People may not think of southwest Virginia as a breeding ground for high-level celebrities; however, if you are a fan of SpongeBob Squarepants, then you are in the right area. Supervising Storyboard Director of the hit show, Tuck Tucker, will be presenting “The Art of a Drawing Story” Wednesday at Virginia Tech.
Tuck Tucker grew up in Lynchburg, Va., and as a way to give back to the surrounding community, he contacted Tech to set up this presentation.
As a part of his visit, Tuck Tucker will conduct a workshop with a 3-D animation class taught by Thomas Tucker, associate professor of creative technology, who is excited for his students to hear about such interact with homegrown professional in their aspiring field.
Tucker will talk about the behind the scenes aspect of SpongeBob and go into detail about what it takes to transform a simple idea into an episode viewed by millions. In addition, he will show an episode where SpongeBob gets a splinter in his thumb.
“We are going to show the animatic of it which is like a roughed out storyboard version of it," Thomas Tucker said. "It will be all the behind the scenes drawing of SpongeBob before it’s colored and before all the smooth animation process of it.”
To give an idea to how much time and work goes into each episode, Thomas Tucker said one episode includes between 4,000 and 5,000 images.
The episode will be shown again, but this time allowing to put their creative skills to the test by cutting the episode short 10 seconds.
"They don’t know what’s beyond the last 10 seconds so they will work on storyboarding their concept of what goes on," Thomas Tucker said. "The emphasis of the workshop is thinking on their feet and sketching out ideas very quickly.”
Students will get hands-on experience documenting what would go on behind the scenes.
“You watch it on (TV) and you don’t know because it’s so smooth," Thomas Tucker said. "You don’t see all the magic that goes behind it; it’s phenomenal.”
Brett Barber, a junior engineering major, has watched the show since he was a little kid, and still watches now and then when it is on TV.
“I’ve always wondered about all the artwork that goes into making an animated movie or TV show,” Barber said. “The fact that this is about SpongeBob is an added bonus.
“It’s one thing to see the show as its finished product, but a whole different feeling to get to see what happens behind the scenes,” he said. “It’s the stuff we don’t even think about. I’m eager to see what makes the show so well done.”