Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cobbler and Errol

This is the first Cobbler scene, second scene in the movie, right after the opening. This first image is from Art Babbitt's original linetest.
It was re-animated, probably by Alex Williams, who did a lot of the Cobbler scenes. Jerry Verschoor was Alex's assistant for most of the film, so I would guess that he worked on this as well. This new version I have only seen as a linetest, so I assume it might not have gotten into trace and paint.
Lacking a color image I'm showing this one, which is from a same-as scene a little later in the film:
The proportions are much different, very short torso and long legs and a lot of detail shapes have been changed. The animation style is different, too.
The original animation is very posey, everything moves and stops at the same time. The final animation has overlap build in, hiding the keys, things stop at different times. The design is more sophisticated, using asymmetry for more interesting shapes. The spacing would also have been adjusted for the use of ones, rather than just putting inbetweens between every 2nd Drawing of animation that has been done on Twos.
This is to avoid the spacing becoming too even and floaty.

If I remember correctly the watercolor BG for this scene is by Errol Le Cain. That was always something special, an original Errol. He played a huge role in creating the look of the film. Early on he did a lot of inspirational illustrations to establish the style, inspired by Persian miniature art. He also provided final background paintings for the film. He died in 1989. I don't know when he stopped working on the Thief. While we worked on the film, a huge number of new BGs were created by other artists and they all had to match his style.

This is Errol in an old documentary from the 60's about Dick's studio:Here are 2 of his inspirational illustrations:

link to some of his other work.
(use also the next page button)

2 comments:

David Nethery said...

"The spacing would also have been adjusted for the use of ones, rather than just putting inbetweens between every 2nd Drawing of animation that has been done on Twos. This is to avoid the spacing becoming too even and floaty."

This is so important and often misunderstood by many.

It's a definite skill to be able to effectively space things for Ones , so it's not "even and floaty" .

I hope you'll discuss more of the finer points such as this as the blog develops.

Holger said...

Thanks David,
I'm sure we'll do that.