Cat animation

In my mind, I always liked the idea of doing 2d animation. Drawing each pose directly by hand… oh boy! Doesn’t that sound like fun?? To some people, most people, this sounds repetitive. And it totally is. I’m not sure why it sounds fun to me. I think I just like the idea of drawing a lot. But it’s a little difficult to work on a drawn animation without the right set up. Things have to align and stuff. Also, I’ve always wanted to try this page rolling technique that I’ve seen and read about.

I need an animation desk! With the pegs and the inclined rotating surface. I’ve never used one before, even though I really want to have one right here next to me. For now, I just rigged a quick set up by taking one of those standing clear plastic sign holders and sticking two binder clips on the edges to hold the papers in place.

Woohoo, now I have somewhat of an animation drawing table. To celebrate, I drew a sitting cat. Why a cat? Because they’re cute. And I was thinking about how they seem to move pose to pose when they’re pouncing or attacking something. Like this:

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The clear plastic of my “drawing desk” allowed light to come through and illuminate the drawing beneath, like a lightbox. It was awesome. Then I got another idea to make the cat get up and start walking, and anticipate the action.

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I didn’t use any video reference, even though I kept thinking to do so. I also realized I made it difficult by putting in a perspective. So I had a lot of cleaning up to do in photoshop. But yes, I did finally get to try the rolling page thingy, and it was awesome!

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Most awesome coloring book ever!

When I stumbled upon Shan Jiang’s Bicycle Coloring Bike at Buc ee’s one day, I didn’t think twice about buying it. It is a beautiful book, and not only does it make me want to color, but it makes me want to draw and animate too. In fact, with my love for bicycles and drawing and recent exploration of cats and China,  I’m a little jealous that I’m not the one who made this book! But happy. Jealappy. And jealspired, you know, like jealous but inspired…

I intended to practice some value and shading with this book, but the more I flip through it, the more I’m afraid to taint it with my experimental coloring. The book’s binding doesn’t make it exactly scanner friendly either. Guess I’ll just have to buy another one! Or make my own?? I did attempted to emulate one of the drawings, fascinated by their fantastical yet detailed grandeur and quirkiness:

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(Whoops, that’s a Terry bike now. Wheels in perspective is challenging! So is the geometric accuracy required to draw a bicycle convincingly.)

I suddenly remembered that I did start a series of illustrations shortly after I returned from China. I wanted to illustrate my discoveries and experiences of the bike culture from living there. This one was going to be a rather axonometric drawing of the daily bikescape:

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Catventures

6thgradeCats are fuuunnny creatures. I remember going through a cat phase when I was… 10 years old? By cat phase, I mean a time in my life when I drew something over and over again. As proof, here’s an embarrassing doodle from an early era of my life, recently discovered at the bottom of a desk drawer.

I did go through a horse and dog phase too, but the horse and dog that you see to the right are specifically characters from my first digital animation ever. Perhaps I’ll save that for a future post…

Well, I sort of went through a cat phase again this past winter which I spent with Snowball. I drew her tons. I wanted to capture her funny behavior:

 

 

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Well, I thought I’d capture this spirit in my first animation assignment for AnimSquad. So what makes them so funny, especially when they get all excited? You know, like how they suddenly dart out, or get scared and jump up in a smooth arc? Sometimes I even see a flipping movement while watching scramble around a corner, and it always looked so strange to me. Luckily, there are youtube videos of cats jumping around in slow motion. Here’s some sketches of one that was just CONSTANTLY tumbling around:

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Wow, I did NOT realize how much they flipped out!! Literally. It’s like their spine is made of rubber. You know how cats always land on their feet because they rotate half their body some 180 degrees? Well, they pretty much do that at any opportunity they’re airborne, even if it’s just for a split second. Can’t wait til I get a cat assignment to animate!

Airplane movies

And we’re back! From spending the entire winter in China, that is. Unfortunately, trying to access the administrative site over there is a huge waste of time… time I had rather spent drawing and animating. So during this little sabbatical, I subscribed to an online drawing school that was at CTN called New Masters Academy, studied figure drawing and human and creature anatomies, animated some baseball pitches, and hung out with a super adorable and funny white cat that became my little muse for many doodles.

About the title of this post, my plan was to rant about a movie I saw enflight and reveal this recent situation abroad with internet limitations. But I’m clearly just typing out a stream of thoughts so I’ll rant in another post. Besides, my jetlag just kicked in and I suddenly feel very sleepy…

Enjoy this cat!

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