Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Tarzan Boards

Here are some more boards, this time from Tarzan TV toon based on the movie. One of the things about the TV show was that they used the models from the movie without any real redesign. Hey, that's fine, the problem was in the end the overseas studio just wasn't up to the talent level to pull of that type of drawing. You really need to draw really well and know your anatomy and I would literally cringe watching one of the episodes i boarded. in fact after watching one, I never looked again. Also this was a difficult show to baord as it was a show packed with a lot of characters--and animals. Staging problems always abound when you have to stage scenes between characters like an elephant and a friggin gorilla. One is 14 feet tall and one is 4 feet tall. So you have to find ways to get them eye level, something TV writers never think about.

I the comment section of on the previous Batman board post mentioned the difference between TV ad or live action boards. Yes, they are really different animals from animation boards, especially for TV ADs as they serve a different use.Boards for ads are mostly for the clients to sell an idea or commercial, sometimes the agency will have several differnt ideas for an ad campaign, so it's cheaper to do boards and animatics than film three commercials and pic one. TV animation boards also now are almost key pose boards. Ideally the studios want you as the board guy to do pose-to-pose key drawings, listening to the voice track, essentially animating it, pulling out all the nuances and acting. In other words, animate the darn thing.

In features they have layout, where a specific artist will do the placement drawings of the characters in each scene with the backgrounds, maybe the start, stop pose, or a drawing that is from a weird of difficult angle--but most TV doesn't have a layout artist anymore, or only in the rare case. I know Ren and Stimpy did that type of thing, Samurai Jack did a bit before the shows ship over to Korea mostly, and then you have a big cultural devide. Body language, language, humor, are all different except maybe in the case of big pratfall type/slapstick humor-IE Three Stooges. The big issue is that often due to budgets you won't get A level artists working on a whole show, or even a whole scene. The A guys get the good stuff then I've heard the overseas studios will sometimes even subcontract stuff out to even smaller studios, of course I'm sure skimming some $$ off in the process. then everything is brought in and shipped back statesides. At least that's what I've heard...

TV Commercial boards are to sell the client and to give the director a "guide' as the set ups are bound to change as they are live action. hye are getting slicker now, being animated as pitches in After Effects complete with sound.

Effects boards for movies are pretty specific though, for obvious reasons. they cost millions of dollars. On the TV shows I can watch and see the A.B and C,D,E and sometimes F level artists working. rare is the case where they plus the drawing, usually the pull it back and blanderize it.


Aaron Sowd said...

Beautiful stuff, Mike! At least you'll always have your boards to look at even f you can't bare to watch the finished episodes! Many great boards die overseas...

Mike M said...

Aaron, yes, unfortunately that is true. So few shows come back where they keep the drawing and the design/layout. It's like geting a bad inking job on a comic, the drawing is destroyed.

They do have really talented artist overseas, that's obvious, and soe guys like Genndy seemed to get amazing stuff back, but so often I would be dissapointed whene comparing my board to the final product.

I guess that's the key word there, product...which in the end all this stuff is. hard to explain that to a bean counter or a suit though, they can't see the big issue, after all, ratings are king.

I cringe whenever a poorly drawn show makes hey as all that does is tell the execs...drawning doesn't count, why spend all that extra money.

tgreaper said...

Hey Mike,
I'm enrolling in the art institute of Pittsburg this term working on a four year degree in computer animation and digital art. I know in the near future I will be working with boards and I wanted to say thanks for sharing the tricks of the trade.

Mike M said...

TG, Thanks and you're welcome. I recommend getting the book Shot-by-Shot, a really good book on storytelling mechanics.