Friday, April 29, 2011

BILL THE CAT - walk cycle

After returning to California from my 3 years in Ireland, I joined a small group to work on a Christmas Special for television starring the characters of a very popular comic 'Bloom County'.
Skip Jones , { My very first supervising animator at Don Bluth Studios when I started animating on the original 'Land before Time' } had contacted me to join him as he was directing the half hour special " A wish for Wings that Work " and i jumped at the chance to take on more responsibilities as one of the directing animators on the project.

The artist behind the comic, Berkeley Breathed was coming into the studio in Glendale to see what we had done up to that point and I had just finished a first rough ' Bill the Cat ' walk cycle.

This was the first time the character had been animated and I was nervous showing the creator of the character my version of what ' I think ' Bill would move like. In the comic, Berkeley drew Bill with these thrust out legs and dead-like lifeless arms just hanging along for the ride. So i tried to put that into the rough walk.

It was a great feeling when Berkeley made some very nice comments about the way he was walking. This made him laugh seeing his 'Bill' move for the first time. The cycle was used for reference in other scenes of bill walking.
I never animated Bill walking once the project kicked into gear, as i was very busy with Opus, being cast a lot of his scenes.

It was a short project with a good crew. We were to do 2 other 'specials' with the same characters, but that never was to be. And that's another story.

Below is the Walk Cycle that i just located on a very old VHS cassette tape. Please excuse the poor quality as tape gets worn as the years go by. I'm glad i found this before it disintegrated.

Bill the Cat Walk Cycle - Mark Pudleiner 1991 from Mark Pudleiner on Vimeo.