Here we go!
A few notes on the changes: I’ve added new backgrounds to most of the scenes, fixed a few sequences, added some extra animation to the Wizard in scene 24, and fixed most of the pacing.
It’s not perfect, however. I increased the fps of the video from 24 frames-per-second to 30, because the 24ps version wouldn’t export properly. Most of my attempts ended with the video leaving ghosts – after-images and artifacts that remained on the screen -, but switching to 30fps changed all that. This presented another problem, however: the video now ran too fast, so I had to increase the length of a few scenes. It still runs a bit faster than the original, but not as much as it would’ve had I left the video as is after conversion.
For some reason, Youtube seems to be speeding through a few scenes too quickly, and unfortunately I don’t know what the cause is. I’ll try and sort it out, but for now, this is the “final” version of the video, at least for the moment.
And it’s… well, it’s a start:
It’s kind of jerky and oddly-paced, I admit, but as the title says, it’s only the first version. The next version will be coming along very soon!
There’s exactly two characters in this little short: The Fox and the Wizard.
The fox is just a plain, ordinary fox. He’s got orange and black fur, two-thirds of what people think of as the “standard” fox coat. The other color is white, which I left out of the design because I wanted to play with the design a little. I also made his tail a bit more puffy and rounded than your average fox tail. Foxes in cartoons usually have their tails end in a point, whereas in reality most foxes have rounder ends on theirs’. I decided to go all the way to the other end and make it more like a raccoon tail.
Opposite the fox is the Wizard. Visually, She’s based on a few different characters, but mostly she’s a cross between Carmen Sandiego and Lisa Lisa from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, or at least that was the original idea. I wanted her hat to have an asymmetrical rim, so it’s longer on one side. The huge, wavy lock of hair covering her left eye was originally going to move in waves, but I ditched the idea once I realized I didn’t want her moving around much, since the script didn’t call for it. I was much more interested in the fox anyway.
The hardest part of the animatic, come to life!… sort of. I’m still in the sketching phase, trying to sort out the movement of the legs, back and tail before adding details. You can see some more finished, though not necessarily final lines at the beginning, before going straight to the blue sketch-work.
Not when you’re trying to draw foxes, anyway.
For the uninitiated: The Fox and the Hound is 1981 animated film by Disney loosely based off the Daniel P. Mannix novel of the same name. It’s one of the “sadder” movies in the Disney animated canon, mostly because it is one of the very precious few American animated movies to lack a definitive happy ending, though it’s still lighter than the book. It’s not one of their more notable films, and I’m personally not too fond of the story, but it’s a Disney movie with foxes, and I’m animating a fox, so I’ve been watching it a lot. It’s not my prime source material, but it’s worth watching the chase scenes (of which there are many) to get a feel for how Disney animators drew their foxes all those years ago. They’re so smooth, those movements!
While the story’s not the best, I do applaud them for making a family film where the villains aren’t really evil, and where the good guys don’t “win”, but learn to accept life as it comes and goes. That and the animation’s still good, so it’s worth watching if you haven’t seen it.
It’s adorable, isn’t it?
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched this video. I’ve only had the audio on while watching a few times; I’ve mostly played it on mute. So far, it’s proven to be an excellent model for how to draw a fox leaping into the air, then diving down, which are probably the most motions I need to draw for the project. Helps that part of it is slowed down by default – makes it easier to study.
Here’s some more sketches of the Fox.
His tail is really fluffy, isn’t it? I decided to go with a rounder tail rather than the familiar pointed tail everybody usually associates with foxes, even though they’re not usually so pointed in real life. I’ve been working more from real-life images of foxes and the occasional lucky glimpse of some real ones that live in my neighborhood. They’re usually too fast to spot, though!