not much of a cartoonist

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kyeetycat
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not much of a cartoonist

Post by kyeetycat » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:04 am

I'm fairly new to animation. I'm not sure if anyone else has had a problem like this before. If I want to draw realism or even photorealism, I'm great at it. Then when I try my hand at cartooning, I fail. Big time. Is that common? For some odd reason, smooth and simple lines just don't come natural to me and I just can't comprehend some of the shading techniques used on cartoons. I know making good quality cartoons is NOT easy, but every character I try to draw just comes out hideous. haha! I love animation and I really want to learn. How do I make a transition from realism to drawing cartoons?
=^.^=
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super8mm
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Post by super8mm » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:15 am

Cartooning requires an artist to make many desisions on modifing what is seen into what best represents what is seen. Basically that is what a cartoon is, a symbol not a visual representation of what is seen.

Cartoonist makes many modifications of reality in order to do 3 things, emphasis, visual flow, and iconic representation.

A super hero guy with a chest that looks like two big squares in reality it's not like that but the artist decided to represent it that way for its meaning.

Square would represent toughness masculine features.
Squares are more pleasant to see than rounded semi trapezoidal musculature.

A cartoon girl with the waist the diameter of an apple so that the lines to the hip look very rounded. Totally unrealistic.
Smooth rounded shapes are feminine, soft.
Smooth rounded lines are pleasant for the eye to follow.

It takes many considerations to draw a cartoon, less lines in the art means that those lines contain more information thus cannot lack accuracy or it will stop being what it represents.

Take for example a girl drawn in anime art. No human has eyeballs the size of cue balls, no one has a nose so small that's the size of a pea, no one's chin is pointed like a clothes iron. But they are all designed for its allure. Seemingly simple to draw but if you get the eyes too big the character looks like an alien bug, chin too pointy or nose too small and it doesn't look right anymore.

Simplified cartoon style means it needs to be have more accurate lines. Not accurate in how it should look compared to the actual thing but in how it represents.

There is so much to learn about cartooning yet few books on cartooning that I know of teaches about the why of cartooning.

I can suggest you check out:
http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Com ... 006097625X

This guy teaches you the why of the cartoon. And you will learn the why it's not so easy.
muffysb
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Post by muffysb » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:33 am

I'm not an artist myself, but here's something to think about: maybe a tablet would work better for you than a mouse? Then at least you can doodle and practice without being crippled by an unwieldy tool.

I'm seriously considering a tablet.
tonyg
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Post by tonyg » Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:29 pm

Have a look at some Chris Hart books. He seems to simplify lots of cartoon genres.
I also liked this...
Heroes-Superheroes-Geeks-Do-gooders
I also rip pages out of my kids colouring books and scan them in.
AS Vector tools are brilliant for tracing as well so get something 'close' and choose your best lines in AS.[/url]
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knunk
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Post by knunk » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:39 pm

Forgive me kyeetycat, but if you are great at drawing realistically then you will have everything you need to cartoon already.

The golden rule is you never learn to draw. It is not a goal. It is a continuing process. A road. Do great artists think they are great? Of course not. Thats why they continue. That way they get frustrated and cut their ears off.

Drawing teaches you to see, you are working things out. How forms work, what light does, flow, rhythm.

Students often draw realistically as an exercise. This is useful work to study tone and impress mum, but often the real drawing below is weak.

Life drawing is what you should be doing. I don't have to go to a local art class. Draw whatever you see.

My point is its not possible for you to be able to draw well and not be able to cartoon. Cartoon is not Cartoon Network or Nick or Disney. These trends/styles come about. They occur. An artist makes choices from whats inside of him...from the many thousands of drawings he's made through his life. Cartooning is just drawing. Its not a different thing.

Sorry to take such an opposite view to some of the other guys but you cannot get this stuff out of a book. Chris Hart is bad. Extremely bad. You will learn to draw some shapes that look like a cartoon sure. But nothing of substance. Nothing that will sustain you. Save your money and draw your friends.

That said some guys have good careers copying UPA. Hell, even Chris Hart gets paid to make books!

So...

Keep drawing mate.

All the best

Jez
jose1984alberto
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Post by jose1984alberto » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:09 pm

super8mm wrote:Cartooning requires an artist to make many desisions on modifing what is seen into what best represents what is seen. Basically that is what a cartoon is, a symbol not a visual representation of what is seen.

Cartoonist makes many modifications of reality in order to do 3 things, emphasis, visual flow, and iconic representation.

A super hero guy with a chest that looks like two big squares in reality it's not like that but the artist decided to represent it that way for its meaning.

Square would represent toughness masculine features.
Squares are more pleasant to see than rounded semi trapezoidal musculature.

A cartoon girl with the waist the diameter of an apple so that the lines to the hip look very rounded. Totally unrealistic.
Smooth rounded shapes are feminine, soft.
Smooth rounded lines are pleasant for the eye to follow.

It takes many considerations to draw a cartoon, less lines in the art means that those lines contain more information thus cannot lack accuracy or it will stop being what it represents.

Take for example a girl drawn in anime art. No human has eyeballs the size of cue balls, no one has a nose so small that's the size of a pea, no one's chin is pointed like a clothes iron. But they are all designed for its allure. Seemingly simple to draw but if you get the eyes too big the character looks like an alien bug, chin too pointy or nose too small and it doesn't look right anymore.

Simplified cartoon style means it needs to be have more accurate lines. Not accurate in how it should look compared to the actual thing but in how it represents.
could not have said it better
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neeters_guy
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Post by neeters_guy » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:45 pm

You can't really "fail", you just do another drawing. Calling your result "hideous" will really hamper your ability to express yourself. (Who know? Hideous art could be the next big thing!) :wink:
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Mikdog
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Post by Mikdog » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:16 pm

Solution: ask some cartoon characters to pose for you.
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kyeetycat
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Post by kyeetycat » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:36 am

Haha Mikdog^ - super8mm, thanks so much for the information! I think my problem is that I try to put way too much detail into a character. I have to remember that it's not REAL. :lol: When I try to do a cartoon, it comes out like a weird surrealist ... thing. I use real life shading techniques on it, and I keep forgetting that cartoons are not real people. I'm trying to create my own style with cartoons, but I'm not particularly fond of any of the characters I have made. To knunk's point, I understand what you are trying to say, but I think I may have approached drawing realism backwards. Not the usual outline first, then detail. When I first started it was detail first and work my way around. I know that is not the proper way, but somehow the proportions fall into place okay. This is simply the way I draw. I don't think that there should be any set "proper" way of drawing. I'm not just going to stick to realism because "that's what I'm good at." I do realize that art is a continuing process and I'm not saying I am completely finished with realism either. I don't exactly want to be a professional animator or cartoonist, I just want to learn because it is something I appreciate and enjoy.
And muffysb, I do have a tablet. It is Wacom Bamboo and it works great!
=^.^=
tinnycan
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Post by tinnycan » Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:05 am

What you can try to do is start with details how you are comfortable, then start erasing them to get a cartoonier look. Doing it that way helped me understand anime a bit.

Image
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jahnocli
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Post by jahnocli » Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:47 pm

This might help:
Furry cartoon creatures
You can't have everything. Where would you put it?
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lwaxana
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Post by lwaxana » Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:40 pm

Even though Mikdog was probably joking about getting cartoon characters to pose for you, it brings up an important point. I don't have a lot of trouble drawing existing cartoon characters. If I've seen them animated a lot, I have subconscious knowledge of their design and how they move. Making my own original characters, on the other hand, requires me to make all of those design decisions myself.

These model sheets opened my eyes to how thorough character design can be: http://www.animationmeat.com/modelsheet ... girls.html They even specify that when you turn the head, the eyes should look painted on, and not "roll."
Galbatron
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Post by Galbatron » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:39 pm

If you want to get a taste of the minimalism that is characteristic for cartoons, take a look at Miffy (www.miffy.com). Dick Bruna doesn't draw a line too much.

BTW: the book that was an eye opener for me is Richard Williams - The animator's survival kit. He goes into detail about the techniques of the classic animation process. It's really a master class. Not just examples (like Preston Blair) and simplified steps like in may other books, but useful explanations and techniques (spacing, timing etc) to get you going. I'm going to learn many things from this book over the next years (it's an encyclopedia) and is worth the money (I don't mean the DVD-set - that's really expensive).

Edit: I see this book is already recommended in other threats. Sorry... but it's still the best book about this stuff known to me!
GalbE
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