November 23, 2005

Just Draw

I saw this quote the other day and liked it:

"All Artists are willing to suffer for their work. But why are so few prepared to learn how to Draw?" -Banksy

Over and over again I get asked the same question, it comes phrased in many different ways. But it's allwase the same question: "Is it easer to animate on a computer because you don't have to draw?"

WTF? I love to draw, I've probably spent what accumulates to years in life drawing classes. I know that's not enough. As my old teacher and guru: Cory Cole used to tell me: "You draw, and draw, and draw, and draw and draw and draw and draw. Then after that you draw some more, and draw, and draw, then you draw some more. After your done with that you draw even more. Then you draw and draw. When your done drawing you draw more. You draw more after that. Then you draw, and draw and draw. And then, you die."

I would encourage all of you to draw as much as possible. It will help your animation. Don't just draw from imagination, but draw from life as well. Draw as often as possible. Draw even if you "can't" or especally if you "don't know how to draw". Buy a sketchbook. Use it. Draw every day, after your done drawing draw some more. If you can't think of something to draw, start drawing something and it will come to you. Draw early, draw often.

Just draw.

November 22, 2005

An Eye For Annai

Nice short film by Jonathan Klassen and Daniel Rodrigues:

Thanks Drawn

November 16, 2005


Check it out you can watch John Kricfalusi's Demo reel here:

I love the Nike commercial that he did (red ridding hood), it was never aired because Nike changed their mind and decided to go with a superhero image not a cartoony image. I love John Kricfalusi's cartoony style, cool stuff!

Thanks BoingBoing

Change of Hart

I saw the new Open Season season trailer again and I decided maybe I was being a little too harsh with it. It's actually not that bad, it just wasn't what I expected it to be. It still gives away two jokes that I think work better in the film itself. I recommend just waiting for the film to come out, but if you can't wait you can see the trailer on the open season webpage. Just go here and click on the picture.

Warning, the web page has lots of flash, lots of sound, and it will try and make your web browser the size of your screen.

November 14, 2005


It looks like the Madagascar DVD is coming out tomorrow. It also looks like they've added a bit more extras to it. Most of those extras seem to focus on the "I like to Move it Movie it" song that was stuck in my head for about six months of production. I remember singing this song to my daughter a lot for the first two months of her life. Mostly when I was learning to change her diapers. It's not that I especially liked the song, it just stuck there like a sticky thing. I hope they added the deleted scenes to the extras list. Like I said, they cut a lot of stuff from this film during production, there were a few cuts that I didn't like but most cuts were for the better. A lot of my shots got cut ane they were all cut for better. It's not that I did a bad job on those shots, they just came up with better stuff while I was working on them. I hated to see my hard work go away so I'd like to see them on DVD.

One other thing, there's also a new Open Season Trailer. I hate to even mention it, the trailer isn't that good. I think the film is going to be good when it's done and I can't wait to see the reaction it gets. I suspect that this trailer was put together to attract a more teenage crowd, it has a pop-song sensibility to it. But it does give away a lot of good jokes. Those jokes are good in the film, but not so good in the trailer. I recommend not looking at it and waiting for the real thing.

November 11, 2005


Do you remember back in September I posted about this cool shot that I was assigned to at work, and how I didn't want to fuck it up so I wasn't going to post very often on this blog? Do you remember that? Do you? It's been a while.

Well, I finaled that shot today.

As Jason would say "woot!"

And none too soon, today was the last day that I was assigned to the shot. It was a big long shot with lots and lots of stuff going on. It's a huge relief to have it finaled, it was supper stressful, I planned it out as much as a could, but at some point I just had to go for it. One of the big problems with a shot this length is that you spend weeks blocking it out and you go home feeling like you haven't made any progress. Then, because it takes so long to block out you don't get much of a chance to show it to the director, and when they have changes it takes so long to get them in. I don't like big gaps in time when showing a shot to a director, I like to know that we're on the same page, plus I like to have input, it kinda pushes me forward and keeps me from getting stagnant.

Anyhoo, the shot is cool, I think it's going to be memorable. I'll tell you more about it when the film comes out. Right now I'm to paranoid to say anything more.

Also, I think I'm starting to get used to Maya. At least I'm no longer trying to look for things, I seem to know where they are without having to think about them. That's good.

What the...

I didn't see this coming, you've probably seen this on Cartoon Brew. Ollie Johnston, third on the right just received the National Medal of Arts. My head is still spinning on this one. Over the years I've come to believe that everything that Bush does is evil is some way. Then this happens. I keep having to remind myself that it's the The National Endowment for the Arts that's giving it to him, not Bush. Bush is just the scaly hand that happened to be there to hand it to him. I just hope Ollie was able to stand the smell of brimstone.

Good for Ollie, he deserves it. I only wish the other 9 were there to receive theirs as well!

November 10, 2005


Last night was Wednesday, and as some of you readers may remember that Wednesday is Allison and my Date Night. I know this is terribly strange concept to all of you single swinging readers, but those other readers, the ones with kids, you understand. Don't you? Just lie and say you do, I can take it.

Anyhoo, Allison's one request last night was to see a movie with: and I quote "Real People in it." I guess watching cartoons wasn't that romantic. So we ended up seeing Jarhead.

What, isn't Jarhead romantic?

Well you see, Allison wanted to see something like Elizabeth Town or Derailed. But because Derailed wasn't out yet and we couldn't find a theater near us that was playing Elizabeth Town we ended up at Jarhead. I win again! Okay it's not a cartoon but it's defenetly a guy flick.

The first Gulf War was the war that was the war that was going on when I was growing up, so it's the one, like it or not, I identify the most with. Also Anthony Swofford, the author of the autobiography that the movie is based on was asked several times to be on This American Life. He has a great way of describing the current Gulf War. These two things, pluss the fact that it was directed by Sam Mendes peeked my interest, so I had to see it.

I have to say, that's one good movie. If your even remotely interested in this film go see it. The characters are solid, the situation is one that I can relate to. It has a really good story, which isn't common for an autobiographical kind of film. You can't really change what happens in someones life so it's difficult to work in a character ark, but this one had it, and it was pretty solid. Visually it's very good too, it's worth seeing on a big screen.

November 9, 2005

Insanely Twisted Shadow Puppet Show

Wow, check out Michel Gagne's Insanely Twisted Shadow Puppet Show.

Just shows what you can do only working in silhouette, great stuff!

November 7, 2005

Good news everybody! Animated films are becoming move violent!

Sorry guys, I'm feeling a bit angry this morning and I decided to take it out on this article that popped up on Animated News. Really, this is a bit of un-news in my opinion. The article is a bunch of BS. (Actually, I think that the ratings system is but that's another story BS.) Even the article admits that cartoons have always contained a lot of violence. Hell that's what made them so good, everyone wants to see Goofy get the crap beaten out of him by his own stupidity. Even so, I almost wet myself when I read this line kuzz I was laughing so hard:

Glickman said the MPAA ratings system is "somewhat subjective."

Yha, somewhat subjective, 13 people watch movies all day and decide it's fate. Who are these 13 people, what qualifies them to make this opinion?

I'd like to ignore the MPAA, lord knows that I do when I decide what movies that my family and I watch. But they do end up making my day to day life difficult, so they're kinda hard to ignore. I've seen great storys get thrown out because the story involves someone a gun. Or I've seen great sight gags get tossed because they involve someone getting hit on the head with a mallet.

I know that some parents want to know the content of a film before they let their kids see it, but why does that mean it has to be watered down for the rest of us. There are plenty of resources for parents to choose from to find out about these kinds of ratings. When I was growing up, I remember this family down the street from my house. They would rent movies, and using two VCRs would edit out the parts of the movies that they objected to. I remember trying to watch Ghostbusters with them. They tried to edit out all the "supernatural" stuff out of the movie. They cut out the Stay Puff Marshmellow man for christ sake! The movie was down right disturbing to watch. It's not just crazy people like them. I've seen on TV "Duck Seasoning" edited down. The networks took out the gunshots from the cartoon. They left the aiming and the puff of smoke with the comical results, but they took out the actual "kaboom". Disturbing.

November 4, 2005

Cartoons and Yam Roll

Go make a cartoon:

Hopefully it'll be as cool as this one:

(No they're not related, they both appeared on my desktop on the same day and I liked them both. Just thought I'd share)

November 3, 2005

Jay Clay is selling copys of Tim Hittle's Jay Clay shorts and for only $15! (thanks for the heads up splinedoctors) I love these shorts, some of the best stop motion I've ever seen. I got the chance to met Tim Hittle when I was working on TS2. He's a nice guy, and very dedicated to his work. We were working long hours 7-day weeks on TS2, and Tim would still go home and work on his shorts after work.

Check it out


I finally got to see MirrorMask last night. I've been following the production of this film for quite some time. I'm a big fan of Dave McKean's work so I knew I would like it visually. I'm also a big fan of Neil Gaiman so I knew that I would like the story, I wasn't sure if I'd like it as a film though. It's not a perfect film, it does have a lot of pacing issues and story problems. I have to agree with Roger Elbert's review of the film, it does follow a generic fantasy type plot line. It does have some new ideas. But I enjoyed the film quite a bit, probably becouse I'm a real sucker for this kind of film, but I can't say I'd recommend it to too many people.

I knew that Dave McKean made this film for very little money, I think it was bout 4 million, which is very little money for such a heavy effects driven film. Dave McKean had to work with smaller CG Effects houses to get the film done and I think he gave diffrent parts of the film to different people. Becouse of this the creddits looked diffrent, diffrent in a way I realy liked. The credits at the end list each of lead animators and underneeth they list sequences that they worked on. I've never seen that before, I wish that they'd do that for all films. It'd be nice to see which lead worked on which sequence in a Pixar film for example.

Over all I felt like the animation was either really good or was passable. That is to say there were some parts in the film where the animation turned out really well, then there were other parts that looked jerky or to pose to pose. Like someone needed to clean up the curves some more. There were a couple parts where I felt like the characters were too much of a cycle. But when it was good, it worked really good, I did like some of the animation, I liked the Gryphons a lot and the Librarian and I enjoyed the Giant sequence. The Giants moved really slowly, but they were smart enough to sprinkle in fast movements at the right time. It was nice to see.

I haven't been keeping track of how well the movie is doing, but for a first film this is really good. I hope that it will allow Dave McKean will do another one.