Art of Mau

Hi there! Mauriziana here, an animation Italian student, based in Florence.

Just back from the Gobelins Summer School

…and it was AMAZING. I won’t waste lines keeping talking about the wonderful people I met and the crazy talented animators I had the chance to work with but… OMG. ok sorry, I’m calm.

now, I wanted to talk about the (pretty) hard exercise we were assigned during the summer school. I was signed in the traditional animation class, which means i had to do an animation exercise on paper, flipping through frames by hand (frushfrush that was super funny I swear it). Several model sheets of many classic characters were given to us: Madam Mim (from “The sword in the stone”), “101 Dalmatians” ’ Roger, Kim Possible, Luffy etc.. Our only mandatory thing was to make the animation no longer than 5 seconds (which in two weeks are already too many D: ) and to show the “parisian-way-of-life" in it, together with a coffee

I picked up Madam Mim, cause, man, I LOVED  the idea to animate and draw a Milt Khal character, and her volumes and appeal are the best. She’s a great cartoon character, yet incredibly realistic in her acting. So fun to draw.  

First of all we had to gain confidence with the characters volumes, by drawing it several times and copying the model sheets. Then, it was really important to create new poses, trying to keep the exact volumes so not to loose the character on the way. I killed so many trees. My animation desk looked like a graveyard of paper. image

Then, we had to get the idea of what the action was. I began with randomly shooting references, thinking about the personality of the character herself and trying to put her in Paris. I eventually came up with the idea of making her acting like a very nice and polite french girl, tasting the coffee and then making the grossest face ever, cause t was too bitter. I wanted to create contrast: polite and classy VS gross Madam Mim we all know.  My first intention was to let her go crazy after she has tasted the coffee, and let her cleaning off her tongue (which I could have stretched a LOT. yeah)

So my thumbnail looked something like this:image 

I did like…13 thumbnails for the keyframes, while actually the only IMPORTANT three were the ones I wrote in blue. I was explained by the awesome Vincent Garcia ( that those are the beginning->reaction->execution frames, and they are enough to explain the whole action. If you can draw them correctly, with a great staging and volumes, then you’re halfway done with a nice animation.  So after that i started drawing those keyframes, and I ended up with the three of them plus one, where she sips the coffee. 

image"oh mais oui, let’s taste this coffee very francais much nice"


image"…the heck was that?!"


So after a deep check of all my drawings, I could go on with the breakdowns and the inbetweens. And that was the most technical part! I had to pick up and check my “Animator survival kit” book, in order to get the breaking of the arm joints right. It was so much fun though. It should have been a little longer, but one of the animator who followed us told me, just two days before the deadline, that the final movement with the tongue was too cartooney for her. So…zip, cut it out.

It ended up like this, very simple and short:

It has been, really, one of the most helpful exercise ever. I was blessed to being followed by incredible animators, who worked on “Tarzan”, “Hercules”, “The hunchback of Notre Dame”, “Lilo and Stitch” and many others. They helped us through the whole process, with patience and care. Moreover, we were in 45 (!) from many different countries, and with veeery different drawing and animation skill levels. So our teachers really tried their best to help us out! 



I just got back from the most insane two weeks: studying at the summer workshop at Gobelins in Paris!! I can’t even believe how much I learned and what excellent friends I made in such a short amount of time. I’m so thankful to have had the chance to attend :)

For the workshop we all did 5-second animations with a character of our choice - I picked Roger from 101 Dalmatians, as you can see :> It was so much fun animating on paper again! Although the final product is still quite rough and I could spend a chunk more time on it, it was a great exercise and I really learned a lot about timing and solid drawing. I’ll post it, and some thumbnails and prep work, in just a bit!

and this is how I met this amazing artist. And friend.

basically we spent the whole week animating, without visiting anything in paris beside the beer pub, then we had shopping yesterday and today’s the “visiting paris peculiar things” day. and it’s rainy as hell.

well now, THIS is what I call an animation desk. is sooo cool to work on one of these. And Madam Mim is such a great character to animate… perfectly balanced between a cartoony and a realistic one (thank you Uncle Milt).

I am actually alive!! And I am having a great time, even if the weather in paris is not so kind with us (it’s like..rainy ALL day long, and when it’s not, it’s still so gloomy).
BUT we are animating AND drawing SOOOO much, and I think I’ve fell in love with my animation desk. Madam Mim is still giving me some troubles with her strange poses, but fortunately I am pretty much like her (is this a good thing?) so I had a lot of fun shooting references. Moreover french people are sooo expressive, and for the first time I found really useful to use my life drawing as references too.
what else? Oh yes. 
I still need to sleep more I guess.

oh and there are my awesome classmates being used as model while watchng the world cup. RIP brazil.

this is my second day here in the Gobelins Summer School!!
I am so freaking excited I can’t explain it.
we have the opportunity to listen and to study with AMAZING professional like Yoshimichi Tamura and Kyle Balda. 
Yoshimichi ia a 2d animator who’s working on Dofus, and has worked for disney for many years, and Kyle is an incredible 3d animator! ir was so interesting to hear his lesson about the attention flow and the composition of a shot, and  even if I never touched 3d animation, I enjoyed his talk about it. 
Moreover, one of the tutor for my 2d traditional class is a french 2d animator who worked on “tarzan” and was supervisor animator for Nani (il “lilo and Stitch”). 
It’s INCREDIBLE to have our works revised by those amazing pros. I guess I have to absorb everything they’ll tell me like a sponge. 
oh, yeah, and today there was a BIG NEW. we have been asked to choose between some characters to make a 5 seconds animation, and I choose MADAME MIM. she is the funniest thing to draw!!! literally. moreover her design is so solid and simple…there’s really all Milt Khal draftmanship in here. I’ll give you news about this work (actually my very first “quite long” animation). 

ALL this experience, all the passion gained from it… IT’S GONNA BE GREAT. 
yay! It’s the first day here at the “gobelins summer school”, and I’m drawing ‘til midnight as usual! Today I took my flight to paris and I seriously imagined Dave and Chris in my backpack…
no, ok serious stuff: I am with amazing people. from all around the world. Some of them are crazy talented and I can’t wait to study animation with them. 
AAnd Paris is lovely and  beautiful as usual, I had the best apple tart ever ths evening, talking about foreign countries, animation schools and chilling on the Seine side. 
Can’t wait for the first day of school tomorrow!
The moment is finally HEEERE. 
Tomorrow morning I am leaving to attend the Gobelins Summer School of character animation, in Paris. 
I’ll try to post something now and then, keeping you up to what I am  doing as much as possible! 
I just wanted to say that I am so proud of my little blog and this is all thank to all of you 85 people that stopped by one day to waste a second and told me “yes I like your work and I want to see more of it”. 
This matters a lot

bucketofchum said: Hi - sorry, random question. I was wondering if it'd be possible for you to allow comments onto your posts? I like to leave feedback on posts/drawings. If not, that's alright!

Hi! Thank you SO much for your interest! Yes of course, I’ll allow replies, feedback is always well accepted.
I saw you reblogged and liked many of my posts, this makes me really happy, thanks again :)

"Snaking Rescuers!" 

introducing  a new character: Charlie! The king cobra cob. 

All sweet and naive and lovable, but be careful play with him: a bite will make you play dead for ever!

He arrives at the shop with his dad, who is immediately sold away to a circus owner, to use him in the snake charmes show. Charlie owerhears a conversation from Nancy: terrible things happen to the snakes used for charming shows.

So little Charlie asks for hep to the only two fellows he fears not: Dave and Christopher. 

Will the trio bring Charlie’s dad back?