Bruce Timm color guides


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Friday, May 28, 2010


hand colored marker guide for the colorist

This one is for all you color nerds out there. I was leafing through the Batman Animated book and found a few color guides by Bruce Timm from his Mad Love comic. There are some notes for the colorist from Timm and I think they’re worth sharing. Remember this was 1994. Timm’s notes read:

“Basically, I wanted to keep the color as simple as possible. I feel a lot of the new, computer-separated books are way over-rendered, the “Image” books being the worst offenders. In particular I really hate that “hard-edged” gradation that Oliff & Chiodo use so often. Please try to keep gradations as smooth as possible & “air-brush”-y as possible.”

Hunh. Pretty interesting to think that Timm in ’94 was reacting against Image Comics coloring. Also interesting to think that his way of thinking, that his reaction has had its own influence on comics and on animation.

And beyond that the Batman Animated book by Chip Kidd seems to me to be a big influence itself. Dash never stops talking about it. Jim Rugg too. Something about identity or something. Bodyworld, Afrodisiac… seeing around a character, a setting, a story. Hunh. I feel like Joe Pesci in JFK, “It’s a mystery wrapped up in a riddle…!” What does it all mean? It means, the pledge drive is over, dear readers, thank you for your support.

Welcome back to regular programming.

Bruce Timm's color guide for Mad Love

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3 Responses to “Bruce Timm color guides”
  1. [...] Bruce Timm Color Guides [...]

  2. Awesome post, Frank. Gotta get my hands on that book. Also, “Mad Love” is a perfect comic book. It should be handed out to aspiring cartoonists as a standard to strive for and emulate.

  3. That BATMAN: ANIMATED book is truly amazing, it changed the way I thought about conceptualizing a project. If you’re a world-building cartoonist type (and I can see why Dash and Jim dig it) then it’s an essential book for the shelf.