Posts Tagged “Mickey’s Fire Brigade”

It’s time to get back into the Animation swing of things. Which means I need to animate something. My life has been pretty well occupied with rigging, and scripting, both great things to learn, I highly recommend anyone try to learn them. CINEMA 4D is a great package to do both in because it’s quite easy to learn.

So, if I am going to animate, I need something to animate. Not just a rig, but an idea. So that is part one of this journey. I need an idea to animate. This leads to a very important question: What am I going to animate?

Animation always needs an idea to start. It could be something as simple as a walk, or as complex as a love triangle or something. My initial thoughts were on simple ideas like picking something up. But I get bored with those. So I deferred to Charles for some ideas, and he whipped up a lot of interesting ideas in a very short amount of time.

His second Idea was “A firefighter with an unruly hose” was the hook and I liked the thought of it, and I think that’s what I plan on animating. I chose it because it has a few interesting challenges to it. Namely, the firehose rigging and animation will be an interesting challenge. So we are back in the first part of animation: Planning.

Immediately it popped in my head “Wasn’t there a Mickey Mouse cartoon where he was a firefighter?” Sure enough, and with the power of Google, I managed to find it. 1935′s Mickey’s Fire Brigade. If you have 8 minutes to kill I suggest checking it out. The creativity in this short kind of blows my mind since I have been in a bit of a creative funk lately. The treating fire like a character and giving it arms and such is classic.

So I figured there was some playful interactions with the hose. They come in around 2:15, and so I looked at that for ideas, and I also started looking on youtube for some reference of how a loose fire hose would behave. I found many thanks to that being what seems like a fairly common firefighter academy test.

So with some ideas in my head I took to doing some thumbnails. Drawing is not my strong suit anymore. I have not dedicated as much time to it as I’d like and it is now pretty poor, but to do some thumbnails you really just need a circle for a head, a rectangle that can bend, and 4 lines for limbs.

So with some scratch paper from a notepad, I whipped these up. Sorry, I don’t have a scanner :/.

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So the idea has become, a firefighter, is running with the hose to put out a fire. They are pretty heavy so he lugs it out(some nice mechanics action here I think). Then, he assumes the “power stance”(yes my notes on the thumbnails even mention the power stance), gives his colleague the thumbs up. He then tries to release pressure to spray(usually you can do this at the nozzle). But nothing comes out He is checking it out getting frustrated with it. He turns around and notices the hose is very buldgey. He doesn’t realize it’s his fault, and the buldge scares him. Well him taking his foot off causes all the water to shoot out, and he is launched around holding onto the wild hose.

So the idea has some cool bits to it, some heavy lifting/pulling, some acting(confusion, frustration), some comedy[if you think it's funny that is], and some technical challenges with the hose. But it’s also good because I have never animated anything that wasn’t a Biped, so now’s my shot.

The idea is there…now it’s time to get it to work. Next step is to film some reference.

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