A Few Awesome Kim Possible Expression Sheets

Coming once again from the Art of Animation tumblelog, here’s a few more lovely looking Kim Possible expression sheets. It’s these kind of sheets that always intrigue me. Animators excel at displaying emotions purely through visuals. Oh sure the voice actor has a large part to play as well, but sheets like these only confirm that animators are essentially actors, no different from their live-action brethren; portraying emotions and actions in ways that evoke feelings within the audience.

Some Kim Possible Character Details Which You Know Are Awesome

For the record Kim Possible is one of the best characters ever to grace a TV screen. So it should come as no surprise that her character constructions sheets, which came by way of Art of Animation and Inappropriate Banjo (both on Tumblr), are no less interesting.

Kim’s a fascinating collection of sharp points and swirling curves that oh so cleverly allude to her double-sided life as an ordinary student and ass-kicking heroine.

Here, we see some of the finer points of her character design in her hair, which undoubtedly adds much grace to her movement in the action scenes.

It’s always great to see these kind of things, especially as they essentially offer us a peek into a character’s soul (per se).

A Character’s Style Doesn’t Mean You Need To Follow In Their Footsteps

Character Sundays is probably going to take a break until the New Year. Sadly, school deadlines have sapped the necessary time to write a decent post these past few weeks, so there’s no point in doing a half-assed job on something you really like.

Instead, today, here’s a sketch that was posted a good while ago by Jovanna Davidovich on her blog.

Whether it really is the case that Breandan’s design was influenced by these two is up for debate, but I would hazard a guess that the resemblance is certainly striking.

The interesting thing is that Kim Possible and the Secret of Kells share practically nothing in common except Brendan! He’s a great example of how you could potentially use something as inspiration and move in a completely different direction.

Just something to keep in mind 🙂

When More Than The Colour Changed in Cartoons

Eddie Fitzgerald (whose blog I’m sure you all read on a daily basis) wrote an excellent post the other day on something I had never thought of before. As it turns out, yes, when cartoons changed to colour, there was a subtle shift in the animation style that ensured these new ‘toons were different to those that went before.

It would appear that this is partly a technological thing and can be seen time and time again. When cartoons transitioned to TV, they changed from the innate, quickfire gags of the the Looney Tunes to the more observational humour of the Flintstones.

The same again for films when they moved from traditional to CGI. Suddenly, the animated musical was out the window and a new adult-friendly format came into play.

So the question is: where do we go from here? What will the next technological improvement bring? We’ll just have to wait and see 🙂

Should You Aim For A Specific Animation Style?

 

An example of Mike Maihack's incredible style

Via Mike’s website

It’s a tough question that’s not too easy to answer straight off the bat. So let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages and compare them at the end, OK?

Having you own particular style of animation can have many advantages. Although it may sound tough to be unique in a market filled to the brim with creativity, there are always ways to make your own mark. A unique style can serve as a fantastic calling card. For example, look at the picture below. Can you tell who drew it? I bet you can.

It is of course, Bill Plympton. His pencilly style is known throughout the animation world and beyond. The same goes for the likes of Bruce Timm, Matt Groening, John Kricfalusi, David OReilly, etc. etc.

Besides being instantly recogniseable, a particular style can serve you well in your films as well. Arguably Bruce Timm’s style of hard edges and stylized characters and backgrounds served the original Batman: The Animated Series very well and played a significant role in that TV show’s success.

The same goes for the likes of South Park. Yes, it is incredibly crude, but it suits the incredibly crude nature of the show and after so many seasons, it is impossible to imagine it any other way.

Is there anything else a certain style can help you out with? How about merchandising? It’s something that is not necessarily at the forefront of your mind when you create a TV show is it? Or is it? Did you know that Chowder creator C. H. Greenblatt supposedly designed Chowder with a plush toy in mind?

Via: Wikia.com

Forget the fact that Cartoon Network never took up the opportunity but think about how easy it would be to turn the round little guy into a toy. Chowder is not a toyetic show in the traditional sense, but it style does lend itself quite well to marketing.

Now the bad news. Can a style hurt your career? Sure, it is easy to become typecast into a particular style although a lot of the time, this could be due to a multitude of other reasons besides the style of your work alone.

In fact, if you think about all the poor animated films out there, the style normally doesn’t even factor into it. Why? Well for one, a lot of poor films attempt to copy successful styles and appear as such, and secondly there are usually even bigger problems with the likes of the story or script that overshadow the style.

As an animator, it is these problems that will be the ones you will have to watch more so than your style. Having said that, there are still plenty of opportunities to go wrong, especially in the are of character design. An area where many non-Disney animated films seemed to fall short (at least according to my mother).

The second danger with having a strong style is that it may go out of fashion. A great example are the fantastic Cartoon Modern TV shows and films put out in the 1950s and early 60s. As fantastic looking as these shorts are now, they apparently could not stay in style forever and by the end of the 1960s, it was extinct in the mainstream.

This is not fault of its own, just the whims of consumer taste. Just bear in mind that if you have a very strong, contemporary feel to your style, you should be prepared to adapt a new one at some point.

Overall, the reasons for adopting your own style far outweigh the disadvantages. Signs of uniqueness and individualism can go a long way in the creative arts (just ask Andy Warhol or Georgia O’Keefe). In animation, developing a particular style should be a priority when it comes to your personal films or indeed your creative pitches to others.

What are your thoughts on a unique animation style?