May 26, 2005

I'm Back

I got back from my trip to Denmark. I'm back at work but I'm experiencing waves of jetlag driven tiredness, so I'm not posing much today.

Madagascar comes out tomorrow, woop-ee!

May 17, 2005

Animation Class

Here's a picture of my students in the animation class that I have been teaching.

I have started posting pictures of my Denmark trip on Flikr. You can see the set here, I will be posting more later. So keep checking back if your interested:

Denmark Photos

Also, for fun, I've been taking pictures of the food I've been eating. As some of you know, I'm a big fan of good food. So they get their own set here:

Denmark Food

May 16, 2005

My Weekend in Denmark

So I screwed up this weekend. All week I was thinking about how I wanted to rent a car and drive around. Then when I go to rent a car I find that all the car rental agency's are all rented out. No cars. I reserve one for next weekend so I don't run into the same problem, but that doesn't solve anything for this weekend. So Saturday I decide to check out the town that I'm teaching in. Viborg, it's a small town but there are some shops and interesting pubs. Little did I know that at 2:00 everything shuts down for the weekend. I'm not kidding, when I say shuts down, it shuts down and stays down until Monday. Except for a couple restaurants the whole town is closed, if you've ever seen the beginning to the movie "28 Days Later" you'll know what I mean by closed. What to do? I spend most of the day planning my trip for Sunday.

Sunday I head to go to Århurst I take the train and check out some of the museums. The art museum in Århust is quite nice, and there's a place called: Old Town that's nice. Old Town is this outdoors museum, where they've restored a section of town into it's sixteenth century glory, complete with cotton gin, one room schools, boat shops and gift shop. It has a lot of places where, you get to see how they turned raw cotton into cloths, barley into beer. You get to marvel as the old toilets and lacy beds. Think of it as a permanent renaissance fair, without the England, or the renaissance, actually it's nothing like renaissance fair, forget that I said that. To me, the Old Town reminds me of a Star Trek episode where they land on planet: "Sixteenth Century Denmark", (or for all of you born after 1980: The Holodeck Program gone terribly, terribly wrong).

There's also an interesting shopping district, but of course it too is closed, So I walked my feet off in Århust and head home to a couple beers, a hot bath and a subtitled movie staring a hard nose detective and his wise cracking dog. (Not much else to do).

Allison arrives on Tuesday, I'm sure she'll want to rent a car but we'll see. She says she needs some rest, I'm pretty sure she'll get the chance to rest.

May 13, 2005

Denmark Day Three

So day three is comings to an end. Over all I think the classes have been good. There are parts of the lectures that I think went over real well, and there are parts that I think went over not so well. When I sit down with the students at their desks and work with them I think we make more progress. Today I tried something new. They have a screen that projects what ever I do on the computer. So I loaded up maya and started animating a shot and let them see my work flow. I think that helped a lot. Animating is more skill then vocabulary, so it is always easer to show them then to say it.

Denmark is great, I have yet to master the skill of ordering healthy food. I thought I was ordering a healthy vegetable sandwitch the other day and it came back with Bacon and smothered in soft cheese. Don't get me wrong, it is good food, but rich. Part of the problem is that I can't read a word on the menu and the waters seem to only know English when I'm around Tim or someone else from the school. So I look for a word that I recognize and point to it. But those words are usually cheese, or names of meat. All I want is a nice salad. I will try again this weekend.

The bread here is truly amazing though.

Allison joins me on Tuesday. I can't wait to show her around. I have the weekend to play tourist. I haven't decided what to do. I'm tempted to go to Lego Land, or the island of Samsø. But I'll have to rent a car to do either. My guide book recommends seeing the cost, I hope I can find a castle.

May 12, 2005

Day Two of Denmark Animation Class

Today is day two of my animation class. Yesterday was great. The students are eager to learn, eager like the way I remember we were when I was a student at CalArts. This school reminds me a lot of CalArts, except that there are 18 students. There was well over 100 students when I went to school (around 25-30 students per teacher in each classroom).

yesterday I ran into Lawrence Marvit, he's teaching over here as kind of an artist in residence. I know Lawrence from CalArts. He left Pixar to create his own graphic novel named Sparks. He's working on his new comic book, he let me see some pages of it, I have to say the artwork looks quite good. It was funny running into him. I had not seen him in years and didn't expect to see him. Small world. The artist in residence thing sounds quite tempting, apparently they have a few people say here and work on their own films or comic books, just as long as they teach on the side. It's something I want to keep in mind if I ever have something of my own that I want to create.

yesterday in my class I went over the basics of lipsink and talked about the different approaches to lip sink. I showed examples from Family Dog and other cartoons. Today is my technical class. I'm going to focus more on how to break down your audio, I hope I don't bore them too much.

As far as Denmark goes, the place is quite nice to look at. The food is great, I now know why they call it a Danish. And the Espresso is real nice!

May 10, 2005

Here in Denmark

I landed in Denmark about four hours ago. Tim, the director of the animation program, gave me a tour of the school, I met with the students, and the students made me an amazing dinner.

The school looks amazing. It reminds me of my old calArts days. Lots of drawings on the walls, the students seem supper excited to learn. It's great, it has a lot of energy to it. I just hope I can be as energetic as I fight jetlag and teach my first class tomorrow.

The school has a lot more going on for it then I originally realized. The have a lot of artist in residence kind of classes, so there's a lot more then just computer animation. There's stop motion, and traditional animation going on as well. They're also expanding, two new buildings just went up so they can have more students. I'm super excited about it.

The flight was all right. The school bought me the tickets, so the airline was different then I was used to. I'm used to an American airline flying to Europe, this one was definitely a European airline flying away from America. All the announcements were in German first, and English last. They served wine and tea during the whole flight, and the food was smaller. I had sausage and bread at the airport as soon as I landed. Yep, it was good.

I had to pack up our temporary apartment and move into our house on Sunday night. Then Monday I moved into the house and got on the shuttle to LAX. I only got 3 hours sleep before I left, and I've been trying to stay up sense then, so I'm very tired.

May 6, 2005

Madagascar International Poster

originally uploaded by ejhdigdug.
I've always thought that the international posters for animated movies tend to be better then the American ones. And Madagascar's poster is no different. I do have to admit, this is an odd looking poster, but it's a lot of fun. At least that's my opinion:)

OT Traffic

Ok, so this off toppic, but I thought it was too cool not to post. With my new house I'm facing a larger commute, so I've been looking up ways to stay on top of traffic conditions. Here are a couple hacks that I found.

This one allows you to create a rss feed on traffic in your area. It uses Yahoo's traffic conditions map, every time there's a incident that pops up in Yahoo's traffic conditions you get a news feed in your agitator:

The map in yahoo's traffic conditions is small and hard to read, so this guy created a hack so that it works with the google map. Check it out it's pretty cool:

Anyhoo, I'm leaving for my trip on mondy. At least I'll have these wating for me when I get back.

May 2, 2005

A Full Weekend & Animation Podcasting!

Wow, this has been a very busy weekend for me, and there's a lot more work to come. We did our final inspection of the house that we're buying. We hadn't seen it in so long there were a lot of things that I forgot. I'm excited to move in, I feel like I've been moving for months now. (Allison's mom has been absolutely invaluable with the whole process, it's been a big help being able to drop off Quinn with her while we take care of house stuff.)

We've been packing for the move and packing for the trip at the same time. This time next week I should be getting on an airplane to fly out to Denmark to teach a class on animation. I've spent all my free time working on my notes for the class. I can't believe it's coming up so fast. After I'm done teaching the class I plan on publishing some of my notes here so keep an eye out for them. The class is on lip sink in animation. I'm a huge hoarder of animation notes, and I put this class together by sorting through all the notes, distilling them down, and adding my personal experience to them. I'm not done yet, I'll probably still be working on them on the plane.

Also, a lot of people have asked me about my trip to Denmark, what the school is like, how many animators I'll be teaching, etc. I don't really know what it's going to be like myself, but when I find out I'll let all of you know. I don't know what kind of web access I'll have when I get there. I might be off the grid for a while. But I will post pictures and stuff here on my blog, I just don't know if it'll be sooner or later

Last but not least I got to work this morning I was surprised to find there's a lot of buzz about a website called The Animation Podcast. This is the first that I've heard about it. It looks like its a website that interviews animators or animation related people and publishes them as podcastings. It sounds like a great idea. The first interview is with Andreas Deja. I haven't explored podcasting much, if anyone could recommend good podcasting software I'd love to hear about it. In the meantime I'll just download the mp3s and keeping an eye on the sight!