I used to believe that I should have a final image of what I want to achieve, but my perspective has changed. So many years I've tried but planning doesn't work for me at all. I now lean towards the fun of exploration as opposed to the limiting qualities of setting goals. This is still a curriculum, albeit a loose one. Feel free to think of the list below as the things I want to explore more. I believe this approach will feel more exciting than the rigid finality of the previous version.
Also, this curriculum emphasizes principles, not trends. Once you got the principles down, you will now have a solid foundation to rest wherever your tastes, instincts and individuality take you.
1st year (2013): Most bang for the buck - HEAD, HANDS, FEET, AND DRAPERY (these parts are the most expressive parts of the body, the hardest to draw properly, and the ones that are always seen. )
Drapery - Vilppu, 7 types of folds, master studies, learning more about clothes from street photography
Feet - how it works, construction, different angles, different footwear, appeal, simplification
Head - how it works, construction, different angles, then study each parts and variations, appeal and simplification
Supplemental reading - The mime book, Acting for animators,
ANNUAL PROJECT: Create atleast 1 animation short that utilizes all the cartoon fundamentals, and uses force, construction, extreme poses and proper gesture of hands and feet.
2nd year: CARICATURE, EXPRESSIONS, PERSPECTIVE and PROPS - In continuation of your head studies last year, we move on to caricature and expressions. Props and BG's give your drawings solid believability even if your characters are cartoony. Studying them will give you the most improvement out of your drawings
Perspective - (no colors yet!) Environment sketching CGMA, David Chelsea - Perspective For Comic Book Artists, World building chapter of Making Comics-Scott Mccloud, Perspective chapter of Successful drawing - Andrew Loomis
a. Perspective basics (basic shapes on ground plane)
b. 1,2,3 point perspective
c. Copy environments from real life and pics, make it as realistic as you can (anime bg like)
Caricature of everything(not just faces) - Mad art of Caricature
1. Caricature the face
2. Caricature the body
3. Caricature animals/creatures
4. Caricature things/environments
Expressions - Gary Faigin, Scott Mccloud, Tom bancroft
Review of everything learned so far - Character Mentor
Props, vehicles, architecture - dynamic sketching by peter han - use curriculum of course on cgma
ANNUAL PROJECT: Create atleast 1 animation short using the techniques learned in the school year. Feel free to use the materials you created for the subjects in your animation short.
3rd year: ANIMALS, STORYBOARDING AND DRAMA
Animals - ImagineFX anatomy, Ken Hultgren, Weatherly Guide, Force animal locomotion
Storytelling/boarding - Ideas for the animated short, Prepare to board, Cgma
Drama and storytelling - Framed ink
Values and Planes - Andrew Loomis
ANNUAL PROJECT: Create atleast 1 fantasy epic themed animation short with animal/anthropomorph characters and dramatic scenery.
4th year: PAINTING, COLOR AND ENVIRONMENTS
Digital painting - Color and light
Color theory - Confident color, cgma
Environments - Fundamentals of Creative environment design - Cgma - create fantastical but realistic looking environment paintings using everything you've learned
ANNUAL PROJECT: Paint 20 scenes of your ideal movie: could be realistic, cartoony or fantasy, just as long as you can apply what you've learned this school year to the material.
THESIS : Simple animation short utilizing force and construction in the animations, forceful fun backgrounds and a warm fun compelling fantasy story. Or any animation short you want to make, as long as it shows everything you have learned from the curriculum.
Great list of why a story should be told in cartoon form:
Anatomy - Exploration Ideas *study parts on a as needed basis*
Read this first before getting started:
Ideas for learning:
1. Learn construction and how it works
2. Draw lots of realistic copies using construction and knowledge of it's function on male
3. Make lots of caricatures of said body part! Widen study by doing same part but of woman, teens, children and old people. If not applicable, do certain body types instead - fat, skinny, muscular etc
5. Study general body language books for notes on the specific body part
6. Make lots of caricatures of said body part!
7. Once general idea is thoroughly understood, learn more by copying cartoon counterparts
Some guidelines for practice and learning*
2. Decide on a way to practise those skills in isolation from everything else - focus on each skill separately, one at a time
3. Make an appointment with yourself and allocate some time for regular practice
Male/Female life drawing - Life drawing, ImagineFX anatomy, dynamic sketching (optional -Cgma, facc07)
- emphasis on slow careful drawings, construction, perspective and specific body types. Learning anatomy should be kept to a minimum, just enough to be able to break it down to the 5 organic shapes and turn it around in space.
1. Construction - solid figures using the 5 shapes - sphere, cube, cylinder, cone and pyramid
2. Perspective - put the figure in any place in space convincingly
3. Specific body types - concentrate on observing in real life, or pictures of ordinary people
CARTOON fundamentals - John K curriculum (take note of the word "cartoon"-doesn't have to be realistic. Apply on a wide list of characters: humans, animals, creatures. Compare your work to pros and reach to their level)
1. construction - 15 pages
2. line of action - 4 pages 3. hierarchy - 12 pages 4. silhouettes - 2 pages
5. appeal - 14 pages
6. character design - 10 pages
*The following doesn't have lessons on John K curriculum*
7. shape/design - study chuck jones, disney 40's design and explore what makes them good
8. exaggeration - study cartoons that do the physically impossible
9. drawing funny - study poses/drawings from classic cartoons that make you laugh
10. caricature of life - in the span of this course, caricature real people regularly to prevent
rustiness and increase your character types to play with
*END OF TENTATIVE*