Monday, October 06, 2008

the bane of my existence

This one single character design has been a source of very much frustration to me. Here's a thought; the top 4 shows of the past 20 years (The Simpsons, South Park, Family Guy, and King Of The Hill) are all horribly designed. Just goes to show that how important good character design is in a show; which is to say, not very much. The most important aspects of a show are excellent writing, clearly defined characters, strong direction, a clear vision, and good stories with good dialog. And of course it has to be FUNNY!!
What is NOT important, and a waste of time, money, and energy; is when you worry about unimportant, nit-picking details in the design. No body is going to care if Homer Simpson has 2 hairs on his head or 3 or 4. No one is going to stop watching Family Guy if Meg Griffin was designed with square glasses instead of round glasses. No one is going think South Park is any less funny if Cartman's double chin line was removed.
Not to say all shows can get away with bad designs. But you need to know what is important in each specific show you work on.


Tony DiStefano said...

I like this guy.Especially the rough.
For me ,good design is top of my list.Its the thing that attracts me to a show.Then hopefully everything else is also good.

Easy Zee said...

Thanks Tony. I agree; good design attracts me to a show too. Good design also brings out a passion, and willingness to work extra hard on a show. I have worked on several shows that are badly designed and have an ugly style. In those cases, my passion is quickly diffused, especially when a director tells me my designs are "too interesting", or "too cartoony", or they nit-pick about details that do not matter. As an artist and a designer, that drives me up a wall. We, the animation artists, are constantly striving to improve. As is usually the case, the producers, clients, production managers, and other non-designers usually interfere with the designers work and do not trust the designers vision. I have been pretty lucky for the past few years, my vision has been trusted, there has been very little compromise, and I have been allowed to create the designs as I wanted. As much as I love watching a show like "King Of The Hill", I would hate to work on it as an animator or layout/posing artist or storyboarder. So sometimes, the artist is not the best judge of the audience.