Thursday, June 5, 2014

CLEMENTOONS: Behind the Scenes


 

I'd like to introduce a behind-the-scenes tour of CLEMENTOONS, the animation technique I've been developing to tell the story of Clement. (Direct link to YouTube video)

Clement is a bold little guy, but he's always getting himself into trouble. He's on a journey through our ordinary world to a magical place called Melville, where cartoon people have congregated to form a surreal society.

He'll meet plenty of other characters along the way. I'll release the next episode, "Clement on the Can" later this month.

13 comments:

Micah Clegg said...

Incredible as always. Also extremely informative. I think Mr. Gurney is one of the most influential Teachers of art and creative enterprise that the world has today. Thank you Jim!!!

Nicholas Kennedy said...

This look fantastic, I am very excited to see the first episode!

Dan said...

Very interesting, thanks!

I notice there's an element of "leaving the seams showing," which is consistent enough to be a convention. I mean that wires jump in and out of existence, in some shots Clement has a base, others not, there is sometimes jumpy natural light, etc. And of course you mentioned the time lapse real world in the background in outdoor scenes. Building on this kind of convention has practical advantages, and it is also an interesting artistic challenge--to embrace and incorporate the visible artifacts of the method rather than incur a lot of extra work and expense trying to eliminate them. In this case they seem to create a sort of surrealistic quantum border between the real and cartoon worlds.

Clement also seems to live in a cartoon world that is somehow just slightly "old-fashioned," juxtaposed with the modern real world, which adds to the surrealistic element.

The sounds are wonderfully tactile, and seem to be a key element in holding everything together.

Looking forward to seeing more!

acgleason said...

This is fantastic! I've always loved drawing and animation, as do many of the elementary students I teach. I will definitely be sharing this with them. I don't think I've ever commented on your blog, but I've visited it everyday for several years and can't thank you enough for sharing your knowledge and creative passion. This is really exciting!

James Gurney said...

Thanks, everyone.

Dan, I love the way you put it. We don't see the marionette strings or Kermits arm-wires. Or we see them but don't care if the personality is strong enough to shine through them. I experimented with digitally erasing the wires on a couple of shots, but I'm not very good at it and it was kind of a tedious exercise. So I try to disguise all that as much as I can, but if it shows it shows.

AC Gleason, thanks for commenting. This is definitely an animation technique that elementary students could do. There's a great stop motion app for the iPad called NFB Stopmo that anyone can use. The real effort goes into the front end: making all the sculpts.

Joel Fletcher said...

Gurney plays with dolls! And lego. Okay, maybe not dolls, action figures. ;-) Your BTS video is awesome James. I particularly like the opening shot where you introduce Clement, and the ending with the youtube buttons. Now I get where you are coming from with this project; guerilla filmmaking. That approach allows you to not worry about the process, and have fun! The magnetic replacement arms is a cool idea too.

So much work, even fun work, must be taking most of your time lately. Interestingly, you are doing the reverse of what I am doing. After a long career in stop-motion and computer animation, I am getting back into painting. It's good to shift gears creatively!

Joel Fletcher said...
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James Whitehurst said...

That was very interesting,, I've done limited amount of animation with cells back in the 80's for a Tv fishing show. Stop motion looks so painful to me ...love to watch it. I have used Blender and WOW its complicated stuff. I guess I am to old school...Awesome Blog.. visit here everyday to read.. Thanks for all your time and generous giving of information..Oh I also ordered casein and currently converting on of my pochades from oil.

jeff jordan said...

In the 70s I had a studio mate who did cel animation, and I saw how much work he had to put into it. This doesn't look any less labor-intensive--maybe even more, based on what I'm seeing.

I like to jump around between oil painting, brush and ink, and sculpture, never mind getting side-tracked from one to another. I think everything an artist does in terms of mixing it up only benefits everything else, and you stay fresh.

I've learned a LOT from you, Jim, and have been inspired many times. seeing all you do has always made me feel like I don't really have a short attention span, just a vast amount of interests, and the desire to do it all.

That being said, I get the impression you don't sleep very much. Long may you ride!

Ellen Yu said...

I'm looking forward to your series!
The great thing about stop-motion is that there isn't one way of animating something. I can tell you had a fun time making Clement.

gordie said...

To J. and J. you wonderful whimsicals consider your cheeks kissed and pinched.

Robert J. Simone said...

Wow! Just...WOW!

Baha'i Quotes said...
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