Hi! Just wanted to let you know first off that you're awesome and this blog is wonderful. Secondly, I was wondering if there was any possible way you can make these videos download-able? Like, just in case if you take down your blog or you're forced to remove the videos. If you can't it's okay, I was just wondering. ^^;; Thirdly... you're amazing.
One of these day’s I’ll get around to uploading this all in one place. Honestly, it probably won’t be for a while and I make no promises, but it’s definitely a good idea.
Hey Henry! I have a question about some of the pencil tests, Do you know what recording program they use to record? Or what program they use to edit it with the background behind it or overlaying two separate recordings together?
Originally they would have filmed it with the animation paper on a lightbox. Animation paper is quite thin and you can see several layers at a time once you shine light through it. Background on the bottom, animation paper on top.
In the 80s and 90s they would have used video, and there were several types of equipment that would composite a background and the animation paper as you recorded. I’ve personally used one called a “lunchbox,” but that’s outdated now.
Modern pencil tests, if the animation is even actually done on paper, would be composited on a computer. I believe “Toon Boom”, which is an animation program, has a version specifically for this purpose.
I know that lots of studios, and Disney specifically, have been moving more towards doing a lot of their animation directly into a computer using a Cintiq monitor. That combines all the processes into one easy step.
If you want to do it at home:
-Photoshop works but is a bit clunky.
-Toon Boom if you’ve got a bunch of money burning a hole in your pocket.
-There’s also a free program called “MonkeyJam" that makes it quite easy to compile scanned frames or photos into a pencil test, but I don’t believe it has the capacity for layers. (EDIT: anonymous tip, it does indeed have layer capacity.)
-When all else fails, go the old fashioned route: paper on a light box.
I really, really love this blog. You do such a great job and I always love seeing your posts on my dash. I do have just one request. Would it be possible to see some Adventure Time pencil tests?
I appreciate the kind comments.
But as for “Adventure Time”, I have yet to see any for a couple reasons. There’s so much ”Adventure Time” production art online, and seeing as I’m not that big a fan of the show, I have not found myself with the energy or will to wade through it all to hunt down pencil tests.
Also, I know a lot of the art posted online is from the American side of the production pipeline (aka model sheets, storyboards, etc). It’s animated overseas, so the actual rough animation tends to stay in the hands of the Korean studio who makes it. This is a common problem I’ve found with trying to locate rough animation from television shows.
If any more devoted fans of the series know of any “Adventure Time” pencil tests, submit them and I’ll totally post it.
I don't know if it's ever been asked of you before, but when did you first start animating, or at least begin to have an interest in it?
I didn’t start animating until quite recently, but I’ve been interested in it since the Lion King came out in ‘94. I’ve also always been active in Puppetry for years, and the two arts aren’t entirely dissimilar.
I hear there's pencil tests for Tangled. Is there any chance you can find some?
I have never seen any sort of pencil test for Tangled. Seeing as it was a CG film, most tests would have been done in a computer. This drawing here is by Glen Keane, and the numbering and the fact it’s on animation paper would suggest he did some sort of exploratory animation to help define the character. If anyone has seen anything like this, let me know.
And here are some key poses I found. These could have been animated at some point, but once again I’ve never seen them in video form.