Thursday, April 7, 2016

Frustrated Dragon

I've been tearing apart my home trying to find the original sketched of the ones I have the ugly inked versions of on my old portfolio model sheet.

I honestly HATE the inked versions. But, due to RULES that were supposedly animation industry standards at the time, we have to ink the work. I HATE HATE HATE my inked work.

Also, the instructors made me alter my inked work several times cutting out a lot of details.

Ironically, I still have a lot of model sheets from big companies back then that were rough, sketchy, or uninked work... and, by today's standards including Japan and even 3D or film effects anmiation they no longer have this idea that everything must be inked drawings.

I believe my instructors meant well... at the time, they believed in this ideas of a term they often used in the old Animation Magazines called either "anible" or "animable" depending on who was talking, and yes I sat through countless lectures and animation festivals... basically, it means "able to animate". The concept was that in order to animate something ( i.e. hand drawing traditional animation) that the artwork needed to be simplified. It makes total sense if you think about it, and gives you less work, so you can animate more. this was one of those Holy Grail ideas that people all echoed over & over... but, if you watched Don Bluth films, various Disney Films, and any number of untold independent shorts in any number of festivals, this rules was OFTEN BROKEN.

Yes, it takes a lot of work, and a lot more time, to do something by hand drawing if it has more details... I KNOW THAT. I UNDERSTAND THAT....

And, I "get it" that a potential employer would look at your portfolio and probably want a person whom can mass produce art that is simple, and not "waste time" on details.... but, at the same time, they ALSO want to see what your IDEAS ARE, HOW YOU THINK, and just HOW DETAILED AND SKILLED YOU CAN BE, or ACTUALLY ARE....

With all of the deadlines shoved onto me, and with so many restrictions, I felt I did rather well in meeting their demands... however, specific instructors whom had a visceral hate for women would just make up reasons to fail me.
When the other students had a portfolio done, it was common for other students to want a copy of it from the photo copier. Even my unfinished portfolios, and "failed" portfolios were SO sought after by my fellow students that they would ask me to copy it, in the classroom, even before the teacher even saw them, which might have pissed him off further.

And, whenever I gave a newer version copy to my favorite teacher, he would also make copies because everyone wanted a new copy of mine. And, in a stack of stapled copies of my 'failed" or "unfinished" portfolios would even get requests from other people, whom I didn't even know as either I was making copies, or that teacher.

However, in my opinion, all of the revisions to especially my BEST WORK actually made it less than good. I don;t like it at all.

I prefer my pencil work SO MUCH MORE.

I came to this realization even harder when I worked at Top Cow in 2005 (unpaid) because there were "pencilers", specifically 1 in particular at the time, whom refused to have his work inked, and drew his line work in such a way as to be ink-like. But, his work also had a nice feel to it. A common question was "Who did his inks? Does he do them himself?" because the work was so different looking... and the editor or producer would always strike up a conversation about how that artist refused inking or inkers and that the line work was entirely in pencil.

It was such a common conversation topic that I changed my mind on inking entirely. I was already working on "line quality"anyway... so, why bother with ink?

I also don't like digital inking tools. I HATE THEM.

Anyway, I don't know where some of my sketchbooks from 1999-2001 are because there's definitely many that are missing, and a number of portfolio folders with my punched "animation papers" in them.

I also lost my sculpture of Djehkäujaa.

1 thing I want to point out is that Djehkäujaa has segmented parts of her skin, such as her neck & tail.

My friend Silver Moon Nightwing (Kristen Buckner) often referred to my dragon as "mammalian" meaning "mammal-like". But, actually, I based a lot of her more on dinosaur anatomy/biology

I designed her to have tight yet very flexible skin, but also rough. The reason it's rough is because in flight it will cause micro turbulences, similar to how a golf ball works in flight, or the skin of a shark in water, that causes them to fly faster, in effect gliding better through the air. 

Her skeletal structure is also cartilage and her wings are firm, yet also have a good amount of flex to them.

If you understand the anatomy of bones and skulls, and you understand how lips work or function you can somewhat accurately determine how large lips would be on an animal. There's holes in the skulls specifically FOR the nerves to reach the lips through the skull. It works like this: the larger the hole for the nerves to pass through the skull, the larger the lips will be.

If you look at the skull of a horse, you can see they have a large hole for the nerves, and they also have big lips. If you look at a moose, which has HUGE lips, it has an even bigger hole in the skull where the nerves come out. Canines and felines also have significant lips to grab onto the meat they need to consume. 

I actually took a large interest in this because I sat through a lecture in the late 1990s describing how an Apatosaurus  actually have giant moose lips based on JUST the size of the hole in the skull for the nerves. I also noticed this on other dinosaur skulls as well, and even took a lot more notice of this on animals that were alive today.

That is why Djehkäujaa has large lips. 

In some ways she has some dog-like and horse-like anatomy.

Regarding her "detailed look" I actually disagree. From my perspective, for ME, I have kept her very sleek and simplified FOR ME. She doesn't have grand scales, or tons of horns, or spikes. Despite the grand size, she's agile & nimble.

Her skin also has special abilities to change color or bend light becoming almost invisible. She has vision like an eagle, and posable thumbs. She can read, write, talk, sing, hum, and do many things a human could.

So, when it comes to animating her... I've seen it done many times... there's this THING called ROUGH ANIMATION, and KEY FRAMES.... maybe you've heard of it....

Then, later on, you can do something called CLEAN UP and REFINING...

In fact, most rough animations and keyframes, often get redone ANYWAY....


I do NOT have a problem with trying to animate my own character. FFS have you EVER seen Glen Keane's BEAST character in a film called Beauty & The Beast? He didn't draw it all in 1 day... and other animators also worked on it WITH HIM.

So, calm the hell down.... it's GONNA BE OK...

I know people think they're somehow well-meaning, or that their somehow helping me, or giving me good advice...

I also don't talk about everything regarding her... because it's very extensive, and INSIDE OF MY HEAD... so, you just don't KNOW, and don't SEE all the work and effort, and consideration in it...

Or, there's the people whom think I'm an arrogant uppity person.... just based on something I wrote, and DON'T EVEN KNOW ME.

I already KNOW I'm not the best at everything... and that's not the point.

There is no such thing as a "best artist" only ur own PERSONAL BEST.

I might not be that great today, and certainly not MY BEST today... but, tomorrow is another day...

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