Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mark's Notes - 7 - Reference from Live Action

 Teaching Animation and Story-Visual Language here in Vancouver BC at VANarts, we have the students shoot reference for their animation tests for various assignments. The knowing how to use the reference is one of the lessons to learn. The reference can help explain to the artist how the body parts are being effected as the body moves through the motions. The weight shifts from one hip to another. The balance of the body etc etc. 
But following the reference too close will result in animation looking too much like live action, too rotoscoped. 

If the scene requires the use of live action reference, the trick is to take the needed information from the reference and then put the reference away. { Don't throw it away as you may need to look back at it again. } Using the reference in the earlier stages, you then push the idea and make it animated. Not relying on the reference alone to dictate the performance. You have the information from the reference, now take it and be creative and push for the scene to be more entertaining than the live action. I discuss this more to the students as we go forward in the course.

I put together a few of my notes regarding my approach as i quickly scan a person hitting a pose. These notes are somewhat the order that my mind goes through as i take in all the angles of a persons body as i take down the information in my head. This is how i do my quick sketches as i draw someone on the bus or in a line at starbucks etc. This check list goes by very fast as the person may move to another position and i have to remember the angles from memory. 

Here are some examples of my quick sketches where I use this approach :  HERE and HERE

Using a great photo from Buddy Scalera { beautiful photo library for Artists - click his name to go to his site } - I broke down the quick steps I use as I scan a pose that someone has made.
I know these notes may not always be correct, as it depends  on the actual position of the body, but in this example I am just using this one pose to go through the steps.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Willy Pogany 1

Here is one of my favorite artists as a kid. My dad had a copy of Willy Pogany's drawing book which he used for reference himself. The book also gave me hours of inspiration on how to draw the human form with solid structure and volume. I learned to 'shorthand ' with simple shapes first as i searched for the correct pose. Then draw in the details. I still use his way of thinking today when it comes to working through the drawing process of a pose. 

I will post various parts of this beautiful reference book. My friend Clint Morris scanned my dad's original book for reference. Thanks Clint :-) Hope some of you will find this inspiring as well. 

Below are details about the artist :

 Willy Pogany

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Andrew ("Willy") Pogany (born Vilmos Andreas Pog├íny) (August 1882 – 30 July 1955) was a prolific Hungarian illustrator of children's and other books.


Pogany was born in Szeged, Hungary. He studied at Budapest Technical University and in Munich and Paris.[1] Pogany came to America via Paris and London. While in London, he produced his four masterpieces, Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1910), Richard Wagner's Tannhauser (1911), Parsifal (1912) and Lohengrin (1913).
In 1918 he illustrated a children's retelling of Homer, The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy written by Padraic Colum.
Pogany's best known works consist of illustrations of classic myths and legends done in the Art Nouveau style. He also worked as an art director on several Hollywood films, including Fashions of 1934 and Dames.
Pogany authored three art instruction books: Willy Pogany's Drawing Lessons, Willy Pogany's Oil Painting Lessons, and Willy Pogany's Water Color Lessons, Including Gouache.
Asked how to say his name, he told the Literary Digest that in America it was po-GAH-ny. "However, in my native Hungary this name is pronounced with the accent on the first syllable with a slightly shorter o and the gany is as the French -gagne (the y is silent)": PO-gahn.[2]

Pogany's public art can be seen on the walls of the Ringling Mansion in Sarasota, FL, the theatre of El Museo del Barrio at 1230 Fifth Ave., and the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on 45th St in NYC.


This first section I'm posting is the cover art and introduction.

The 2nd section are studies of drawing the hand. One of my favorite areas of this book. I love the way he breaks the hands down into simple shapes as he searches for the pose.