Monday, 11 August 2008

Tickles' Magic Pickles

Tickles Magic Pickles is a cartoon by Happy Harry of Newgrounds fame that you can watch here:

Luckily, Happy Harry isn't likely to ever read this because its all probably a little bit embarrassingly 'wet'. But I genuinely enjoy his cartoons and think not only are his ideas original, funny and well conceived, but they are also fantastically animated. I was quite surprised to find out he was British to be fair, but also I was pretty chuffed because in the world of animation people tend to be American or French Canadian. He's a good earner for our side - lets put it that way.

What I love most about his cartoons on Newgrounds is that you can see his skills improve as he animates more and more and that gives me the confidence I need to complete a project that I might not be 100% with. It means that I can chalk it down to experience and know that my next piece will be a thousand times better than my last. (Another thing that I like is that he speaks the Queen's English and his grammar and punctuation are fantastic - but that's just something I like in a person. I don't do all this text language nonsense.)

To go into a bit of detail about his animating style, ill begin with his background design. It's very much his own style and you can see this continuation and confidence in his work across his last few cartoons from Pickles to Chuck's New Tux - (Also available by that link above). I personally try to change my style each time round to try out lots of things because I am searching for my own style - he is my age and he has obviously found something he is comfortable with and I very much envy that. His backgrounds remind me of Powerpuff Girl's backgrounds - which on a first read, may sound quite offensive - but look more closely at a Powerpuff episode next time and you'll see the best thing in it is the background design. It's all hand painted in Gouasche with brilliant mono-chrome colouring. I think it looks fantastic. The artist Lou Romano painted them and you can see more of his fantastic work here:

Next up is his animation style. In his earlier work (Which he would probably write off now I'm guessing) you can see the beginnings of his style coming out, but its slower and you can see he is putting a little less effort into his FBF work (That's Frame-by-Frame) to save time. Patience in my experience comes with age. I wouldn't have been able to sit down a few years ago and concentrate for 6-8 hours at a time. Like all things you improve with practise and this is so evident in his work. Suddenly, with Pickles everything comes together. Great backgrounds and great animation. The main character move fluidly - zipping around and you always feel he is an excited kid telling you a story - this is held up by some fantastic frame-by-frame work on the little girl with her busted tricycle. Her mouth takes up half her (Very circular - easier to animate) head and the way she waggles her arms around at the beginning - well I can tell you I have FBF'd that a zillion times and it still impresses me. The movements are seemingly random, but so well times and well constructed. And the end results shows the hard work - you instantly know that its a little girl having a hissy fit. Brilliant.

I know he is working on a new toon at the moment and I am greatly looking forward to it. He has posted just one image in his announcement and it already looks like he is set to take another giant leap forward. I'm a big fan and I will be keeping up with his work for a long time.

To finish this post I will leave you with another image from the last few days work. I will also tell you that I have almost finished the opening segment of the cartoon - nearly a half week ahead of schedule.

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