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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Rusty works in the animation industry doing Storyboards, Timing, Animation and Directing. Recently he has worked at Disney TV Animation and Universal Animation Studios. He's best known for his Directing and Producing for Warner Bros. on "Animaniacs" and "Pinky and the Brain".

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Bad Animation is OK

First off there are different types of bad animation. The closest to hand is the animation you yourself create that isn't working. You know that scene, that no matter how hard you work on it there doesn't seem to be a solution that will make it work. Then there's the "quick and cheap" animation we see a lot of on TV and the internet. And finally there are those animated films that have everyone asking the question, "why did that ever get made?"
Well, I made a TV pilot that falls into the last category making those who have watched it wondering why it ever got made. In this case it was killed by the writer and the executives who accepted his script. The designs here are what the show was built around. These are what got it optioned, yet the writer decided he couldn't understand why there wasn't a "floor" in the image inside the tea shop. So the style got lost to more conventional walls, floors and ceilings. This series was also designed to use limited animation yet it was written dialog heavy which in my opinion doesn't work when you already have characters that aren't going to move too much.
So back to the subject of this entry. Why would it be okay to have this bad animation around? It's my philosophy that without it there would be nothing to let the good animation shine. We have to get the bad out of the way. I look at every experience I have in this industry as furthering my animation education. Sure I've worked on some of the worst dreck that's ever been produced but it taught me what not to do. For myself I always do my best on any job I work on. When I watch a film that has me questioning why it was made I look at what's not working. As much as we need to study the good films we should also study the bad. Understand it so you don't make those mistakes.
Look at the "quick and cheap" shows and find why it's not working. Doing animation for a small budget doesn't mean you have to reduce your standards. It means you need to design for that budget. Think about who you might be pitching a show to. If it's going to be done for a small budget then design it that way.
In your own work don't despair when it's not turning out how you want it to. Take a breather and come back to it. Sometimes discard it and start over using a different approach. Now that you've gotten the bad out of the way then you know what not to do and can change it.


Blogger pbcbstudios said...

great posts!

9:43 AM  
Blogger Rusty Mills said...

Thanks. I find that sharing this on my blog helps keep my focus in the right place.

9:53 AM  

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