Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gesture Drawing Workshop at CTN

Walt [Stanchfield] was a kind of Mark Twain for us at Disney. He always taught with humor and skill. You learned to see the world through his eyes. I remember him one day encouraging us to leap into our drawings with boldness and confidence, "Don't be afraid to make a mistake. We all have 10,000 bad drawings in us so the sooner you get them out the better!" Sitting in Walt's class was as much a psychology course as it was a drawing class. One couldn't help walk away with your mind and soul a little more open than when you entered.

 --Glen Keane

Walt Stanchfield's Drawn To Life books have been an invaluable source of inspiration for me, re-igniting my love of drawing after a 20+ year hiatus. So it was a thrill and a privilege to be able to attend David Pimentel's gesture drawing workshop at this year's CTN. David, a story artist at Walt Disney Feature Animation, was one of Walt's students.

David encouraged us to try to capture the essence of each character's attitude and personality--to really try and bring their story to life. Like Walt used to say: "Draw verbs, not nouns. A noun is a thing that can be named; a verb is that thing given the breath of life."

It's been years since I've done any figure drawing from live models, so I was more than a little rusty. The models themselves were pretty awesome, beautifully setting the scene (a restaurant in France) while bringing lots of life to their characters--a lady of high society and her waiter. There was even some French music playing in the background for ambience.

Below are my sketches from the two-hour workshop. The first hour and a half was spent on quick one to two minute gesture drawings, followed by longer five minute poses in the final half hour. It's amazing how quickly the time flew by. I guess that old cliché about time flying by when you're having fun is absolutely true. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Storyboards to Animation Comparison

I thought it might be neat to do a comparison between storyboards and animation of my shots from the collaborative short film my class is currently working on for our final assignment at Animation Mentor. Hard to believe we're in the home stretch! It's interesting to see what changes were made during the story development process. My initial boards and pre-vis/layout pass can be found on previous blog posts.
The opening shots from these storyboards are being animated by a fellow classmate. I went ahead and left those boards on here so that folks can get a sense of how my sequence will be hooking up with the shots that come before. The short film's first two acts were boarded and are being animated by the other students in my class. A special shout-out to Dorren, Justin, Tim, Tommy, Lisa, and of course, Jason, our mentor. Y'all rock! :)

Keep in mind that the animation is still very much a work in progress--there's still lots of polish left to be done in the next few weeks. Also, the drawings have yet to be rigged and animated, and the audio is just a temp track. But I think the shots are far enough along now that it's clear what's going on.

Check out the storyboards to animation comparison here: Work in Progress

Some weeks back the school asked me to write up a little something for their blog regarding their Production Track courses.

You can check it out here: Animation Mentor blog post