Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Navone, Hartline CTN talk 4 animators approach same scene

CTN 4 anim
3 things going into shot, Rig, Audio, & word: Villain
First rough lip sync
Allows to not overanimate, having some sync makes it easier to sit a pose longer and watch him talk.
Focus on key words where the acting will be strongest
Lipsync first moves you forwards towards deadline while still allowing you to think about things.
Next: Poses, characters zero, Big lebowski. (could take a day or 2)
Needs to let you go someplace, be able to introduce the layers and figure out who he really is
Simplify: don't put to many keys in, name that tune
what can I pull from my experience to fill in this character (Hanibal lecter (I didn't try to be evil, I just tried to not blink and blink very controlled) And Aunt Nancy (just a flash of rage occasionally)
Does it have a progression, go somewhere?
Ask around, get advice.
Rob: Job Applicant
think of the context, putting self in situation what are the pressures what are your goals.
Can I find a single pose to take me through the whole shot? How does it look with dialogue played over?
Thinking about the metaphor for entire shot of the fine line between cocky and confident, it's a question of back posture.
Lighthouse, the most important control as reference for all the rest. In this shot used the neck (like a chicken or bedroom intruder) so he uses the neck a lot for this guy doing a job interview. Animating the neck first out of the key pose. Then copy paste that around and adjust it, using forwards motions as basis for torso or head.
Then what details can be sprinkled on top. (spinning in chair, nodding yes but saying no)
Don't forget your instinct gut ideas, dont' let them get washed away in the repetition.
Victor: Polititian
likes the idea of a person with high status
First start with research of similar things (politicians speaking, what common hand gestures?) Adding paint to pallette, gathering ideas for possible gestural language.
Think about restrictions of scene, and backstory of character.
think about status in multi character shot
Goals wants to be confident and rebut attack but stay seeming nice -> which goes into subtext he in insinuating his opponents an idiot
A lot of thumbs. A lot of vid ref (10 minutes) try different versions.
wasn't feeling a throughline, so broke down the dialogue into subtext to choose poses to underline the subtext, thumbs gesture for each subtext
sketch blocking
Michael: Mentor
who is the character and what do they need to do. Never betray the character, only do what the character would do.
Get to know the char, list actors or family you know well, list adjectives that describe the char
So if need to know how your char would do something can go to how the actor has already done something (Kahn reacting to kirk being alive = Ego reacting to ratatoiulle)
Pays attention to energy of dialogue, low energy = small gestures big WHAT?! = big gesture
Focus on inward/outward talking to self or other (thinking vs delivering)
Timing and Texture
Balance the energy, an old man will move slow but he might blink fast so it's not boring.
Progression A to B to C is too straightforwards, put an A1/3 in there. (thirds are more dynamic than 1/2) breaking it up like that reduces the energy and adds texture.
relatability: how closely the audience can relate to what the character did (I would never do that, that's evil)
Characters choices are greatly based on where they came from, what their history is
Think then Act (or else it looks like a bad actor who memorized lines)
Status (control, who can most easily do or stop someone else from doing, who is doing the least and accomplishing the most)

LIttle Witch Academy

I want to watch these but don't have time, so I'll stick it here to get back to later hopefully

Monday, November 28, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

Eye Dart = Thought

every time the eyes move, it's because a new thought has occurred. (a potential way to block out a subtle performance)

X-Story Robo Arm

X-STORY from Vitaliy Shushko on Vimeo.

by some of the people from the motion comics

Monday, September 26, 2016

Link as Ghibli

makes me wonder if it would work in Stopmo. Still scene, with a little bit of life in it, and characters doing something unconsciously but telling of their personality (putting on shoes, sitting down to work)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Monday, August 1, 2016

Save the Cat in 2 paragraphs

"On the verge of a Stasis=Death moment, a flawed protagonist has a Catalyst and Breaks Into Two with the B Story; but when the Midpoint happens, he/she must learn the Theme Stated, before the All Is Lost, to defeat (or stop) the flawed antagonist (from getting away with his/her plan)." "On the verge of another “suit and tie” assignment, a tomboy FBI agent is assigned to go undercover in the American Miss Pageant and has a complete makeover to blend in with the other contestants; but when the pageant receives a new threat, she must learn she can be a woman and tough, before she gets thrown off the case, to defeat the warped pageant organizer bent on revenge. (Miss Congeniality)"

World without gunpowder

Interesting world building article on how weapons would develop if gunpowder never existed.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Friday, May 27, 2016

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hong Kong Strong

Hong Kong Strong from Brandon Li on Vimeo.

if your character is enraptured in something, the audience will become interested as well. But it's really an editing choice, choose the 1.5 seconds where they are enraptured and discared the 10 minutes where they aren't

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Painting Harley Quinn

this was interesting, because started with a rough sketch, not 100% laid out, just the rough idea.

Then threw down flats with a rough edged brush underneath light pencils, and I liked that look right there, didn't need anymore.


this ones got heart

Papa from Natalie Labarre on Vimeo.

Darius Brit

 This guy does a good job of breaking ideas down

River Otters

As The River Flows from Little Fluffy Clouds on Vimeo.

nice pallette

Walter Murch rule of 6 for editing

Walter Murch top editor. An article on his rules for editing.

What I’m suggesting is a list of priorities. If you have to give up something, don’t ever give up emo­tion before story. Don’t give up story before rhythm, don’t give up rhythm before eye-trace, don’t give up eye-trace before planarity, and don’t give up planarity before spatial continuity.”

emotion > story > rhythm > eye-trae > planarity > spatial continuity

1. Emotion

How will this cut affect the audience emotionally at this particular moment in the film?

2. Story  

Does the edit move the story forward in a meaningful way?

3. Rhythm
Is the cut at a point that makes rhythmic sense?

4. Eye Trace

How does the cut affect the location and movement of the audience’s focus in that particular film?

5. Two Dimensional Place of Screen

Is the axis followed properly? Screen direction consistent

6. Three Dimensional Space

Is the cut true to established physical and spacial relationships? 180 rule

1. Emotion (51%)
2. Story (23%)
3. Rhythm (10%)
4. Eye Trace (7%)
5. 2D Place of Screen (5%)
6. 3D Space (4%)

* Oh and something I just learned from somewhere else. 30 degree rule, always move the camera at least 30 degrees and preferably to a different depth in space so that it never feels like a jump cut. (So like cutting angles zooming in on someone monologuing)

Monday, May 23, 2016

James Marijeanne Game Animation Tutorials

James does a very thorough walk through of making animation for games. Adressing a lot of aspects that non game animators might not realize. 

Animation for Videogames tutorial series 01: Combat Introduction from James Marijeanne on Vimeo.

Animation for Videogames tutorial: Creating a character animation set - part 6 from James Marijeanne on Vimeo.

Online Russian Animation School

They are turning out awesome students.

Check their vimeo

Year 1
1st semester: "Morphing" assignment.
2nd semester: "Flag" assignment, first half of "Feet" assignment.

Year 2
3rd semester: "Feet" assignment, "Geometry" assignment.

4th semester: "Movement of bipedal character" assignment or "Movement of animal character" assignment.

Year 3
5th semester: "Resist the wind" assignment, "Awaiting at vet's" scene.
6th semester: "Intellectual difference of two characters" scene, dialogue of 2 characters. "Role play: character differentiation" final assignment.

student Natalya Malgina from mentor_Sasha Dorogov on Vimeo.

Task "Resist the wind" , student Elena Volk from mentor_Sasha Dorogov on Vimeo.

Student Ilya Shekiladze from mentor_Sasha Dorogov on Vimeo.

Student Ilya Shekiladze from mentor_Sasha Dorogov on Vimeo.

task 5 , Bambi , Student: Lena Volk from mentor_Sasha Dorogov on Vimeo.

Student Sonya Solo from mentor_Sasha Dorogov on Vimeo.

a lot of these students worked on the Serpent Princess

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

GDC Talks

About Overwatch, making of Mei-D talk

Animation Bootcamp 

Tricks of the trade

Monday, May 9, 2016

How to work when your exhausted

Found it. Dear AD  how to work when you're exhausted

Friday, May 6, 2016

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Bobby Pontillas

The amazing Bobby Pontillas.

Way back in 2012 he applied to the Disney Talent Development program with an adaptation of Don Quijote

Their assignment was to redesign a popular story, he did Peter Pan. He talks about his process and how his mentor came back with "basically the story we already know, shake it up more, don't marry your first idea." So he did research on pirates.

"Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing." 
-Wernher Von Braun.   

He continues  finding a setting and time period and historical figure that is fresh and meets his mentor's approval. He's pushed to play with charicature and proportion.

He has the pieces up in his portfolio

Here's his assignments for Schoolism's Steven Silver course.

Anyway, inspiring stuff.

don't die without saying what you have to

been into Your Creative Push podcast lately (daily!)

this one with Angela Treat Lyon in particular really resonated.

If you knew you were about to die, would you be content with what you accomplished. If not get off your butt and get to it while you can.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Monday, April 18, 2016

Little Stopmotion Thing

Someday I'll have a rig that doesn't fail by the end. Lot of fun though

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Cosmic Shame - Tenacious D

Constraints and Accountability

progress is made with constraints and accountability 

Jake Parker said that in one of his videos, constraints so there's some kind of structure to it, and accountability so you don't just let yourself off the hook

David Talley
your creative push interview

at 17 min in talks about being inspired by someone doing a 365 photography project. Before he was inspired he was just idly taking photos that weren't satisfying his vision, but he didn't have a reason to work hard to make the art he wanted to make. So his goal became "take a photos every single day, and try and get better every single day". The challenge gave him the framework to improve. As creatives we love the idea but hate the hard work, but have to combine them to get stuff done. So he always has a time based project (usually 52 week themed project, like the alphabet project every 2 weeks shoot something on next letter). It's not hard to create good photos, you can have the skills and tools, but if you don't have a purpose in creating an image (like an overall project) you lose sight of your motivation and feel more and more resistance.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Directing Tips

This interview had this idea about directing non actors

Just before the shoot, I would read the scene for them so they wouldn't strictly memorize the dialogue.

We had lots of long scenes; some were seven minutes long. [This rehearsal process] makes those scenes even more magical because it creates unrepeatable moments. The actors are living the scene for real at that point, six minutes in. They can’t rationally think about the acting.

In the direction process with the child actor, I said, "Do not talk if you don't believe in what you are going to say. If you don't feel it will be real, just breathe until you do." For me, the best moments in the film are the breaths of this little girl. In some moments, she doesn't say anything because she’s just thinking and concentrating and waiting for the exact moment where she believes what she's about to say.

Thursday, March 31, 2016


basically, block first, add fill to bring up general exposure, then finesse the main marks

playlist of filmriot DIY shootin tools

Monday, March 28, 2016

2D animation in photoshop

This post by JustGoscha got me excited to dive into hand drawn.

He sited Alex Grigg's tutorial  (I'm curious to check out this podcast with him)

Photoshop Animation Techniques (Redux, Creative Cloud) from Alex Grigg on Vimeo.

which I had been afraid to watch before because it was so long, but now I feel ready to tackle it

1920*1080 72dpi

timeline create video timeline
timeline properties (on right)
   set frame rate
   panel options, no thumb (no img every frame)
   enable shortcut keys (up down left right)
       (won't work if start a new layer on 0)
   enable onion skins (can hotkey it)
    onion skin settings for more frames

   (export as png sequence and wrap up elsewhere)
   (or as a quicktime for quickness)

CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+S save for web
  downsize, looping true =  make a gif

hotkeys     recommended to make
    ctrl+ y onion skins
       for video layer animating
        ctrl+b insert blank frame
        ctrl+alt+b  insert duplicate key
        ctrl+shift+b del frame
        ctrl+alt+shift+b new video layer

set up actions
   make a new frame for layer animation
      v+3          make old layer light
      dup layer   
      ctrl+A       select all
      del          erase it
      ctrl+D       deselect
      v+0          make solid
     then can put this on an f2 button

    expand fill
      make selection, then start recording
      select>modify>expand  (2 pixels)
      alt+[               step down layer
      alt+backspace       fill w/ fore color
      alt+]               step back up layer
      ctrl +D             deselect

    new color layer
      dup layer (action

    copy all (for condensing linelayer onto 1 video layer)
       ctrl+shift+C  copy all (hide bg)
       next frame (w/ next frame button)
       (can copy paste this a bunch for batches)

typically blocks with layer animation, then cleans up with a video layer

layer menu lock transparent pixels, makes it easy to color your lines

can put all of your animations and all of your lines and colors into a group, and then you can use the group as a clipping mask (constrain a fuzzy texture to the anims)

animating with layers
with layer selected v & # = opacity
can drag each layer bar in timeline to change length frame shows
V - selection, if turn on autoselect then when over a frame and click on active pixel you select that layer

layer>video layer> new blank video layer
  (already a bunch of frames in 1 bar)
  won't be able to see where your drawings are, good for straight ahead, fx, and cleanup/color
layer>video layer> insert a blank frame
  (tricky to work in video layers because the frames are hidden)

basically like layer but little more organized
when making a new layer it'll be too long, drag a layer onto the new layer button to duplicate length then select all delete deselect
drag layer in timeline down onto other layer, makes a Video Group (group) in layer menu and timeline
now can just put a new layer in for inserting inbetween (have to duplicate if want to be short in time)

30mins intro over, now some production tips to improve workflow & flow
if done with a layered animation can consolidate it down into a video layer group

Monday, March 21, 2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Monday, March 14, 2016

Non Verbal Communication

Lauren O'connell Mouth shapes

check out the assymetrical mouth poses.

side note, I think her music's nice too

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


THE SHAMAN - a mind-bending short by Marco Kalantari from Marco Kalantari on Vimeo.

Urbance & Sun Creature

Secret world

milk shake smoothie feather

Jake Parker

Jake knocked me on my butt with his career timeline. I think we are just about the same age, and he's achieved so much. Makes me realize how driven he is. And also how much follow through he has, I have tons of projects I fiddle with but I never take them to finish because I never feel like I have the skill to make them good enough. 

Progress is made with constraints and accountablilty

2 sketchbook pages a day, 1 of loose exploration drawings, 1 finished (but in a year in review video he said he only did 129 drawings that year, which is 1 finished every 3 days)

a drawing every 3 days

1. specific vision (what position what level what achieved)

2. deconstruct vision (what steps to get there, what steps did others take to get there)

3. daily and weekly schedule for achieving steps (to have an achievable sense of progress)

4. Cut the Fat is this going to get me closer or further to my goal, for everything you do
(reading, tv, games, dampires (well intentioned sucky people))  (-1 day for recharge, family friends)

Daily -
    before starting 15 minute rev                 up/inspiritation meditate
        write priorities for day
    start w/ creative stuff
    biz stuff 2nd 1/2 of day
    (if has energy, sneaks back to work         after family evening stuff)
    each day or half day is a dif project             (tue-thur=comic, sat-sun=songs)
    to do list, read everyday so decide if you need to stick it in the days to do

do better today than you did yesterday

there are 3 types of nourishment
       1. the project feeds your spirit, creating the work is the reward
       2. other people like it and their feedback nourishes you
       3. it makes money and you can eat

so when considering a project, think about what you want to get out of it:
      I don't care if anyone else likes this, I really want to do it
      I don't care what the project is, I just need to make some money

Ride that first burst of excitement about the project (the blocking buzz) as long as you can, stay up late, put in extra time, use the excitement to go go go as far as you can, knowing that once it wears off you're still going to grind through and finish the thing. Because the flush from finishing is even better than the blocking buzz, and the only thing that matters is finished things.

The Cult of Done Manifesto
  1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
  2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
  3. There is no editing stage.
  4. Pretending you know what you're doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you're doing even if you don't and do it.
  5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
  6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
  7. Once you're done you can throw it away.
  8. Laugh at perfection. It's boring and keeps you from being done.
  9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
  10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
  11. Destruction is a variant of done.
  12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
  13. Done is the engine of more.

 must have
1 web page
2 post on twitter instagram facebook tumblr
3 viral bait (series often works better, like star wars as samurai, or disney as robots, or fill the gap in an IP like chewbacca kylo ren backstory, or even do 100 somethings)
4 submit your viral bait to every top blog, write your own article about it
5 do it again and again, consistency

Success on Social Media (instagram)
1. post striking imagery that stops people and elicits an emotion
2. post when audience is online
3. hashtag smartly (trending & climbing, also accurate)
4. be strategic with your captions. drive engagement (call to action)
5. respond to followers/comments (especially when not overwhelmed by followers yet)turn people who followed into actual fans.
6. be a good internet citizen, be part of community, follow like comment on others, don't just drop in dump your stuff and walk off

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Thursday, March 3, 2016

People having fun are fun

it's fun to watch people having fun

Editor Speak

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Thomas Romain

Another great collection of tips by Thomas Romain

Monday, February 15, 2016

Color and Light

I've been watching a lot of schoolism lately. There's a lot of recomendation for lighting cool vs warm lights, but I missed or it didn't get mentioned the WHY. (aside from the obvious simple one of just contrast)

Ran across this lighting tutorial by Richard On which I think might actually have an explanation:it's the contrast of two different states, frequently natural lighting against human made, so kind of the way human faces always pull our attention, it's a sign of other humans, or maybe just the difference of big overall skybox and a small change against it. The tutorial also had an interesting point with this photo
Namely that restuarants create mood and interest with many low level lights, creating lots of interesting soft points of focus and lots of lightsources means lots of spec highlights to twinkle.

Also was looking at who does instagram feeling bloomy pictures

and he has a tutorial he makes a great point that bounce light off skin onto skin doubles the warmth/saturation (sss causes increase in saturation because it's hitting all the stuff it's made of, so on humans it warms up because it's bouncing around all that meat and blood). He also has a sss stage where he just paints an overlay red line at the terminator (and thin areas like ears) to show the sss bounce the light past the terminator. Oh, he also did a youtube tut

Incidentally he mentions he went from 20 followers to 14k on tumblr in a year, and I think it's because he was posting every other day. And his most liked image was Catwoman, so again the idea of leveraging off fandom to catapult interest in your stuff.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Motion Comics

anime used to go chibi for big emotions to save money, this another interesting idea for getting production value for less effort, get the mood and environment pretty easy this way, maybe more fully animated for important scenes

Monday, January 18, 2016