Monday, July 18, 2011

More answers...

More questions and answers: 

JRtist asks:
Alright, here's a question for you... double header question.
You've been working on so many different projects, that call for totally different styles of artwork. How hard is it, in your eyes, to differentiate from each style? Is it kind of hard for the learning curve to get the previous style/design out of your head and start on the new style? Do you do a lot of sketchbook drawing to get yourself molded into the style you're working on at that time?

If the new style has a definitive look it's much easier, but in truth, when you're story-boarding, the style that you're drawing in doesn't really matter all that much. Unless of course you're switching from Young Justice to Sponge Bob, of course.  It's more about the style of the direction, angles and editing that are more important to capture. It's usually easier to draw in a style that is comfortable to you so you can make the deadline.
 
Do you ever think of recording yourself drawing for youtube from time to time? Even if it's a timelapse drawing? (I enjoy those a lot, myself)

I've thought about it, but I'm not sure it would be all that interesting and I doubt I'd have much to say while I'm doing it

Anonymous (anonymous asks a LOT of questions):
...I was curious about your scenes in animated features like The King and I, The Swan Princess, and Anastasia. What scenes were particularly yours in the films and what scenes do you feel like you really got what you wanted (as an artist)from the scene? 


I'll answer for the Swan Princess first since that's kind of the easiest. Animation in the SP was mostly handed out by character. Originally I was going to only be the Key Animator for Bromley with the plan he wasn't such a big character that I wouldn't have time to do my other jobs on the film - Character Designer and Animation Director. Unfortunately  things didn't exactly go as planned and I ended up also doing the majority of scenes on the Swan, Odette and Rothbart (as well as misc scenes on several other characters). So if you look at the film and see any of those characters there's a 95% chance I animated them. When I look back on my animation I wish I had not been so swamped and had a chance to refine  and do several more passes on almost every one of my scenes. Oh, well.
On the King and I my memory is a little foggier since I thought the film to be overall a mess and have kind of blocked it from my memory. I do recall doing a few scenes of the King's son and the slave girl while they were declaring their love for one another and several scenes of the king, but I can't be more specific than that.

On Anstasia I only did a handful of scenes and I couldn't even tell you what they were specifically.

The film I was most happy with my animation in was The Black Cauldron (which you didn't even mention). It was one of the few times there was a budget and a schedule that allowed for reworking tests until not only was the director happy, but so was I. On that film I did most of the animation for the sequence where Taran and Eilonwy were escaping from the castle and the fight between Taran and the Horned King at the end of the movie (as well as many other scenes throughout the film).

Also, has the inverse ever happened where a scene got ridiculous (frustrating) and you felt the urge to break the pencil over your knee and walk out for a bit, before coming back and knocking it out of the park?

Almost every scene has a moment or two like that though it's debatable if those scenes ever got knocked out of the park. Depends on who you ask and I tend to be my harshest critic.

P.S: Any chances to see some pencil tests from the films you have worked on.


I've actually been looking around to see if I have any of those old pencil tests that I recorded on my trusty old Amiga and transferred to VHS. I haven't found them yet, but if I do I'll very likely post them

Blaze Rocket asks:

I actually find your work posted on DeviantArt A LOT, being claimed as someone else's. I do daily searches for new content for the Evo-Obsessed Club, and for a while, pictures from your website, in particular, were very popular for other people to try and claim as their own. Thankfully, the mods at DA are very good about this thing, and when I give them a link to your website and the stolen work, it's always been removed within a few days. 


Thank you. Please keep up the good work. I don't understand why anyone would do that, but I guess I should be sort of flattered...

I have a silly question, actually ^_^;;
Obviously you have a lot of fans. I know that personally, I would love to give something back to you, for all the amazing things you've created that brightened my life, and for how amazingly cool you present yourself as on line. I never know what exactly to do though... Voice actors frequently get fan-art of the characters they voice, but you obviously have drawings of your characters already. Is there anything we, as your fans, can do to repay you? Bring you a soda at a con or something? 

 ... I swear I'm not sucking up, I just really want to throw you your own parade or something.
I can't really think of a thing off hand, but I'll let you know if something comes to mind. As long as you guys (and I mean that inclusively) continue to support and follow me and my work that's all I can really ask.


And so long as I'm asking questions: Have you ever considered teaching or guest lecturing at an art school anywhere?




At one point I was supposed to guest lecture at Savannah School of Design in Atlanta, but for whatever reason that fell through. The truth is I'm not a very good public speaker (anyone that's ever seen an interview with me can attest to that) so I don't seek out those types of situations. And since I was never formally taught I'm not sure how good I would be at teaching anyone the way that I work.

Aaaaaand, as per usual: Will there ever be a 3rd sketch book? :D


Hopefully soon - I'm compiling images now. I'll let you (and everyone else) know when it gets published.


Josh Awolade asks:
I've got just one question (for now :D ) How did you do animate your walk cycles and the Sirens and Boom Boom dance scenes?

For walk cycles I animate it one step at a time (rim-shot). Sorry, I couldn't resist. Actually I usually just start animating and refining. I helps if I know and understand the character ahead of time. I very rarely use reference for walk cycles, but I will if I need it. 
For the XME dance scenes (and almost every dance scene I've ever animated - and I've animated a lot of them over the years) I usually start with some live-action and will use a process called roto-scope. Most of the time I use this as a blueprint to do my animation on. It makes the whole process a lot quicker and will naturally lead to a better animated scene then if I struggled without some sort of reference.


Okay, that's all the questions for this week -  feel free to ask more next week (or later this week) and I'll try to get to them ASAP. 

Now for some business. I'm currently running around crazy trying to get  ready for San Diego Comic-Con (or Comic-Con International). Most of the time I'll just be wandering around checking out the main floor and saying "hi" to old and new friends, but there will be two different places to locate me and I hope any of you coming will swing by and say "hi" so I don't look too pathetic.


I'll be at at the Chuck Jonesgallery in San Diego on Friday, July 22 from 7-10pm (at least sometime during that 3 hour period) for the Ralph Bakshi exhibit. It should be an interesting show with a lot of original art from many of Ralph's films. I would highly recommend swinging by the gallery sometime while you're at Comic_con even if you can't get there Friday night.
I'll also be at the Creative Talent Network's booth (#5022) from 12pm to 2pm on Saturday, July 23rd. I'll be selling copies of both my sketchbooks, Expressions and Attitudes 1 and 2 (special Con price of $15 each - which will include a sketch and signature), my Rogue Poster (as pictured below) for $5 each - signed of course and signing anything else you might have that you feel needs my signature on it.





And for those that are wondering if I've forgotten about last week's post - I still plan to do an extended blog about Fire and Ice as well as Black Cauldron once things slow down a little after Comic-Con





7 comments:

Isis M. Nocturne said...

Looking SO forward to buying your books and meeting you at Con! :)

Blaze Rocket said...

My friend and I shall be hunting you down during the con. I think you'll recognize us when you see us- or at least our outfits ^_~

Blaze Rocket said...

Oh, and so long as you're answering questions- will you be selling sketches in general at the con, or just in the books?

Steven E. Gordon said...

I look forward to meeting you all in person and time permitting I might be doing a little sketching. Keep in mind I'm only there at the booth for 2 hours.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for answering questions. I suppose I ask alot of them because my personal interest in in mostly 2D character animation. I also notice how those principles reflect in your character designs (weight, personality, strong poses/staging) so I suppose I wanted to ask about those roots a bit.

I'm not sure why I didn't mention Cauldron. I imagine it is because I've only seen the movie about once and it was forever ago. But since you mentioned it, how was your time at the Disney Studio during that period? I ask because I've seen "Waking Sleeping Beauty" and from what I understand that period was rough on the studio and its staff.

Thanks again and enjoy the con.

ThePast said...

Is it too late to ask any more questions (clearly, that being the first one) that my brain sadly did not think of before you made these posts? If so, most of my comment can go ignored :)

Mostly along the lines of BlazeRocket's comments on fandom based stuff. Do you actually pay attention to the many MANY fans of your work out there and their attempts to recreate your genius? And if so, what is your reaction? I am sure there has been times you have seen people butcher your ideals of specific characters (sadly, the saying is true, death of the author/artist).

And one last, in a way to do with the con... is there any chance we could steal you down to New Zealand one year (or more than one :D) for one of our main cons? Preferably the Auckland Armageddon :) for us poor cartoon fans trapped 12 hours away from ComicCon.

Hope the Con days go well for you!

Anonymous said...

I've seen your drawns in your blog, and most of them are teenagers and adult people. How do feel about drawing kids? It is harder, it is easier, it is the same?
Is there any kind of people who is harder to draw to you?
[Sorry, my bad english, lol]