I want to create a YouTube animation about TWIT, with Leo Laporte and friends. There are two serious problems, though: I can’t draw and I can’t animate. That shouldn’t stop me from trying. Who knows, I might just pull this off.
I found some photos of Leo through Google Image Search. I will not reproduce these photos here, because I don’t own the copyrights. I’m sure Leo wouldn’t mind, but I’m not so sure about the photographers.
Using one of the photos, I draw this picture in ArtRage 2, with the photograph as a tracing image.
I don’t know about you, but that is rather ugly. Tracing a photo doesn’t really work. I guess you have to study the lines first and draw lightly, then strengthen the lines as you go. That wasn’t what I did. I just drew with full force on the electronic crayon.
Note the triangle. I thought I knew how it worked, but it seems (see later in this post), that you can draw a triangle from the dimple in the chin to both pupils when the person looks straight ahead. Here I have chosen the bottom of the lower lip as a corner of the triangle.
Next, I used a reference photo (the same as the tracing photo), which was much easier, because you don’t obscure the underlying photo (you can use the reference photo as the example) while putting digital chalk on the digital paper.
Still, you can see it was traced, and that I have no clue how the human face is put together. My anatomical knowledge is very limited, it seems.
Time to try some drawing with a real pencil on real paper, just to get more comfortable with the subject (I think drawing on real paper is more natural than drawing on the computer). There is no underlying photo to help me, just my memory and a quick glance at the computer screen now and then.
Now, that isn’t too bad for a first try. The proportions are there, but I just lack the skill to draw convincingly. At least, it shows I’m enthusiastic about the subject.
The drawing gave me good ideas how to proceed next. I wanted to try to use Anime Studio 5 Pro to trace another photo. Perhaps that would give me some insight how to draw Leo’s face convincingly.
And indeed, that is much, much better. I’m always amazed by the results you get from Anime Studio 5 Pro. The tools are very much different from e.g. Photoshop or Illustrator, but once you get past that, they are much more expressive than what the far more expensive Adobe applications have to offer. I guess that is why Mike Clifton, the software developer of Anime Studio, was employed by Adobe. He has some good chops for creating specialized graphical user interfaces.
Now I asked myself what lines are essential? I want to create an animated cartoon, so the less lines the better. It seems most lines I drew were already essential lines. I eliminated as many lines as I could in the next image.
Because I simplified the realistic Leo as much as I could, I could also see how this face triangle thing works. One can draw a triangle with both the pupils and the dimple in the chin as corner points.
I tried to draw Leo on real paper, but I saw my creative juices for the day were gone. This picture wasn’t an improvement over what I already had.
It seems you only have so much creative energy in a day, and mine was clearly gone. Well, there is always tomorrow.
That is all.