Walk Cycle Clean Drawings "When Rome was in Flour"

Goofy Roman Soldier 8-drawing Walk Cycle, companion to a loose, sketchy Scribbledy ROUGH animation, to show students that the crude roughs can be sufficient for designing a piece, if you do a good job on Clean-up.

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Just to remind folks --- I like showing people how to do animation. I've taught almost 2,000 people how to draw animation, and how to use 2D and 3D animation Software. My brother and I started drawing when we were in diapers. Eventually that got us to where we could make some $$$ at it. I'm not saying it's easy. But it's a way to make a living, if you hustle. •••••••••••••

Early on in classes I was teaching, I saw students striving to make their earliest animation drawings as clean and detailed as possible. 

This may have been just habit, but it might also have been from a sense that TEACHER gonna judge EVERYTHING strictly and sternly.

I realized that it's important for students to have some sense of how much latitude the process can allow. 

My brother and I had started drawing as soon as we could make a fist. Never occurred to us that we should wait until some teacher could patiently instruct us on anatomy, materials, process, theory... Nope. If it could make a mark, any object was fair game –– crayons, sticks, spoons, jar of Vicks Vapo-Rub, Strawberry Jam –– and walls were our playground, er, Canvas. 

Remarkably, our parents never sold us to gypsies or threw us in the river. In the fullness of time, we began to develop some reasonable skills.

•  I try to show students how to begin drawing with loose scribbledy sketches, and gradually refine the thing you're drawing. I can get from a crummy scribble to a finished clean drawing MUCH FASTER by doing five or eight successive tracings, cleaning each one just a bit more... Than by doing one painstakingly slow and carefully considered SINGLE drawing, with lots of erasing, and swearing. This works as a general approach to drawing single compositions, too. 

•  By Comparison, consider what a musician has to do in order to be able to IMPROVISE in a blues band, versus memorizing a piece of music that will be played with exactly the same notes in every performance. These are two VERY DIFFERENT processes, each requiring a tremendous commitment of practice.

•  I KNOW that sometimes, it's a good thing to be able to make that first mark on the paper a full commitment to making THAT starting page the FINAL FINISHED PIECE. This requires discipline. And practice. For instance, a good way to learn the anatomical structures of the human body is to try to reproduce images of the bones and muscles from photographic images and ANATOMY books. I've spent many hours copying skulls, hands, feet, faces... from Gray's Anatomy and various "Anatomy for Artists" books. I highly recommend the books of George Bridgman and Andrew Loomis. 

•  Eventually, I will include a short bibliography of the books that I and my students seem to have found useful... (I'm just getting started on setting up this HT website...)

•  Of course there are platoons and regiments of more recent artist/authors whose work is great. It's hard to go wrong with the Classics. Museums like "Le Louvre" will allow qualified artists to set up their easels inside the museum, to study masterworks by copying them.

•  The sketchy scribbledy ROUGH animation was done in about 30 MINUTES. Then I show'em the Cleaned-up cycle, and point out that even after I've been doing this for DECADES, each Clean drawing required at Least Half an Hour...

==>  SO There is Absolutely NO reason to start with drawings that are that are all painstakingly drawn to be clean and detailed WHEN YOU DON'T YET KNOW HOW TO ANIMATE!!!!!! 

 And, oh, yeah –– Invest some time drawing your character in various poses, from lots of angles BEFORE YOU TRY ANIMATING.

Sorry if that sounds SNARKY... Look, most of what I have to share about... well, anything... comes from having done it WRONG a few times, so learning to NOT do the WRONG stuff turns out to be actually a pretty good strategy. So teaching other folks how to do the things I've learned to do with any proficiency means to Me, that I should point out some of the conspicuous Pitfalls.



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