Jan08
2013

By: admin                Categories: AnimationBooksGeneralInspiration

Francis Glebas, former Disney animator and director recently hosted a contest to celebrate the launch of his new book with Focal Press – The Animator’s Eye – which teaches animators how to add life to their animation with the use of timing, layout, design, color, and sound.

You can review the full contest details here but in short Francis challenged animators to create a storyboard sequence bringing a sack of flour to life, design a mad scientist lab, or create a series of poses of his new characters Iggy and Scary Bunny bringing an idea to life. Francis has selected the winner and noted two honorable mentions. He also took the time to provide a critique of the winner, the honorable mentions, and a few of the more interesting entries. Francis even went as far as drawing over the winning entry to demonstrate his feedback. Hope you enjoy reviewing these great entries.

Winning Entry:

Animation Page by Andrew Sharp (Challenge 1)
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Francis Glebas (FG): These are great animation drawings with a really clear fun idea. The drawings are full of expression and life. The action reads well because of the clearly defined silhouettes. The characters are drawn solidly with great stretch and squash.

There are two things I would to make these read clear and make it more dramatic. First I would add panels so not everything is happening at once. The audience can only process one idea at a time. For example, start with them both looking at the book. Then Iggy sees the switch. Pay attention to Iggy’s hand pointing at the switch. It hangs out there a long time.

Secondly, I would break up the action using close ups and inserts. For example, in a wide shot: They both look at the book. In Closeup: Iggy’s bored and sees the switch. I’d also cut to a closeup to see sack when it comes to life. Maybe you could have an upshot of Iggy and Bunny from the sacks POV.

Francis’ drawing critique demonstrating suggested changes
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Honorable Mention
: Untitled by Christopher Scott (Challenge 1)
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FG:
The drawings are very clear, fun and dramatic. There’s lots of depth in the images. I’m a little confused at the end. I understand that the sack falls in love and the evil Iggy wanted to create a monster. Then the sack attacks him but with hearts. Is he attacking him with love?

Honorable Mention: Iggy’s Messy Mad Science Lab by George Fleites (Challenge 1)
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FG: Very inventive. I like the faces hidden in the images. The middle and top image would benefit from applying the design principles of dominance and contrast. Most of the items are similar size. Making one item dominant would help to make a more powerful statement and show your audience where to look. Also use your shadows to make a statement. This could add more drama to your images.

Francis also took the time to provide some feedback on 8 other entries that proved interesting for one reason or another.

Entries of note with comments from Francis Glebas
1. Untitled (Challenge 3)
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FG: Very clear effective storyboard. You don’t need the text because you’ve shown that in the drawings. (except for Iggy telling Bunny what’s in the book) You could break this up and make it more interesting by cutting to occasional closeups of each of them. For example when Iggy looks at the book and when Bunny staggers back.

2. Untitled (Challenge 1)
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FG: These images seem to be more like a beat board they tell the whole story but not the exact continuity. The drawings are very clear. One thing that could help a lot is adding a perspective plane for the ground. This would anchor your characters in space.

This one is very funny. I like the thinking that went into this project- that’s it’s a metaphor for the exploitation of animators. However, I’m wondering if this is your viewpoint, why do you want to get into this industry? Or are you looking to become a producer?

3. Mad scientist lab (Challenge 2)
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FG:
These are very nice lab designs. There is an interesting distortion of perspective that gives them an expressionistic quality. I would push the distortions further. And why not distort the shapes to have some fun with them. For layouts you also want to think about providing a clear stage for the animation to take place.

4. The Space Flour Sacks (Challenge 1)
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FG: This is a fun idea. I like the visuals. However you give away the gag. Why not let the two sacks arrive thinking it’s a deserted planet. When they get there they look outside and it’s empty. They come out looking around cautiously and then slowly they find themselves surrounded by other flour sacks.

5. Sack 2 life (Challenge 1)
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FG:
I really like this idea. Some of the drawings could be pushed to make them read clearer. For example, in panel 2 when the sack get the idea the expression could be more exaggerated. In panel three it looks like he’s pumping, instead show him carrying it. It would be funny before panel 6 to see the sack deflate. Then he cries. The rest is very clear and fun.

6. Mad lab (Challenge 2)
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FG:
These are very fun bold graphic designs. Interesting unique shapes. Really suggests a mad lab.

7. To heck with this (Challenge 3)
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FG:
Great expressive drawings with a cool looking style. The silhouettes read great. It would be stronger if we knew why Iggy threw away the book that Bunny is obviously so proud of.

8. Iggy experiment (Challenge 1)
(click image to enlarge)


FG:
These are very clear panels with really great expressions. I’d watch where you put the floor plane. Right now it lines up the the edge of the panels drawing attention to the panel edge.

Congrats to everyone for providing all of these great entries! Stay tuned for more Animation/Character Mentor contests from Focal Press’ awesome animation authors.

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