Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tool$ Of The Trade #2 and Some Eye Candy

I posted yesterday's question to get a conversation going, and so far it's been an informative one.

Continuing along that thread:
I say that (at most) schools can only give a person a basic understanding of what is involved in animation. It is the experience on the job that truly teaches how to solve problems and develop one's talents. Over the years, I have run across a lot of "graduates" who don't realize that they have only started the learning process.

Perhaps one of the benefits of obstacles (whether financial or otherwise) is that it filters out those who don't have a certain amount of "fire-in-the-belly" that is needed to become a professional animator.

Comments are welcomed...

And now for the Eye Candy!

This original drawing of Superman by Wayne Boring is one of my prized possessions. Wayne drew the iconic Superman comic books of the 1950s, and as a kid I imitated Wayne's drawing poses of Superman flying up in the sky. In 1975, I met Wayne at the New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, Long Island...we were both working on the feature film Tubby the Tuba. It was my first job in animation as an inbetweener, and I believe it may have been Wayne's last job in animation. Wayne gave this drawing to me on his last day of work at the studio.


  1. I love that drawing. Hey you know what? Tubby the Tuba was used as a music teaching aid when I was at primary school - it's one of my first memories of animation! :D

    On the subject of animation in schools....I always regretted not going to college to learn animation (I started down a very different career route initially), but now I'm glad I didn't. I have learned so much just from purely wanting to learn on my own. And my current job as an animator has taught me so much about the pressures of doing things commercially. I honestly don't think I'd be in a better situation by going to college to learn the trade.

  2. I have never studied animation formally either but eagerly learn from great blogs like this one! My current professional career in computer programming was also a "learn as you go" career, since I didn't finish any college degrees for that either :-)

  3. Andy, there have been several animated versions of "Tubby the Tuba", all but one were shorts. You may be referring to one of those.

    The version I'm referring to is a feature length version with (among others) the voices of Dick Van Dyke and Pearl Bailey.

  4. For what its worth, I'm making my first cartoon on 16mm film (using overhead sheets as "cels").

    Variety of reasons why, but the biggest one being I have a film projector and I want to have at least one cartoon that I can screen with it.

  5. Hi, Brubaker. FYI, Cartoon Colour carries all the "old school" paints, cels, brushes, etc. The website is:

    Another source for animation supplies is Lightfoot Ltd.

    Good luck on your project!

  6. Wayne had one of those humorous names that was better than fiction.
    His superman had this great barrel of a torso that he wore like a barrel sometimes. I always flash to a later Wally Wood spoof of an elderly and potbellied Superman which looks like a fair parody of the Boring model. Hah!

  7. "Over the years, I have run across a lot of 'graduates' who don't realize that they have only started the learning process." Yep, that sounds like me, except I'm not a graduate student. I'm in between wanting to do illustration or animation. I've just started learning in the spring semester of my freshman year. It's very difficult for me so far, but there's something about it that I don't want to give it up yet. Looking at your blog makes me feel happy about animation too.

  8. If animating were easy, then there wouldn't be any talent involved in the process. That's what makes using a pencil such a challenge. There is a special magic to it, though...and after 35+ years animating, I still get a happy feeling from it.