I really enjoyed reading Patrick Smith’s critique of Preston Blair’s famous animation instruction book — a little volume which has been in print for decades and has been the jumping off point for many an artist. Smith’s problems with the book are well-founded and worth listening to — particularly for someone just getting their feet wet in the craft. I don’t know that I agree with Smith’s biases against cartoon-y design, but the rest of his argument is very well-reasoned.
Those of you interested in animation technique should definitely give this post a read.
Update: Plympton on Smith:
Bill Plympton, Patrick Smith’s blog mate, issued a rebuttal to Smith’s critique of Preston Blair’s book. Plympton seems to be speaking primarily from the heart, however, and he doesn’t address any of Smith’s technical concerns (which, I believe, have some validity). I understand Plympton’s passion (Blair, who worked on Fantasia as well as several classic cartoons for Tex Avery, was a truly great animator), but that doesn’t negate the fact that the book has a flaw or two.