Monday, December 17, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Round Tablet

Found what looks like a collection of art tutorials.

Also Kyle Kenworthy's animation pinterest.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ryan Woodward Animating from the Heart

 This is an old talk Ryan did about his short film. I was thinking about how if you resist your inspirations everything will just feel frustrating and ash like.

Animating from the Heart – Logic vs Inspiration Animator and Filmmaker Ryan Woodward from Creative Talent Network on Vimeo.

after I finish drawing the boards, I go into aftereffects, add some sound fx, some flare, some fake animation, you can have a lot of fun with it, you really feel like a film maker

The first instance when I clued in that I wanted to do stuff on the side

When I worked on Osmosis Jones I remember doing this scene that I was really excited and passionate about, it was perfect just the way I wanted and I passed it on, and when I saw it in dailies (after all the other departments had added their stuff) it had totally changed. When I saw it I was so upset and angry inside that they had touched my child and manipulated it into something I couldn't identify with anymore, it hurt. And my office partner said "you've got to chill out, you've got to go do something on the side, your own little project that you do on your own and invest all your passion into that so that when you're working on your day job you're not so emotionally invested in your drawings"

So if you have something on the side (even if it's small) it satisfies that creative monster inside you. Sometimes on a job you  don't feel like a creator you feel like a production guy. When you've been there long enough you start to forget what it's like to be a creator on your own, it just becomes a job. I noticed that my own personal aesthetic about what I think is cool in art all reflected on the movies I had worked on. I felt a bit like a slave that the studio is dictating what I like and not like. So I had to reassess what I actually like.

I loved modern dance, and figure drawing, but the idea of doing a film that way sounds like torture. Then the idea hit me, and the idea trumps all obstacles. When the idea hits you you think "either I do this, or I die inside"

Why are you making it?
I'm making it because I have to. I have to feel like I'm creating something

The one thing I really learned, I don't force inspiritation, I just try to prepare myself with a level of sensitivity that when inspiration does come it floors me like a train.

I just wait for those moments, where the heavens part and "aha". They don't happen very often, but when they happen, do something, otherwise youll be frustrated inside and you won't know why and everything will be grrrrr, and you won't know why. But if you really think about it you know what you want to do, you know inspiration hit you and you chose not to do it, that creates misery. But if you do it, even if you fail at it, that fact that you're doing it makes you feel alive and living some kind of purpose, you feel like you're being someone you were born to be, if it doesn't make a dime who gives a crap You did it. Just the fact that you did it you can lay back and breathe a sigh and you feel human.

the film: 
Thought of You from Ryan J Woodward on Vimeo.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tangled Unofficial Animator Commentary

 man, HOORAY for Clay Katis!!!! I've learned so much from his animpodcast. Latest one included.

Since clearly Glen Keane is a god who helped push this movie beyond, here's the solid Glen Keane notes again (collected at Art of Glen Keane but originally from Mark Kennedy's site) (and then the old ones from animation meat )

here's the notes I took listening to the podcast:

glen was less concerned with the motion and more concerned with designing the appeal in the design of the golden poses

Glen always started with drawing the eyes, most of the time he spent on the poses, only 5% on the animation

It was frustrating to take Glen's drawings back and try and push the CG model into it, because the automatic deformations would make the model look really weird, so had to find a balance

a lot of what I learned working with Glen was appeal, and now when I work on a shot I tend to look at the facial expressions a lot, especially the eyes, and even the eyelashes. Really paying attention to the appeal of the face and how it works in the scene.

The director's called for a lot less "we don't want a gesture festival, just have him standing in this one pose" which felt like we weren't doing enough, but then watching it sequence it totally works

this is the first musical a lot of people worked on, we didn't realize how important the inhales are to animating to a song, the big gasp right before belting it out was really important

I used to think it was enough to  move the body as a whole believably, but Glen really showed us that the body the hips and torso and all could work together to express emotion and they could work together harmoniosly. Glen would always say TILT RHYTHM AND TWIST something you could apply to the face or any part of the character, or the whole character, those are the kinds of things that Glen would drill into us (what would glen do, that) general assymetry in the mouth, looking for appeal and focus in the eyes. That's one thing in Disney's DNA, the characters beyond just being well designed, they are posed within their own design that makes sense for who they are. How the characters occupy their own body. In terms of minimalism, Glen would show a drawing that looked so good just as a drawing that it didn't need to move so much

I remember Glen drawing the shoulder way up by the head and you're thinking "what the heck is he doing, he's pushing way to far" but then it all comes together and works beautifully. He's so good at zeroing in on the storytelling pose

animating songs? was it different?
the rhythm of the shot is a little easier to find because it's predfined (like the difference between a pantomime shot and a dialogue shot)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Living Lines Library

Think this came out a long while back, but just re stumbled into it.

Awesome, ton of pencil tests and looks like model sheets and other stuff too

 Living Lines Library

looks like it's a labor of love for Nagy Peter, who's won a few 11second clubs I 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Eric Goldberg

This is an old vid, but so often things hit you in a new way after you've grown for a while.

"The approach in CG is to layer things, here's the torso, now here's the arms, now here's the expressions... Nothing has any particular force to it. If you're conceiving of one pose that's expressive it ties it all together it helps you express what your trying to express rather than try to put it all in in separate stages. That intention of what the character wants and needs to do is sometimes missing. (from reels)"

Joe Bowers

Joe Bowers What I had, took me so long to just get it blocked out, and Glen would come and say "that looks great, lets just push it" and he'd draw over the whole shot. Everything Glen puts in emphasizes how things should feel (maybe beyond anatomy in favor of the feel). Like the mouth I didn't even think to push the mouth that big, mine looked like 10% of where Glen was pushing it. You forget how far you could and should push it. If you can draw it you can try something fast and try pushing it and keep it rough, if you're posing the process is so much slower. Now I thumbnail more. If I shoot reference I'm really boring, I don't want to animate that. So I take "here's the idea of what I'm doing, here's the mechanics of it" so I take a few thumbs of key poses and push it from there. PUSH FOR FEEL don't let the rig inhibit you, you won't see the ridiculousness but you'll feel the extra emphasis.
When you learn to animate you learn all the parts of a walk. But it's okay to let some of that stuff go if you need to, like with all the natural torso twists that should happen, it would kill the mood.

weight in animation, think of it as a bowling ball with things attached to it. the lighter stuff is dragged behind.

ragdoll cat, into keeping the animal feeling like an animal, like when she's swinging around kept the iconc shape of the back and legs, didn't push it all the way that a noodle would do, to keep it feeling right

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Spa Studios Cleans up Student Work

Stumbled onto this, Sergio Pablos studio for some reason is doing vid crit's of student work. (maybe through Ianimate). Reason I put this is because they've thrown down an overdrawing on top, so it's interesting to see the different choices the pro made then the student. All in spanish. Frame by framing through the main thing I notice is that the pro's are pushing for cleaner and stronger silhouette's. (clean negative space, clean lines and angles (ie turn an arm out to get an obvious elbow bend), make a limb stand on it's own or hide it, more designed shapes (instead of amorphous body shapes))

Segundo Puesto Concurso de Animación from Arte y Animación on Vimeo.

Ganador Concurso de Animación from Arte y Animación on Vimeo.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Stan Sakai Comic Making

clicky for big

Women in Reasonable Armor

Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor

from the about:

"Nothin’ wrong with sexy! Cheesecake has its place. But I like pictures of women who look like they are legitimately bad-ass. Women that don’t fight in high heels. Women that clearly give a shit about the practicalities of getting in a lethal situation. Women who could most definitely kick my ass. Women fighters in reasonable armor."

Matt Cutts

only 3 minutes. "the next 30 days are going to happen wether you want them to or not"

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


you wippersnappers' who grew up with Naruta and Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z don't know how lucky you have it. All I had growing up is Thundarr the Barbarian. Once I saw Akira, once I saw Vampire Hunter D. So my youthful years I wasn't able to waste on absorbing endless anime. So I'm late to the party knowing about Sakuga and stuff. (but here's a page of compilation of sakuga artists) Anyway, watching these had me thinking about Glen Keane's exodus, and wanting to find a way to put his own stuff up on the screen, no inbetweener's no clean up artists. Nice to see a different branch of animation evolution. Interesting how 1 animator will be in charge of a whole scene, fx, characters, everything. Also had me thinking about economy storytelling. Interesting how they talk about how the motion tells the story.
 part 1

part 2

part 3

part 4

part 5

part 6

part 7

part 8

part 9

Frame Modulation (Yatsua Otsuka) some scenes are smoother, some scenes are more choppy, save time and money by taking the expression of full animation and make it work in limited animation with frame modulationn.
A big focus on movement and motion and fx
talk about the evolution of super dynamic shots that really draw you in to the action because the camera and subject are getting totally warped. Not looking for the illusion of life in the motion, we're looking for a different utilization of japan's limited animation to create a really clear aesthetic. Snappy pose to pose, camera very active participant in the action.
Mitsuo Iso in typical animation an animator lays out his key poses first then fills in the gaps later with inbetweens the problem with doing it this way is the motion is always trying to arrive somewhere, with arms and legs just landing from pose to pose. With really meticulous inbetweening you can try and smooth it out and make these smooth motion arcs, so you can't tell where the key poses are. But most of the time you can see where the key poses are, it's very obvious. When you have movement like this, it's more in the disney school than anything else. It feels like the characters are being puppeted rather than moving in their own energy.
there's an animation legend out there who threw out this whole way of doing things and said I'm going to draw every frame myself and not pass my keys to an inbetweener, and this way I can have total control and my characters can have total freedom of not having to arive from pose to pose, or to do these buttery smooth motion arcs. This man animated some of the most legendary Battle scenes in modern anime
when you watch this series this scene really sticks out because suddenly these mecha are imbued with weight and momentum. The weightlessness and jitteryness that's common to anime is pretty much gone, and every blow carries the force of a thousand tons .
Iso calls his style full limited because he's trying to convey sophisticated motion while animationg on the 2's and 3's, so the animation is both jerky but very rich and full of movement, with many parts oscillating and moving with their own energy
with Ryo Timo it almost looks like dirty pencil lines all over the place
Some of you may have seen anime with very good stories, but lackluster storytelling.
Some of you may have seen anime with silly stories, but brought to life with very good storytelling.
The director of The Girl who Leapt Through time He understands how to use the power of animation to convey a pivotal scene. The running scene conveys the sudden determination of a character who had been pretty aimless until this point, and not through expositino, but by an animator slogging it out on the frames.
You can credit the director for knowing how to use his animation team, but it's really the animators doing the real thinking of "How do I express with motion? How do I draw a series of pictures to make the audience feel what my characters feel? How do I make the audience feel what my characters feel? How do I make the audience understand what my characters are going through?" That's the nitty gritty of storytellilng where animator's are front and center.
When it's directed by nobody, when it's animated by nobody, the all important question about how best to tell this story goes unanswered. (a fast deadline and farmed out to korea)
It's one thing to say on paper "stuff happens and charaacters feel sad" but it takes the power of artists to make it real.
also a fun 4 parter about the animation pipeline in Japan

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Victor Navone's training reel

from his training days at Pixar

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ex Et

always easy to like a rebel

Ex ET from Benoit Bargeton on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tom Waits - Raised Right Men

who moves like this?!   Tom Waits is awesome

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


 Awesome short by Jake Wyatt. Love the playing with the screen shape. Good pairing of music.

METRO from Jacob Wyatt on Vimeo.

and a fun stop mo by Ellen Coon, clever in it's rolicking in stop mo
Money Bunny Blues from Cartoon Brew on Vimeo.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sight-short film gaming in life

Sight from Sight Systems on Vimeo.

interesting because it doesn't seem so far off in the future.

remember this? gamifying life


Monday, July 23, 2012

Up in the Sky & Ozo

 Some cool style. I appreciate that it doesn't look like generic CG. I wish that the alternative to generic CG wasn't so often a Mi character look.

[HD] 77 Bombay Street - Up In The Sky - Official Video (Animated) from Arnaud Janvier on Vimeo.

interesting how effective the op art stuff is at breaking out of the computer screen (at 2:40)

OZO from OZO Team on Vimeo.

*found on brew

Monday, July 16, 2012

Punisher & Mortal Kombat

Ran across this today

and it made me think of this

(warning both are kinda gorey)  (not really that much effects, could be done by you)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I pet goat II

this is so bizarre I know I'll come looking for it later. Don't watch it if you are offended by religious imagery, or old breasts, or incoherence.

I, pet goat II from Heliofant on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kevin Jackson CGtrick

ran across a walk thru by Kevin Jackson. Interesting he's using the top character control as his main mover, so that if the character does a flip or runs he doesn't have to move all IK handles and hips.

Makes me think of the CG-Fu tricks I learned from Michael Makarewicz at AnimationCollaborative. Essentially it's taking full advantage of the way the computer works. (one of Mike's tricks was on the Kevin bird from UP copying the translation of the branch to the feet, as a way to nail the feet to the branch without using constraints.)(unfortunately I feel like I've tried to work with the computer but it doesn't want to work with me (ie character sets.))  Anyway, seems like it's useful to know some CG-fu to be able to block fast.

*found on Kenny Roy

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monster Month Cesar Dacol

Cesar Dacol doing a monster real world sculpt a day, for a month. (youtube channel) (sorry bout the messed up formating, blogger changed their uploader and I haven't bothered to fight it out yet)

Jamaal Bradley Progression Shot

awesome progression reel from Jamaal Bradley
Progression of an Animated Shot: Gothel & Rapunzel Disney's Tangled from Jamaal Bradley on Vimeo.

he's blocking down to 2's or 4's at the longest, ignoring mouths til spline pass. But everything else is in the blocking. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

For a Nugget More

silicone maybe? why is compositing so prevelent, why not just make a BG that works? *found onanimation

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

Adam Rodriguez

You wanna know why Adam's reel is the bomb (yeah, dropped some '90's slang ;) the reason he got hired? The way the woman moves her head, especially when she says "voice" and the way the elevator operator bites his hand when he's so excited. Those unique ticks that each of us have, he captured them and gave them to his characters.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Eagleman Stag

 just do it, just sit down and start.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ridley Scott on storyboarding

I'm most fascinated by the performance of light on objects, so even an industrial landscape is enjoyable storyboard is like a rehearsal, so when hit the set ready to go because have already articulated it and thought it through * from open culture

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Storyboarding Hat Lieberman

Hat Lieberman's storyboard advice, great simple ideas for composition and staging. on the Art Center

Monday, May 7, 2012

Lot O Reels

 Always kind of depressing to find strong reels ;) Also interesting how much I'm distracted by production value (music, cinematography, lighting ) even though I should know better. Makes me feel like I have to level up those other skills to have a reel that will compete :(  Aaagh no time to do learn it all, they must be using hacks.

Nic Cabana

Alexandre Ronco

Jane Stewart

cesc pujol

Agnes Podolecka

Zach Bova

Tania Simeons

David Wesch

Thierry Dezarmenien

Matthias Lappe

Richie Gunzer

Quad Tut

Fair article on  animating quad's.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Emma Coats

 Emma Coats (pixar storyboard artist) tweeted these, someone collected them, now they're here.

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different. ...
#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.

#4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

#6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?

#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

#8: Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

#9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

#10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.

#11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.

#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.

#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

#15: If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.

#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.

#17: No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.

#18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.

#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

#20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?

#21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?

#22: What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there. ...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Michael Calwood - Animators from film makers perspective

 Michael Calwood who managed the impossible and actually made a collaborative short online. He has some making of videos on his site.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Just read the valve handbook. Really crazy stuff. All about hiring the strongest people you can, putting them in a flat hierarchy environment so they have to bosses or minions just peers, and letting them individually decide how they can be the most valuable to the company.

 article on making half life

2 months to releasing half life they felt like it was just a jumble of a couple of cool things but didn't hold together as a game. So... "We set up a small group of people to take every silly idea, every cool trick, everything interesting that existed in any kind of working state somewhere in the game and put them into a single prototype level. When the level started to get fun, they added more variations of the fun things. If an idea wasn’t fun, they cut it. When they needed a software feature, they simplified it until it was something that could be written in a few days. They all worked together on this one small level for a month while the rest of us basically did nothing. When they were done, we all played it. It was great. It was Die Hard meets Evil Dead. It was the vision. It was going to be our game. It was huge and scary and going to take a lot of work, but after seeing it we weren’t going to be satisfied with anything less."

The second step in the pre-cabal process was to analyze what was fun about our prototype level.

first theory was 'experiential density'; the more interesting things happen to the player the funner. If it's based on distance then the player just needs to move to get more stimulation.

2nd theory 'player acknowledgement'; player feels like they have an affect on the world, shooting hitting things leaves a mark (decal) npc's react to players arrival.

3rd theory 'player's fault'; game warn players about danger and offers solution, then players do better next time, if game just kills em without warning players will dislike the game.

meetings dedicated to a section of the game.
 high level concepts and specific events that will be fun.
 then arranged into a storyline/chronology
then ruff map w/ notes of what where and when
sometimes try to design around a random prop or idea and that constraint led to funner designs, which got even better when the constraint was taken away once a web was built up, so started doing requirements just for idea generators.
 then build it. then play test it.
then fix everything play tester found that wasn't fun.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dog Body Language

cartoony, but I think it's actually accurate

Shin's Rifle's Spiral

Director Jamie Caliri

The Shins: The Rifle’s Spiral on

animated at 15fps

Stop Mo Nick

Nick Helligloss who does awesome shorts in stop motion has some fantastic tutorials up as well.

Build Up Bodies

Build up Heads

Slush Casting

Silicone Head

there's a few others on his youtube page as well

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Apocolypse Panda

Wastelander Panda Prologue from Epic Films on Vimeo.

more and more stuff is popping up in kickstarter type things. This is what it looks like when there's not gatekeepers? Creator's go straight to audience for funding? Going straight out to the audience instead of winding through theaters or tv.

Friday, April 13, 2012


sorry not film related at all, but got my hands on a looper recently so was checking what's possible out

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Glen Keane Interview in French

english transcript here

Rencontre avec Glen Keane by cloneweb

Would you consider going back to directing?

GK: Possibly… but I developed this idea mostly to create a character.
For me, I really think of the heart of the character… Ariel or Beast… and afterwards I start to develop a story. So I’m a different kind of director perhaps.
I started developing Rapunzel so I could animate her.
If there’s another character that interests me, maybe – and no one else is going to direct the film

Many directors used to be animators. They had to stop animating when they took the role of director. John Lasseter, for example.

GK: That’s not me.

But for me, the best moment of the creative process is the moment where I draw at my table, with the light… That is the magic moment for me. Not necessarily the moment the film is projected on the big screen.
I feel like a line is like a kind of seismograph… of emotions.

when you animate with the computer it’s always trying to seduce the animator into accepting something other than what they envisioned, to accept something less

So I encouraged the animators on Tangled to have something really personal to say. This is important. If we don’t have something that comes from inside the soul, we’ll be tempted to accept something much easier.

If you reduced Pixar to a phrase it would be: « Wouldn’t it be cool if? »
Like if a kid was looking at their toy: What if the toy could talk? All their films are like this.
If you reduced the Disney films it would be: « Once upon a time… »
There is big difference. « Once upon a time » it’s make believe. It’s the atmosphere we breathe in the two studios

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Jennifer Yuh Nelson

interview with Jennifer Nelson

I always keep in mind: How does it make you feel emotionally? The rest is just mechanics.

*found on Brenda Chapman's blog

Monday, April 9, 2012

Nick Heligloss

This guy is the man!

*found on StopmoWorks

Chipotle ad

the look doesn't feel very stop mo, why not just do it CG? And why 3d print the characters, couldn't have knocked out spheres and pill shapes pretty quick traditionally.

*found on StopmoWorks

Wednesday, April 4, 2012



Luminaris from Juan Pablo Zaramella on Vimeo.

oh, it's everywhere now

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Good photo and composition advice.

"A photographer shoots pictures every single day. Wear your camera around your neck and use it all day every day. It doesn't matter if someone seems ahead of you if you have your camera and you shoot every single day you'll be able to do it, that's it."

*found by JHD

Friday, March 30, 2012

Zbrush Tutorials

so there used to be easy zbrush how to tutorials. But then they got moved and are hard to fine. Digitutors has a nice easy set, up now.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gamers Saving the IRL world

I'm glad there's some smart people out there. Article about leveraging the tenacity and creativity of gamers to come up with solutions to real world problems. Doesn't quite seem to live up to the title of the article, but it does seem like a possibility, if someone can pose the challenge in the right way that intrigues people and gets them creatively thinking then it seems possible we can leverage this human impulse to play to solve the issues that face us. Reminds me of the saying 'that if you think a single small individual can't make a difference then you have never tried to sleep with a mosquito around', it doesn't take a lot of strength it takes precise application to fulcrum points.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Succesful Alcoholics

Nice kick at the end. Decent. Bit long (1/2 hour).

Successful Alcoholics from Jordan Vogt-Roberts on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I love Sarah Jane

Although I have no desire to watch this zombie film again, I thought it was a pretty decently made one when I did see it. Strong character moments. Came to my attention again because I ran across an article talking about short films getting made into features and it was on the list.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sweet Zombie

Oh, it's by the Sunday Paper who did the light thing.


My Family and the Wolf - Headless

someone needs to give Headless a ton of money, cuz everything they do seems awesome

"MY FAMILY AND THE WOLF" teaser from Headless Productions on Vimeo.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Dubwar: First Strike

It's like a whole decade of culture compressed into 15 minutes. Sad to see how much sexually suggestive scenes are paired with violence.

What I'm really thinking about though, is what will we be watching when this feels old and slow. This trades cohesion and a linear thought for a visceral primal expression, I wonder if that could actually be channeled.

Loud screamy dubstep, maybe NSFW shots, be warned.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012


Pretty over the top. Amazing that it's real time rendered. I think the music is a huge part of the emotional arc.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wolf I Used to Be

Made by Nearly Normal TV (which my work for incomprehensible reasons is blocking the site at the moment so I can't check it out, but their vimeo page)

The Wolf I Used To Be... from Nearly Normal on Vimeo.

making of runs during the credits

*found on arte y animacion

Pixilation - Gravity - Her Morning Elegance

some fun pixilation (which is usually pretty boring)

by Filip Piskorzynski

this ones old, but apparently I never posted it

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Scriptshadow on Indiana Jones

Ran across an article on Indy. I'd been trying to figure out why we love Indiana Jones when he's an anti hero. They had some good thoughts on it.

Good at what he does (we love how cool and collected he is about dealing with deadly booby traps and swinging from his whip). The story is driven by his choices, it's not happening to him, he's deciding where we all go. He keeps getting screwed over so we sympathize with him.

Action sequences need to be about clear goals. (another article on this) Remind us of the stakes so we care. (and that video review of the same idea)

Indy can hold up against Michael Bay's cutting because the pace is built into the story. When he shows up in Cairo, suddenly he learns that the German's have a whole army working on the thing he thought he'd be able to slip in and get = less time and more challenge.

Keep exposition interesting. Indy and Marion are having a backstory conversation, but it's kept interesting because it's intercut with bad guys getting into position. (total hitchcock move)

makes me want to read more of Scriptshadows articles

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Light from Sunday Paper on Vimeo.

found on flooby


I missed the webcast with Gabor last year. Went trawling through the animschool blog, decent stuff in there.

here's their youtube page. And their earlier page when they were 3DAppeal, which is interesting to watch and see how he adds appeal to models.

don't jump right to ref, double check your set so you know what you're dealing with "is there space to move like I'm planning? How much movement will I have to do (how many steps)?"

then appeal test - test what poses work and what poses don't for appeal for your characters (Sid the Sloth doesn't look good from a lot of views)
familiarize self with controls and rig what's possible, what can you break. For a lot of animations does quick appeal tests for the expected golden poses of the shot (a walking talking shot, figure out what poses are gonna look good for walking, and gesturing) 2 hours about (all these poses are gonna get tossed so don't spend too much time) essentially it's thumbnailing with computer so you know what is possible (as opposed to cheating with a pencil) training and teaching yourself

at bluesky very conscious of their sub frames which will affect motion blur

earlier reviews of vids here and here

*part 2 added

Monday, February 27, 2012

Theo Jansen

I've looked this guy up often enough that it's time I just put him here.

Theo Jansen

and unrelated, but I think I stumbled across it at the same time. Iron suspended in oil and magnetized:

Heaven Can Wait

speaking of entertainment. One of the things that entertains me the most is complete randomness that doesn't make sense.

12 things about Creativity you weren't taught in school

From the Creativity Post by Michael Michalko

(in case it disappears I'll paste it here)
1. You are creative. The artist is not a special person, each one of us is a special kind of artist. Every one of us is born a creative, spontaneous thinker. The only difference between people who are creative and people who are not is a simple belief. Creative people believe they are creative. People who believe they are not creative, are not. Once you have a particular identity and set of beliefs about yourself, you become interested in seeking out the skills needed to express your identity and beliefs. This is why people who believe they are creative become creative. If you believe you are not creative, then there is no need to learn how to become creative and you don't. The reality is that believing you are not creative excuses you from trying or attempting anything new. When someone tells you that they are not creative, you are talking to someone who has no interest and will make no effort to be a creative thinker.

2. Creative thinking is work. You must have passion and the determination to immerse yourself in the process of creating new and different ideas. Then you must have patience to persevere against all adversity. All creative geniuses work passionately hard and produce incredible numbers of ideas, most of which are bad. In fact, more bad poems were written by the major poets than by minor poets. Thomas Edison created 3000 different ideas for lighting systems before he evaluated them for practicality and profitability. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart produced more than six hundred pieces of music, including forty-one symphonies and some forty-odd operas and masses, during his short creative life. Rembrandt produced around 650 paintings and 2,000 drawings and Picasso executed more than 20,000 works. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets. Some were masterpieces, while others were no better than his contemporaries could have written, and some were simply bad.

3. You must go through the motions of being creative. When you are producing ideas, you are replenishing neurotransmitters linked to genes that are being turned on and off in response to what your brain is doing, which in turn is responding to challenges. When you go through the motions of trying to come up with new ideas, you are energizing your brain by increasing the number of contacts between neurons. The more times you try to get ideas, the more active your brain becomes and the more creative you become. If you want to become an artist and all you did was paint a picture every day, you will become an artist. You may not become another Vincent Van Gogh, but you will become more of an artist than someone who has never tried.

4. Your brain is not a computer. Your brain is a dynamic system that evolves its patterns of activity rather than computes them like a computer. It thrives on the creative energy of feedback from experiences real or fictional. You can synthesize experience; literally create it in your own imagination. The human brain cannot tell the difference between an "actual" experience and an experience imagined vividly and in detail. This discovery is what enabled Albert Einstein to create his thought experiments with imaginary scenarios that led to his revolutionary ideas about space and time. One day, for example, he imagined falling in love. Then he imagined meeting the woman he fell in love with two weeks after he fell in love. This led to his theory of acausality. The same process of synthesizing experience allowed Walt Disney to bring his fantasies to life.

5. There is no one right answer. Reality is ambiguous. Aristotle said it is either A or not-A. It cannot be both. The sky is either blue or not blue. This is black and white thinking as the sky is a billion different shades of blue. A beam of light is either a wave or not a wave (A or not-A). Physicists discovered that light can be either a wave or particle depending on the viewpoint of the observer. The only certainty in life is uncertainty. When trying to get ideas, do not censor or evaluate them as they occur. Nothing kills creativity faster than self-censorship of ideas while generating them. Think of all your ideas as possibilities and generate as many as you can before you decide which ones to select. The world is not black or white. It is grey.

6. Never stop with your first good idea. Always strive to find a better one and continue until you have one that is still better. In 1862, Phillip Reis demonstrated his invention which could transmit music over the wires. He was days away from improving it into a telephone that could transmit speech. Every communication expert in Germany dissuaded him from making improvements, as they said the telegraph is good enough. No one would buy or use a telephone. Ten years later, Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone. Spencer Silver developed a new adhesive for 3M that stuck to objects but could easily be lifted off. It was first marketed as a bulletin board adhesive so the boards could be moved easily from place to place. There was no market for it. Silver didn't discard it. One day Arthur Fry, another 3M employee, was singing in the church's choir when his page marker fell out of his hymnal. Fry coated his page markers with Silver's adhesive and discovered the markers stayed in place, yet lifted off without damaging the page. Hence the Post-it Notes were born. Thomas Edison was always trying to spring board from one idea to another in his work. He spring boarded his work from the telephone (sounds transmitted) to the phonograph (sounds recorded) and, finally, to motion pictures (images recorded).

7. Expect the experts to be negative. The more expert and specialized a person becomes, the more their mindset becomes narrowed and the more fixated they become on confirming what they believe to be absolute. Consequently, when confronted with new and different ideas, their focus will be on conformity. Does it conform with what I know is right? If not, experts will spend all their time showing and explaining why it can't be done and why it can't work. They will not look for ways to make it work or get it done because this might demonstrate that what they regarded as absolute is not absolute at all. This is why when Fred Smith created Federal Express, every delivery expert in the U.S. predicted its certain doom. After all, they said, if this delivery concept was doable, the Post Office or UPS would have done it long ago.

8. Trust your instincts. Don't allow yourself to get discouraged. Albert Einstein was expelled from school because his attitude had a negative effect on serious students; he failed his university entrance exam and had to attend a trade school for one year before finally being admitted; and was the only one in his graduating class who did not get a teaching position because no professor would recommend him. One professor said Einstein was "the laziest dog" the university ever had. Beethoven's parents were told he was too stupid to be a music composer. Charles Darwin's colleagues called him a fool and what he was doing "fool's experiments" when he worked on his theory of biological evolution. Walt Disney was fired from his first job on a newspaper because "he lacked imagination." Thomas Edison had only two years of formal schooling, was totally deaf in one ear and was hard of hearing in the other, was fired from his first job as a newsboy and later fired from his job as a telegrapher; and still he became the most famous inventor in the history of the U.S.

9. There is no such thing as failure. Whenever you try to do something and do not succeed, you do not fail. You have learned something that does not work. Always ask "What have I learned about what doesn't work?", "Can this explain something that I didn't set out to explain?", and "What have I discovered that I didn't set out to discover?" Whenever someone tells you that they have never made a mistake, you are talking to someone who has never tried anything new.

10. You do not see things as they are; you see them as you are. Interpret your own experiences. All experiences are neutral. They have no meaning. You give them meaning by the way you choose to interpret them. If you are a priest, you see evidence of God everywhere. If you are an atheist, you see the absence of God everywhere. IBM observed that no one in the world had a personal computer. IBM interpreted this to mean there was no market. College dropouts, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, looked at the same absence of personal computers and saw a massive opportunity. Once Thomas Edison was approached by an assistant while working on the filament for the light bulb. The assistant asked Edison why he didn't give up. "After all," he said, "you have failed 5000 times." Edison looked at him and told him that he didn't understand what the assistant meant by failure, because, Edison said, "I have discovered 5000 things that don't work." You construct your own reality by how you choose to interpret your experiences.

11. Always approach a problem on its own terms. Do not trust your first perspective of a problem as it will be too biased toward your usual way of thinking. Always look at your problem from multiple perspectives. Always remember that genius is finding a perspective no one else has taken. Look for different ways to look at the problem. Write the problem statement several times using different words. Take another role, for example, how would someone else see it, how would Jay Leno, Pablo Picasso, George Patton see it? Draw a picture of the problem, make a model, or mold a sculpture. Take a walk and look for things that metaphorically represent the problem and force connections between those things and the problem (How is a broken store window like my communications problem with my students?) Ask your friends and strangers how they see the problem. Ask a child. How would a ten year old solve it? Ask a grandparent. Imagine you are the problem. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

12. Learn to think unconventionally. Creative geniuses do not think analytically and logically. Conventional, logical, analytical thinkers are exclusive thinkers which means they exclude all information that is not related to the problem. They look for ways to eliminate possibilities. Creative geniuses are inclusive thinkers which mean they look for ways to include everything, including things that are dissimilar and totally unrelated. Generating associations and connections between unrelated or dissimilar subjects is how they provoke different thinking patterns in their brain. These new patterns lead to new connections which give them a different way to focus on the information and different ways to interpret what they are focusing on. This is how original and truly novel ideas are created. Albert Einstein once famously remarked "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand."

And, finally, Creativity is paradoxical. To create, a person must have knowledge but forget the knowledge, must see unexpected connections in things but not have a mental disorder, must work hard but spend time doing nothing as information incubates, must create many ideas yet most of them are useless, must look at the same thing as everyone else, yet see something different, must desire success but embrace failure, must be persistent but not stubborn, and must listen to experts but know how to disregard them.

* found on Flooby

Friday, February 17, 2012

Odd Smiles

This is something I'm always paying attention to and trying to figure out. When people put out odd expressions, we can tell the real guy is smiling, but it's so close to the real frown, I want to be able to capture that subtlety in animation. (Course it's gonna take a great rig). This book helps me get closer. In this case I think maybe it's the inner eyebrows are not pulled down in the happy face, making the eye shape a little rounder, and there is a hint of the smile muscles in place bending the downward curve of the mouth into having some angles...maybe

Tom Bancroft

interesting defining the nuance between rhythm and flow:
rhtyhm is the big picture how the whole pose works together. Flow is how the limbs flow into each other, Rhythm takes into account how the negative space is gonna work for the overall graphic shape for greater appeal.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Awesome short, Hand Draw & CG mixed. Directed by Ty Carter Dudes already interned at Pixar and Disney and now working at Bluesky, up and comer!

DreamGiver from Tyler Carter on Vimeo.

making of

DreamGiver BTS from Wyatt Strain on Vimeo.

Bit disappointed the black kid dreams about jazz, just seemed like an easy stereotype, like why not swap him with the astronaut kid? Ah well minor nitpick.

Interesting post on his blog, his thinking while making a BG plates on how to use it to sell mood and advance the story. And another. He talks about having to throw stuff out because he hand't considered it in sequence enough. Also talks about working on thumbnails to deadlines so as to make progress fast and lay good foundations.
* found on brew

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Be more entertaining

Clay Kaytis' put up a solid post about making a reel that stands out, and then a follow up to a question I had asked.

Go read those now.

And he had this brilliant piece of advice:

“If the director sees your shot and decides they don’t like your idea, what would you do instead?”

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Movie making Wiki

a whole wiki about how to make a movie from start to finish

Monday, February 6, 2012

Freestyle vs Ballet

it's okay, but I bet it wouldn't be as strong without the soundtrack

may as well through this one down, that was big a few months ago. Amazing center of gravity control

I've got a touch of the megolomania, I'm sure it'll fade soon. but that's what all these links are about

Speaking Tree's

Saw this a long time ago, but hadn't caught it.

Lit Tree from Mimi Son on Vimeo.

lol, copy paste the whole article:

Through the use of video projection, a tree is augmented in a non-invasive way, enabling the presentation of volumetric light patterns using itʼs own leaves as voxels (3D pixels). We have developed our own structured light system (called MapTools-SL) which scans the location of every pixel in 3D, allowing a cloud of scattered projector pixels to be used as 3D Voxels.

The tree invites viewers with a choreographed cloud of light that can respond visitors motion. As visitors approach, they can explore the immediate and cryptic nature of this reaction. The tree can form gestures in this way, and can in turn detect the gestures of its visitors. By applying a superficial layer of immediate interaction to the tree, can people better appreciate the long term invisible interaction that they share with it?

The most fascinating by-product of such an idea is that the animation could potentially assist plant growth. It would be cool to get some biologists involved and have them collaborate with animators on developing this further:

Since the colour temperature of light produced by a video projector’s bulb is similar to the surface of the sun (5800K), we suggest that over time, the tree could naturally react to the light that is projected onto it….We listen to the tree’s reaction through the detailed 3D scans of its shape that are produced by the projection system. This type of photosynthesis would also allow for the tree to self-optimise for projection. Leaves which are in shadow from the projection move out to find the projector’s light. Furthermore light wasted inside the tree is absorbed in photosynthesis, which converts local carbon dioxide to oxygen.

* cartoon brew

Side Walk

just something cool I stumbled across

Yay Giant Puppets

Dave Jones is the leader of this?
The show was performed outdoors on the side of a grain silo and featured a 14-meter tall puppet. It took ten people to operate the puppet whilst animation was used to create an interactive backdrop for the piece as well as to project the puppet’s face. For the mouth we actually mounted a projector inside the puppets head and gaffer taped it to an ipod which we could control wirelessly from the ground 20 meters below.

Highly Strung from dave jones on Vimeo.

200 km of rip stop nylon
3 km of thread
few hundred meters of fiberglass pole

here's an earlier project

and more dancing trapeze

puppets are cool

*this found on cartoon brew

Friday, February 3, 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

John Cleese on creativity

John Cleese - a lecture on Creativity from janalleman on Vimeo.

be open, relaxed, look at things as they are and consider possiblities and be curious about what is up. Penecilin wouldn't have been discovered if the scientist had been closed and just went about his business, instead of being curious why this one petri dish didn't grow what he wanted.

be closed once you know what you're gonna do, be focused and see it through

conditions that can encourage being in the open mode
can't be playful and creative under usual pressures, because you're closed mode to get stuff done
2. time
have to have a time period to have your space in, you know you won't be interupted
3. time
most creative people are willing to put extra time in instead of taking the 1st easy answer that comes, push for the creative one
4. confidence
open to fail, just experimenting
"you can't be spontaneous within reason"
5. humor
gets us from closed mode to open mode quicker than anything else
laughter makes us relax by turning the world on it's ear

then keep your mind gently upon the subject your trying to crack

it is easier to do trivial little things we know we can do instead of big things that we're not sure about like "being creative",resist the noise of your mind looking around for a distraction. 1/2 hour to get in the zone

more creative when playing with friends, be open and positive. just like the rules of Improv, never say no.

joke comes when you connect 2 different frameworks in a new waya new idea is the same thing, connecting 2 seperate ideas in a new way

if you're stuck, start generating random connections and your intuition will tell you which ones are worth keeping

* found on animation

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012


The more I learn, the more it seems like the fairies and devils of England and Ireland (and Tolkein) are just watered down versions from Scandinavia elsewhere(lol clearly I don't really know what I'm talking about :). I would love to delve into the real stuff.

again from

Hands Vid Ref

hands can be supremely emotive but seem to not be tapped for their full potential. Here's an over the top video that may have some ideas

so far best animated example I have seen is from Florin Toma (who I can't find anything about)

Hands-FINAL from Florin Toma on Vimeo.

found at blog

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Justin Rasch

Justin Rasch went in under 5 years from stopmo virgin to working on Laika's latest. A journey he chronicles on his blog (awesome). I've looked up these vids a couple of times, his early experiments in stop mo, to see how he started out.

Here's the stuff he's doing lately.

here's the early work.

Every once in a while I poke at stopmoti for an evening.(an older attempt) Nice to see that my cg animation skills are theoretically transferable. But so far I think I still have a lot of stumbling blocks before I can actually see what I could achieve (ala badly made puppets, flimsy little stages the cat knocks over, having to sleep) or maybe it's just a lot of excuses.

(things to figure out:
fixing the puppet when not on feet
easier feet (currently 1 nut in foot w/ a bolt & wingnut below, tedious to do)
change poses without having to pick up the whole puppet (especially compressing expanding spine, if I try and do it in pose it bends in the wrong places and doesn't give me the graphic shape I want)(maybe not double wrapping the wire)(maybe just having a durable stage that I can really lean on so I can do it in pose)
cleaner solution for holding/interacting with objects
and clearly lots of practice animating

hi Justin, hope you don't mind me putting these up (I had tracked them down a couple times on your youtube page and wanted to be able to find them faster) I'll take down the post if it's not ok.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Oh Willy

Emma De Swaef
and Marc James Roels

pretty awesome to have a look that hasn't been done to death

(must be a nightmare to animate with, slightest touch must make everything jitter)

*found on animation

Monday, January 16, 2012


Gobelins student Lili Ornelie

hand drawn love it

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Azureus Rising

Azureus Rising

Was thinking about this one today. It kind of seems like "let's make the most awesomest awesome thing we can." like they were just trying to stuff it full of "cool". It's flashy, and I guess decent eye candy, but in the end it doesn't haveany weight, it doesn't mean anything, so why do it. Decent to study I guess if you need to put some cool into your project.

Similar to Rosa, plenty of eye candy, but what's the point?

this post goes against my philosophy of "only be positive online" so maybe I'll pull it back down...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Adam & Dog

Adam and dog Trailer from Minkyu on Vimeo.

I'm sure this will be over the webs in a second,but looks awesome

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Artbeats is like clip art for film, so if you're working on a live action film and need some establishing shots you can pick them up from here.

AnimSchool EyeBlink

seems that plasticity and meat in the face is one of the things that seperates the pro's from the rest of us

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

PS Brushes

stumbled across a page of artist's photoshop brushes and tutorials

(happy new year)