Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Jog StopMo Me

I accomplished using tie downs and a flying rig without supporting it by hand, and thought through things ahead of time to make sure that it was possible to animate without major contortions to stay off camera or get the tie downs in, so little by little improving. I meant to do a walk, but I guess I've been animating in video games too long. The ground is a piece of poster board, so I could put holes in it without drilling and waking up the kids. My cat wanted to help, she's currently head butting the screen trying to get me to pet her. Lesson: once you start animating don't stop til your done, the camera bump came from getting up to get water, but much better than I've done in the past, the set was taped down, the camera was isolated, my chair just happened to bump the table when I got up. (oh I've realized that iphones don't want to look at blogger vids, sorry, someday maybe I'll actually upload them to youtube or something)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

Another Stop Motion test

Stayed up much to late working on this. But it's at 24 fps.  OMFG I need to figure out a flying rig system, I way to often rely on holding it with my hand off screen which I think slows me down since that leaves me only 1 hand to pose with. This was one of the extra's from the Kong short I had planned, but I'm over that now, the point of it was to have an excuse to get me animating, but to actually proceed with it would be a lot more production for set creation and stuff and I just want to animate. So yay, I have a puppet with a face ready to go. I can see how doing a couple rehearsals would help you nail it, I can see where I should push arcs higher or spread out the timing a little more.  Still it was super fun!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Felix Sputnik lovely 2d animation

the Making of from Felix Sputnik on Vimeo.

Awesome work, I think he's working in flash. Same guy (Felix Sputnik) who did this a while back.

Animated walks and runs from Felix Sputnik on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Stopmotion puppetmaking ideas

Just wanted to put this up so I could find it later. This is an armature that Justin Connolly learned how to make from Seamus and Robin Walsh at screen novelties. (here's his post with full description) Brilliantly clean and clear replaceable limb system.

And this is the amazing Josh and Nathan's Flynns' replacement face stuff, definitely a fantastic resource. Interesting to see how they cast an imcomplete head, then completed the individual ones with sculpey.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

1st Kong Scene

Even though I was fighting a cold I seized the opportunity of the weekend, skipped doing the dishes and started setting up at 9 once got the kids to sleep: set, lights backdrop, framing, technology (dslr to computer, webcam to computer, ipod to computer (as external harddrive for large images) animation software, planning software, trick the dslr software), puppet touch ups, blah blah blah. Ready to animate at 11. Animate til 2, discover camera has run out of batteries. Consider options, finish off the current arc for the bad web cam and get to bed by 3.

Stop motion is so super fun to animate!!!!

Setup computer where can see it from the animation, and where stepping to it to snap the frame will be out of shot.
Can't wing the set, have to figure out how to make it solid, in this case would have had to build a giant wood structure, especially since flying rig was grabbing the set, and set being so delicate it would move a lot.
Those coat tails were a stroke of genius, hid almost all flying rig on him.
Animation is super fun, straight ahead just do it.
Flying rig probably would have worked better doubled, and needed something to support against.
Make sure everything you might want to move is far away from set/camera so there's no accidental bumps.
Mark with tape where feet/legs/base of set/tripod are, so if gets bumped can just put back.
Build the set then plan, not make a plan and build set to fit, because actual set will change the plan.
Okay to trust the process and feel the flow, can wing it more than I did with the animation.
Puppet will hold onto the set itself, he was actually holding onto the window ledges, self supporting (a bit)
Super helpful to have on the x sheet when I wanted a hit/accent, and a vague idea of where a bouncing ball arc was gonna be (so could plan to make sure I'd be at the top of it at the right place (ie 5 frames to peak)).
Webcam live view kinda off of actual photos, might need to look into a spy cam through the eyehole.
Need to get a better handle on flying rigs (probably I was abusing them by pushing to far)

The aesthetic from the start was always to have a cardboard city, cuz it's cheap and easy and not very important since the point of this exercise is to just have something to animate and wear away my rough stopmo animation edges. Was also thinking maybe I'd desaturate it, almost to sepia as another nod to the original Ape's movie. I had thought maybe with the paper bag windows and a light behind them they would glow, but I only had 2 desk lamps so that didn't happen. I would up suspending this building from the ceiling with tacks and dental floss, and then resting the bass on a chair. I had colored blue (with some help from my kids) a big 5x3 piece of paper for a sky, but it wasn't big enough, so used a sheet. All you people with garage's or extra rooms you can dedicate to your projects sheesh, this project lives in a paper bag under my bed when I'm not actually doing it :)

The star looks more like a bear than an orangutan, I think because the muzzle projects so far, guess I should have tried to cut them in half, but the mouths are solid tinfoil wasn't sure how I could cut it with out destroying it. 

Here's the timing planning in flash (somehow the arcs with little tic marks didn't come through) I did a whole sheet of pose sketches from primate videos before this. Hmm, sound didn't come through

here's the good camera, which ran out of batteries, also no sound


and here's the 10 year old web cam I was using as a live view (it had 16:9 guide on it while I animated), the missing footage that I animated but the good camera quit on. THIS ONE WITH SOUND

So, first scene=fail (he was supposed to get all the way to the top of the screen) but lots of fun and lots of leraning. Can't wait to do it some more, but I'm reconsidering ways to simplify so I can focus on the animation.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Harry Partridge Animation Tutorials

Harry Partridge who's an accomplished flash animator has a great series of tutorials walking someone from zero to web animator, they are really well laid out and clear with good examples, if anyone asks me how to animate I'm totally going to send them here (that's the 1st, there are 12).

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Awesome awesome comic,  brilliant storytelling really makes you feel it, and the animation raises it to a whole new level.

check it

Friday, September 27, 2013

Jaquet Droz robot maker from 1774

from 1774, if humans were capable of doing this so long ago, why aren't we further ahead now? 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Kong Puppet Finished!


God am I glad to be done with this guy


Also, thank goodness that "good enough" is the motto of this project!

To review:
doubled wire armature
2 part plumbers epoxy for chest and pelvis and foot
sculpey 3 very thin over tinfoil for head, and finger thickening, and replacement mouths
eyebrows and eyelids (and pupils) will be made of playdough
liquid latex with acrylic paint for hands
body made of foam, originally spray glued on but that didn't hold so now partially hot gun glued
clothes sewn  (uff!)
undershirt (in the little pic you can see it) I ironed it to try and get that pleated look
collar of the undershirt I just rolled up some fabric and hot glued it on
bow tie and jacket buttons are sculpey with sharpie (I didn't want to go dig out my paints) glued on

I went with foam and cloth because I thought it would be fast and light(the foam was fast, but it's taken this long because I was not interested in doing the sewing), because I didn't want to deal with the black arts of foam latex (currently this project lives in 1 grocery bag in the closet, I don't have a garage for an extra oven, and wanted to go cheap instead of investing in chemicals and molding supplies), and because I didn't want him to appear all of one material.  If I do another project I will definitely do some kind of mold and cast, it was way funner doing the sculpting than it was doing the sewing, I think I would get through it faster, also this guy is going to boil like crazy (guess it'll just be practice to try and only manipulate him from behind).

So technically I can start animating now! Yay!!

except I don't have a set yet. But theoretically the set's gonna be fast because I've always planned for the "good enough" mentality to really take over on the set, specifically, it's gonna be cardboard boxes with windows drawn on for the city. Still, it has to be strong enough to support him. Shouldn't take to long right? ... 

And then animation will just fly, because there's not layering or redoing with stopmotion. So it should be quick, especially since I only made 1 puppet and don't trust him to last so won't be doing multiple takes. So I can still finish within the year right? (hope so)

 Also, bought this beast (that's my 2 3/4 year old inspecting it) and working on my banjo and mandolin skills. So I am becoming a one man string band.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Family and the Wolf

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

love the look, love the world it creates, wow

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Henrietta Bulkowski

 Here's a project of large heart

Rachel Johnson has done a few stop motion projects and is hoping to use this one to launch a company which looks like it's trying to do projects that are meaningful.

wish there were more people in the world like this, using creativity and their art form to try and make things better

her student film

The Toll Collector from Lift Animation on Vimeo.

her studio launch ident

Lift Animation Logo from Lift Animation on Vimeo.

a commercial her studio made

LANTERN from Lift Animation on Vimeo.

*found on animateclay

How to be Happy

A guy named Shawn Achor has been studying happiness and how it improves productivity. He has a pretty amusing ted talk. But he also has this 3 minute 5 step guide to being happier, and it's worked for me surprisingly well. He says that as animals we are programmed to look for stressors in our environment, which translates as always looking for something to complain about, and we have limited mental energy, so we often accidentally use up all our brain juice noting all the things that aren't great and then don't get around to noting the good things. So he encourages reversing that, focusing on things that you're grateful for, and reliving good moments so that you get your brain looking for other good things.

5 daily steps:
1. 3 things you are grateful for
2. 5 minutes writing about a positive experience from the last 24 hours in full sensory detail
3. get some exercise
4. stop for 2 minutes and just focus on your breath going in and out
5. 1 random kind act (like an email to a friend, family member or coworker appreciating them)

it's been working for me noticeably.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pants pants pants

Let's see, reroofed a bit, painted a room, took the kids swimming in pools ponds and rivers. Finally got around to sewing some pants, painted all the noses, and shoes. Skinned all the humans, and painted them (acrylic on top of masking tape on top of newspaper, will it work or will it crack?) Finally did a final dip on kong's hands. And sewed some pants for him, they fit better than I expected, but now I'm looking at them and realizing they're gonna boil and jitter all over. Oh well, good enough. (I did maybe 4 paper pants versions before I got to fabric.) The foam of his body has come off a bit, so now I'm using hot glue to reattach instead of the original spray adhesive, I'm betting I do some tailoring with hot glue as well. Oh, also been writing out the dope sheet, the music is acapella so it seems like they mixed up the rhythm some. I tried to use Beatronome but the rhythm was to varied, so grinding through it in a 3d package because I'm familiar with that, and writing it by hand. Hilariously I thought I'd be done with this project by March (I don't now why, I thought low standards would speed it up, I'm not even really sure why it's taken this long.) What's keeping me moving is that the year is half over, and it's definitely not a project worth letting drag on into a 2nd year. What's left: shirt and then jacket for kong, figure out a floor for drilling tiedown holes, figure out lights, and sets. Hopefully animation isn't too far away, but clearly I'm terrible at estimating time. Definitely if I do something again I'll find a way to just sculpt it and mold the whole thing. (I was thinking silicone maybe, no oven).

Thursday, July 25, 2013



 what a great example of using animation to express things visually. And what cool colors.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Clockwork Creatures

Some people are making a living making fancy fursuits. Really reaching fx costume level. Seems like they do a face mold out of plaster bandages, then sculpt on top of that and cast that in resin. The eyes are taxidermy. And the human looks out through the tear duct. They glue the fur down with a glue gun, but then actual trim and style it.  Use aclyone to build some cool wings like this .

Automaton software

this is cool, just imagine what cool real world props you could make
or bicycle monsters

Disney came up with it

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lamborghini Bosozoku

anime is real

great cinematics

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


some cool style by Robert Valley

Monday, July 15, 2013

Keith Lango with Kenny Roy

 Kenny Roy did an interview with Keith Lango

here's notes I took

there's a collection of elements that make storytelling impactful.

film is not an intellectual medium, if you want to get across a thought, the written word is much  more nuanced gives you more power to get an idea across

film is an emotional medium, so things that are emotionally affective will have a bigger impact

the myth is that humans are rational beings, we gather information and make the best analytical choice. In truth we do that afterwards to justify our choices.


Studies have shown that we make our decisions on an emtional relational level, so low it's non verbal. The biggest thing that impacts our emotions is a sense of relation.

So if you apply that lense to storytelling, then character, relationship, and emotion are the big chips for affecting the consumer. Everything else is a tactical choice.

So thinking strategically what's gonna bring the biggest punch? hi fideltiy in animation or modeling or rendering?

Audiences are striving for coherence, they want to learn the rules (visual rules) of your world and for you to stick to them.

You can have very low rules like southpark, and stick to them, and people will be happy to go along for the ride.

So if you approach directing with this in mind you can step back and think, where can I use less, put my resources where it will matter more.

truck driver thinking "if a little gravy is good a lot of gravy must be better" but in truth sometimes a little less gravy is excellent

On directing:
I would give my shot handoffs with these
parameters of success;
what they're feeling, what they need to feel, what changes need to happen (open a door), and energy level (level 2 to level 6, irritated to angry)

and then leave it the animator to solve it however they need. So this opened up to ideas I would have never thought of, it gets the animator invested, it brings better than my own stuff, and any notes I give is not trying to make them match the scene in my head, but to help them make their scene better achieve its needs

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Ningyo

Pretty awesome kickstarter
a pair of vfx artists working on their own time and money (and house) and making cool stuff.

their test project to see if they could do it on their own (in their house)

The Green Ruby Pumpkin from miguel ortega on Vimeo.

The Making of The Green Ruby Pumpkin from miguel ortega on Vimeo.

Little Witch Academia

 I've been interested in 2d effects animation lately, This cute little anime has a ton

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Beaten Roadblock

I was stuck for a while. Mainly I think because it's summer and it's taking forever for my 5 year old to get to sleep. 

But also I started laying things out too far, setting it all up to knock it all down at once. Namely I had been latexing Kongs fingers, and got to the point where I want to dip the whole hand-but I don't have a lot of latex so it made sense to be ready to dip the humans at the same time-but when I started making them they were super ugly.

I took them into photoshop and figured out that their heads were too tiny and their eyes to high up. (hard to see with this angle but left human is old version, middle human is new version) Then I baked a human because I was worried that my clever plan of using sculpy as bones may not work, and hey, it didn't (the pieces are spinning on the wire.) So maybe the latex would hold them in place, but then I did a test with my old standby, masking tape and newspaper (rightest humanoid leg). It's dumb looking, but not really any worse then the rest of the project, and may have the added benifit of working as clothing as well (just paint or marker it to the new look) (cuz the plan is to start the humans out as dancing girls, then switch their paint and use them as cops and military). It also worked for the joint (middle humans hip joint).

I'm excited. Have all 5 humans heads on, they're baking right now (that was another block, didn't want to bake while the kids are awake and inhaling fumes (it's only sculpy, but still)) I have no hesitation about slapping some masking tape around so I should lay them out next time I get to the project. It's kind of making me wish I'd done Kong with masking tape too. (it's so simple that I don't have any worries about it being right, it gets gold star for good enough). Hopefully human eyes are gonna work out, they're actually little brads I had laying around, the baked test guy I took them out to bake, but they didn't go back in, so the rest of the humans I left the eyes in to bake. The plan was to swap out eyes, so I could have eyes open, eyes closed, and half lidded. Bead eyes. (also a Jon trick). We'll see if they are removable once baked.

As you can see, Kong's still been hanging out at the paper tailor. But I think I've got it worked out good enough to hit it with cloth. I'm thinking the gluegun may be involved as much as the needle and thread.

That's the mantra of the whole project. I haven't animated very much in stopmotion, so it's probably not going to look that great movement wise, so why bother slaving over everything if it's just gonna move clunky. Good enough is the goal, so I can get to animating, so I can have a purpose to animate instead of random tests, so I can work off my rough edges and actually do a good job on the next project. Cult of done.

Also I've been messing with poi spinning, and am currently plotting out a 1 page comic as a creative challenge. Really hoping I actually tie the Kong project up this year, it's not good enough to stretch longer than that.

Friday, July 5, 2013


I can't stop watching the boxtrolls trailer, the spacing on the arcs is mega delicious of the jumping and falling and manhole cover.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Righteous Creative

Ran across this lecture by comic artist  Lucy Bellwood

will get you pumped up to go create. 

and her notes from it

and then notes I took listening

no aspriring, you're doing it or you're not doing it

(ala yoda do or do not, there is no try)
and business cards are secret validity, Joe Schmoe comic artist on a card proves that you are

pay attention to the stuff the consumes you and you lose track of what you're doing,

that's what people will be into when you bring it

like razor scooters, they had a phase in the 90's but if you are super passionate about
it you can bring it back with your passion

lack of time, fear of failure, lack of energy, I'm not good enough
don't wait until your ready or good enough, you will never be good enough or ready

enough, do it now do the best with what you have

when you feel down about your work right now, think about what 9 year old you would think of you now

done is beautiful, don't nitpick it and try and make it perfect, just get it out in the world

easiest way to finish is to make it small

it doesn't have to be perfect or beautiful, it just needs to be done

don't overinvest in people who give advice, just do the work

ways to trick yourself into work:

break it down as small as you can (day one get a pencil and put it next to the piece of

paper done for the day) you trick yourself into getting going because you are frustrated

at the stupid slow pace

pomodoro technique
egg timer for 25 minutes, choose a task with no interuptions and just focus, work on this

comic page for 25 minutes, when timer goes off stop what you're doing set timer for 5

minutes and goof off, then another 25 minutes

grid of the steps you need to do, basically a check off list for everything
includes milestones for "celebrate"

work with limits hourly comics day or 24 hour comics day

if you have a lot of stuff happening make a boxsheet really easy like "have to do 1 thing

comic related everyday" to give yourself a way to start checking off boxes, once you have

a line of checked boxes you'll find yourself wanting to keep it going, you're building a

postive comic creating habit

find a group of people trying to do what you do to keep yourself inspired
meet people, find people, be friendly, you never know when someone who knows someone has

a thing that'd be an awesome project for you

be an omnivore, the more you bring all the different facets of your life that youre

passionate about into your work the more interesting your work will be

Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon  (being creative in a distracting digital age)

How do you get Money at this?
get a website presence, if they look for you on google you need to be findable

do good work and share it with people
people die from "exposure" don't do work for it as payment

talk to your peers, raise your rates (if you do you'll get more work,weird stuff)

resources comics expirience, behance, illustrators market,

stop doing stuff you hate, you can make just as little money doing what you love as what you hate, you can actually make money doing what you like

Martha Graham to Agnes de Mille (one of my favorite quotes of all time):

    “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. … No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others”

(which is why the 9 year old perspective is good to have to so keep 'em both)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What makes things funny?

funny=benign violation

no wonder I have such a poor sense of humor, I have far out boundaries

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

25 essential expression sheet by Nancy Palmer

Ran across this, seems pretty useful for getting a character locked down. Created by Nancy Palmer as part of a larger tutorial.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Kong extra cast

Too UGLY gotta figure out a new solution

here's a paint over of the extra characters for the Kong thing. Chorus girls and then cops (the plan being to shoot the chorus girl scenes first then paint off their hair and boots and put them in cop outfits.) The pelvis and hips are plumbers epoxy, then covered in sculpy, limbs are sculpy. Planning on covering the gaps between the limbs with liquid latex (ala Jon), and using paste on mouths. I was almost ready to finish Kong's fingers but having only bought a little bit of latex I thought it might be wise to do all my latexing at once. Not sure if these guys are going to work, they're pretty ugly, but they're background characters and not supposed to be the main point, also they're smaller than kong. Don't even know if these sculpy limbs are going to work. We'll see. I feel like I'm getting close to the animation part (sets are just going to be cardboard so don't think they'll take that long) so I'm excited. But knowing how projects go all of sudden I'm wondering if there's a way I could knock together in a night a character I could get to animating and trying to act on, wonder how hard it is to make a frankenhole style?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Ted Ty Masterclass

  Ted Ty - Genuine acting from iAnimate on Vimeo.

 some notes I jotted down while listening to Ted Ty doing a masterclass

what I felt like I was close to understanding was the difference between a test shot that is solid animation and physics wise, but lacks anything to make it stand out. What I think I got from it is that you have to imbue authentic feeling into your scene, and the way to do that is to catch it in vid ref, and the way to do that is to really try and use your emotional memory to summon it and always run the camera.

volume change signals accent

physically difficult to make a deep vocal sound with head up or high pitch with head down

as if: thought process   walk up show badge,  think, channel specific emotion that you need from specific true moment from your past  when you think of a situation you've been in it adds the drop of reality to change the same ol same ol reference you've been doing before 

your'e trying to make it real enough for yourself as you're acting that you are authentically broadcasting the line so well that you are broadcasting it nonverbally (facially or physically) make it so real that you could drop the audio and still feel it strong enough to see what's happening

it's very fleeting because we're not actors so we can't turn on the juice for real

watch your takes that don't work and figure out why they don't, compared to the takes that do

every shot has some gold in it, closing  a car door can be a great shot if you think about the why of it, like closing it gently so as not to wake up a sleeping passenger

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ken Fountain - Splat Frog

Ken Fountain's got a site where he's offering tutorial vids (which I recommend, I thought they were great). and also some free video podcasts with some tricks

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Kong Hands

Finally jumping in to do the latex on the hands, feels like I'm playing in the cat box (ammonia ). This stuff takes longer to dry than I thought, guess it'll be more than 1 night process. Hopefully it turns out all right, but keeping expectations low so as to continue progressing.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Kong Tailor

Whatchu got ta say bout my paper pants

Also been messing with fire spinning and the banjo

(gotta quit my job so I have time for all the stuff I want to do ;)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Spielberg Film Techniques

awesome post with examples by LA Video Maker about common approaches Spielberg uses. I'll be digging through that site, so this post may be updated

*found by JDH

Kong foamed

Foamed him up (spray adhesive onto the wire), put an extra wire around his spine and legs because the head was heavy (although it's super thin on top of a tin foil ball) so hopefully that'll help. I had been thinking I would trim out parts in the middle like a calimari quick rig in the computer, but the foam seems to compress alright without. I can see why curved scissors are recommended, but I just had straight.

I have been trying to tape paper onto him as a pattern to make clothes, but clearly I'm not a tailor, weird angles. But I have a new thought, maybe I'll just glue/sew the clothes straight to the foam.

I'm not really into all this puppet making and set building, I just want to animate, but no help for it.

My coworker Steve's moved on to clay puppets so I've grabbed the armature we were using and my wife's old iphone (with a super cracked screen, and a wiggly stage, cheapo style for the win) and have been doing little tests just to keep working off my rough animation edges . Helps keep me motivated to finish  my monkey, I want arms, and I think having some bulk might help hide some things.

I also bought a banjo and have been playing a lot of mandolin and might get into fire spinning and walked with my kids in a parade and went to DC since my last update. Who's got time for work or sleep, too much cool stuff to do in this life.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Street art, living air bags

love it! cheap, engaging, unique, and unexpected

Fred and Scintilla

 I have been wanting to make a short on this theme forever, that kindness can ripple, (and I was planning to use light to show it) looks like John Kim made it for me.

* found OnAnimation

Friday, April 19, 2013

Everything I can See from here & With any sort of Certainty

 I like how this one keeps breaking apart, the shapes drift a little bit and go from being a person or a cityscape to just being abstract.  (found by animation garden facebook)

and this one's been everywhere. I just appreciate that they are using a different shape (and actually using it kicking with the ball) there's no reason we are constrained to landscape rectangles. (although there is a psa for vertical vids)
Everything I Can See From Here from The Line on Vimeo.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Kong puppet shaping up

Okay time to start just posting.

Me and my coworker (Steve)spent a week just doing little tests, just to get a bit of handle on stopmotion. I wanted to post some of them, but the decent ones are still on his iphone. But here's one.

I jumped in and started modeling my character. I wanted to wait until I had him all finished, but it's going slow, so now I'm just throwing up the progress I made so far. (I was pretty pleased with how the sculpting came out, but still I wish I could just get straight to animating)

Super super thin sculpey on top of tinfoil, I'm a little worried about the weight, that's why it's so thin. It's maybe 10 inches tall because it's a giant gorilla and I needed it to be big so that the humans won't be too tiny to animate. So hopefully it works out. Also just ran out of epoxy on the final foot, so one foot is epoxy covered in sculpy and one is straight sculpy, so we'll see if that works.

I was going to paint it blue, but with the funny head shape maybe I'll break with tradition and make Kong an orange orangutan. Planning on making it in post mainly desaturated sepia tone anyway, so not sure how much it will matter.

So the pupils, lids and eyebrows will be soft clay on top. I just finished last night baking the replacement mouths. I had almost finished a set, but then when I looked at them I realized they were pretty tame and lame, so I did a second round of sculpts trying to exagerate a lot more, and will use the original pass as inbetweens to smooth out the big jumps. Part of the idea is that with moveable muzzles I can maybe get a little more flexible feel into the face by translating them around the head. 
okay, so next step, wrap the body in foam, and try Jon's dip fingers (phew liquid latex smells terrible, like ammonia.) And then take these quick mock ups into papagaya and break down my x sheet for singing. And of course gotta make the humans.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spectral Motion

there's something super awesome about real world effects

Spectral Motion Demo Reel from Spectral Motion on Vimeo.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Breezeblocks - Alt J

This video is awesome (kind of violent though) because it weaves the viewers preconceptions so strongly into the narrative and then kicks you with it.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Serial Movies

I watched TinTin yesterday (which I had been reluctant too, because it just threw out Herge's awesome graphic style, and then TinTin's voice bleh) and there is no denying that Spielberg can craft a really fun movie.  It had me thinking about how Lucas and Spielberg just recreated the old serial movies they watched. So I went poking around and found this fan site that says that they went and watched all 15 episodes of Don Winslow of the Navy for inspiration before hashing out the story.  The site says that after their week of day long story meetings Lucas had divided the story up into 60 scenes, each two pages long, and had outlined 6 cliffhangers. So a peril turns up every 20 pages and every 10 minutes the hero is in mortal danger, the danger had to be as real as possible and required the hero's cleverness to escape. Had me trying to pin why Indiana Jones is so fun, but Avatar left me 'meh' and answer I've come up with so far is that Avatar characters feel generic, Indiana Jones the characters are cool and fun to hang out with and feel more developed.

Talking about the Last Crusade it's mentioned that Spielberg storyboards everything, and figures it out on miniatures, which saves a lot of money having it worked out ahead of time and makes it easier for all the different departments to do their jobs.

When Sean Connery came on he really looked to put in as much humor as possible, and as much conflict between Jones Sr. and Jones Jr.

The tank chase was mentioned as being different from most action set pieces because it had more story in it, characters evolved during the chase, we saw Sr. strong for the first time and we see Indy at his weakest.

(makes me think of Lost's approach of couching everything in terms of character.)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Min Hong

min hong mind blowing animation

Min's character animation demoreel 2013 from Min Hong on Vimeo.

push the twists, she's already kind of twisting back and forth, push those poses even more, like glen keane says twist adds appeal

to make b m p stronger  puff up the cheeks right before release

Grumpy King -

 fun puppets

The Grumpy King - Dancing Bear from Blink on Vimeo.

found on Kenny Roy

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


 don't know anything about this mmo but the trailer has really fun animation

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Jackie Chan

 Jackie Chan is awesome, found this cool documentary on his stunt work.

Monday, February 18, 2013

More Stopmo Practice

So since I put my foot in it and actually said I'm working on a short, feel like I have to actually update regularly on it :P

Accomplished this week:

played a show :P  (I'm the short one on the right with the bass)
went to valentines day at my son's kindergarden

but stopmotion/short wise  not much

a little more practice, which has me thinking that these little tests are kind of top priority for now, until I can actually get this puppet moving without flashing and popping all over. Guess I'm going to keep doing these little tests for a bit until I can start thinking about performance instead of just trying to achieve believable physical movement.

might be a long journey, but it's super fun!

thanks for the encouragement Justin, though you may want to withdraw it when you see my akward biped ;)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Stop Motion Short

So I recently got a real camera (need to get a tripod, that's on the check list) and also came to the realization that to stop fooling around and start doing a stop motion short because it'll be fun.

I have been a big fan of the Rasch's online documenting of their projects, so perhaps this will be the same thing. (and if it fails, no one reads this anyway :P  )

I realize the animation is probably going to be pretty rough, as I learn how to animate stopmo, which is actually freeing, cuz I can just jump in and go since I don't have high expectations.

The plan: King Kong (of course, where would stop motion be without him)wearing a white tuxedo singing "Lonely at the Top" (actually sung by the acapella group 'The Bobs') in a cardboard city.

what's done:

Animatic (so I could work out how to keep set and extra's building to a minimum)
concept art   (think I'm going to do my extra's like Jon does his characters)
set design
puppet supplies (partly, may run out of wire, and have to get liquid latex (might just call up the local sex shop and see if they have any on hand (they're the only ones who would have it right?))

to do:
x -sheets for the scenes (gonna use papagayo since magpie costs now)
build the puppets (gonna do a swappable mouth/muzzle on kong for the sync, fimo eyelids and brows, latex dipped hands)
figure out how the vehicles are going to be made and rigged
build sets (hopefully only going to need 1 big set (which there's empty space at work) and the rest will be little sets I can set up and take down at home while the kids are sleeping)
get a tripod and lights
stop hemming and prepping and get to work

things to see:
here's concept art and test model (still sucking, the plan is to have the nose actually the tip of a little stick which goes into a hole in the head, so the whole muzzle can move around a little and hopefully get  a little more life into the sync)

this was working out a way to have Kong fall of the building without having to model the whole city. My cat helped. 

StopMo Practice

Gonna try and do a stopmo short soon. My coworker brought in a little ipod tripod and we messed around with it using Imotion. Here's mine (well my ball jumps into the tape, his is bottom right, but the others are all me).

Soooo much fun. Hope I get to do more soon.

Nanalew face reference

 this video has awesome "ugly face" facial contortions on cute girls.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dance Ref

man love that texture to the timing, great poses

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Michael Langan Film Maker

The Making of "Road Trip" - Ann Arbor Film Festival from Michael Langan on Vimeo.

IFC Icons 2010: Michael Langan from Michael Langan on Vimeo.

Dahlia from Michael Langan on Vimeo.

film is time, image, and sound He's kind of doing stopmotion inside out, he moves the camera a frame at a time

Choros + Pas de Deus

Choros from Michael Langan on Vimeo.

pretty amazing what it evolved from

Monday, January 21, 2013

Winter Trees

I'm working on a similar project, with cardboard with details drawn on.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

BeatBox Facial Flesh

good reference for how much flex is in the face, which is the subtle stuff you have to put in to keep things from feeling plastic