March 29th, 2017

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Animation Resources at WonderCon in Anaheim!

Animation Resources will be at WonderCon in Anaheim from March 31st to April 2nd at BOOTH 1702. Stop by and say hello and ask for our special convention secret present! The Board of Directors of Animation Resources will be on hand to speak with you about our projects and offer advice on your portfolio. The scedule of portfolio review is…

Friday 2pm: David “Pez” Hofmann

Saturday 2pm: Michael Woodside

Sunday 2pm: JoJo Baptista

Drawing lessons will be conducted throughout the day by all three of these great artists as well as animation educator Taber Dunipace. Make a point to look us up at BOOTH 1702, and ask for the convention secret present. See you at WONDERCON!

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Posted by Stephen Worth @ 9:45 am

March 28th, 2017

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Illustration: Frank Reynolds Paints Pickwick

Frank Reynolds

Frank ReynoldsFrank ReynoldsFrank Reynolds is a name that you don’t hear mentioned much when artists are discussing classic illustrators. That’s a shame, because there is a lot to learn from his work.

Reynolds was born in 1876, and gained fame for his humorous drawings in Punch, Sketch and The Illustrated London News. His specialty was caricaturization, and at the time, his drawings were described as being non-specific and even ugly. But with modern eyes, the clearness of compositions, economy of detail, and expressive caricature fit right in with what illustrators like Norman Rockwell were doing in the 40s and 50s. The books of Charles Dickens provided the perfect subject for Reynolds’ talents.

Frank Reynolds

In an article on Reynolds (available for viewing at Project Gutenberg) A.E. Johnson wrote: "It is related of Charles Dickens that the creation of many of his famous characters was inspired by a chance remark overheard in the street. A single telling sentence, uttering some quaint sentiment, perhaps in quaint idiom, would set up a train of ideas ultimately resulting, after much meditative elaboration, in a Mrs. Gamp or a Dick Swiveller. The process is not dissimilar, one imagines, from that by which the artist evolves a character sketch: with this difference, that whereas a solitary trait accidentally revealed, was to Dickens sufficient foundation upon which to construct his fanciful portrait, such studies of types as Frank Reynolds excels in must be the outcome, not of one ‘thing seen,’ but of reiterated observation of the same thing in identical or closely similar guise."

There’s a lot to know about this great artist. Project Gutenberg has posted an overview of Reynolds’ career. Check it out.

Frank Reynolds
Frank Reynolds
Frank Reynolds
Frank Reynolds
Frank Reynolds
Frank Reynolds
Frank Reynolds
Frank Reynolds
Frank Reynolds
Frank Reynolds
Frank Reynolds
Frank Reynolds

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit spotlighting Illustration.

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Posted by admin @ 12:26 pm

March 27th, 2017

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Animation: Musical Timing Rediscovered

Shuffle Off To Buffalo

A few weeks ago, John K posted an article by Milt Gray about timing. If you haven’t read it yet, by all means, click on that link before you go any further in this post. Milt explains how cartoons before the TV era were timed to a musical beat, and how musical timing has become a lost art.

Rudy Ising and Hugh HarmanRudy Ising and Hugh HarmanWell, almost lost… I happened to be speaking to Mark Kausler about the article, and he mentioned that he had a complete set of bar sheets, given to him by Rudy Ising, for an early Merrie Melodies cartoon- "Shuffle Off To Buffalo". He graciously offered to let us digitize it and share it with you. This document is the "smoking gun" that animators interested in timing theories of the past have been looking for. It’s a highly detailed plan for the timing of a typical cartoon from the early days of sound. This isn’t a particularly good cartoon, but it gives us a clear look at the process. That makes it invaluable.

I’ve gathered together all the reference you need to analyze these bar sheets… I’ve supplied you with frame grabs from each scene to act as a storyboard, and I’ve posted a 24 fps movie file of "Shuffle Off To Buffalo". My own knowledge of animation timing theory is extremely limited, so I would appreciate it if the professional animators who are reading this blog would share their expertise through the comments link below, or by posting analysis to their own blogs. Nick Cross and Michael Sporn are the first to weigh in with their comments. I’ll add links to other blogs discussing this topic as I am made aware of them.

Musical timing is one of the principle aspects of early cartoons that set them apart from modern animation. The perfect rhythm of cartoons is what makes them so appealing and magical. Rhythmic timing doesn’t cost any more, in fact, careful planning saves money. “Shuffle Off To Buffalo” was planned down to the frame by two men- a director and a musician- before a single animation drawing had been done. The results are "magical perfection". Modern animation timing requires constant testing and revising by teams of artists and technicians to look "natural". Who wants cartoons that look natural? How many manhours could be saved with this technique? Let’s share info and try to recapture the "lost art" of Musical Timing!

RUDY ISING’S BAR SHEETS

Shuffle Off To Buffalo Bar Sheets

These 20 pages comprise the complete "detail sheets" (aka "bar sheets") for the 1933 Merrie Melodies cartoon, "Shuffle Off To Buffalo". This document was prepared by the director, Rudy Ising in collaboration with the musical director, Frank Marsales.

Shuffle Off To Buffalo Page 01
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Page 02
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Page 03
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Page 04
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Page 05
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Page 06
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Page 07
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Page 08
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Page 09
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Page 10
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Page 11
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Page 12
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Page 13
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Page 14
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Page 15
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Page 16
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Page 17
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Page 18
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Page 19
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Page 20

STORYBOARD

Feel free to print out these images to use as a visual reference when you’re studying the bar sheets. Every scene in the picture is depicted here, along with its scene number.

Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard

24 FPS MOVIE FILE

Shuffle Off To Buffalo Movie

I have encoded this Quicktime movie at 24 frames per second, so you can count frames and compare to the bar sheets. If the movie fails to load quickly, check back a little later.

Shuffle Off To Buffalo (WB/1933)
(Quicktime 7 / 30.6 megs)

COMMENTARY AND RELATED LINKS

Animator, Nick Cross discusses the importance of musical timing

Director, Michael Sporn provides examples of other formats of bar sheets and a discussion regarding how timing theory morphed over time

Kevin Langley discusses how he is applying musical timing principles to his own work, and offers scans of bar sheets by Bill Hanna and Scott Bradley

Mark Mayerson explains how to use a metronome to time animation

Hans Perk posts lecture notes by Disney composer, Albert Hay Malotte and bar sheets by Dave Hand for Trader Mickey. More on bar sheets at afilmla.

Timing Director, Milt Gray talks about the differences between the way cartoons are timed today, and the way they were timed in the golden age

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Animated CartoonsAnimated Cartoons

This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Animation.

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Posted by admin @ 12:02 pm