Planning Animation (Thumbnailing, etc.)

This is a page (evidently from a sketch book) attributed to Ollie Johnston.

The page is currently going up for auction on Ebay with a starting bid of $200.

It is hard to tell what the actual size of the drawings are by this image alone but I do think this classifies as ‘thumbnailing’.

Of interest is how Ollie is working out the performance (and general movement) of the scene through loose sketching without much concern for detail.  Refinement and detail will be added later.

It’s important to work out the basic idea of the performance and not commit immediately to any one idea.  This is the essence of brainstorming… perhaps the earliest stage in creating a plan.

There is a lot of character in these simple sketches.

It can be hard to keep that character and spontaneity as the production moves forward and leaves this early stage.  All the more reason to make sure what you take forward is the best effort possible.


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Hayao Miyazaki: Never Ending Man

Embracing computer animation, legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki has emerged out of retirement.   A documentary is forthcoming that chronicles his journey into the realm of CG.  Here’s the trailer:

And here’s some additional footage with insights into Miyazaki’s new production:


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Tissa David Interview

This is a wonderful interview with the late Tissa David.


It’s a rather long video (approx. 1 hour 45 minutes) but large portions of are of playbacks from her animated commercial work.  The real gems in my estimation are where she relates how she discovered animation and eventually settled in the USA and (of course) her tips on animation.  Her love of animation shines throughout.

Tissa worked with Grim Natwick and both Tissa and Grim had considerable influence on Richard Williams  approach to animation.  Of course Williams has gone on to spread many of the lessons he learned with the current generation of animators (both traditional and CG) via his book ‘The Animator’s Survival Kit’.

If you are an artist/animator and haven’t heard of Tissa you should watch this video.

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Converting 2D Doodles into 3D characters

Thought I’d try to see what some of the random characters doodled before might look like in three dimensions.

Works in Progress thus far:  Loosh (Luis), 110 and Captain Koiby

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Strange Friends




A sketch and paint doodle thrown together out of my imagination.

When drawing I often don’t ‘see’ what I’m after but rather work my way through the feel of the subject matter with additional emphasis on what might be expected to be in any particular location.  For instance, if the subject matter is ‘snake’ then some basic criteria automatically starts to come into play.  If ‘girl’ then very different criteria prevail.  In this way the outcome is more logical than expressly creative but more often than not that works out okay.

The basic idea of ‘girl with snake’ is inspired by some young girls who have no fear of snakes.  Too crazy.

Me.  I don’t care for ’em.

Snakes that is.

Girls are okay.  😉

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Random Characters

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Random BatCat

Or is that CatBat?

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