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

Sunday, January 28, 2018

No. 149, A Different Point of View

One Way to Draw a Difficult Angle

A few days ago while struggling to draw my Old Man character from an unusual angle, I recalled an old technique that I would like to pass along to you.

In trying to draw a difficult head-down view of the character, I was not satisfied with my result.  Here is what it looked like at the time.

Not having created a clay or Sculpey maquette of the Old Man, I had only my own traditional model sheet for reference.

Traditional model sheet for Old Man

As you can see, there is a head-down view at upper left, but it is not nearly as severe as I was trying to do. Then I recalled an old trick and decided to give it a try.

I taped a copy of the model sheet right onto my animation board--but not at a level angle; I dropped the right side down so that the profile of the Old Man's head seemed about the same as the angle I was trying for in my drawing. Then I drew a full frontal view alongside, using reference points from the profile view that plotted out horizontally from one image to the other.

Here is a photo taken right from my backlighted drawing disk, with the dim model sheet image showing on the bottom level and the new frontal image on the top level.

The green lines show the corresponding reference points for several features--the top of the hat brim, the top of the ear, the top of the eyeglass lens, the bottom of the ear, the bottom of the nose and the bottom of the chin. Some are not exact, but they get me where I want to go.

After this, I found it a simple matter to now re-draw my three-quarter-front drawing that had been a problem. It came out like this:

New head rendering at left. Original rendering in inset at right.

It turns out in this case that my original isn't so very different from the new head, but the new one on the left definitely is more recognizable as the man in the model sheet. I am satisfied with the result.

So take this tip and drop it into your own bag of tricks.  Someday you may want to pull it out to solve a drawing problem of your own!

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