Too much walking – Page 2

Marked on the tunnel is the start of the motion – there seemed to be little point in doing the drawings before this because they would be too small to be seen and too tiny to draw! From the start point I will paint the tiny figures light grey since strong colour (or black) is not seen in the distance due I believe to the action of impurities in the atmosphere on light passing through it from a distance. Then from point A I intend to start from grey and move into full colour so that the figure will be its normal colour by the time it reaches the point marked colour.

I was not using a solid black line to surround the figure. 1 was using a method of outlining on the cel with the colour to be painted within the area, except where two areas were the same colour and needed to be separated. In this case I use a line of a darker version of the colour being painted to delineate the shape.

I was half way through doing the outlines in one colour when, on reflecting on how much work I had let myself in for using this method, I realised that apart from adding the darker lines needed to break up two areas of the same colour on the top of the cel I did not need to outline areas at all.

Since there was no difference between the outline colour and the inner colour painted on the back of the cel all the outline was for was to guide me as to where to paint the cel. All I had to do was reverse the drawing on the light box and reverse the cels and I could paint the cels using the drawings as a guide. There is no need to mark the outline on the cel at all in most cases! This pleased me, because it is saving me some work. You do not have to stick to the conventions.

So far the bulk of my animating has been making two figures do little more than walk forward in a very ordinary way -this is what the story board called for. But from the point of view of being an animator it is a little wearisome. I’m going to stick to my story board now I’ve got so far – I was committed to this story board when I started and I think it best to stay that way, to sustain the discipline – but for someone just starting out I would advise them to aim to draw more interesting action for a start off to keep your interest up. I started this way because I thought that I would need something simple like walking to start off with. But I think to sustain your enthusiasm with all the work involved in cel animation it is better to aim for something more dynamic and interesting. For those only just beginning to flex their animation muscles I would advise: too much walking makes you tired.

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Printed in Animator Issue 12 (Spring 1985)