Showing posts with label Carbunkle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Carbunkle. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Space Madness Gets Extra Credits

This was an episode where I had to go back to Vanessa and ask if we could give more credits upfront. "Oh, John...This one time only!" was the response. Then later I did it again for a couple other episodes.

Original notes from lunch with Jim and John about space episodes above, then turned into a simple premise below:

I had to rewrite the "crazy talk" speech about 5 times to get Nick to approve something. This is one attempt

Jim Gomez wrote up a more detailed premise, then I fleshed it out to a long outline and went through many passes and revisions with Nickelodeon. It's a particularly long detailed outline or I would scan it to show you.
I wish I could find the notes where they told us to "drop the space episodes. We don't like space." Richard, do you have them?Jim designed the look of the future for the show studying old Popular Science pulp magazines and books about the Streamlined decade and 40s vacuum cleaner catalogues. The Spumco book will have lots of his art.

Chris did some great designs while he was storyboarding at the same time. He did the long vertical pan of the weird machine in the History Eraser Button room for one.

Oh, and David Koenigsberg did the cool waving credits and fx at the beginning of the cartoon-the old fashioned way, under a camera with ripple glass!

Henry Porch picked out Dvorak's "New World" for the opening music, which lent the cartoon a very serious ominous atmosphere.

Bill Griggs did a phenomenal job editing the music and Tim Borquez killed himself coming up with all the cool old style science fiction sound effects.

Mike Fontanelli did the layouts of Ren and Stimpy at the end for the History Eraser Button Sequence. Maybe I have some frame grabs somewhere.

A lot of other good artists all worked on the show. A cartoon like Space Madness could never be made as an independent film - or even at another studio with all the same people. It took a lot of top talent, a production system designed for talent and a sympathetic creative director who urged the best from everyone - oh and a network executive who allowed it to happen. More than what we all thought we were capable of, I'm sure.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Cute Girl and Ren Running, Bob animation 12x beat

This girl character is based on Tex' Avery's Lonesome Lenny, which in turn is taken from Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men". It's such a funny concept it's hard to resist it. -Someone who loves his little pets so much, he squeezes them to death. "I'm gonna love you and squeeze you and kiss you..."

I tried to get a little pathos here with shadows of the bars and Stimpy pulling his rubbery gloves along the bars in heartbreaking agony.

I asked Bob to make the girl be light in this run and to have more drawings of her off the ground than on the ground in this run. There are 12 x per step. 7 of them, her feet are off the ground.

There are 5 where she has at least one foot in contact with the ground.

This is drawing 7 and drawing 11. There are 3 more inbetweens very closely spaced between them to make you feel this part of her run, where she is floating in the air. Bob used "tight inbetweens" a lot to great effect.

He also added lots of overlap to smooth out the run. Ren's bouncing overlaps the girl's up and down motion, and then Ren's hair overlaps his.

That "I'm alive, I'm alive" bit is inspired by "Stranger On The 3rd Floor" - a great movie.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Carbunkle 4 - Jasper - The Big Sleep - Bob

The system I designed in the 80s to try to improve limited TV animation was dependent upon having strong layout poses where we could control the visual acting of the characters. Before Ren and Stimpy, the overseas studios would take these poses and basically time them evenly from one to the next - which caused the poses to swim past each other, so then I started adding longer holds just so you could see each pose before registering the next one.
Layout pose above.

When we did the pilot for Ren and Stimpy we animated the whole thing in North America - between Spumco and Carbunkle, which gave us more control over the timing of the poses. This scene was animated by Bob Jaques and he used a variety of timing techniques to emphasize the layouts and the story. First, Ren turns his head fairly evenly as he starts talking. There is no formulaic antic/overshoot because it is a slow move and doesn't require one.

Here's another layout pose below. Ren is calmly speaking.

"Hey Jasper, where's Phil?"When Jasper starts speaking, the only action is his dialogue mouths. His head is held. "I told ya, they put him to..."
Then he pops into this Kirk Douglas expression...
When he pops back to the first pose, his head squashes for a frame and his nose and ears drag.
Back to the layout.

Now Ren speaks again, only this time with more energy, so he does a slight antic first.
From there he goes up into an extreme past the pose where he will settle into. "Soo...
and then his hand does a semi-circle action as it settles into ...Wake him up!"
...the final pose
Now Jasper leans forward softly to tell something to Ren.

"You don't wake up..."
Ren's head pans to the left slowly...
Jasper's eyes accent, looking at camera.
He pops to another pose and continues dialogue...
Then into another key layout pose "From the...""
Bob continued the action by having Jasper turn his head slightly away from camera... "Big"
Then he animates into this throbbing skull pose.and continues down very slightly in a moving hold... "Sleep"
and snaps back to the first pose...

His tongue comes out after the pop, which smoothes out the action.

Having all this variety of timing makes the scene seem more alive than if the same timing formula was used to connect each successive pose. These variations aren't at random either. You can tell that Bob really planned out the whole scene and customized each action to make the points of the story and the characters' emotions come across.