Sunday, 5 February 2017


Hi, it's Tobias.

I haven't posted for a while, and honestly, I haven't made anything for a while. But I'm happy to announce that that's no longer true. I actually have two things to show you.

One of them is this:

A storyboard for an animation following Bruce Lee's lines from Enter The Dragon

It's what the Bruce Lee animation I did those years ago wished it could have been. It's important because it reflects a development both in my skills as an animator and personally.

As I've been in Korea as a teacher, I have had to adapt to the role expected from me. This means I have had to learn how to stand at the front of a room, draw attention and project my voice, from those who have the shortest attention span, kindergarten children - and across the language barrier too!
This version of myself stands as a stark contrast to the Tobias who went to school at Nottingham Trent, a much quieter, more reserved human without the capacity to wave his arms around.

I've learned how to become a caricature of myself. This is important because now I can produce the poses with my own body, I am able to draw them. Now I can demonstrate the actions, I can animate it! It's amazing, this connection. Perhaps some people have the capacity to model their poses purely from imagination, or from elsewhere, but I find that the kinasethetic approach of performing these actions yourself gives you an insight into how they work that pure imagination and observation don't.

I am grateful for this opportunity to come out here, because even though I've been working in a field unrelated to my animation, my skills have continued to develop. I can honestly say that I'm a better animator than I have ever been before.

And yes, I do have clips of it I can show, but I'm going to wait until at least all of the first major pass is complete before I put it up. Watch this space.

This is the second thing I will show you this time:

Whilst I was animating the Bruce Lee clip, I kept thinking how it would be nice to make something of my own again. I thought about cartoons I like to watch, cartoons I would like to watch, and also what it is that draws me to animation and storytelling.

I realised that the most compelling thing for me is to have a world filled with adventure, of old things to rediscover, and new things to find for the first time. I felt that it was a nice idea, but that's only the feel of the cartoon, at most an overall theme. It's not a story on it's own, so I can't really tell it.

I began to wonder what possible stories I can tell in a world with such a feel to it. I reached out to the internet to find out how the stories from my favourite cartoons were made, and they told me something I remember from my time studying for my MA:
  • A character is presented with a problem, one that they can't avoid.

  • The character is forced to find a solution, but their solution isn't quite right.

  • The character refines or makes another solution that allows them to succeed.

This tells me that I don't need a specific story to make a start. In fact, knowing this, it becomes more important to define the world so that I know what stories are apt to happen within it.

So, with this as a starting point, I made this character. A story needs a protagonist, so here one is.
He's a frog, going by the name of Geggle. He's got a good heart, but he's inexperienced. He's not content with simply swimming around in a pond like the other frogs. He'd sooner be like the heroes he's heard of and read about in books.

I think I'm going to try 2D animation this time. I always wanted to try it, since my favourite cartoons have all been 2D. I'll be sure to post up how it goes!

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