This fall I worked on a top secret CSAIL project, modeling toon characters with an experimental system that I can’t talk about until it goes public. This job has reminded me how much I love cartoons in general, and how I should be doing more of those, and less of other things.
Cartoons sit halfway between realism and typography, still kind of faithful to some aspects of realism, but conceding a lot to symbolic representation. It’s not that cartoons can’t represent things faithfully, cartoons choose not to do so in order to communicate things better.
Cartoon shapes and environments can’t be fully defined in terms of geometric systems and mathematical modeling, forcing the intervention of the human component that is the essence of many deep cognitive questions. Cartoons are Gestalt at its best, and they are also fun as hell.