Hayao Miyazaki’s Sketches Showing How to Draw Characters Running: From 1980 Edition of Animation Magazine

Miyazaki Running 4

Ear­li­er this week, we let you know about the ani­ma­tion soft­ware used by Hayao Miyaza­k­i’s Stu­dio Ghi­b­li com­ing out in an open source ver­sion free to down­load. While this makes avail­able to you a piece of the tech­nol­o­gy used in the ser­vice of such mas­ter­pieces as Princess MononokeSpir­it­ed Away, and The Tale of Princess Kaguya, it won’t, alas, get you any clos­er to pos­sess­ing the artis­tic skills of the Ghi­b­li team. To attain those, you’ve just got to engage in the same long, cycli­cal process of obser­va­tion, repli­ca­tion, and refine­ment that you would when mas­ter­ing any­thing.

Miyazaki Running 3

Luck­i­ly, Miyaza­ki has pro­vid­ed plen­ty of exam­ples to work with, and even, now and again in his long career, bro­ken down his tech­niques for all to under­stand. Here we have four of his sketch­es, orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in a 1980 issue of Ani­ma­tion Mag­a­zine (月刊アニメーション), which pro­vide visu­al expla­na­tions of how to ani­mate a char­ac­ter run­ning — not an uncom­mon task, one imag­ines, for the Ghi­b­li ani­ma­tors in charge of what the Cre­ators Project calls “the con­stant run­ning Miyazaki’s films are known for.” If you’ve ever tried to ani­mate run­ning your­self, you’ll know that what might at first seem like a sim­ple, every­day phys­i­cal action requires a great deal of sub­tle­ty to get right.

Miyazaki Running 1

The ear­ly motion pho­tog­ra­ph­er Ead­weard Muy­bridge gave the world a sense of this when he cap­tured the mechan­ics of both men and hors­es run­ning back in the 1880s, but to take those real-world obser­va­tions and ren­der them con­vinc­ing­ly in ani­ma­tion — much less with the char­ac­ter­is­tic Ghi­b­li smooth­ness — takes things to anoth­er lev­el alto­geth­er. “Only Miyaza­ki man,” said ani­ma­tor LeSean Thomas when he tweet­ed these images. “Such effort­less lines and sil­hou­ettes. Years of hard work & learn­ing on dis­play in these sketch­es!”

Miyazaki Running 2

To those who wish to fol­low Miyaza­k­i’s method of ani­mat­ing run­ning in order to go on to mak­ing the kind of lav­ish cin­e­mat­ic sto­ries he and his col­lab­o­ra­tors have, best of luck; to those who’d rather not put in the decades, well, you can still learn his method of mak­ing instant ramen.

via LeSean Thomas

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Soft­ware Used by Hayao Miyazaki’s Ani­ma­tion Stu­dio Becomes Open Source & Free to Down­load

Watch Hayao Miyaza­ki Ani­mate the Final Shot of His Final Fea­ture Film, The Wind Ris­es

The Essence of Hayao Miyaza­ki Films: A Short Doc­u­men­tary About the Human­i­ty at the Heart of His Ani­ma­tion

How to Make Instant Ramen Com­pli­ments of Japan­ese Ani­ma­tion Direc­tor Hayao Miyaza­ki

Ear­ly Japan­ese Ani­ma­tions: The Ori­gins of Ani­me (1917–1931)

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, the video series The City in Cin­e­ma, the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Ange­les Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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Comments (2)
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  • E says:

    Miyaza­ki is great and all, but I’m get­ting fatigued from the amount of cov­er­age he gets on this blog. There are oth­er inter­est­ing ani­ma­tors.

  • Bill says:

    I would gen­uine­ly like to know because
    I am a big fan of ani­ma­tion,
    but nowa­days, peo­ple are using too much cgi/ com­put­er ani­ma­tion and not enough of the basics/fundamentals
    of where it all came from.

    Sure, its a new “form” of ani­ma­tion,
    but in my opin­ion, it does­n’t look as clean as the 1980’s or 90’s
    or even 2000’s for that mat­ter

    I mean sure the 2000’s had some com­put­er­ized ani­ma­tion like toy sto­ry and incred­i­bles
    but in that time pixar did it right
    and now all this 2D ani­ma­tion on 3D plat­forms is mak­ing every­thing look unnat­ur­al I mean I’ve seen some that look good and not say­ing that all are bad but I feel like the ani­ma­tion indus­try has lost it’s roots and needs to go back to the fun­da­men­tals of hand drawn good qual­i­ty ani­ma­tion.

    So I would actu­al­ly like to know if there are oth­er ani­ma­tors that are inter­est­ing as well

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