The Noble Approach: Maurice Noble and the Zen of Animation Design
This extraordinary volume examines the life and animation philosophy of Maurice Noble, the noted American animation background artist and layout designer whose contributions to the industry span more than 60 years and include such cartoon classics as Duck Dodgers in the 24 ½th Century, What's Opera, Doc?, and The Road Runner Show. Revered throughout the animation world, his work serves as a foundation and reference point for the current generation of animators, story artists, and designers. Written by Noble's longtime friend and colleague Tod Polson and based on the draft manuscript Noble worked on in the years before his death, this illuminating book passes on his approach to animation design from concept to final frame, illustrated with sketches and stunning original artwork spanning the full breadth of his career.
gave unique color themes to the environments he designed in Duck Dodgers. Planet X has a striking blue-purple color theme, impossible to confuse with those of the Earth and the spaceship interiors. Both ships share the same simple blue, yellow, red, and gray color palette, but Maurice has chosen one of these colors to dominate the overall color theme in each ship: blue-gray for Dodgers’s, and yellow for Marvin the Martian’s. There is a color relationship to tie the ships together, but he has made
I’ll come in and take all the stuff out, and I’ll say, “Well, that isn’t it, and that isn’t it—Oh! Here it is.” You see? It’s been there all the time. I’ve already worked through it, but I didn’t recognize it. Then when he felt he had something that worked, Maurice would present his color ideas to Chuck Jones. He explained this process to Milton Gray in 1977: After so many years, we had a kind of rapport. Three or four key sketches and he’d know what my intentions were. They were usually 4’ ×
used by Maurice to give the illusion of depth to a flat, 2-D world. Depth makes a composition more dynamic. Perspective lines can be used to draw the viewer’s eye to a character and specific section of a composition. Maurice said, “Classical perspective is important to understand, and is useful when composing layouts but can become a little dull. Especially when composing a more satirical, fun type of film. Look for the fun in your composition.” MULTIPOINT PERSPECTIVE One of the easiest
he had been there. In fact, many of Maurice’s memories just after the war were confused, blurry, and befuddled. He described this period to me as his “wandering-in-the-desert years,” which were among the darkest of his life. Shortly after enlisting, Maurice, with the impulsiveness of many going off to war, had gotten married. Over the next few years, he and his wife had two daughters. As the war drew on, the marriage fell apart, and soon after the war his wife left with their children. Though he
Schlesinger’s for director Norm McCabe and later Frank Tashlin in the early 1940s, such as The Daffy Duckaroo (1942) and Confusions of a Nutzy Spy (1943). These films aren’t as well known today primarily because of their racial stereotypes and the fact that they were made in black and white. Hilberman would also be blacklisted after testimony by Walt Disney to the House of Un-American Activities Committee. Though Maurice claimed not to have been influenced by the films that came before him, he