For People Crazy About 2D Animation!

Acme Punched! is for people crazy about 2D animation. It may be enjoyed by beginners and others, but it is aimed at animators who know already something about the process of animation and the basics of character animation. In large part, it will attempt to provide a deep look into the problem solving that goes on in my head as I work out a scene, often in step-by-step posts that I will sometimes enter in "real time", without knowing in advance what the outcome will be. Mistakes and false starts will not only be included but emphasized, so that the creative process of animation will be portrayed realistically. And, while my own bias is for 2D drawn animation, many of the effects and principles discussed here can apply to CGI 3D animation as well. I hope the blog will prove useful and instructive for all.

-Jim Bradrick

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

No. 109, Fun in the Men's Room

In my film Carry On, now in production at the storyboard and animatic stage, the main character, an Old Man trying to get a large trunk aboard an airliner as carry-on luggage, has to make a wardrobe change. Dragging the trunk into one of the public men's rooms at the airport, he proceeds to open the trunk to get at his clothing.

As I thought about the situation, I realized there was a possibility here for some comic business in the background.

The Old Man, intent on what he is doing, is oblivious of all else around him, but unwittingly he is disturbing the other men in the large restroom.

I knew right away I didn't want to do any gags about farting or anything else scatological, but I did see that I could make something out of the vague discomfort and wariness that many men feel when in a public restroom.

Following are a few drawings showing the development of this short scene. Some of them may not make the final cut, but they illustrate the storyboard artist's exploration of potential comic elements.

First shot.
We see the big trunk being dragged into the men's room. No need to
animate the Old Man here!

Next, a shot of a men's room user, vacantly staring at the wall.  It is
obvious what he is doing.
Go to close up.
Unusual noises wake him up. (The viewer has already heard
these same noises before: it is the Old Man opening the buckles
and catches of his big suitcase.)
He tries to see without turning his head, but... the end he must turn his head.
Wide shot of the room. The Old Man is about to open his case.
Another man gets curious.
With a flourish, the Old Man whips out a heavy overcoat from the open case, startling a man about to leave the restroom.

Some of these images are not final storyboard panels, but I am well on my way to locking this section of storyboard down into precise camera shots and angles.

I'm having fun in the men's room.  How about you?

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