Monday, August 1, 2011

Cubicle Caricatures

Animators love to caricature each other. Working next to each other day in and day out, they know each others’ foibles and mannerisms.

Bulletin boards at almost every animation studio are decorated with them. Cubicles at DreamWorks are adorned with caricatures drawn by colleagues. When I worked in animation, it was a mark of pride to have your caricature done, and we would trade sketches of each other. Above is a batch of caricatures from Blue Sky Studios currently on show at the Norman Rockwell Museum.

I did a few doodles of my own while I was listening to a panel discussion by Blue Sky’s animation group called the “Lost Boys.” They’re a group that gets together during breaks for rounds of Mario Kart and trips out to Dunkin Donuts for coffee. They include Nick Bruno, Scott Carroll, Jeff Gabor, and Peter Paquette. Pete just finished up at Blue Sky and they threw him a great goodbye party.

Pete struck me as a good-natured sad sack, kind of like Eeyore—if Eeyore were a frog instead of a donkey. And he’s a genius animator--just check out this blog post, where he talks about how Muppet performances can be seen in terms of a CG character with limited rigging points.

Pete Paquette's blog (with other caricatures of him).
Book: The Art of Robots


Anonymous said...

I worked at an animation studio that actually had written in their employee handbook that we weren't allowed to do caricatures of each other. Bah!

Daroo said...

Cool link -- I have often thought that using talented puppeteers and Mocap would yield as interesting results as actors and Mocap -- and maybe be less of a creepy trip through the Uncanny Valley. The puppeteers would be the first ruff pass and establish the energy -- animators would finish it off with facial expression and fine tune the lip sync and acting -- maybe even add legs to the caricatured motion established by the puppeteers. Diguppetry?