Sunday, 20 May 2012

Dee Dee dancing.

I've been doing a job on a Cartoon Network thing lately. I don't know if I'm meant to say what it is but it's actually very cool and I wish I were doing more than just cleanup on it, as alot of the animation that's been done on it already is really good. The trials of a broke freelancer!

Anyway, among the extensive reference we're using for it were some clips of Dee Dee from Dexter's Lab, and I thought they were quite nice.

Dee Dee's such a great character. She's fun to watch and fun to draw. Everything about the way she's intended to act and move is just perfect for the medium of animation. It's been a long time since I actually watched episodes of Dexter's Lab, but apparently this is from the pilot episode, as in the series proper she has more exaggerated proportions and sharper angles. I kind of prefer how she looks here, but her design is great either way.

Her poses are clear and contrasting. They're timed to fit the dialogue. By that I don't mean that the mouth flaps fit on the words, I mean there are bits that are fast and bits that are slow, and they're all appropriate to the voice acting. There are bits that move smoothly and bits that are snappier. Compare the gradual easing into her first two held poses to her fluid dancing that follows, and then the excited scrambling and bouncing when she ties Dexter's ears into a bow. Not to mention the difference in her expressions as she transitions between different varieties of "childish fantasy".

An actress gave a performance and then an animator animated a performance to do it justice. That's what animation with lipsync is all about!

I also love how she does something different with her fingers on the second of her strokes on Dexter's ears. It's a nice subtle touch that adds alot, and so much better than just copy-pasting the same motion. By the way, I find drawing banana fingers like that really hard. Detailed semi-realistic hands are easier for me.

There's lots of doubles in the other dancing sequence. I'm liking doubles a bit better than smears at the moment, as I think smears are a bit gimmicky, though both have their uses, really.

There's not so much to talk about specifically because most of the action isn't to dialogue, but all the poses are great and again there's constant variations in the timing. I particularly like how they actually combine her rapid ballerina steps with overall more fluid movements. Is that "special timing"?

Also, did I mention I love interlacing? And how NTSC TV animation is apparently always done at 24fps and telecined to the actual television framerate of 30?

Although my role on this job isn't that big, hopefully once it's done I'll get to post it as it's sweet. I'm planning another League of Legends character redesign, but haven't the energy right now as our hours are actually quite long so I'm drained.

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