Glen Keane

Animation Notes from Ollie Johnston

Here are some very excellent notes by Ollie Johnston written down by Glen Keane. They are a great source of inspiration. Even though the notes were originally meant for hand-drawn animation, they still apply and are applicable towards computer animation. 1. Don't illustrate words or mechanical movements. Illustrate ideas. 2. Squash and stretch entire body for attitudes. 3. If possible, make definite changes from one attitude to another in timing and expression. 4. What is the character thinking? 5. It is the thought and circumstances behind the action that will make the action interesting. (example: A man walks up to a mailbox, drops in his letter and walks away. OR A man desperately in love with a girl far away carefully mails a letter in which he has poured his heart out.) 6. When drawing dialogue, go for phrasing. (simplify the dialogue into pictures of the dominating vowel and consonant sounds, especially in fast dialogue.) 7. Lift the body attitude 4 frames before dialogue modulation (but use identical timing on mouth as on X sheet). 8. Change of expression and major dialogue sounds are a point of interest. Do them, if at all possible, within a pose. If the head moves too much you won't see the changes. 9. Don't move anything unless it's for a purpose. 10. Concentrate on drawing clear, not clean. 11. Don't be careless. 12. Everything has a function. Don't draw without knowing why.13. The facial expression should not be contradicted by the body. The entire pose should express the thought. 14. Get the best picture in your drawing by thumbnails and exploring all avenues. 15. Analyze a character in a specific pose for the best areas to show stretch and squash. Keep these areas simple. 16. Picture in your head what it is you're drawing. 17. Think in terms of drawing the whole character, not just the head or eyes, etc. Keep a balanced relation of one part of the drawing to the other. 18. Stage for most effective drawing. 19. Draw a profile of the drawing you're working on every once in a while. A profile is easier on which to show the proper proportions of the face. 20. Usually the break in the eyebrow relates to the highpoint of the eye. 21. The eye is pulled by the eyebrow muscles. 22. Get a plastic quality in face - cheeks, mouth, and eyes. 23. Attain a flow through the body rhythm in your drawing. 24. Simple animated shapes. 25. The audience has a difficult time reading the first 6-8 frames in a scene. 26. Does the added action in a scene contribute to the main idea in that scene? Will it help sell it or confuse it? 27. Don't animate for the sake of animation but think what the charater is thinking and what the scene needs to fit into the sequence. 28. Actions can be eliminated and staging "cheated" if it simplifies the picture you are trying to show and is not disturbing to the audience. 29. Spend half your time planning your scene and the other half animating. 30. How to animate a scene of a four-legged character acting and walking: Work out the acting patterns first with the stretch and squash in the body, neck, and head; then go back in and animate the legs. Finally, adjust the up and down motion on the body according to the legs.

CTNX '12 - Day 2

The big day of CTN with so many exciting panels and demos to attend! I woke up at 6am to get ready so that I could stand in line for a fastpass, hoping to be able to get one for the Glen Keane talk. I was so close! I was 10 feet from the table when it was announced that the Glen Keane tickets were all out. So sad. People were apparently lining up since 5am for them. I instead got the fast pass for the Dreamworks talk on Rise of the Guardians.

The first panel to start off this second day was the talent behind Hotel Transylvania. One thing that I loved about the movie, and a topic that the director, Genndy Tartakovsky made a point of is the animation and the application of 2D and 3D. What Genndy wanted was a 2D animation style that really pushed poses with stretch and squash and talking with the riggers and animators, the answer wasn't "no" but rather "we'll try" and they did it. The style was achieved and really pushed the animation of the movie and made it really interesting. 2D is not dead, it is still applicable in the creation of stories that captures people.

I was unable to attend the animation lectures with Mike Makarwicz as I was at the demo with Bobby Chiu. On one side Andreas Deja was doing a demo of 2D animation with Lion King while Bobby Chiu was showing character design. While I love Lion King, the character design is what I came to see. It was amazing. I have read his various tutorials in the magazine ImagineFX but it was a whole new experience and I learned so much from watching him work.

I am so excited for next week when Rise of the Guardians come out. First, I've always liked Jack Frost but getting to hear about movie from a development perspective from the talent behind the movie has me hyped even more. Hamish Grieve, head of story, Gabe Hordos, head of character animation, and Takao Noguchi, character designer, talked.about the creation of each character and really developing the specificity for each so that they're unique in their own way, has a soul that is portrayed, and a core that could be grasped.

There was a sneak peek of Dreamworks' next new film, The Croods. I've been hesitant about this movie for awhile due to the trailers that I've seen portray a bunch of dirty, grimy people living in a cave located in a desolate world. It didn't look very appealing. However, that trailer does the movie no justice. There is a huge.additional part of the movie that takes place in a whole different set that is just fantastical, beautiful, and absolutely amazing.

Glen Keane. The line was ridiculous. People were waiting outside for at least two hours. It did not help that it started raining. Even worse was that about a hundred more VIPs than expected showed up so us people in the general line weren't even sure if we would get in. A lot of us didn't get inside the room but they were able to clear out the lobby and let us watch on the TVs outside. A bit of a disappointment but at least I got to see and hear the talk. The main point of Glen Keane's talk was to think like a child for children have the transparent innocence and imagination that drives each of us to be artists and do what we love.

During a bit of downtime earlier in the afternoon that I had in-between panels I finally broke down and bought a book. It was the wordless comic LOVE - le tigre by Federico Bertolucci and Frederic Brremaud. I've seen posters of the cover up around before and I love it with the tiger but I never seen the actual book until now. Finally getting my hands on the book I had to buy it. Not only is there a tiger but there are also many amazing drawings of other animals. Unfortunately I don't think they are at CTN or else I would have loved to have it autographed.

Coming tomorrow are the panels for Frankenweenie, Paperman, and Wreck-it-Ralph!

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CTNX '12 - Day 1

CTN is finally here and it is amazing being surrounded with so many awesome people with such great talent. I tried to go to bed at 11ish as I had to wake up at 1:30am to get ready and then head downtown to catch a bus at 4am. The ride was rough but we got here to the event location.

I started off the day with a kick off event lecture by Brenda Chapman, co-director of Brave. It was a great way to start off as her theme was passion, finding passion, applying passion, and just loving what you do.

Wandering around the artist panels I got to see a lot of amazing art, among those are Disney, Laika, and Riot, but the best part was that I was able to meet Bobby Chiu. Bobby Chou is a huge inspiration to me as it can be said that it was his work that got me started rolling down this path towards animation. His work was among those that made me love digital painting and creature design and made me think that I would like to go into visual development. While I have shifted towards texture painting and lighting, visual development and design is still something that I would like to develop a skillset for.

Next up on my amazing day was the appearance of Glen Keane doing a demo. Everyone was excited and when he came in it was this amazing sense of awe and respect. He animated Ariel swimming and drew and talked about designing Tarzan, Pocohontas, and the Beast. Glen Keane was awesome and hilarious. He started off saying that he hasn't done 2D animation in a long time and wasn't sure if was still able to do it. Clearly he can. He mentioned that Ariel's face and Tarzan's feet were based off his wife! Aoparently there was a lack of consensus on the size of Ariel's chest so Glen was able to tell who did what shots based on the size of the seashells. When asked what was the hardest character that he has to work on, Glen answered Pocohontas due to that she had a non-caucasian face, it was structured to be the opposite of the classic Disney face like Ariel, and that there were a lot of subtleties that would also be difficult to convey to other animators. I was so close to getting an autograph from him but unfortunately the crowd was too large and there was a character design lecture that I wanted to attend next.

Not to be outdone by Glen Keane, Andreas Deja gave a lecture on "the elements of charm and wonder". Andreas Deja is known for his villians such as Jafar and Scar. Even though the characters are the antagonists and you want to hate them, they have a charm that keeps you attracted and Andreas attributed a lot of this to the design and presence of the characters. A big surprise was hidden in the lecture that a surprise guest showed up. It was Lisa Davis, the voice actress of Anita from 101 Dalmations. She came and talked about her experience and afterwards I got a chance to talk to her and get an autograph! She is an awesome person who is extremely warm, kind, and approachable.

Things that I am looking forward to tomorrow include the talent behind Translyvania, creature design with Bobby Chiu, animation lecture with Mike Makarwicz, talent behind Rise of the Guardians, and the Glen Keane lecture. Big day tomorrow!

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