Thursday, November 12, 2015

How rough, how clean ? II

Another batch of animation drawings that show a variety of styles. The Sneezy drawing above shows
that animator Fred Moore worked very fast and intuitively. Since he designed the final models for all
dwarfs, the clean up artist didn't need to change anything. Proportions and volumes are all in place, only a few loose details needed to be redrawn more specifically. (Like a line that separates the  
sole from the shoes' top).

Believe it or not, but this Kahl rough drawing of Pinocchio drawing as a real boy needed to be altered.
The size of his hands is much smaller in the final version of the scene. Milt most likely redrew a few hand key positions, so clean up knew how to handle the new size correctly. When it comes to hands, I can not imagine Milt leaving any changes to someone else.
Also, I remember him saying how tired he was at the end of production on the film, he wished he could do those last scenes over.

A rough from an early Art Babbit scene that was cut from the movie. Structurally there would be a bit of work left for the assistant. Hair, hands and upper body aren't quite as solidly drawn as the actual model of Geppetto.

A very clean drawing of Cinderella by Marc Davis. I remember him saying: "If YOU don't draw it well, nobody else will do it for you."

Ollie Johnston always had that light touch in his animation drawings, which allowed him to get through his footage pretty fast. Even at this speed Alice is drawn on model. A beautiful sensitive approach.

Milt became so confident and thorough in his drawing ability that nothing was left for possible misinterpretation. In this sketch he drew the upper body, while hands and legs were traced from a previous key drawing. (Those parts were not moving and held still.)

A lively key drawing of Peg by Eric Larson. All the clean up  assistant had to do here is find consistent patterns for all that moving fur. And that assistant was Burny Mattinson, who still works at the studio, in story.

John Lounsbery didn't leave his assistant guessing, Everything in this drawing of Tony is beautifully worked out and designed in a clear way. John had great rhythm in his work and tons of appeal.

Another Lounsbery key drawing this one depicting the Mock Prince from Sleeping Beauty.
Without the owl's wing flapping, this whole idea might seem highly questionable as far as logic, but Louns completely sells the idea.

Maleficent by Marc Davis as a stylized graphic design. Look at the power of lowered eye lids, 'up to no good' evil. Marc's charts were always even, no key drawing was ever favored. You'd think animation timed like this would float across the screen, but somehow Marc's scenes still show contrast within the acting. It goes to show you, every Disney animator structured a scene his own individual way.

Lots of experimental, rough work was done on the Dragon by various artists. By the time animator Eric Cleworth started production animation, his drawings were crisp and very solid, as the second image shows. Amazing design!

Another example of how gently Ollie Johnston puts his pencil to paper. Sir Hiss momentarily incapacitated.

No greater feeling than seeing your OWN drawings on the screen. You can't blame clean up for the scene not looking good, it's all YOU. I know Marc and Milt loved the whole idea of Xerox.

Images Heritage Auctions and  Howard Lowery.


  1. This information is golds, thanks for posting. The insight into the focus it takes to animate at this "maestro" level daily, and that someone like Milt Kahl would be exhausted speaks for itself as far as revealing what needed to be invested. The greatest artists the world has known, not only in drawing images, but designing movement, and needing to imagine the acting and appeal from thin air. A process so complex when done well, the way it's done becomes a mystery.

  2. Fascinating stuff -- it's great to get a peek into the process, and to see how the artists' personalities come across in their work. Looking forward to getting your book!

  3. I've been schooled again...Thanks for sharing!

  4. I imagine this must be on your mind at the moment as you are in the animation stage of your own film.
    I'm going to have to check out more of Marc Davis' charts. Maleficent moves very steadily
    So I understand the even charting there, but Cruella is more contrast in her movement so it's hard to believe those charts would be even.

  5. Andreas, I am enjoying your book and will be soon posting an enthusiastic review on my blog ACME PUNCHED! But I wanted to ask you about an erratum I believe I have spotted in the Woolie Reitherman pages, in the sequence of Gus Goose images. On page 53 of the book, one drawing seems out of order, despite drawing numbers to the contrary: the drawing labeled 59A looks to me like it should be the first image in the whole group and cannot possibly come between 57 and 61. Am I crazy? If you want to answer directly I am at Thanks!

    1. You are correct. Jim. I am trying to get this corrected in future printing runs. (You now own a collector's item ;)

    2. Hi Andreas,

      I'm an animator currently studying at Calarts in Character Animation.
      I couldn't find a better way to get a hold of you directly so hopefully this reaches you and you get to read it.

      To cut to the chase - I'm avidly into traditional animation, but unfortunately its presence seems to be dropping off somewhat here at Calarts, and I've been noticing a worrying trend of the interest in traditional waning in the newer kids coming into the program.

      That sounds alarming and it's only a subtle decline (I've just got back here from a leave of absence so I’ve had the benefit of comparing the program from several years apart) - but its trend that needs to be nipped in the bud.

      The reason, as far as I see it and experienced it, is that the teaching here for traditional animation has changed somewhat. A lot of the faculty teaching traditional are either very young, even just graduates themselves and only worked in CGI animation within the industry itself, or approaching traditional animation from an overtly modern way - not embracing the technique but rather skewing it for use in a predominantly CGI animated industry. That’s not bad per se, especially if it was an aspect of teaching 2D - but when it’s the only method of teaching traditional here – it’s really starting to affect the passion, is not representative, in my humble opinion, of what traditional animation is – and importantly, what it could be. And that’s crucial because for it to blossom again it needs passion, needs to be understood as a technique, and needs to be used as the great tool and art form for storytelling it is.
      Mabybe that's how they view it to be best used right now here, but for me - the only way it can really blossom again is for it to be properly embraced, and particualry the only way newer animators coming in can really get excited by it like I do, and obviously like you do yourself.

      My year's Trad teacher has recently had to take a post directing meaning he will not be in the area to teach. Leaving a space to be filled for next semester (and possibly beyond)

      With your passion for traditional, wealth of experience, and ability to really get to the heart of what makes traditional great - I'd like to ask if there's even the slightest possibility you would be available to have a more detailed convo about teaching Trad Animation at Calarts?
      Currently classes are around 3 hours long, once a week. Often classes are split into two sections, so in that circumstance, it would be 6 hours a week.

      I fully understand and anticipate your schedule is far too loaded to be able to commit to this - but hopefully you appreciate I have to ask as I feel the art form we love could really do with an injection of passion here, at what is traditionally (excuse the pun) one of the hearts of 2D animation in America - especially for young, aspiring animators like myself.

      I know the love is there, but it's like the flame is dying infront of my eyes and I'm just trying to stoke it again – they just need that direction and I just know it can be something special like it often is.
      Again, apologies for contacting you here – but it was the only place I knew I could do so.
      For now, I hope to hear from you and maybe we can talk further.

      Thanks Andreas,
      From a humble student animator.

  6. Moving lines... I Love the Roughs!!! Thank`s Andreas!!

  7. What a treat to read your commentary alongside such classic masterpieces of rough animation! Thanks for posting these.