Every four weeks, we hire models to come in & pose for our animation class for a few hours. This week, since our usually professor Celia Bullwinkel was out for the day, she invited Ian-Jones Quartey ( to come in & sub our class. A very funny & talented man.
For the first half, we drew 1-minute poses. I like to sketch things out really quick, so the 1-minutes are always more fun for me than the longer poses. It gives me just enough time to really dig in there & flesh out the shapes (even though my sketches do look more like tangled yarn than actual people).
Of course I couldn't help doing a few cartoony duck doodles here & there. Nasty habit, I know.
Here was an interesting assignment: Ian told us for one set to draw only the model in silhouette, to help understand clear staging, composition & negative space.
I originally was planning on scanning these images in, but unfortunately the rings of the sketchbook prevented me from getting a decent scan without a glare, shadow or other problem. So I had to take pictures of them with my digital camera, which explains the uneven cropping. They ain't too bad, but the pictures do get a little blurry when the flash is off. I can't wait to post ALL my sketchbook stuff this way soon!
P.S. Make sure to check out Ian's website at blackdotstudios.com & Celia's site & blog over on the right-hand side!
The great thing about these old commercials is that not only are they entertaining, but they actually make me want to go out & buy the products they're selling. The way these products were being promoted seems almost like subliminal messaging. They don't have to cut to a live-action shot of milk being poured onto a bowl of cereal in slow-mo, or some kid drinking a soda or taking a bite out of a candy bar & smiling with a "Wow, this is the absolute greatest thing I've ever tasted" expression on their mug. The characters just mention it almost non-chalantly. All Marky says about Maypo is its name & that it taste's like maple sugar candy. That's it. He doesn't go into detail about the consistency of Maypo or how healthy it is or how mom's approve of it. There's no magic or trickery in the promotion, it's just plain ol' oatmeal, but I still wanna go out & buy some!
I remember many years ago when that board game Guess Who? came out... the one with all the people's faces on tiles that you flipped down. In the commercial, the kid's ask the questions & the little cartoon faces on the tiles were animated & spoke to the kids. My sister, being young & easily lured by the magically-possessed game faces this commercial had to offer, begged my mom to get it for her birthday. She waited, & waited & waited until the day finally came. She opened the box & to her surprise... there was no magic. The faces didn't talk & they didn't move. They were just little strips of cardboard with drawings on them. A little girls dreams dashed by false advertising. She didn't hear/comprehend the final statement that the "game pieces do not actually talk", 'cause not only was it sped up to triple speed but muted by the loud cheerful music & the happy laughter of the children blaring over it. Commercials should just say what the products are & what they CAN do. Maypo is just oatmeal. A toy is just a toy. Simple, direct language.
It's a real shame commercials today aren't like the old Maypo ads. Today's commercials aren't really entertaining anymore, just boring & annoying. You see a "story", they interrupt the story to talk about the product's taste, color with added CG sparkles & logos floating around in slow-motion, then back to the "story" for 5 seconds with closing statements ("for a limited time..." "part of a complete breakfast", etc.), cut to black & start all over again. Sure, there's a few diamonds in the rough these days, but they come few & far in-between. For example, the recent Snickers commercial with the Viking throwing the trashcans at the car was one that made me laugh every time I saw it, but then they had to go & cut it down.
& that comes to another thing: why do so many of these commercials make no sense whatsoever? Sure the Viking one was funny, but it was completely ridiculous. The ones that really irk me are ones where you see some action, story or landscape, then cut to a product that has absolutely nothing to do with what you just saw. A few months ago, I saw a commercial where you see a guy playing tennis, a girl riding on a mountain bike & some guy playing golf & it randomly cuts to a black screen with Ford's latest car. I'm not kidding!
& when was the last time you saw a mascot that you actually liked? The Nasonex Bee? Ronald McDonald? That snot-looking thing that lives under your toenails? Admit it, a lot of them really suck. Even old-timers like the Trix Rabbit, Lucky the Leprechaun & Sonny the Cocoa Puffs Bird have lost their luster. They aren't appealing anymore, just annoying. You just want the commercial to die so you can get back to the show you were watching.
Here's a little experiment for you to test: watch TV for one hour & take notice of all the cereal/food/toy commercials you see (excluding all the duplicates). Then go to Youtube or RetroJunk.com, watch old commercials from the 1950's onward promoting the same exact product (from earliest to most recent) & see if you can notice a change. Go on, I dare you.
Boy, school really does a number on ya.... I've barely had time to see my own blog!
Currently, I'm juggling what seems like a million things at once. Besides schoolwork (which there's a somewhat decent amount of), I gotta finish my segments for $oopah NIN10Doh! (which I hope to get done by the end of the month *knocks on wood*), save up some extra dough for supplies & start working on my 2 minute film! It's a good thing I always get things done, even if it usually is at the last minute.
Right now, my $$$ is running on "E". I splurged about 3 G's a few weeks ago! No, I didn't spend it all on drugs, but what I did spend it on is equally as satisfying & addicting. I finally got myself a MACBOOK PRO, which I gotta say is the bee's knees. Best 3,000 bucks I ever spent! Hope it last's a while for me to get some good mileage out of it!
Sadly, I haven't posted much artwork in a while due to getting used to the new laptop. My scanner has been offline since I got the damn thing, & I had to drudge through mounds of software manuals & CD cases to find the scanner's MAC-oriented installation CD. I just found it a few days ago & now its up & running. Suprisingly, I've gone through a whole 50 page sketchbook cover-to-cover in less that 4 weeks, so a lot of that will be up here very soon!
For the time being, here's some doodles n' bits I conveniently had lying around the desktop :
I did this for my mother's class reunion coming up. I don't know if they're putting it in the book or not, but either way I'm happy about it.
I had a load of fun coloring it, not because I was allowed to put my characters in it, but because I colored it on one of the school's brand-new Cintiq's! The school went all out & bought about 15-20 of them over the summer, just for us animators! Ain't life grand? Now I can never go back to drawing/coloring on my little lap tablet.
This is probably what I'd look like if I were a Boo from Super Mario. Drew this for an acquaintance's DA page, where he's gathering Boo's by different people to form a Boo army. Kinda fits the Halloween spirit, doesn't it?
I sketched, inked & colored this earlier today in Digital Compositing class. The character is based off an idea I had for a children's book, but never got around to publishing. I may decide to use this guy in my student film this year, that is if I don't go with one of the other 7 film ideas I planned out. Decisions... decisions.... I don't know whether they're worth talking about or not, but if you're interested & want to lend an ear, let me know.
Also, here are a few films I recently watched, currently love & now have on my iPod:
- Whisper of the Heart
- The Cat Returns
- Allegro Non Troppo
- All of Bruno Bozzetto's films
& I'm gonna check out The Triplets of Belleville tonight, so I'll let you know how good it is later.
Well, I gotta head over to Biology class before I become tardy. Ciao!
My friend & fellow SVA-er Chris "Kirbopher" Niosi just finished Part 1 of his Go! Go! Parody Rangers feature film! If you like (or don't like) the old Power Rangers movie, then you'll definitely get a kick out of this.
Kirb'll be posting each "chapter" of the film up on Newgrounds weekly, so make sure to go check it out! *LINK*