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Thread: From real life to cartoon, how to?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    From real life to cartoon, how to?

    Firstly, what an fantastic website, I've been lurking and admiring all of the fantastic artwork on this site for years. I'm not a 2d artist and have no skills in 2d what so ever. But I am a 3d artist and a lover of all types of animation. I have been working on a idea for a fun short animation. It will be CG (cartoony) about a boy and I would like to have a stab a creating the concept of this character myself and with all of your help

    I have found a picture of a kid that I think has good features. How can I take this real kid and turn him into a cartoon version of himself? what steps can I take, what rules are there to follow?

    It would be great to see different peoples interpretation of this kid in his cartoony style but I'll understand if no one wants to do this . It will be a fun exercise for me and also give me a great starting point, I will work on my first interpretation and post it ASAP and hopefully get a crit!.

    here is the boy I was talking about...

    Also what type of angle is best to work with at first, front, side, 3/4's?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Thanked 108 Times in 101 Posts
    I think you should not complicate your life with cartoon aproach. If you want to be a good cartonist you should be a good artist too.
    For me these are the basic techniques for develop your art skill:

    Nude drawing: with chalck, 15 hours for one drawing. With contemporary study of anatomy.
    Quick scetches: Of people, dogs, trees, animals... Use pen and ink.
    Still life painting: With concetration on large shapes of color. Start with tone - Only black and white color, next add blu and orange, next whole spectrum.
    Watercolor paintings: Quick scetches, and color studies with watercolor. Not more than 10 min for one painting.

    Im still doing these exercises. The whole art is based on this.

    The cartoon style is the symplified, more caracteristic reality.
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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    under a pile of sketch books and crayons
    Thanked 136 Times in 116 Posts
    If your just starting drawing, some good ''From life'' drawing like Danilo will help you a lot, but don't stop your self from trying out some cartoon styles, drawing shouldn't be a burden right? It should be fun to ^^ you could try to sketch him a bit, try and see what features stand out and what makes him reconisable, like his mouth and chubby cheeks.
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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Thanked 249 Times in 244 Posts
    when doing cartoon versions of ppl, start by drawing the thing as detailed and realistic as u can, then try to remove as manny lines u can, untill u end up only with the absolute nesecerry once.
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  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Elmira, NY
    Thanked 40 Times in 32 Posts
    determine the most prominent features, and then break the form down to simple shapes. Spheres, cylinders, prisms, cubes... I like to use arcs for the back, and to separate the legs. Really, the main principle is simplicity. How can you capture the essence in such a way that you can redraw it for a million frames? This is one of the main factors that has formed the cartoon style.
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  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Thanked 135 Times in 62 Posts
    if you want to do 2d animation I advise you use flash,

    with hand drawn you need to worry about lose of volumes its amazing how a line moving a mm off the mark in a hand drawn animation can bugger up the whole thing.

    with flash no problem. check out for the principles of animation

    you need to do a front back side 3/4 view of the character an expression sheet

    you need to know how to be able to draw the character from all the angles that the animation will involve. you are creating the illusion of 3d in 2 d thats the challenge.

    "There aren't any shortcuts. You've got to dig in – study and draw the world around you. This is the only way to hone your skill and develop a style that is your own". GREG CAPULLO
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