Thursday, April 28, 2011

"Alf Prøysen's Barnesanger" hand-drawn television series by Sandes Media

Saw this on CartoonBrew today:

And also on the TVP Animation Community Forum , where they report that the animation and coloring was done with TVP Animation:

So the animation is actually hand-drawn, but paperless , drawn in TVP Animation using Wacom tablets. BG's were painted in Photoshop. (although they could have used TVP Animation to paint the fully-rendered BG's as well)

The director , Hans Jørgen Sandnes , writes:
"...based on the songs of famed Norwegian singer/songwriter Alf Prøysen (1914 – 1970). The series is hand-drawn, made in-house by me and my five collegues. The episodes are short “music-videos” following Prøysens original recordings. We’re very passionate about our work, trying to master the medium of traditional 2D animation.”

Trailer for the television series:

Line test of a scene animated paperlessly in TVP Animation:

Making-of progression video showing line test to final color:

It's interesting that for publicity purposes in the making-of video (above) they have taken steps to disguise the digital origins of the drawings by adding some fake "flipping paper" effects to the animation.

I think I understand why this is done for the general public consumption: the minute you tell non-animation people "we used a digital program to do the animation" many people have this crazy idea stuck in their head : "ah-ha, the computer does it all" , as if the someone simply types in a command and pushes a button , then the computer program animates the scene. Whereas people still understand that if something is hand-drawn an artist is responsible for creating it.

It is difficult for many people to grasp the idea that there can be hand-drawn animation made on a computer , which is virtually the same process as hand-drawn animation on paper, except the lines are drawn directly into a program like TVP Animation using a wacom tablet, instead of drawn on paper and scanned/photographed.

Hand-drawn , in TVP Animation.


Some additional comments from the director/lead animator, Hans Jorgen Sandes, were posted on the TVP Animation Community User Forum:

I'm so glad you're using this on the TVPaint page. Because, it's ALL sketched, animated and coloured in TVPaint. The backgrounds are PhotoShop, and the composite is in AppleMotion. We're working on the subject of painting the backgrounds in TVP as well. The composite is very minimal, and AppleMotion works great with FinalCut.

Since others are so interested in our process, I will make a post on how we're working. I'll also include how the animation is actually done in the TVP software. I'll post it on your forum and my blog.

Anyway, feel free to share this information : ) Looking forward to hear from you again!

All the best,


As promised the lead animator/ director of this piece, Hans J. Sandnes has provided a behind-the-scenes glimpse at their work process using TVP Animation at his studio Sandnes Media.

He writes:

"We're a small team: an animator, an inbetweener, a background-artist, a compositor , and a producer. Using TVPaint means we're still making hundreds of unique drawings. We're sketching, erasing and re-doing drawings. But we don't have to spend time on scanning the drawings, numbering them, line-testing them and archiving them. In a way, TVPaint helps us doing what we like. And takes away the unnecessary steps.

Here's an in-depth look at how we do i
t. " :

Friday, April 22, 2011

"How to Break Into Animation" - advice from Steve Hickner Dreamworks Director

Students, you must watch this inspirational talk by Dreamworks director/producer/storyboard artist Steve Hickner, on how to break into animation and how to stay there once you break in (career longevity) . This is a great talk, full of very practical advice on having a career in animation :

Director/Producer Steve Hickner gives practical advice and hints on how to get into the animation industry and pitfalls to avoid once in it.

For more Info please visit:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Inspiration: Master Animators at Work - Disney Studio

Always interesting to see the process.  These behind-the-scenes movies  from the Disney Studio in the late 1930's /early 1940's show the traditional animation process.   Some of the process has been simplified or glossed over because these "documentaries" were produced for a mass audience , but there is still good information to be gained from these films and it's fascinating to see some famous animators like Fred Moore and Norm Ferguson at their animation desks.

Here's another one: "How Walt Disney Cartoons are Made (Burbank version)" made around the time of Snow White's release for the theater distributors who worked for RKO Pictures (the company that distributed Disney's films in the late 1930's /early 40's) . This footage shows both the late 30's Hyperion Blvd. studio as well as the "new" Disney studio in Burbank from the early 1940's -

A better quality version of this footage (without sound) is available here:

In particular the footage of Fred Moore working at his animation desk starts around the 1:55 mark in the above link (not embeddable, so you'll have to click through the link to see the footage) .

Some of this footage has been re-used in different "behind-the-scenes" documentaries about Disney.

A version of this was released to theaters for general audiences , titled "How Walt Disney Cartoons are Made" . Some , but not all of the footage is identical:

And here's a similar sort of newsreel report going behind-the-scenes at the Fleischer Studio in Miami, Florida, about 1939 -

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Dailymation- Yoni Goodman

Students check this out:


Animator Yoni Goodman writes:

"I decided to do a daily rough exercise in traditional animation, just to loosen the hand a bit and study the weights and motion.
Most of my career as an animator revolved around fast, efficient animations, mainly Flash cutouts.
Some time ago I got sick of the technicality of cutouts & decided to return to the basics of frame by frame drawn animation.   To get my hand back in shape I started doing Dailymations -  short, sketchy, rough & FUN animations, more about mass and movement and less about fine, clean animation. 
Each exercises is done in about one - to - two hours of work (more or less). 
Every now and then I'll post some of my other stuff, but this is mostly about  Dailymations. "

Here is just one example .  Check out the Dailymation blog and comb through the archives to watch what someone can do in an hour or two a day of animating just for the pure joy of it.

Walking Woman - animated by Yoni Goodman
"Done in about an hour-and-a-half." writes Yoni.

A simple rule about animation (as with many other things):  the only way to get good at it is to DO IT.  (A LOT!)    Practice, practice, practice .

A couple of more:

Old Age - animated by Yoni Goodman

"Old woman getting to a chair
Thought i'd try something with a little more weight.
Took about an hour and a half."

Swordfight - animate by Yoni Goodman
"Didn't really plan how this fight would go, I let the characters lead the way. at some points I thought I'd let one guy win, then I countered the attack and let the other take the offensive, so in a way it was a bit like an actual swordfight (only m-u-c-h slower)
eventually no one won, I guess.

Done in about two hours"

Of course, these drawings could be refined more in a subsequent tie-down pass ,  but by working rough like this he gets his initial pass rough animated without investing a whole lot of time .  Once you get something like this roughed-out you have something to work with , you can see it moving , and you can see where you need to tweak it.  Then you're not just guessing about the timing.  The sooner you can get your timing worked out rough in a "scribble pass" like this , then you can spend  additional time refining the drawings and tweaking the timing as needed.