Last night’s debut of the new animated MAD show on the Cartoon Network was certainly fun. Working on the show has been a real experience so far, and I am looking forward to continuing to work on future episodes… although as I understand it my role has been reduced to doing work for about every other episode. I have spent a lot of time during the first 5 I have worked on trying to figure out how to adjust my work to better fit in with what the animators need in order to produce the segments based on my art. The main challenge has been to simplify my linework so when the characters are redrawn in Flash the animators don’t need to interpret too much.
Last night’s “CSiCarly” segment was the first one we did back in May. I started out trying to get a feel for what the animation folks were wanting, so I did a few sample images for them using different levels of line work. Here is an example of the test caricature of David Caruso… the one on the left is more of the look I would do for the magazine, and the one on the right was my idea of simplifying the drawing:
The one on the right was still a little too detailed, especially in the hair… so I tried to simplify even more with Caruso¬¨‚Ä† and the additional characters. The basic process is that I do a single full body image of each main character for the segment, plus do a few key expressions if some are called for. The animators also have a pile of “extra” drawings of generic people I have done with they are basing the “extras” on. Still most of the art is done by the animators, and I think it’s more fair to say my work is a “contribution” to these shorts than it is real character design. They are doing all the heavy lifting.
My main concern was that, by the time I altered my own style to fit in with the animation and the animators did their thing with all the expression and talking and such, not much of my art would be recognizable in the final product. After seeing the premiere episode I thought I could definiately see my work in there… it was a lot of fun to see it on TV.
I’m not sure week to week when I’ll have something in an episode or not, so you’ll just have to stay tuned to the show and see if you can pick out the stuff I contributed to!
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