you.”
“What? With me?”
“Yes, my nerdilicious book-buddy,” she chuckled. “This is a total Nerdy-call, and I intend to get my geek on. So you gonna put out or what?”
Spencer blinked, still a little confused with her explanation making it no clearer. All he knew was he really needed coffee now. Wordlessly, he looked to the coffee machine, about to move on it when his mug was ripped from his hand.
“Nah uh uh!” cut in the tech wizard. “With me, lover boy.”
The lights had been turned off in the briefing room, but that didn’t deter Garcia, who wandered straight in toward the table. Spencer followed, still a little bemused but hopeful, knowing his friend. Penelope struck a match, leaning forward to light the two candles that she’d left in the middle of the table.
On the table were a bunch of candies and snacks, a dual cup holder with coffee cups, a colourful scarf and a pair of 3D glasses. Garcia moved back to Spencer, pulling him toward one of the seats nearest the candy and snacks.
“So, I know that you didn’t really have plans… not in a stalker kind of, know everything about your life, kind of way…” she started. “And I wanted all of my babies to be happy this Valentine’s Day. So, Dr. Reid, will you be my nerdy Valentine?”
“You know, you didn’t need to do this…”
“I wanted to,” she said with a smile. “‘Cause I love you, Boy Genius. Always will.” She threw her arms around him and he gladly accepted, holding her tightly and smiling back.
“I love you too, Garcia.”
“Now, the biggest question,” she said, letting go finally. “Which season of Dr.Who do we start with?”
“Well,” said Spencer, picking up the scarf and wrapping it around his neck before picking up the 3D glasses and placing them on over Garcia’s own. “If we’re going to get really geeky for Valentine’s, we could start with the new and end with the old. I mean, time’s not a strict progression of cause and effect, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff.”
“Uhh,” groaned Penelope. “I love it when you talk nerdy to me.” And with that, the pair sat to watch Dr.Who and eat junk food together like book-buddies should.