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Guest-Starring in Today's Doomed to Obscurity: Yakov Smirnoff and Kent Brockman

Date/Time Permalink: 09/07/09 03:51:18 pm
Category: Graphics Tutorials

I tried something new with Doomed to Obscurity today. See if I can import a couple of characters and have them turn out recognizable, while still drawing in the strip's own style. The first is the real-life Russian-American comedian Yakov Smirnoff, and the second a supporting cartoon character, Kent Brockman from The Simpsons.

The results were uncanny enough to surprise me.

Yakov Smirnoff

Kent Brockman

Things I've learned today:

  • Importing a real live human into a cartoon is harder to do and have them turn out recognizable. As you can see, I combined two images of Yakov to be sure I had as many wardrobe cues as possible, so he's more recognizable to modern audiences.
  • Importing a Simpson's character, on the other hand, is a snap. I have noticed that there are only a few differences between my style for this strip and The Simpsons, albeit with radically different methods.

However, the differences with the Simpson's character are most telling about technique. The Simpsons are drawn in freehand style, so they can be drawn from different perspective than my rigid eye-level three-quarter. I don't do the "beer gut" style of fat belly well, because my shirt and pants are two separate polygons - harder to get a smooth curve right on the belt-line. In the original Simpsons version, the belly is drawn first as a smooth circle, then a line added and colored in last. On the other hand, my computer-polygon environment allows for more precise detail, so I usually draw four fingers. I did three here just to make it look more Simpson-y.

Also, for some strange reason, I can never bring myself to draw really big fat legs. I *could* if I wanted to, but they just seem to gross me out for some reason.

Well, that wasn't very important, was it?

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