Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Okay, here's another scene from poses to finished animation. This is a dialog scene from A TIME FOR ALL SEASONINGS. It's a silent film, so there was no track to read; it just had to be interesting mouth shapes and clear body language. In this scene Pepper grabs his umbrella back and screams something at Salt. There will be a dialog card in the film to show the audience what he is saying...


Thursday, August 17, 2006


Here are two pencil tests from A Time For All Seasonings. For the first video, I shot every drawing I did twice. The thing is, I really like animating on "twos" but if I get really lazy with the spacing, the actions become very sluggish. This is the scene where the PEPPER character shakes pepper out of his hat and sifts it onto his pedistal before he does his soft shoe dance with the SALT character. I did not include the effects because I haven't drawn them yet. So imagine that he is pushing the pepper out of his hat and sifting it through his fingers...

The shaking of the pepper looks a bit sluggish to me, That's what you get when you animate on twos and you animate without planning the spacing of your drawings...

So I went back and put some of the ease drawings onto single frames.
Now I think the action of shaking pepper from his hat feels a bit crisper and fun. This is the version I'll use for the film. Once the pepper FX are animated I will post the test...

Monday, August 14, 2006


For those of you who are unfamiliar with A TIME FOR ALL SEASONINGS, these first couple sentences are for you! The film has several characters, all of whom perform on stage in a vaudeville house. The focus of the film is the dancing duo, The Shaker Brothers, performing their soft shoe number...

Basically what I wanted to show was this dancing duo whose gimmick was that they performed on stage as salt and pepper shakers. Originally I just coincieved of them just entering on stage and hopping up on their pedistals to dance their fun little dance.
That idea changed a bit a when I was inspired by a scene from TOP HAT. There is this wonderful moment in the movie where Fred Astaire sifts sand through his fingers and onto the floor and perfoms this wonderful soft shoe number for Ginger Rodgers who is staying in the room below him.

I applied this idea for salt and pepper. So now rather than just coming out on stage and dancing, they bow to the audience, they shake salt and pepper from the top of their heads and sift it through their fingers and onto their pedistals before they dance.

For me, it adds more to the scene now that they come out on stage and acctually DO something related to their character. I took a couple of suggestions from other people as well on how to approach the scene; but it really grew from the scene from TOP HAT:

Here are the original poses for the scene. Four drawings were enough for me to start visualizing and timing out the scene:

Once that was done I sized the drawings to the layout and added a few more poses. Joe Merideth took the revised poses and studied the scene from TOP HAT. He flip-framed through the scene to really understand the shaking and sifting of the salt onto the pedistal. So the poses are mine, but the entire feel of the action is all Joe. He did an amazing job of moving through all the poses I gave him.

So here is the pencil test of the scene. Poses: BJ Crawford Animation: Joe Merideth

Friday, August 11, 2006

Now that ChewBone is focusing its attention on finishing "SEASONINGS" this blog will be updating you on the progress of the film.

It will be a bit of everything: development, penicl tests, process and opinion.

Before I post any work I think it would be fitting to show a film that I saw way before I ever conceived of the idea for A Time For All Seasonings. The film is Anna and Bella and I first saw it 9 years ago in an animation history course. When I look at this film now, I see things that I wish were the norm in animation and filmmaking. I can't tell you how important I feel it is to see the artist's hand in the line work. It makes it so personal. And it's fitting given the subject matter of the piece.

The story is simple and clear. So is the posing. Watching this film over and over has no doubt helped me strengthen the posing in my animation.