Please note: if an earlier link doesn't work, it may have changed following an update! Check the Category Labels in the side-bar on the right! There you can find animator drafts for sixteen complete Disney features and eighty-six shorts,
as well as Action Analysis Classes and many other vintage animation documents!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dick Huemer on Timing - Feb. 20th, 1936

Thirty-seven years before the event covered in my previous posting, Dick Huemer was asked to give a talk on timing for Don Graham's class, less than two months after Walt Disney's famous inspirational and visionary memo to Graham.

Discussed are the then just-released Mickey's Polo Game (beginning with Huemer's own scene 32) and the 9-months old Water Babies [mentioning Huemer's own toreador and bullfight sequence], but examples are also found in Alpine Climbers which would not see daylight until five months later, as well as The Band Concert, On Ice and The Tortoise and the Hare, all released the previous year.
Among the people asking questions are Al Eugster and the feared but not very respected George "Flop-ears" Drake who headed the inbetween department.

Note especially the interesting snippets of information on animation to music, the use of "twos" and extremes vs. straight-ahead animation on pages 5 and 6. Later on we get Huemer's take on Speed Lines. This was a period of learning by doing, the pioneering spirit still permeated the studio, and you feel the openness to exchange ideas and the eagerness to get to the bottom of the craft.

That said, I feel I need to point out that the things discussed here still hold true today, also in computer animation. A principle is a principle, whatever the medium. If we do not learn about the successes and failures of yesterday, how can we be sure we make the right decisions today? Don't mistake these documents for "funny old stuff." If you are employed in the animation business, know that they are part of the groundwork of what pays your salary today!
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As always, I welcome comments wholeheartedly!

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Anonymous David Nethery says...

Another amazing document pulled from your magic hat to enrich our understanding of animation. Thank you !

I regularly point my animation students to this blog.

I hope they are reading these posts!


Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 12:33:00 PM PST  
Anonymous sunny kharbanda says...

Thanks for this! I found the cartoons they referred to online and was able to follow along with these notes.

It's commonly said that it's hard to teach timing, and these pages seem to confirm that belief. Of course there are some great gems in these notes, but one strong running theme here is that you have to develop a feel for timing by practice and experimentation.

There's almost this stark contrast between the masterful knowledge of timing exhibited in the work and the inability to formulate or express any rules or general guidelines on the subject. Which is not to blame Mr. Huemer, it just shows what a tricky subject this is!

Monday, March 2, 2009 at 12:04:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Jeff says...


Your site is animation post such "meat." Your posts reveal animation information and knowledge that I've only dreamed of getting to see.

As "sunny kharbanda" notes, it is very difficult to productively use the information and knowledge--much remains for me to try, evaluate, and move forward.

Also, I apologize for having taken such a long pause from creating mosaics from your drafts--I should be continuing them shortly (hopefully on my own blog--I'll definitely coordinate with you on how you'd like me to use/acknowledge your posted materials.)

Again, many thanks for your wise and generous contributions to animation knowledge.


Monday, March 2, 2009 at 11:15:00 PM PST  

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