Saturday, March 29, 2008
Remember that Newgrounds movie that I said I had a part in animating? Well it's done & the film is up on Newgrounds! Here's a direct link to the page!:
http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/432427 & REMEMBER TO VOTE "5"! WE NEED ALL THE HELP WE CAN GET, FOLKS!
Congratulations to everybody who took part!
After watching the movie, I noticed how many mistakes I made. I still don't understand why the faces blink black every few times, I don't remember seeing that when I sent it off. Oh well, what's done is done. Onto something new!
Friday, March 28, 2008
I drew the card in pencil, inked it with a Rapidograph & painted it with watercolors (well, technically I used watercolor pencils, but they come out just as good). I really like to use the watercolor pencils because not only does it bring a splash of color to whatever I'm drawing, but it gives it that watercolor look that I've always had a love for. Sketchy & sloppy, yet beautiful & graceful.
The birthday celebration was a big success! We ate at a nice Thai restaurant over on Saint Marks Place (I forget the name), gabbed for a few hours & at the end of the meal, we ate not one, but TWO cakes! But after a huge plate of basil fried rice with shrimp, 2 cokes, a slice of strawberry shortcake & tiramisu, I felt like I was gonna bust out wide open! Eitherway, it was a nice end to a great day!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
The big questions from me are 1) Who animated the original scene of Bambi's Mother eating grass, looking up & running away (Frank Thomas? Ollie Hohnston? Eric Larson? Who?...) & 2) Did the animator in question get credit for it when it was reused in the later films? Can anybody answer this for me?
Special thanks to Hans Perk & Michael Sporn!
*UPDATE* - Hans Perk pulled out his animator drafts for Bambi & wrote about his findings in the comments:
"Hi Michael, I had a look at the draft for Prod. 2002 (Bambi), Seq.09.2-"Death of the Mother." Directed by James Algar, layout by Dave Hilberman, animated by (drum roll...) Art Elliott. He animated Sc.8 (21-00ft on a 6½F setup), Sc.9 (9-00ft on 5F setup) where mother whispers "Bambi!" and Sc.10 (5-07ft on 5F setup) where mother says "Quick! The thicket!" (followed by some scenes by Bill Justice).
I did not check the other drafts yet, but normally reuse like this is not credited, as--again--the drafts were not prepared for crediting animators but for tracking the responsible person on any current production. Thus, most likely the person RE-animating the scene will be credited..."
Thanks again for the info, Hans!
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Thanks & remember to leave comments!
*UPDATE* - Hans Perk & Michael Sporn both let me know (at almost exactly the same time!) about a translated Russian article about Disney animation reuse. You can find the article here: http://www.prodisney.ru/index.php?page=clones.php . Part I is translated in English, but if you want to read parts II & III, you have to translate the webpages using BabelFish.
Thanks again Hans & Mike!
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Let me ask you a question: what does Make Mine Music (1946) & The Black Cauldron (1985)have in common?..... Give up?
They both used animation from the "Night on Bald Mountain" sequence of Fantasia (1940).
I plan on making more of these animation comparison videos in the future. While you're at it, if any of you notice any Disney animation reuse, email me through the address in my profile & let me know (but not in the comments section!). Thanks for watching!
Monday, March 24, 2008
Hans Perk over at A. Film L.A. has just recently begun posting the animator drafts of 101 Dalmatians. To me, these drafts are a gold mine! They're very informative & it's really interesting to read & see who animated what throughout the film. As of this post, he's just gotten up to the introduction of the Colonel, Captain & Sgt. Tibs, my favorite scene in the movie!
By the way, he also has the complete drafts for Pinocchio, Three Caballeros, Alice in Wonderland & countless classic Disney shorts up on the site too, so take some time & check his site out!
Friday, March 21, 2008
I just noticed that besides the Photoshop stuff, I haven't posted any new art in a long time. So, here's some recent art of mind for you to peruse through. Make sure to click on the pictures to enlarge them. It helps when you wanna look at some of the small stuff.
I know I've said it before, but my favorite thing to see from cartoonists & artists are pages of random sketches & doodles. You see a lot of stuff like that in published artist sketchbooks & in books like John Canemaker's Before the Animation Begins. It kinda shows what's going on in the artist's mind has he/she is drawing.
This page is filled with pictures just of farmyard animals. The mouse, donkey, cow & bull are my worst ones, but I do like the chick in the top right corner & the rooster. & look!... a duck that doesn't look like Steve-O! Hallelujah!
This page was drawn right after the farm one. The depressed baby elephant is kind of a downer to look at. I really like the panther in the middle, it looks a lot like Bagheera. I'm pretty satisfied with this page, except for that damn elephant (just look away folks...look away!)
It's really hard to draw female cartoon characters without them looking like guys in drag. The girl duck resting her head on her desk (named Mona) is THE hardest character to draw right from my stable of characters. It's nearly impossible for me to draw her without making her look like Steve-O with eyelashes. This particular drawing of her is just right, but it's one of those "spur-of-the-moment" sketches where you're not really paying attention to what you're drawing & after you're done you can't remember how you did it. It's a real shame because it's exactly how I want to draw her every time; the eyelashes, hair & bill are exactly right! The bowler dude is one of those, too.
The Steve-O flapping his arms looks a bit too "cutesy-wootsey" with those big pupils, but that look fits Randy like a glove. In my mind, Randy would have eyes like that all the time, unless he does a big take when he's hit, surprised or scared. The proportions on him are correct as well, everything is the exact shape/size it should be.
& speaking of Randy, here's a page just of him! This is what we'd call a "model sheet", where the character is shown from (almost) all sides, with different expressions, poses & sometimes with a guide showing the basic construction of the character.
When I draw my characters, I move/feel/draw in a completely different way for each character. While I prefer to draw Steve-O & Cannibal Chicken pretty quickly to make them look spontaneous, I like to take my time when drawing Randy. Since Randy is a calm, patient character, I like to slow myself down & be relaxed when drawing him. One wrong line & he goes from appealing to appalling.
For some reason, a lot of people I meet like Randy over the other two, preferably the girls. I'm not completely sure why that is... One reason may be because he's round & has a softer edge than the other guys. I guess that's because round, smooth shapes are more appealing to the eye than angular ones, just look at characters like Mickey Mouse or Snoopy, who are either A) Made up mostly of circles/ovals, or B) have no hard edges or sharp points. Besides, everybody likes the plump, chubby characters.
& now for something completely different: Here's a bunch of witchdoctors. Although witchdoctors like these may seem a bit politically incorrect, they're real fun to draw. The one guy on the left is recycled from a character I used to draw a long time ago, named Kanji ("bone" in Aborigine). I especially like the Jafar-looking creep on the right.
Lately, I've been hooked on animation from the 20's. To me, Ub Iwerks is "Animation God". All that rubberhose & elastic motion is so hypnotizing I can't look away for even a second. Here I tried drawing in that early style, studying Fleischer designs & animation from "Barnacle Bill", "Betty Boop's Ker-Choo" & my favorite Fleischer cartoon: "Bimbo's Initiation". Sadly, I couldn't help drawing a page without scribbling a few ducks here & there.
By the way, expect a post about one of my favorite pieces of animation from this era sometime next week.
& finally, here are two recent Rebops I did. They're loads of fun to draw & people love choosing the various parts & seeing the finished animal. These are the only two that I kept (I lost count how many I gave a way).
Well, that's it for now. But here's what I plan to do: From now on, at the beginning of every month, I'll post my best pages from the previous month. Another thing to keep the energy going here.
See ya around sometime, & remember to leave comments!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Sadly, the Bastardizations have steadily grown unfunny since the dinosaur battle one. I don't know how to top it! I won't do anymore until I have one that's sure to make people laugh. A real funny concept!
Well, at least try to tolerate this one anyway:
The DailyMotion thing was a bust, they're as bad as Youtube. They took the videos down as soon as I put them up. I guess it's for the best, so For the Birds will be the only place to see these videos (unless some shmuck steals them & puts them up on Youtube).
Also, I'm sick & tired of Windows Movie Maker! It's been a real pain to make these films with it. I had some spectacular ideas for videos, but due to the limited functions in the program they have been scrapped. I've been saving up to get a Macbook this summer, so when & if I do, the quality of these videos will greatly improve (if it's even possible to improve a video with smut like this in it every time).
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I know Walt Disney hated the Xerox look of the film, but I think that's one of the main reasons why its so charming. For an animator, it's got that sketchy quality that we all admire, like a colored pencil-test. The backgrounds are really unique for a Disney picture, where everything looks flat & has that graphic style. It may have been an eyesore to Walt, but to us animators & cartoonists, it's eye candy.
The middle of the film is my favorite, from the Twilight Bark sequence up the the last scenes at Hell Hall . & my favorite characters in the film are not the dalmatians, but the trio made up of the Captain, the Colonel & Sgt. Tibs (with Jasper & Horace right behind). It's interactions & conversations between personalities like these that always intrigue me. The way Sgt. Tibs is repeatedly flustered by the Colonel's serious yet awkward demeanor alway's makes me laugh. It's Leslie Nielsen if he were a sheepdog. To me, that stuff is pure gold.
& speaking of gold... isn't J. Pat O'Malley's English accent for Jasper just beautiful? Out of all the lines in the movie, Jasper has the best ones: phrases like "...We're gettin' plenty of boodle.", his long stretch about the new law passed in Parliament, & one of my all-time favorite line from any Disney film: "Here, grab a torch! We'll hunt 'em down before ou can say 'Bob's yer uncle'!"
I could probably go on & on about how great this movie is, but it'll just turn into a big gushfest, so I'll leave off here. I highly recommend buying (or at least renting) One Hundred & One Dalmatians on DVD. The bonus features may be lacking, but the film is worth the cost.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
He thought "I know... I'll have my somewhat-artsy son of mine do it for me!", so he told me that I should get into the sign business. I was gonna make signs whether I liked it or not. Thus my new career as a sign guy begun.
So I sketched out this drawing & painstakingly colored in in Photoshop (back when I was still in the process of getting to know the program). Since I'm partially colorblind, it was a task trying to choose the right colors. Working late into the night, I finally got it done.
I projected the image onto the back of an old junk sign, traced the lines in pencil & later in Sharpie Marker. Then I finally began to paint. I spent days painting, standing in the cold mixing paint colors & trying to keep my hands steady. When I thought I was done, he said that he studied up on signs & that the Sharpie probably wouldn't show well & that I should paint over the lines in thick black paint.
A bit peeved, I retraced the black lines as steadily as I could. When I was done with that, he said I should do the lettering too. & after that, he kept adding more crap for me to add to the sign: "Put the phone number on there... & when we're open." & finally the graceful phrase "FREE SOLUTIONS". "Why not 'ADVICE'?" I asked. But whatever I might say, his way still goes.
In the end, this is how it finally came out:
By the end of the project, I felt a lot like this guy...
I plan on doing a few more signs, maybe even learn a bit about pinstriping. Hey, I'd love to earn $60 bucks painting a straight line across the door of someone's car. I'll post those when & if I start them. Ciao!
Saturday, March 15, 2008
If any of you remember watching Ludwig von Drake on Disney's Wonderful World of Color back in the day, you might remember him singing a song called "Green with Envy Blues". Well, I took some animation of him swaying his feathery behind (which I believe is Ward Kimball animation), looped it to infinity, added some psychedelic video effects & dubbed over the original song with something totally opposite. This is the stupid crap I make when I'm home alone & there's nothing good on television. Explains a lot about me, doesn't it?
I've been screwing around with a bunch of songs for this video, so who knows, if you guys like this idea I'll post more of these von Drake Dancing movies using different tunes.
Also, I want to give credit to kaijueguy for putting the original von Drake footage up on Youtube & Deep Purple for their song "Smoke on the Water" ('cause if I didn't I'd get my ass sued).
& finally one last note: For some reason, when I post these movies onto Blogger there's a slight lag in the video so the visuals & the audio don't sync up exactly right. I've been thinking about putting these videos up on a site like DailyMotion (definitely NOT considering Youtube) to boost the video quality. When & if I do so, I'll repost the videos. If there's anybody out there that can recommend a good video uploading site for me, that would be a big help. Thanks!
*UPDATE* - Alright folks, from now on, all my videos shall be posted through DailyMotion.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Since I got off for Spring Break last Friday, I've felt a little down. SVA's students have break a week earlier than the other schools, so all my friends will have off next week while I'll be going back. I've been extremely lonely & alone, even to the point where the closest thing that could cheer me up was to just walk around town in the cold for hours. Tonight, I went to the movies (alone) feeling down & the film actually cheered me up a bit. In the end, I walked out of the theater feeling satisfied & happier than when I went in.
Back to Blue Sky's Seuss: like I said, I was skeptical when the movie was first announced, but after seeing a maquette of Vlad the vulture & these two pictures of the Mayor of Whoville & Horton:
A lot of CG films like Madagascar tried to pull off the wacky, spontaneous actions you find in classic cartoons like squash & stretch & blur/streak effects, but they still come off as stiff & rigid characters. With Horton, they finally pulled it off, & flawlessly. The animation in Horton has some of the best CG animation I've ever seen, especially in the the animation of Vlad & the Mayor. After seeing the TV ad when the Mayor screams in agony over a stapler to the head, I knew as an animator that I was in for a treat. We eat that up like it was going out of style. & don't worry traditional animation fans, there's a few treats for you in there, too!
Now on to the voices: now when I think "Horton", I think of a timid yet lovable type, having a small voice but with big things to say. The Clampett Horton was too much of a "DUH...Which way did he go George..." type of voice, while Hans Conreid's voice for Chuck Jones' Horton was spot on. When I first saw/heard Jim Carrey going through his "funny hats" line in the teaser trailer, I thought that was a really bad move. The idea of Ace Ventura in an elephant suit freaking out all over the place was a really hard to think about. I thought somebody like Albert Brooks would play a better Horton than Jim Carrey.
But now after seeing the movie, I think Carrey's performance was perfect. He put a lot of heart into the role & that made the character extremely appealing & likable. & on top of that, Carrey himself is a die hard Seuss fan, so he knew what he was putting his voice to. Steve Carell & Carol Burnett's performances were great too. I'm usually not a fan of studios using big name actors as voices in animated films, but in this case I can make an exception. Blue Sky made the right choices in choosing the voice talent for the film. At times, you forget that they're Steve Carell or Jim Carrey.
I'm not the kind of person who really laughs at a movie & I could probably count the number of times a movie has made me laugh out loud with one hand, but this film did make me laugh out loud a few times. & if I laughed, then chances are every single person in the theater would be laughing twice as hard as I was twice the amount of time. Unlike a lot of films like Shrek, Horton doesn't have to stoop so low as to use pop-culture references or fart jokes to get a laugh (in fact, there's not a single fart joke throughout the entire movie, it's a freakin' miracle!). Sure, some jokes may be a bit lowbrow to some, but they aren't unbearable. & unlike Shrek, these jokes will not date the film. This film shall live on through the ages!
But as for Blue Sky's next planned Seuss film, Green Eggs & Ham, I don't quite know how they'll pull that one off. We'll see how that turns out a few years down the road.
*P.S.* Since I came back from the movies, I've drawn pages of Horton-themed sketches to help break apart the long stretch of words I had to say about the film. But my scanner here at home is on the fritz, so I can't post them. When I get back to SVA on Monday or Tuesday, I'll post them then. 'Til then, imagine how great they look between all those white letters!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
If you have Brawl, & would like to VS. me, Michael J. Ruocco, in a match or two through Wi-Fi Play, email me by clicking on the link in my profile & we can transfer friend codes.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
He's outsourced a lot of the work to his friends & colleagues to help speed up production & after seeing a short 3-year old FLASH animation of a blob I did at Hofstra, he asked if I'd like to do a segment too. Thinking it would be fun, I said "Absolutely!", not realising how inexperienced I was at FLASH, how difficult it would be to animate & forgetting about how busy my class schedule was at the time.
Months have passed since then, & I'm just about done with it. The coloring is complete, the animation is cleaned up (mostly) & the backgrounds are set. All I need to do is redo the snow, since the old snow was a complete mess & then I can send it off to Chris for finalizing & tweaking.
I don't know when the movie will be released, but I know for sure that it'll end up over at NEWGROUNDS.COM very soon. I don't want to spoil the storyline for you or post any of the animation footage just yet, since I haven't gotten clearance from Chris if I could, & even if I could, it probably wouldn't be 'til long after the movie has been put up. I'll post later about the animation once it's online.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Looking back, I've accomplished a lot in my life since I started this blog last March: I graduated high school, visited foreign countries, got accepted/started classes at SVA, learned to drive, learned Photoshop, began to live on my own (almost), made new friends & completed a 7-year long metal sculpture project!
Before writing this post, I took the time to look over all 100 posts I've done, & after seeing all of them I forgot how much I covered here: The Rockman, unfinished comics (sorry), movie reviews & recommendations, rebops, WDCC's, Bastardizations, holidays, SVA, juggling, Toon Platoon, foxes, Miyazaki films, Hofstra U., Shakespeare, personal events, Smash Bros. & a plethora of sketches, drawings, doodles & scribbles (mostly of ducks)! "Phew, what a mouthful!"
Here's to another year of For the Birds goodness!