Author Topic: FBF Tips: Generic 40s Cartoons  (Read 10691 times)

Dannyesloco

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FBF Tips: Generic 40s Cartoons
« on: August 02, 2007, 10:34:43 AM »
GENERIC 40S CARTOONS


When is "generic" good?
When it is highly skilled as in these Tom and Jerry model sheets below.Generic is good for study.
If you are trying to teach yourself the principles of good cartoon drawing for example, it's best to study bland cartoons that don't have individual style. Strong style will distract your attention away from the underlying principles that are more important.

Disney helped popularize a style in the late 30s that most other studios adopted-the pear shaped, squash and stretch style.


It's not really a "style" though.

It's a drawing method that makes animation fluid and sensible.

It's a collection of principles that everyone in animation used in the 1940s.
It developed out of the rubber-hose style but added some techniques to help smooth out the animation and give it weight.


3-dimensional but cartoony construction:
The characters are rounded and turn in space like real objects.
But unlike real anatomy, the characters are built out of simple shapes-mostly pear-shaped bodies and round or oval heads with sausages for limbs.
In a strange way, they are real because they are 3-dimensional, but they are also cartoony, because they are made up of forms that aren't anatomical.
All the details of the characters wrap around the major forms that the characters are built        from.
The eyes obey the perspective and direction of the position of  the head, etc. They don't exist on their own planes.


Squash and Stretch:
These 40s  characters bend and stretch and squash like soft rubber.


Line of Action:
The poses are usually strong and simple and all the details of the characters flow along the line of action.

Clear Silhouettes:
The poses usually have strong silhouettes-which helps them read, especially when the                 actions can be so  fast.

Organic Forms:
Unlike rubber-hose cartoons which have very simple curves that have the bends right in the middle of the curve, these 40s style characters have more complex flowing curves which makes them feel more organic like skin and guts-although no bones.

The 7 Dwarfs are perfect examples of this style of animation. They are completely generic designs-meaning they really have no design at all-but they do have all the principles that make up the classic cartoon style.


Here's a frame from Chuck Jones' Barbary Coast Bunny, one of my favorite cartoons. The design and style is a more modern 50s approach, yet it still retains all the principles of 40s style cartoons. This type of cartoon is not good for beginning cartoonists and animators to study from, because the shapes are more specific, and they have angles and more complex design elements.

This is much harder to study and grasp than a Tom and Jerry or earlier Disney or Warner Bros. cartoon. It's more interesting graphically for sure, but the more complex design elements will distract you from learning the principles underneath.

Here are some frames from Bob Clampett's Gruesome Twosome. This is a scene by Rod Scribner. It's much more exaggerated than a Tom and Jerry cartoon and has slightly more complex design elements in it.

It's still based on all the same principles though, so once you understand the principles you will be able to then start exploring your own style and variations of designs.

I always recommend to animation students to draw Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig and Tom and Jerry when learning.

Why?
They are fairly simple and very rounded.
When you are animating you have to turn out a lot of drawings.
The more complicated the drawing, the longer it will take you to make the animation work.
NEVER use your own character designs when you are learning to animate.
It will slow your progress.

Use characters that were designed by top Hollywood professionals that already work in 3 dimensions and are simple. You will progress much faster that way.

This frame is from Chuck Jones' Elmers' Candid Camera. Jones hasn't developed his strong personal style yet and is just trying to make the characters look solid and move well. This cartoon is a great one to study for rounded smoothly moving characters.

This is from a later Chuck Jones cartoon and is much more complex, but again it still is based on the same principles. It has angles and more complex forms-but the angles are all in sensible places - unlike today's angular cartoons that have arbitrary and inconsistent designs that don't work well for animation. -think MULAN.

That's why the best cartoons to study are the cartoons from the early to mid forties.
They are all very rounded and do not have really distracting angular styles. Study Jones, Clampett, Avery, Disney, Tom and Jerry.
Avoid Freleng and other 40s styles. They are all trying to imitate what the stars were doing but the drawings and animation are much sloppier in the rest of the cartoons being done at the time.

(By "avoid" them I mean, avoid copying them if you are trying to learn to draw good principles. Watch them, because they are all fun, but study from the best!)
 By the way, this is from John K's blog on blogger so check that out if you like what i just posted.
http://www.blogger.com/profile/14033480276168015590

Hungarian Clock

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FBF Tips: Generic 40s Cartoons
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2007, 07:53:20 PM »
lol

buttplug

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FBF Tips: Generic 40s Cartoons
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2007, 08:31:04 PM »
Quote from: Coockie;931729
lol
Jesus Christ. Shut the fuck up.



It's weird when you point out all these techniques in cartoons you used to watch. It's also interesting to see how animation has evolved.

SensuClock

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FBF Tips: Generic 40s Cartoons
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2007, 09:35:22 PM »
Awesome, next time I'm in the mood, I will come back to this.

Quote from: Coockie;931729
lol


You are not funny.

AirPumpClock

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FBF Tips: Generic 40s Cartoons
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2007, 09:48:55 PM »
I don't know who you are, but you are one smart man.

Also, I'm not sure if Richard Williams is 40s, but he makes good stuff too.

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FBF Tips: Generic 40s Cartoons
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2007, 10:06:54 PM »
Quote from: AirPumpClock;931950
I don't know who you are, but you are one smart man.

Also, I'm not sure if Richard Williams is 40s, but he makes good stuff too.


He was taught by Ken Harris who was one of Chuck Jones' lead animator men so he was 40s in his technique if not his time period!

buttplug

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FBF Tips: Generic 40s Cartoons
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2007, 10:13:56 PM »
Who else wished they still played these toons on TV?

AirPumpClock

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FBF Tips: Generic 40s Cartoons
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2007, 10:21:07 PM »
Quote from: Judge Beardy Baldy;932014
Who else wished they still played these toons on TV?


Some are funny, some are overrated.

Then again, the ones they showed us back in middle school didn't have any sexual innuendo or ridiculous racial stereotypes.

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FBF Tips: Generic 40s Cartoons
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2007, 10:23:28 PM »
Chuck Jones was one of my favorite animators, and yes his style  is complicated to study. I once tried to interpret the opera one... (I dont remember the name sorry) with Bugs dressed as a valkyrie. Animator's Survival reccomends to check the simple but effective 40's too.

Thanks

Quote from: Judge Beardy Baldy;932014
Who else wished they still played these toons on TV?
I do, they were still aired on the 90's. However I can find many like this in Cartoon Network past midnight.

DigitalLemonClock

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FBF Tips: Generic 40s Cartoons
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2007, 12:42:39 AM »
You can find most 'mainstream' cartoons from the 40's on the internet, which is a very good thing
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buttplug

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FBF Tips: Generic 40s Cartoons
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2007, 12:44:07 AM »
Quote from: DigitalLemonClock;932336
You can find most 'mainstream' cartoons from the 40's on the internet, which is a very good thing


It's not like watching it on a TV though.

ChocolateBarClock

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FBF Tips: Generic 40s Cartoons
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2007, 07:36:57 PM »
so you're saying that tradittional animation is better than modern? I agree.
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Loki Clock

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FBF Tips: Generic 40s Cartoons
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2007, 06:22:13 PM »
Well, no. He's saying you should study it.