Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Gobelins Training Program

Gobelins is world renowned for its animation program. The shorts the students make there look better than anything the professionals in Hollywood have made in the last 50 years, in my humble opinion. Check out their YouTube Channel.

Every time I look at one of their cartoons, it makes me wish I spoke French and was good enough to go there. The last time I watched one of their shorts (about a week ago), I quit wishing and started looking into actually going there.

I discovered that they have an entrance exam, and that to get in, even France's best artists routinely fail 2-3 times before finally passing. And to prepare for their entrance exam, they often undergo the following weekly routine:

Sundays - Human Figure (whole and parts, slow studies)

Mondays - Gestures (whole and parts, quick studies)

Tuesdays - Cartoons (done by much better cartoonists)

Wednesdays - Animals (real life, drawings by far better artists, photos)

Thursdays - Portraits (real life, photos, etc)

Fridays - Environments (photos, real life, etc)

Saturdays - Animation (by far better animators)

I spend an hour every day doing these. And I don't always rely on real life. Like for animals and the human figure, I can copy other, better drawings or photographs. For gestures, I can use movies and TV.

Sometimes these can be better tools for that type of study. Good animal and human drawings reveal the artist's knowledge of underlying anatomy, things the untrained eye can't spot in real life.

For gestures, the ability to pause an action in mid-motion becomes handy.

Also, I do my best to copy exactly. As uber-talented illustrator Robert Fawcett once said, the ability to imagine is directly proportional to the ability to observe.

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