People ask me what programs or tablets I use to do animation. My answer is always very simple. I animate in Flash with a mouse. Oh sure, I do actual physical drawings with various pens and paper and cardboard, but when drawing digitally the mouse has always been my device of choice.
“That is completely insane” they say. “How can you draw with a mouse!” I learned. I learned very early on.
I always knew I wanted to make animation. More than comics, more than painting, I wanted to make art that MOVED. The main obstacle there was that I came from a poor family. Getting an expensive video camera was out of the question. I didn’t even have a computer! The first computer I got was a Commodore 64, well into the 90s when better computers were already out (but that’s another story.) What I did have was a Super Nintendo. I got very lucky and the very second game I had was Mario Paint.
Mario Paint was an important tool for me. I learned how to make the most of my limitations. It taught me how to draw digitally with a mouse. I hooked the Super Nintendo to two VCRs and filled tapes with silly animation loops. I would use what little money I saved to buy a RadioShack audio/video mixer for 60 bucks and added music and voices to the short animations. These cartoons looked and sounded terrible, but I still pushed on. In high school I did science and book report presentations on VHS tapes using these tools. I knew I’d have to retire Mario Paint eventually though. I pushed every ounce of possibility out of that cartridge.
In the early 2000s I got Flash (from a generous donor) and I’m still learning many things from it. I use it to make nearly all my animations and I’m still drawing with a mouse. I’ve been mouse drawing since I was a teenager. It’s a craft I’ve perfected and only gotten speedier at. At this point a tablet feels like it would just slow me down. Even if I were to get a Cintiq, which I could quite possibly afford now, I know I’d still go back to the mouse for little things now and then.
I remember seeing this when I was really little, loving it, and then for years never saw it again. I guess they didn’t show it often because it didn’t feature any actual Looney Tunes characters or anything, but it’s still one of my favorite Chuck Jones shorts.
CGI technology has brought the late Audrey Hepburn back to the screen, as she stars in a TV advertisement for the chocolate company, Galaxy. Hepburn’s sons, Sean Ferrer and Luca Dotti, said regarding the project: “Our mother often spoke about her love of chocolate and how it lifted her spirit, so we’re sure she would have been proud of her role as the face of Galaxy.” (watch the commercial here)
i can’t believe we’ve reached the point in technology where we can just
I don’t know how I feel about this.
the reaction on tumblr to this commercial is really, really disheartening. :(
I’m really impressed, and this was a long time coming, but I didn’t think folks would be so nonplussed about it.
I dunno… as far as animation goes, sure, it’s impressive—there are a few telltale CGI movement giveaways in the parts on the bus, but overall it’s quite lifelike—but it brings up the very real concern of what happens to a celebrity’s likeness after death. People were creeped out for the same reason when that one commercial years ago used John Wayne, and in other CGI celebrity resurrections after it.
It’s one thing when it’s a fictitious character brought to life, but there’s just something eerie and, dare I say, disrespectful about using a dead celebrity in an imitation of life.
This video reel makes me wonder how often really spectacular practical effects have been misidentified as “shitty cg” by people who like to cry about anything that doesn’t look like Harryhausen Dynamation.
Because I’m very sure I’ve heard those sort of comments directed towards a lot of the creatures showcased here when they appeared in their respective films.
I think it looks fake to some people not because of the realism factor, I mean, obviously it looks real, but these movements look animatronic and fake. Like they are independent controls that aren’t going along with eachother. Like they’re all just randomly twitching and flexing and stuff. It looks cool, but not realistic.
Here’s where it could get awesome: why not have these controls programmed, and have an animator or someone come in animate them all beforehand, get the performance to look perfect and create a sort of dynamic pre-programmed action, something you could then translate into the physical animatronic controls, and then you can get phonemes and whatnot like Audrey II or those gross guys at the end of this reel(5:30? what the hell are those from?) - which apparently were all hand-puppeteered with animatronics. And you can totally tell, too. Have they done this yet? I’m sure they have but what’s stopping them from going all the way? Have a pre-animated animatronic character in a scene with actors? Why not?
Also the little swimming Oompa Loompa is totally adorable and looks so realistic even with such a simple mechanism, I want one
Reblogging for both sets of commentary. On the one hand, it’s pretty amazing how far the special effects field has come—it’s getting more and more difficult for the average moviegoer to determine what’s computer-generated and what’s elaborate puppetry. On the other, those soft over-acted movements Typette mentions are the number one thing that’s always bugged me about animatronics. It’s not even completely the artists’ fault, either, since there’s been a long tradition of that sort of exaggerated legato movement in puppetry. Both professionals and amateurs can’t help but pick it up.
For example, the squirrel and the little frog: Both pieces looked spectacular, but their movements were completely unnatural compared to the real thing. Real animals (and people) twitch, make abrupt movements, and generally only make long slow movements when sneaking up on something or trying to be careful. Squirrels move nothing like the animatronic model here; they dart and nibble and look about in quick, jerky head movements, and their tails are always in motion. I understand some of this may be technical limitations—there’s only so fast gears can move, especially in an elaborate rig—but at least some of this could be overcome through a less traditional method of puppeteering.
Just watched this, and I love how easy it is to tell Genndy Tartakovsky directed this. This was really the only CGI movie I can really remember seeing where the characters were treated like traditional cartoons rather than puppets. Snappy movement, smears, extreme takes, everything that made Dexter’s Lab and Samurai Jack a joy to watch were all here. I really hope more humorous CGI movies take Hotel Transylvania’s lead.
‘Adventure Time with Fionna & Cake’ Comic Miniseries Coming in January from Boom! Studios
How great is this going to be? Comics Alliance is making the official announcement “Boom! Studios is launching a fully gender-swapped Adventure Time With Fionna & Cake six-issue miniseries.” The best part? Issue #1 is being written and illustrated by the show’s very own Natasha Allegri. If you can stand the three-month wait you’re a better person than any of us is.
I’m going to take a quick break from politics with this post to advertise a podcast – “The Cartoonimation Show.” I co-hosted this weeks episode in which we discuss Adult Swims history in the full. As well as co-hosting, I also created this weeks show art which is listed above. So, if you’re a fan of Adult Swim and are curious to hear the voice behind the Art of the Union keyboard, tou can listen to the podcast here.
Looks like the show happened a couple of months ago, but I would be remiss in not reblogging a Brak pieta.
Drawing by Pendleton Ward, creator of Adventure Time.
We’re working on a one page comic together right now… hopefully I’ll be able to post that soon. But in the meantime, I’m posting this other drawing he did of us, cause I can’t wait. I really like the funny way he drew my American Elf character in this one.
Personal blog with occasional original content, usually in the form of fan art (currently Mass Effect-related). Loads of reblogs of cats, tech, SCIENCE!, cats, politics, cats, feminism, cats, cats, and whatever else cats strikes my fancy. Cats, mostly. Flamingly liberal, just a heads-up if that sort of thing turns you off.
Just want art? Look under the pictars tag.
Tumblr Savior "quibbles" to avoid my many pointless text posts and reblogs.