Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hint + extras?

Well, since I did a bit of work Wednesday on my new *secret* project, I thought I'd post a couple pictures:

Here are some of my work tools:

(click for full size)

 A clear ruler is a must. Also, the pencil (lowest cylindrical item on the right side -> blue & silver) is awesome. It's an architect's pencil, which is sort of like a mechanical pencil, except they work a little differently and these leads are about 1/8" thick and can be purchased in all different kinds of hardness (from B to B6, but I normally use B 'cause it's harder so you can get clear, sharp lines). You have to buy a special sharpener for them, which you can kind of see the top of (black thing against the water glass). I also work in a sketchbook (that's what's open), but when I want to create a clean image, I use the blade (centre, black handle, small triangular blade) with the ruler to slice pages directly from the book, then put them under a clean piece of animation paper on my light-table and re-draw the image. Those are black Micron pens at the very top. I use .005, .02 & .08 for different line thicknesses. I have calligraphy pens as well (that you dip in a pot of black India ink), but I don't use them for stuff like this. The narrow blue cylinders (there are 2 in this photo) hold the extra lead for my pencil. Oh yeah, and the incredibly dirty eraser on the sketchbook. It's just a normal white eraser, but I also have one that's kind of like sticky-tack. I use it on nearly-final drawings 'cause you just press it onto the lines and it removes the top layer without disturbing the other lines.

I tend to storyboard in my sketchbook instead of on separate paper. The left page of the open sketchbook is actually two storyboard panels. I have a strange habit of working backwards, so the top image is #1, the bottom image is #2, then if you flip the page backwards (or forwards, if you're Japanese), you'd see the next two panels. There's also a simplified breakdown of the scooter on the right page. So far, I've got about eight storyboard panels done, some initial concept art for four characters, but only a true character sheet breakdown for the main character (the hippo). Ah, that means all the details are measured/decided/set, sort of like how I broke down/simplified the scooter with everything labeled.

Essentially, the better you can take it apart, the better you can draw it from all different angles. So it's worth doing the work ahead of time and creating reference images.
(click for full size)

 Here's a top shot of my light-table. Animation paper is a non-standard size, instead of 8 1/2" x 11", it's 10 1/2" x 14 1/2". It also has 3 holes in it, a circular one in the middle and two long ones on either side for the pegs, which are about 1/2" high. This way, you can swivel the light table disc upside-down and the paper will never fall off. This is a shot of 2 layers of paper without the light on. Notice how you really can't see the background.

The light table is pretty big. It sits on a normal table and stands 14" tall at the tallest point and the drawing surface is 24" x 24". The opaque disc is about 19" in diameter.

The scooter is going to be light blue with white flowers. I haven't decided the colours for the character's body/clothes yet. I love her fat little arms, legs and feet. The lines just flowed really nice/naturally, so I feel good about them. Ah, I love her long ears, too. So far my favourite character (not shown here) is an orange tabby cat named Solomon Cat. He's freaking adorable :)
(click for full size)

Same two layers, but with the light on. Notice how you can clearly see the background? Yup, you really can layer up to a dozen sheets of paper and see all the drawings. Oh yeah, I spent like 5 seconds on the background. Simply a matter of deciding on a vanishing point, then using a ruler to draw the road, then I free-handed a sketchy tree and a horizon. Oh, that hole at the bottom is where you stick your finger to rotate the opaque plastic disc. It's about an inch in diameter, maybe a little bigger.

Ah, I really missed this... I just love drawing/animating so much.

I so wish there were classical animation jobs still available in North America... sigh. Nowadays, they're all farmed out to South Korea. Funny thing is, even the Japanese Anime stuff is farmed out to Korea!

I swear, I was born 10 years too late :(

Ah well, as long as I'm having fun, right?


  1. Your characters are adorable. I wouldn't have the patience to do all that. Yep, as long as you're having fun, that is the main thing.

    1. Ah, that wasn't much work at all. Maybe 2 hours total sketching time, then about 10 minutes to make the clean re-draw image and the rough background.

      A lot of the time was taken with roughing in the perspective, especially in the storyboards 'cause THAT'S the place to draw a million lines and settle on the best one, not on a clean sheet of paper.

      I'm all about efficiency :)

  2. just to let you know - Bernie found the BBQ cover... in back of shed. He bought a new one yesterday.... lol
    Have a great trip!


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