In animation involving a staff of several artists who work on the production drawings, the need for model control is all important, because no two people naturally draw alike. Studios have always worked hard at making all the images of any character look uniform, which means they are involved in suppressing the individual quirks of all the artists to the point that the viewer will not be able to detect the work of one artist from any other. Even so, animators and animation historians can often spot the work of a Jim Tyer, a Milt Kahl or a Rod Scribner by their signature traits of drawing and movement.
Independent animators who work alone or almost alone have a simpler time of it. They draw like they draw, they draw or supervise every frame of their films, and they alone determine how closely or how loosely they must adhere to their own model sheets.
In my case, interested as I am in drawing, I do take some pains to keep the characters on model throughout the whole creative process. Yet there is still some work to be done to get them back on model.
Here is a model sheet for Victoria, the woman character in my project, The Crossing.
|Victoria model sheet.|
|Victoria cleanup 1.|
Here is a second example, done the same day:
|Victoria cleanup 2.|
A third example:
|Victoria cleanup 3.|
Cleanups like this need to be created in the same order as the animation drawings of a pose-to-pose scene: first the extremes, then the breakdowns, then the inbetweens. As you draw, you should be stacking your drawings on the pegs of your board exactly as you did when making the roughs, so that the drawing you are correcting is beiing constantly compared to the already-cleaned-up drawings that bracket it on either side. This may sound laborious but can actually be done quickly--much more quickly than the creation of your roughs. And if your extremes and breakdowns are good, then your inbetweens ought to be good also.
I hope this provides some insight and encouragement for any of you with a stack of rough animation drawings that you have been reluctant to clean up. Now get out your eraser, your sharpened pencils and your model sheets, and just do it!
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