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

Friday, August 30, 2019

No. 194: Richard Williams, 1933-2019

Richard Williams Passes

It was with shock that I read of the death of Richard Williams last week, just after I had posted about him (No. 193: Page One-eleven). He was 86 years old, but that doesn't lessen the regret I felt for his absence from the 2D animation world; he loomed larger than anyone in his reverence and enthusiasm for drawn animation, and for all that he did to try to sustain it and make it into a noble art.

We have his great book, The Animator's Survival Kit, and we have the instructional DVD collection that he created afterwards, and we have all his films and drawings to treasure and learn from, and though I am given to understand that he could be difficult to work with, he made a great positive impact on animators around the world. His work will continue to inspire and stimulate for decades to come, I am sure.

Richard Williams as he looked in his early forties.
What we don't have is the completed feature film that he had dedicated so much of his life to, the ill-fated The Thief and the Cobbler, which was taken out of his hands and then "completed" by a crew that had no sense of what the project could be. Yet still, the incomplete version (The Thief Recobbled) that we do have is a marvel to see.

As I have said, I was privileged to attend the first of his Master Classes, and I got to experience his charisma and his dedication first hand. A great raconteur, he entertained us with hilarious imitations of such animation personalities as Milt Kahl and Grim Natwick while at the same time impressing us with the lore he had learned at the feet of those two and as many other of the aging golden age animators as he could muster. Before they passed away, he hired and learned all he could from Ken Harris, Art Babbitt and Abe Levitow, and then he scribed it all down for us in his clear and detailed way, for he was not only a great designer and artist and animator, he was a great teacher as well.
A couple of pages from my personal notebook made during the
Animation Master Class in 1995.

Richard Williams has died, but his legacy remains for now and for the future.

No comments:

Post a Comment