Sunday, July 16, 2006

Kimball's Cricket

I'd like to point everybody to Larry T's blog, where he has posted 41 drawings from a Ward Kimball Jiminy Cricket scene from Pinocchio. In addition to the drawings, he has videos of the drawings and a clip of the finished piece. Larry includes an example of a scene folder and discusses the typical animation pipeline of the time.

Kimball's work always has a strong line of action and a clear silhouette. There's a simplicity to his drawings that's not easy to achieve. He has a real gift for making a clear, direct statement in every drawing while never losing the appeal of the character design.

There's a wealth of information in the drawings Larry posted. In the sample above, we can see that Kimball is calling for a trace back of Jiminy's left foot. There's also got a spacing chart indicating how the inbetweens should be drawn. There are production, sequence and scene numbers stamped on the drawings so that the drawings can't be misplaced if they get separated from their scene folder. And we can see the reinforcement put on the center peg hole to keep the registration steady for camera. Every one of those things is useful for animation students to know. Some of them, with a little thought, are as valuable in cgi as they are in drawn animation.

This is also an example of Disney's five hole peg system. I was under the impression that the center hole and the outer horizontal holes were used by the animators, leaving the other two holes fresh for the inking stage. Does anybody know if that's the case?

When you're finished looking at Larry's blog, you can see some more of Kimball's Cricket drawings in this segment from the Disney Family Album. Kimball explains how Jiminy's design evolved and around 3 minutes in, Kimball flips a scene of Jiminy.


Cooked Art said...

I've heard the same about the 5-hole-peg system at Disney, but I can't remember for the life of me from where.

This is a pretty amazing post though - Thanks for pointing it out!

Nancy said...

HI Mark

I was always under the impression that the five-hole pegs simply were the result of re-punching old two-hole punch with the new square-round-square punch. I do not know if this is correct; the inkers would have more room for the heel of the hand if they used the two center holes to register the cels for inking.

Stephen Worth said...

Nancy is correct. Five pegs is a transition period from two pegs to three. The animation department and ink & paint were regeared for three pegs first. The FX department used two pegs for longer. The camera stand could use either two or three pegs. I've seen Fantasia scenes with the characters on five peg bottom and the FX on two peg top.

See ya

Stephen Worth said...

Oh, by the way... the stamps on the bottom are called "morgue stamps". Those were applied in the early fifties when the art morgue was organized.

See ya