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

Saturday, October 22, 2016

No. 112, Richard Williams Teaches Me How to Draw Urinals

On my storyboard, I find myself still in the men's room--in the toilet.  And faced with the challenge of drawing a long neat row of urinals in perspective, I soon turned to the renowned animator and designer Richard Williams.

It was not the urinal itself that was the problem, but the convincing rendering of a series of evenly spaced modules diminishing in the distance.  It is easy to know the size at any point along the row by the perspective lines radiating from the vanishing point, but it is not so easy to know where they should be placed along those lines.

In a lot of things, the experienced artist can fake perspective without going to the trouble of establishing an actual vanishing point and then drawing guidelines. Or perhaps a phrase more accurate than the word fake would be "make an educated guess." If the situation is simple enough, one can often get away with it.

But with things as regular as fenceposts or Doric columns, the viewer will be quick to notice if something is wrong in the spacing.  After only a little drawing and a lot of erasing, I remembered that Richard Williams had addressed this issue in his book The Animator's Survival Kit. It was certainly worth looking up.

This is actually about spacing the drawings of something moving toward you in perspective,
but it also applies to a series of evenly spaced objects in perspective.
A most useful trick to know!
So here is how I applied it to my row of nine urinals.
You can see some of my blue pencil intersections.
What this doesn't give you is any cumulative change in angle as you go down the line. That part, I did fake.

And now here are the urinals again, this time with customers.

And all of this for a shot that will be on screen for less than two seconds. My thanks to Richard Williams, and to the great Warner's animator Ken Harris, who showed him this trick.

No comments:

Post a Comment