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derpberd's avatar

ANIMATION : Cuphead - Mugman Straight Attack

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THIS IS NOT FANART.  This is production work from Cuphead: Don't Deal With the Devil.   

Here is my work on one of Mugman's Attacks.  This was my last shot of Mugman, and I absolutely had the most fun with this one!

BACKSTORY:  For a very brief moment in time, I was contracted to do assisting animation work on MDHR's "Cuphead: Don't Dance With The Devil."   "Cuphead" was already on my radar due to an early teaser a year before, and I pretty much exploded when I found out what the animation project was going to be.  It is still one of the coolest animation jobs I've ever had.

At that point, most of the major animation for Cuphead had been completed.  So I got to essentially take the animation of Cuphead's body and put Mugman's head on it.  Their bodies are exactly the same with the exception of color of the shorts.  But if you look closely, there are many subtle differences in their faces.  As simple as this character look, it was challenging to keep him on model.  The characters are made up of nothing but ellipses, and if anyone has ever tried animating those things in perspective, on paper with no Photoshop Ellipse tool to guide you, I can assure you....it's hard.  


Again, the animation of the body was -NOT-done by me and this all belongs to Studio MDHR. 
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© 2017 - 2022 derpberd
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ElisAnimation's avatar

Great work on this!

derpberd's avatar

Hey, thank you so much! It was one of the coolest jobs ever!

Ixentrick's avatar
Did they send you the character body animation in digital format or on paper? :)
derpberd's avatar
On paper!  Copies, but on paper.  :D
Ixentrick's avatar
Wow! Say, did they animate everything on paper? I imagine it must be more expensive and more difficult than digitally. :) Sorry for so many questions, this game and its style is just too curious a subject. :) 

And I love your art! :D
derpberd's avatar
Oh, it's more than OK!  I will gladly talk about animation until I'm dead.

All of the character animation and FX animation for Cuphead was hand drawn on paper, inked on paper, and then colored digitally.  Not sure what program they used for the coloring, as I wasn't a part of that at all.

Thanks for the compliment, too.
Ixentrick's avatar
Even INKED on paper???
I didn't know this existed nowadays, especially in the realm of video games. Well, good to know. :)
derpberd's avatar
Here's a cool timelapse video on the process itself:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXpvF9… . 

The dude animating the flower was my supervising animator Hanna!  (He's amazing!)
Ixentrick's avatar
Great! Thanks for sharing! (that's how I want to animate! :lol: )

The flower is very funny (along with all the other characters there). But I LOLled at the carrot the most. :)
MizDawesome's avatar
Awesome work! Congrats!!! :O
ToonEGuy's avatar
You worked on that game? That's great! :D

I've loved some of the other work I've seen from you here, and I am definitely grateful for what Cuphead has given us in terms of keeping classic 2D animation alive.

I just wish that the game's difficulty didn't have to be so hard. :hmm:
derpberd's avatar
I TOTALLY AGREE about the Difficulty!  I do wish there was an easier mode, because I'm actually missing out on the art I helped make because I'm not good enough at fighting style games! 


Also, hey, thanks for the kind compliment.  I am a 100% Traditional animator, and deeply believe in the medium, despite what the Suits say.  As a medium, it's actually quite alive, especially in TV and Games.

"But it doesn't make money!!!!!!"   Total joke.  Cuphead went double platinum, but what do I know.  ;)
ToonEGuy's avatar
I am completely of the same mind.
derpberd's avatar
TheLonelyKitteren's avatar
I always have a hard time trying to draw Mugman's face right so I feel you there lol
caustic1824's avatar
It's really cool. 
Perspective is for amateurs! You need to just FEEL the drawing! ;P
Do you have a light table at home? Do those blue pencils even come in different hardness?
derpberd's avatar
Yeah, I have the whole setup.  Animation Desk / lightboard and downshooter.   I think I'm going to post a photo because people seem interested.  :)

The pencil used here is a Prismacolor Col-Erase.  They are a harder pencil, and are easier to erase.  I use them almost exclusively for tied-down animation.
caustic1824's avatar
Is it always blue that people work in, still?
I'm just wondering if everything gets digitized anyway maybe you would use other colours like red?
I went the Sheridan for animation more than 20 years ago, totally failed and joined the army... Anyway,
we used blue but I found it was kind of slippery? I've tried a bit with sketching but pencil seems so much nicer.

Are you just used to it? Do you use other colours? Does any of this really matter?!?!?

embedded_item1499248821616 by caustic1824  
derpberd's avatar
I've used both in production, for sure!  I think a lot of what I use depends on my mood, to be completely honest.

I also favor the Red Col-Erase by Prismacolor as well because the pigment is extremely easy to remove digitally for the cleanup process.  You can completely remove it with a single command.

I think every animator has a preference.  For example, Glen Keane uses a type of Mistubishi Pencil (Hi-uni) which is 10B.  Extremely dark, extremely soft.  Ollie Johnston used a very light blue pencil which you could barely see on his first passes.  I prefer the blue Col Erase because I have a nervous hand and often need to revise my lines of action, and I find that the blue Col Erase is easier to erase from ingram than the red.

For me, personally, I don't use graphite unless it's cleanup because it's very easy to smudge.  I either use a Tambo pencil (6B) or a soft mechanical pencil for cleanup lines.

All of this aside, I don't think the medium is what matters if it's just a pencil test or a second pass because the coloring process is always digital.  Whatever makes yeh comfortable, because animating is far from comfortable.

Also, Sheridan is awesome!
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