Sunday, November 16, 2008
Cartoon Network Dominance! Batman Brave and the Bold and Sceret Saturdays!
This weekend two of the new Cartoon Network shows, Secret Saturdays and Batman Brave and the Bold are on back-to-back, and I worked on both of them as a storyboard artist and character designer respectively. So while I am not really dominating , I am very well reped this weekend. I have had up to 5 comics on the stands at one time back in the rah, rah, 90's, but i don't think I've had two cartoons on in the same night I've worked on.
This week's Episode of the Secret Saturdays introduces a new character, Doyle into the Saturday clan, and it's the premiere of Batman B&B. Above is the model for this week's villain, Kan Jaro. The rough was done by James Tucker the producer on the show, and often he'd do a rough pass fiorst on the main characters, then I'd take a shot at them or would do the turns depending on what he wanted. Here I did the clean-up and the turn.
Below is a section of my board from this weeks episode of Secret Saturdays. It's always interesting to see how close the final show is to my board. I sometimes feel the animators overseas or the clean-up artists loose the life in the board in the quest to make the characters "on model". I can always tell the A, B, and C level animators from scene to scene, sometimes I watch a sequence and there is really something animating with squash, stretch, overlap, etc., and sometimes the characters just move from key position to key position without much extra juice like anticipation, secondary action, overlap, etc. I still think the process of doing boards and designs here and sending it overseas ends up with at times very mixed results depending on the studios you work with. Sometimes as I understand it, scenes are even farmed out from the contracted studios to smaller outfits, or freelancers as pick-up work.
I know on some of the Superman and Batman cartoons I boarded on the animation and drawing quality would radically change from scene to scenes sometimes and I wondered why, until I heard about how business was done. I know the director is only allowed to call for so many "re-takes", where you send a scene back to be reanimated on every cartoon. So it seems sometimes you have to pick your battles. The aid of computers now in creating the vehicles and the fact that everything is composited in the computer (no more cells and cell paint) has added a lot more creative possibilities for us as board artists in the last few years, but all the slick computer effects can't save a bad drawing or poor animation, it can't "plus' a board, that can only be done by a good artist or animator.