Thursday, December 29, 2011

Girl and the Siren

Flickan & Sirenen Teaser ( The Girl & the Siren Teaser) from Jakob Arevärn on Vimeo.

article over at AnimateClay (where I found it) Something charming about the silhouette foreground elements and cardboard city.

Friday, December 16, 2011

William Groebe from Tippett on Animals

good animation - know your principles

good acting - fits the plate it's on

good action - so it feels real. so a cat walks across a talbe like a cat, a dog walks like a dog

good attention to detail - all the little intricacies and details in the real world (cat's scrunching nose) how toes spread when landing (of a cat) good polished animation

power of reference
find it and shoot it (yourself if you can't get an animal to do it)

he's pro w/ 14 years but if he just knocked out a dog walk and compared it to life it would be missing something. Like drawing a self portrait from memory, instead of from a mirror. Be humble, accept that you need reference. (slow mo often very helpful, smaller animals are often too fast to see)

shoot ref of cat walking and sitting, but also of yourself to get acting beats and timing you wanted

make it happen, don't let a rig hold you back from recreating what a real animal could do

head, neck and tail on world orient (so hips bouncing doesn't wig tail out, chest turns, head still acts where you want it)

just because you have controls doesn't mean you have to use them

he animates foot/palm into place first, then corrects wrist/heel

breathing trick: grab all spine scale them all a tiny bit (expand relax chest), then offset depth first then width, then offset the different spine ctrls from each other, then sometimes animate shoulders reacting to the chest

The Thing 2011 Practical Effects

Awesome (and annoyingly not embeddable) from StudioAdi, something supremely awesome about real world effects, light and actors all work better with them too.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


nothing ground breaking, but fun


* found on animation

Monday, December 12, 2011

Kyle Balda - Layered Walk

I just finished taking a course at Animation Collaborative. One thing a lot of the Pixar animators talked about is working in a layered approach. What was really interesting was them talking about being A LOT faster using a layered approach. Well I have to give try on it, and along comes this Kyle Balda tut, perfect.

*found by spungella

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Aardman Pirates

making of, incredible the amount of stuff they have to build, makes me suprised we don't see more stop motion films that take place inside a featureless room. awesome crazy

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

12 drawings a Day

drew a second a day for 3 years. GAAA hand drawn is so awesome

12 Drawings a Day - 12 Dessins par Jour from Denis Chapon on Vimeo.

During 3 years (2008-2011) i have been drawing 12 drawing of animation every day, it make one second of film. I had no plans what so ever before starting the first drawing. And then, each of the folowing days, I took the 3 last drawing from the day before and kept on animating. I use a none erasable pen, and drew on the back side of used A4 paper.

* found by JHD

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

IndieAnimator Tumbler

Found another short film aggregator

some stuff I haven't seen on there

Aleksandr (english subtitle) from Aleksandr Team on Vimeo.

Monday, December 5, 2011

1979 Muppet film test

I just know I'm gonna come looking for this later

so much appeal on such few controls

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Film Riot

Saw this on the plane going to my Mom's for Thanksgiving. Ryan Connolly learned film craft at Full Sail (which my co-worker who's also an alumni speaks very poorly of) and has been making these "how to do movie tricks" videos ever since (I think that's the summary.) Anyway there's a ton of them and I'm sure lots of good tricks to pick up. Here's the youtube channel.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pixar Tour

Finally had a Pixar tour. Pretty amazing. So swanky, glass and brick and steel and huge ceilings and lights. Palm trees and green grasses everywhere (but I was visiting at night so I didn't get the true tropical experience.) Art everywhere on the walls, pretty intimidating, if you're there you definitely have to be at the top of the game being surrounded by so many awesome artists. Animator's area was smaller then I expected, and I was really surprised the director's desk's where in the middle in the open, no privacy (was told they want it that way, super open and accessible). Pretty inspiring, where the magic happens :)

Friday, November 11, 2011


1 dude (Jesús Orellana), no budget, 1 year. Rosa Movie

ROSA from Jesús Orellana on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Saw these at On Animation, and have come back to them a couple times already. I believe that if you trust your instincts and follow your passions you will find be succesfull. (You may wind up working some dumb job to pay the bills, but if you're following your passion when you can you will be happy, and that counts as a win to me. And often I think it works out that what you're passionate about will come around to pay the bills.) So anyway, always helps motivate to hear other people talking about pursuing their passion.

Made by Hand / No 1 The Distiller from Made by Hand on Vimeo.

Made by Hand / No 2 The Knife Maker from Made by Hand on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cinematography of Films

Evane Richards blog is all about looking at the cinematography of films.

Flooby Nooby does it often as well.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


BEAT from or bar-el on Vimeo.

pretty awesome by Or Bar-El. Rhythm is so intuitive and strong, very clever to combine it with the visuals

*found on spungella

Standard Action

So if you have a high tolerance for geekness, there's this pretty cool web series being done by some Canadians. Standard Action I think it's the woman with the fur vest's project (Joanna Gaskell), and funded by her. Pretty decent, I mean you won't mistake it for a big budget HBO series or anythinhg, but is good enough that you can buy into it if you let yourself. This is exactly the kind of thing I had expected to flood the interwebs once the bandwidth issue was solved, but instead of we have people pasting Evanescence over anime movies, human creativity disapoint.

panel with the creators
There were a lot of people we wanted to get involved with our project so we thought lets just do it, make it, get it out there, let's just do it as fast as possible, we didn't want it to get lost in post production because the editing process just mires you down because it's so difficult. Instead of getting really parylized with having to make it perfect, we decided to just make it. We filmed 10-12 pages in a day. If the director gives the actor freedom to run with their ideas it always turns out better. We shoot on the weekends, every other weekend we do post production, a lot of hours, so basically the hours of another day job. Tried to do block shooting (all the shots in a scene from multiple episodes at the same time). An intense schedule for 7-8 months.

Cannon DSLR T2i (think you can get better camera's now for same price)
Zoom H4N (and just got a rode)
Adobe Premiere Pro for editing
Adobe AfterEffects for fx
Audacity for sound editing (reaper was recommended by an audience member)

Thursday, October 27, 2011


fun looking

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Presto Storyboard

don't know how long this will last

*found on Flooby Noob where there's some production art also

Danger 5

this looks awesome. Except that I think it's made with real money and not just dedicated amateur's, in which case maybe not as awesome, but still pretty fun camp.

Danger 5

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sketchtravel Short

trailer short for the sketchtravel book by Daisuke Tsutsumi

clearly he's an illustrator, but he gets the feeling across. Again, simplified storytelling.

* found on Scott C.s blog

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How to Play Musical Saw

Parallell Lines

this is pretty old, but it bubbled up in my mind again. A contest I think by Phillips for people to make a short film about whatever that must include 6 specific dialogue lines. Check out the rest.

Audience is acting

been thinking about this one a lot lately, again Kuleshov is occurring to me. I'm thinking maybe it's not us who are acting, we're just keeping the characters alive and setting the mood and letting the audience project the acting for us. The current piece I'm working on seems better and better the less I do

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


awesome look, impressive that they can get that stylized look to work with gameplay

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Been getting some heavy hitting help with my acting animation lately.

I always feel like I have so many ideas that I want to squeeze in: eye darts, little brow flicks, physical accents etc, and really my piece is stronger with less of it.

The thought occurred to me to try looking at things backwards. So next time I'm going to try and figure out how few ideas I can get in, and let the audience fill the rest in.

Minimum amount of ideas possible, if I have a new idea then it can replace an existing idea if it's better. Instead of trying to squeeze more ideas in, try and squeeze more ideas out.

Survival of the strongest.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Skeleton Pinup

Eizo a medical supply company made a pinup calendar for a promotion, but it's all xray, useful to see what the bones are actually doing in those typical sexy poses.

* found at babeland

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Gene Kelly with Snake

wow, love the inventive movement of the snake, those hand drawn peeps are amazingly inventive, the computer sure doesn't want to let you play as easily

*found on mayerson


one of those service shops that does the grunt work for companies. Nice game reels pupptworks
out of Budapest (can't embed :(

Babe Lab

My coworker found a decent (nsfw) blog breaking down how to make good pinups, some good tips in there for drawing pretty in general

Lorna 2.0

a bit embarassingly mudflap art like, but I like how bold the look is (though that isn't new either)
digging the flame hair

*from arte y animacion (told you I needed to check them out more ;)

Sergio Pablos Interview

Frame a Frame: Sergio Pablos ( English Subtitles ) from Christian Dan on Vimeo.

*found on Flooby Nooby but it's really from arte & animacion (who I need to visit more often)

Timber Timbre

awesome look and color palette

* found on animation

Friday, September 30, 2011

Marc Taro photocollage

Marc Taro. Feng Zhu uses a pretty similar technique, not quiete as bluntly. Could be a useful technique.

The Wizard

so awesome, wish they would make a whole show like this

Miyazaki at Berkeley

That lecture that I took notes on, just found it recorded

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Game making

This goes right up there with "hey let's make a movie with a virtual studio across the internet" but since I just found the link I may as well put it down here for when I get those megalomaniac impulses.

Unreal Engine used to make gears of war etc free developer's kit. Here

apparently a pretty easy engine to use and mod and have pretty reasonable royalties: US$0 on the first US$50,000 in revenue, and US$2,500 on the next US$10,000 in revenue)

walk thru setting up a easy game
official help
vid tuts

time time time
never enough of it

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Robert Altman on Rashomon

when you ask someone about the movie afterwards everyone will have a different story of what had happened, which is why it's art

I love extreme weather because it gives the audience another level of sensation that the audience can react to

Francis Ford Coppola

how he brought the godfather out of book onto screen

Hitchcock was a master to making sure the audience is equipped with the knowledge they need so that they can enjoy the scene

South Park in 5 minutes

crazy, an entire episode in a week. Doesn't seem sustainable, but they've been doing it forever

Monday, September 26, 2011


last music post I think. I took a blues harmonica class recently. The guy recommended these youtube folks as great free learning resources.

Jason Ricci

Adam Gussow

Dave Barett

but there's tons of stuff out there also, like this girl who's quick little video sped me on my way

Effects pedals

sorry, another divergence. I've built two cigar box guitars which are fun, and now my attention's been caught by the idea of DIY guitar effects pedals.

Build Your Own Clone

General Guitar Gadgets

free stomp boxes

and an intro to electronics cuz I have a lot to learn

tracking cheap pedals on ebay to deconstruct and improve

of course I need to find time to actually play the guitar before bother spending time on making gadgets for it

Cry Baby: The Pedal That Rocks The World from Jimmy Dunlop on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

2 Animation Tricks from me

I have two new tricks (for me) to help myself animate.

1. write down what my next move is for when I get back to the computer. It can take a long time to get what's going on in a scene uploaded to my brain's ram, so at the end of a session when my brain is humming and keeping track of all the spinning plates making a note of which plates needs a respin next for when I get back seems to be helping me get faster to the doing part of animation.

2. having the steps of my workflow labeled helps me troubleshoot (if I'm having lots of problems may need to step back a step, if I'm not sure what to do next it's time to move to the next level) and stay on target. Newest addition for me is splitting up rough blocking into ruff block poses and ruff block timing.

my stages (often blur together):
listen to audio on repeat, try to tease out the true meaning and emotions,
think about the point of the scene (try and put the scene in a totally different context then source audio that still fits the emotions) thumbnail ideas
vid ref a lot 20 minutes at least, then cut together a short vid with the most interesting parts
layout build the scene and props, put characters in their spots, set camera

rough blocking: getting the meat of the scene down
block goldens the essential story telling poses of the scene, the ones that would be drawn if it were a comic strip instead (ignore timing, focus on flow between poses) key whole body
block timing shuffle the golden poses around until the timing works, copied pairs

blocking 1st pass: contacts and extremes, all the poses that describe the bounds of the movement key whole body

blocking 2nd pass: breakdowns, all the poses that describes the kind of movement, eases and arcs and stuff key whole body

polishing the two parts go together, whatever it takes to make it look right
partials blocking: frame by framing through on each body part and putting keys to smooth out arcs and eases (just keying parts, no longer whole body keys)
curve polishing: smooth curves, make sure there's no weirdness, then just go down heirarchy making sure it looks right (setting keys or tweaking curves)(I try not to tweak tangents anymore, if the curve overshoots I lock it with a key so that a global tangent change won't kill it)

review: on loop, walk across room and watch it big, shrink it tiny, flip it horizontally ,watch it over and over and make notes of everything needing fixing

fix it: fix all the things on the list

repeat last two steps until done

Friday, September 23, 2011

Live Action with Cartoon Mouths

Remember talking about stopmo puppets with liveaction eyes tracked in?

Here's the opposite, live action with a cartoon mouth tracked in, I think I like it more. (I don't really know Scroobius, thug rap is so ubiquitous it's hard to trust that it's not a spoof, especially with the English accent, but it's pretty cool he's positive. Liked this one by him more.)

(Reminds me a bit of the gobelins kids )

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Gawper from A Large Evil Corporation on Vimeo.

fun by a large Evil Corporation (all CG I think)

makes me think of Screen Novelties who are awesome and actually Stopmo and puppets


I get the feeling I'll come looking for this later so

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cutting an action sequence

In the Cut, Part I: Shots in the Dark (Knight) from Jim Emerson on Vimeo.

In the cut by Jim Emerson. Dude knows his stuff and presents it clearly and simply. I'll have to watch more of it.

Now I'm confused, has the same logo as the chaos cinema guy, but different guy?

Few short films

lovin the look

Enid from Leanne Towers on Vimeo.

these two are by Mechanical Apple which is really Ari Gibson

not so into the song, but the visuals are cool

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Nick Bruno - How he studies animation

So I guess the lost boyz of Blue Sky have a blog going. (like spline doctors, or speaking of animation)

Big 'ol long post by Nick Bruno about how he studies animation, don't want to lose it before I get a chance to read it so I'll stick it here.

Here's his questions, obviously new questions occured while he was going through this shot (unless he made the whole thing up on the spot, not just some of it. ) But this list seems a decent place to start asking questions from.

Pick a shot that resonates with you

1. brief description of the scene
2. if not stand alone, what's the context?
3. Why did you pick this shot?
4. Initial thoughts on why you responded to this shot?
5. What is the shot saying? (that she is in pain but needs to put that aside for now and find a way out)
6. What does that mean? (that there are more important things at stake then just her personal well being)
7. How does the moment feel?
8. Why do you think it feels that way?
9. How would I have screwed up that shot?
10.Is there anything else you respond to in this shot?

Mechanics of Performance:
1. What is the storytelling pose of the shot? (image)
2. Why? What does that pose communicate to audience?
3. Why is that the most important thing?
4. What are the beats? (Goals, & thought processes through the shot)
5. How is the thinking sold?
6. Quick description of the character. How did the animator convey that?
7. Can you personally relate to the characters experience in this shot?
8. Disect the poses:
8a. Body poses
8b. Facial poses
8c. Hand poses
9. What is the texture to the timing? Do different body parts have different speeds?
10. Quality of spacing texture, soft vs sharp? Do different body parts space differently consistently?
11. How does rhythm of dialogue/score affect animation? (eg. Hit beats, move lyrically)
12. What patterns of movement do you see?
13. Where are there reversals?
14. Does the animator do more then just getting the story point over?
15. What is motivating the movement?
16. Silhouette? Shapes in front of shapes?
17. Where is the viewers eye? Any choreography between elements? How is the eye lead?
18. Any twinning? How was it handled?
19. How were contacts handled?
20. How was keep alive handled?
21. Any subtle cues from the audie incorporated or ignored?
22. How is the point delivered without sound ?
23. What animated details where added?
24. Is the character an animal? How did the animator keep us reminded of that?
25. Was there anything bad in the shot?

Principles of animation
Just frame by frame through it looking for every example of every principle you can find.

Pretty cool get your energy back up post by Stewart Shaw

Friday, September 16, 2011

Comedians Talking

haven't watched it yet, but seems worth a listen

Talking Funny by FabioMBarros

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

head trip

green and blue are same color, (check it in photoshop) just trippin with your head, amazing how much surrounding colors affect perception.

* found on gizmodo

Reel'y inspring reels

ran across a channel collecting awesome reels like the one above.

similarly there's Reelbarrow

go get depressed ;)
(then get angry and come back swinging)

Friday, September 9, 2011

South Park creators story advice

So you have your funny scenes, your story beats, and if the words "and then" belong between those beats you're f*#ed; basically you've got something pretty boring. What belongs between them is therefore or but. "This happened but this happened so this happened but this happened. " Causation between each beat makes it a story, not just a bunch of stuff happening.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Plug the New World

stop mo by the folks behind Domo

*found on brew

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

BladeRunner Making of

Blade Runner Convention Reel 1982 from Future Noir on Vimeo.

* wow that got yanked quick, glad I jotted down some notes

a society where life had become very difficult, the urban environment had become a trap for the people. So started with very clean design concept then successively layered on top an accumulation of details and repairs and extra pieces of equipment that weren't the original equipment idea, and achieved this fixit it because it has to run which is the whole visual flavor which is the essence of the film, so it isn't a shiny futuristic society it's a society where the supply lines have broken down. the street level became like the sewers the underside of the city being trapped on the street was not only just unromantic but a thoroughly nasty way to spend your life because the street is just a service access to the upper city, Decent people didn't live below 40 floors above the street so you get an accumulation of detail of vent pipes generators and left over kind of society that your forced to live with because you can't afford to go up. It takes a trend from the current larger urban centers and accelerates it and charicatures it makes it more brutal and more glamorous at each end of the scale.

*found on animation

Chipotle Ad

Boom, hand done. Johnny Kelly behind the scenes flickr set

* found on Cartoon Brew

Getting going

I think I have a new trick. You know when it's time to get down to work but you feel that big resistence to start (the lure of nets trying to get you to put it off.) A few times now I've done 5 minutes of figure drawing (15 second poses) and that did the trick of gear shifting my brain to get to business.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Elder Vid Ref

such a brief flit of light, this puff of life we have

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Chaos Cinema - Shakey Cam

Chaos Cinema Part 1 from Matthias Stork on Vimeo.

Chaos Cinema Part 2 from Matthias Stork on Vimeo.

like it or hate it it is part of the modern movie lexicon. Interesting how the sound track is what knits it together. It may not allow the viewer to securely know where they are in the picture, but it trades that for visceral feeling of such chaotic events.

Portal: No Escape

pretty cool, kind of bugs that the gun doesn't pull up to her elbow

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cigar Box Guitar

Nothing related to anything I usually post about, but I'm all excited about Cigar Box Guitars. The idea being you don't need a big fancy expensive consumer product to make music, just whip something together and start rocking.

There's a whole ning site dedicated to it. (saw one made out of a frying pan over there) and they have a ton of how to's, from super simple to lutheir quality.

Uncle Crow threw up a how to build one in an hour video walk thru for a cost of less then $15

Red Dog Guitars
has a lot of fancy nicely done ones, and has some great music on the site.

Dr. Oakroot made a bass guitar using weed wacker strings

a 2nd ning group on the same thing

I just love the raw sound and the D.I.Y. approach

anyway, now I have the links wherever I go

and as long as we're talking home made instruments:

Cranes are Flying

Daaang. Check out this clip and think about where the camera man must have been. Skillz

Clothes for stopmo Puppet

Nice thread on puppet cloth making, quick summary of possibilities. Options are, follow a simple pattern. (ala Nic Hilligoss, ton of knowledge on his site)

Some folks just glue the cloth on. Jon does, and uses clay for collars etc (which can get tellingly thick in cloth.)

Others pin cloth on, and either sew it and pull it off and turn it right side out, or sew it on with invisible seams (sounds harder)

Leevi Lehtinen points out that he doesn't attach the parts, sleeves are seperate from torso etc.

Nathan and Josh Flynn have pro looking clothes which they sew, but they have good tricks for little details.

Roger Evans - Johnny Quest

Roger Evans has been plugging away at putting the Johnny Quest intro into stopmotion. You can follow along shot by shot on his page. He's finally finished. Pretty awesome project.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Frame by Frame

Iestyn Roberts found this cool tumblr that has snippets of animated films and the frames individually so you can pull it apart and put it back together.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


promo video for Animschool has really fantastic animation in it, they definitely have appeal nailed.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

FPS Russia

Awesome sauce. Um, we'll file this under reference, in case you ever need someone shooting,anything. Love his attitude and accent.

Impressions Jim Meskimen

Jim Meskimen

* found by Jesse Rignall @ 11second club

as Jesse pointed out, great for mouth shape, facial shapes, and head accent timing

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Jim Hull Story Fanatic

I have a link that I haven't gotten to yet, so I'll put it here to clean up my bookmarks.

Jim Hull's Story Fanatic
page, lots of great articles on story structure, analyzing and breaking down stories and why he thinks they work, lots to learn.

50 most inluential disney animators

Grayson Ponti a highschool student put this together, how cool is that. Haven't had a chance to go through it yet, but seems like an awesome blog.

50 most influential disney animators

5 posts in 2 hours, maybe I should get some work done :P

quick list of things to do to your character

25 ways to F**k with your Characters by Chuck Wendig, looks like he may have other useful articles, gotta do some mining.


horse cheat sheet by Emma Coats from her twitter

and since we're at it, Gurney had thrown up this cheat sheet from Spirit days (though I don't think he was involved)

Black Dynamite Animated

Black Dynamite was a fun campy recent blaxploitation (c'mon he nunchuck fights Richard Nixon!)

Now there's an animated series.

(my favorite part was when they were tapping on his fro with the boom mic)
*found on flooby nooby

How To Cheat at Maya

Eric Luhta, who I went to AM with for a while, wrote How to Cheat in Maya (which has a lot of the approaches you learn in AM in it) and now has re released it with new stuff and a guest author Kenny Roy (who I learned a TON from).

They have couple of videos on their site, and any time you see Kenny Roy in a video it's worth paying attention!

vid on 2ndary animation (he touches on his frequent spiel of 2ndary animation = subtext which is a useful idea) but this idea of using animation layers to allow you to build up your animation and make changes easily is one I was vaguely aware of but haven't had a chance to explore. But here he is making it seem like a very useful approach allowing for late changes without headaches. Example here was having a tapping finger on a new layer, so can key it in and out easily to play with the thought shown through 2ndary acting happening.

vid on buffer curve: saw this from him elsewhere but it's a great cheat to re write it down, basically if you use buffer curves it's like having a save as alternate version of animation just by using the swap buffer curve button

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Public Domain music

Public Domain music resource. Haven't checked it out thoroughly, seems like a good start but do your research (don't wanna get hit like Nina Paley where the songs are copywrite free but someone still holds the rights)

Don't forget the sound fx to go with it

Move Eat Learn

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

LEARN from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

EAT from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

Rick Mereki : Director, producer, additional camera and editing
Tim White : DOP, producer, primary editing, sound
Andrew Lees : Actor, mover, groover
All Music composed and performed by Kelsey James
Music Recorded and mixed by Jake Phillips
Colour Grade : Edel Rafferty and Roslyn Di sisto
Online Edit : Peter Mirecki
Assistance in titles and production design : Lee Gingold, Jason Milden, Rohan Newman

the world is such a small place, and we are all connected through more similarities then differences, vids like this help us remember, nice production value on this really professional feeling, but in a way Where the Hell is Matt is better because he just has more joy in it, so the lesson I take Passion trumps proficiency (not to diss the Move Eat Learn guys, there piece is really cool)

and something else Matt and the Numa Numa guy have: Dance like no one's watching just be joyfull in yourself and don't worry about everyone else

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ormie the Pig

nice and simple, beautifully animated!

by Rob Silvestri

*found at short of the week

Claythings - how to clay animation

a solid walk thru of animating in clay

*found on animation

Monday, August 1, 2011

High Heels

was animating a woman in high heels today

Future of CG - no more polygons

of course being able to model atoms isn't a garauntee for fun games, more of a garauntee that a game will never be released and have a huge budget to make it all, but this is an amazing new tool used in the right hands. I mean it's the future, if the virtual world can be as detailed as the real one the next step will be to improve our interface with the computers (a la matrix plugs) very interesting

Bechdel Test

So I just learned of the Bechdel test, such an easy test and so sad that so many films completely fail it.


This is a super old one, very NSFW and pretty misogynistic but if you can put that aside it's pretty fun.

FLAIRS - TRUCKERS DELIGHT from 3rd Side Records on Vimeo.

Mac N Cheese

Mac 'n' Cheese from Mac 'N' Cheese on Vimeo.

by Tom Hankins
Gijs van Kooten
Guido Puijk
Roy Nieterau

these guys are doing it right, pushing it!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Glen Keane Rapunzel

Tangled was fabulous animation, Glen was involved in the whole process from creation and rigging of models to animating it. In the Tangled chat they talked about how his drawings was the lantern finding the path for them. Anyway, I was hoping to find some of the drawings he did to help the animators get closer to his look but I haven't seen any yet (art of tangled didn't have m I don't think.) Glen's drawings are just so rich, he put it great speaking of another animator "feels like high calorie drawings, like you could get fat just looking at them" uggh so awesome

*Got these from Flooby Noob, he has more.

*12/2/11 as does Living Lines

Angry Men (mostly)

*found on FloobyNooby

Animation Scout

Ugur Yetiskin has a series of solid videos on face stuff.

AnimationScout - Blinks from Ugur Ulvi Yetiskin on Vimeo.

AnimationScout - Mouth Corners from Ugur Ulvi Yetiskin on Vimeo.

AnimationScout - Head Direction from Ugur Ulvi Yetiskin on Vimeo.

AnimationScout - Eyelids from Ugur Ulvi Yetiskin on Vimeo.

AnimationScout - Eye Direction from Ugur Ulvi Yetiskin on Vimeo.

the whole looking in certain directions thing I don't think I buy, I think the first time it was an example of 1 subjects directions, and everyone took that up as the definitive, and I'm not sure it was proven anyway. Anyone know some real research. *added July 31 Check out wiki on neuro linguistic programming see where my hesitation on this comes from, so you can decide for yourself.

Kevin Koch still has best work up on blinks I've seen. Ugur's got some decent formula's here, but formula's without back ground information always seem dangerous to me.

eyelids, I think individuals have different neutral positions, which I'm getting from that Facial expressions book, but the stuff on the lower lid I agreed with, (lower lid can only get tightened up to close lid, going down only because bulge of cornea pushes it)

the mouth corner thing seemed solid, especially the arc part

head position seemed good too, wonder where he got the info.

* found on animation

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


don't know why this is hitting now, but kaeloo's been on all the sites. I put it up because it's such a great example of crazy stretchy cartoony animation in CG, it feels more authentic CG then the nostalgically overweighted Coyote RoadRunners a few months back.

funny, Olivier had posted about it back in 2010, and for some reason I'm feeling like it's one of those shorts from before youtube days. Anyway

Kaeloo - Prince charming - Si on jouait au Prince charmant... from Cube Creative on Vimeo.

Kaeloo Pilote English Version from Cube Creative on Vimeo.

Kaeloo - La Quête du Greul - Extrait from Cube Creative on Vimeo.

Lighting - Francesco Giroldini

Olivier found this awesome dude: Francesco Giroldini who has some solid lighting chops, stuff looks like Daisuke “dice” Tsutsumi paintings in CG. And fortunately for us, also has a generous side and has thrown up a ton of lighting tuts.

He mentions this lighting thing.

reminds me that Lucas Martel has some decent lighting walk thru's also.

Choppin Brocoli

over the top, but still, lots of possibilities for stuff to throw into lipsynch or facial ticks

Monday, July 25, 2011

Assassin's Creed Retro

Assassin's Creed Retro from Mitch Pecqueur on Vimeo.

by Mitch Pecqueur, Arnaud Baudry and Julien Baret

it's fine, but the interesting part to me is the proof of concept of how much you can discard when you go a little stylized and cel shaded, like BG, and can go in and out of speed lines effortlessly.

*my coworker sent it to me from Kotaku

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


JAZZED Full Short from anton setola on Vimeo.

I know I'm gonna come looking for this later. By Anton Setola

* found on cartoon brew

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Boxers - Nicolai Howalt

PhotographerNicolai Howalt. Something about these images, taken right before and right after a match, some inarticulatable difference between the two shots. Somehow you can tell that some life was lived. Maybe it's just Kuleshov effect. Really interesting.

*found by flooby noob

more Time in the Day

Ok, so I have 2 small kids at home, so when I get home from work they own my time til they go to bed, then I need to do dishes and clean up the house to try and help my wife stay sane the next day with the kids. That leaves me about an hour to do whatever. But often that whatever is spending time with my wife, or doing grown up chores like pay bills, or get some jogging in. Sometimes I try and be disciplined and do some animation, but it's often really REALLY hard to knuckle down and get right to work at the end of the day, I often "look up one thing" and then realize there isn't enough time left to bother to animate. So reading Cameron Fielding's post again I thought I'd try his trick of getting up and working 5-7am before everyone else is up. Worked great for me this morning, got right to work (at 6, I'm working down ;), no distracting internet (we turn it off at night), no interuptions, it was great. And the only discipline is going to bed early enough, which I have to do anyway to stay cheerful for my family (lack of sleep makes me emo :( ) so I feel like I've discovered an extra 2 hours in the day.

Yeah it's lame to get up early (I get my best sleep in the early mornings, I hate being awake then), but if you want to go big you gotta make sacrifices. Barriers are just there to keep everyone else out while you prove you deserve it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Nother Quick Draw Site

Like the other figure drawing sites mentioned before, new site for quick sketching.

new link for it

tigertigertiger (can never find this post when I'm looking for it, so maybe I'll be able to with that odd word)

Julie Bell - Monologue Reference

So as I was going through that list of art I just posted I came across this interview with Julie Bell. (not really my flavor of art). Since so often animation exercise is monologues in one spot I thought this was great reference. She's in 1 golden pose for 5 minutes, she uses her hands to illustrate what she's talking about, good ref for little head accents on the words, interesting how her mouth is slightly asymetrical.

Wheel of Time cover art

Irene Gallo has a series of posts going over the art commissioning for the e-book Wheel of Time series. Interesting to see how the pro's work.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mello Yello

interesting blend of flat and CG, feels pretty smooth

Mello Yello 'Animated River Journey' from Passion Pictures on Vimeo.

*found on animation

Friday, July 8, 2011


YAY hand drawn

* found by Flooby Nooby

Thursday, July 7, 2011

eye tracking again

remember the There might be blood Eye tracking, James Gurney posted up another one of those (with some good observations), apparently it's a group of scientists (DIEM) doing these studies and they have a vimeo page full of them.

Eye Movements during a segment on Chilli Plasters from TheDIEMProject on Vimeo.

Montage of 4 Visualizations of Eye-movements during Charlie Bit My Finger from TheDIEMProject on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Blik from Polder Animation on Vimeo.

honestly I'm mainly putting this up because I like the shading. The physicality is good, nice weight, the acting is pretty clear the lack of faces makes it more universal, but also makes it a little more distant.

* found on animation

Un Monstre a Paris music vid

I know the setting is a theater, but I wish I could see a whole film with such daring use of color & light and symbolic (as opposed to real) backgrounds. Course to do that I think the characters would have to be more graphical also, which would also be good. (though the pink is a tad too candy, but better to go too far then not far enough)

(pretty fun song too, I wish there was an easier way for me to delve through the non english music scene)

The animation is 3d and the backgrounds are matte painted/camera mapped

from the upcoming flick Un Monstre A Paris from Europa Corp

* found by Olivier, he has links to the blogs of some of the folks working on it also

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tips for Indie Directors

bunch of quick articles for improving your game if you want to make your own flick.

Untangling Tangled

Untangling the Look of Tangled from Creative Talent Network on Vimeo.

shrinking the world makes it friendly intimate and appealing
shrink it by scaling the buildings down to a few stories at max, cut the sightlines down so few long vistas make it cozy and comfortable instead,
curves (especially S curves) add to the appeal gives a composition a sense of flow and grace (inspired by cinderella who had a shape vocabulary of shapes built of curves that gives a consistent feel all the way through, and feels like a storybook)
european architecture inspired, quirky details, unexpected variety/color, feeling that you might find a secret door at any point
pinnochio for building scales, all kind of chubby not to tall, wrap around character
for economy made x number of buildings and made them different from side to side, so that could make it feel like a lot of buildings easily
running through the forest you see very little of the individual trees (unless the characters specifically interact with them) so the forest becomes pretty abstract and atmospheric
round out and plump up the shapes of the tower set to harken back to the cozy appeal of old disney movies

light to express character, rapunzel spends a lot of time in warm glowing sun

If it moves through space convincingly that's enough (John Kahrs thought that for years) But Glen brought to the group
the way the character is feeling inside in their heart, it controls their core. It's okay to twist and change that body mass/body core based on how they're feeling.

looking to get a sense of fleshy mass in the face (through good blendshapes I'm guessing)

the whole crew did practice on simple things on the characters (walk test, simple turn around, simple sit) to practice believability, weight, physicality of how humans move (as a baseline to create sense of disbelief, acting on top)

did a lot of focus on the characters animated breathing

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Features vs Family

Just to gather my thoughts on family and features, cuz I've tracked these parts down multiple times:

Brandon Beckstead who's awesome came across a similar bump(bittersweet), he graduated from AM and got job offers from Dreamworks & Sony. "I realized that my dream job was more about my family than about my career." and he let the big fishes he had hooked go.

Then a year later "My family is in a much better situation to move this time and I just wanted to test the waters and ended up with a job at Dreamworks!"

"This is my first foray into feature film animation and it's even better than I thought it would be!"

and then another year and it looks like he's returned to games. I plan on dropping him an email when I get a chance

*he replied to my email Dreamworks was great, not crazy hours and felt stable for supporting a family but LA was terrible, traffic landlocked all the time, lot more money, just not a good situation for his family everyone was miserable so he left (and you have to respect someone who cares so much for his family)

I had dropped Victor Navone an email about balancing family and work and he came back that he usually works 9-5:30 but he's been at Pixar forever so is fast and has proven himself.

Also asked Jean Denis Haas about it, he said he does "9-6 when he can", and he also has been in the biz for a long while now. Later he wrote that he puts 200%effort in during the 9 hours a day he's at work, then zips home.

An old post by Ken Music says the schedule at Tippet was 9-7 with an hour and a half off.

Cameron Fielding came from games to ILM but was only offered a 2 month contract, which could have really screwed things up for him (fortunately he hooked up with dreamworks) short term project hire seems really hard for families.

I had asked Shawn Kelly about animators as migrant workers and he said: "
It's very common in the industry right now to offer "project positions," which end after the project ends. Often, these can evolve into full-time staff positions, but more often than not, the end when the contract was scheduled to end.

*7-19-11 got a reply from Beckstead

Brothers Quay

The Brothers Quay are the originals, long before Shane Acker ripped them off in CG or even before Adam Jones made those Tool videos the Quay Brothers invented the genre. Notoriously recluse unfortunately maintains their obscurity.

Anyway, looks like they have a new flick coming.

don't know how long these'll last, but here's their most well known head trip: Street of Crocodiles

*found here

Monday, June 27, 2011

News now

Yay, now you don't need to watch anyother news

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Kazuo Oga - Ghibli BG

Background paintings from Ghilbi, painted by Kazuo Oga

* found @ GhibliCon

Monday, June 20, 2011

Blackstar Warrior

It ain't new, but it's still cool

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Annecy time again

Looks like the new batch from gobelins is out, not to into them lately, their motion is still gorgeous, but seem to be lacking solid stories that pull me in (maybe they're refinding their feet after Keith Lango has needled them about everything always being a running frantic thing) Anyway, this one I liked because I'm always a sucker for glowy lights.

Wolf Smoke outta China

Cartoon Brew found this small animation studio out of China

lot of fun action (bit over the top with the fan service, so be warned NSFW) subtitles under cc @ youtube

and a tv pilot thing they did

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Feng Zhu

he has a really interesting trick (goes into it pretty quick on ep 5) where he's basically kit bashing his image value/color together. So he takes a bunch of random photos that have the feel he wants and just slaps them down onto a single layer, and I guess just color picks and colors in his line drawing. really interesting.

Holy Crap, Feng Zhu (who has always been awesome) has thrown down a billion tutorials (I think he has a school). He makes the brilliant point that watching a lot of tutorials is like watching a professional basketball player, it's cool to see, but you're not going to be able to go out and do it because you have to put in your practice time on the fundamentals which most tutorials don't even go over. Seems like maybe his earlier tut's (like this one) do go over the basics some.

he has a really interesting trick (he goes over it in ep 5) where he kit bashes random unrelated photos into 1 layer because it has the value and colors he wants. Then he color picks off that abstract image and fills in his line drawing. He does it again ep 14 part 2 @ 7:40 but this time he's laying down some techy photos as overlay, so they pick up the value of his painting but make his sketchy thing look totally teched out. (I think he takes all his own ref photos so that he doesn't have to worry about copywrite)

another thing he talks about is zooming out til your image is postage stamp size, the image will work if your values are well organized even this small, so don't get detaily until it works this way. Make sure the eye travels well around the image, and points to your emphasis.

he always throws down a horizon line, this tells him wether he's looking up or down onto parts (because our eyes are always on the horizon line) which helps with light and form.

know what the selling point of your image is and emphasize it

don't be afraid to use "entertainment lighting" meaning everything is awesomely lit with rim lights and stuff, because we're trying to make awesome images so do it

he always thinks in terms of forground mid and bg, usually pushes things back with fog layers to make them softer and less contrasty, repetition of objects helps us know distance by how small the further back one is, likes to include human sized elements so we can judge size,

he has a trick where he'll copy out a piece of the image, take it to a new file and uprez it to get details in (easier with a regular brush, instead of a 1 pixel brush) then drop it back in to the original and fit it in

for a painting he does a very loose line sketch, then fills it in with silhouette (or gradient w/ light at top) and starts working on defining form, as soon as he can turn off the lines and the forms and volumes still read he's done with the lines.