December 10, 2009

X-Ray of People Talking

Go to this link to see X-Ray Video of people talking. They're very short videos, but it's still cool to see how active/inactive the tongue is. Also to notice how the flesh moves around the jaw.

December 1, 2009

Great Shot

Check out the first shot in this trailer, it's one of the best moments captured on film in a while:

I love how entertaining it is. How the kid on the left jut goes back to doing his business like he didn't do anything wrong. How old are those kids anyway? I may be getting weak in my fatherhood days but I found that down right entertaining.

November 27, 2009

Oscar's Animated Shorts Preview

"The Wrap" was nice enough to compile a website with video links to all 10 of the animated shorts that are on the short list for the Oscar. Some of the video clips are the shorts in their entirety, others are just previews. This is the short list, five will get nominated, “A Matter of Loaf and Death” and "Partly Cloudy" are obviously going to be on the Oscar list. I have to say really hope Cordell Barker's “Runaway” gets the Oscar. His short is great, great pacing, great characters, a nicely told story. I can't say I'm a big fan of the teaser they put on this site, trust me it's a lot better then this teaser. I'm hoping the Oscar voters get a chance to see the short before they vote.

November 20, 2009

Video Refrence for Fantastic Mr Fox

Here's a interesting look at Wes Anderson doing video reference for Fantastic Mr Fox. I can understand how Wes Anderson wanted to make sure he got the performance that he needed for each take this was probably the best way for him to do that. I've seen video of Nick Park doing the same thing for Chicken Run, although he had his animators do the same thing. I wonder how much of the film Wes acted out, I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't cut the film together three or four times using live action and story boards. He probably felt more comfortable that way and it probably kept Wes off the set when they were shooting the film. Anyone know the budget for this one?

I'm looking forward to seeing this film. I don't care much for the character design but I've really enjoyed Wes Anderson's films up tell now.

If you haven't seen this, this is a great video about Bill Melendez, I include it in this post because it has a great comparison of Bill's work to Wes's work. It's really a must see.

See even more Making Of Stuff here, man I wish I could have worked on this one!

Lost And Found by Studio AKA

My family has been a big fan of the book Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers. I was very pleased to see that Studio AKA produced the short film of the book. AKA has done some really nice work in the past. Judging by the the trailer it looks like they did a good job sticking to the style of the book while bringing it into 3D.

October 13, 2009

Cookie Kid

Emilie Goulet, one of my students from last semester just finished rendering and adding sound to her short film. I think it really turned out great, here it is:

Cookie Kid from Emilie Goulet on Vimeo.

July 30, 2009

New Simon's Cat

I'm sure your well aware of how much I like the Simon's Cat shorts. A new one hit the tubes and I can't resist posting it. As a cat owner I think they do a good job characterizing the cat. This one they have the cat doing that weird jaw thing that cats do when they get excited about seeing something they want to chase. Obviously the creators are cat owners, I've seen my cats do that several times and wonder why. I'm not a big fan of of the cat pointing like a human, I wish they could stay in character more. But it is funny so I'll let it go.

Drawing for CG Animators

Other Things has a great post about the value of drawing in CG animation. Couldn't have said it better myself so I'm just going to post the link to it:

July 28, 2009

Still Doing Stuff

Haven't posted in a while, not because I don't have anything to say, I've just been up to my tits in life stuff. Moving, packing, flying that sort of thing. It has kinda consumed my life. Hopefully things will settle down in the next few weeks and I'll be able to post more.

June 21, 2009

Latest Goeblins shorts

The latest shorts from Goeblins, need I say more. These are great looking shorts. I especially like the one with the sun.

June 5, 2009

What I've been up to, and Insperation

On Wednesday I was invited by a good friend of mine and talk to some animation students from Los Angles and from Taiwan. Mike Nguyen was also there. He gave a talk about finding character in animation and story structure. It was a good chance to meet and talk with Mike, I've been following his website for quite some time. If you haven't seen it you should check it out, its one of the best animation blogs on the web.

Mike's talk was truly inspiring. I hope that Mark keeps doing these animation lunch ins and keeps inviting animators to speak at them (it sounds like he will). I'd also like to see him incorporate open life drawing into it.

I've decided to try harder to breath some life back into this blog. I used to be in the habit of writing pretty often, now I find it difficult to find the time.

What I've been up to: I finished up on Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs. It was a ton of fun. It has a really solid story and I think it will do well when it's out. I know my daughter is excited to see it.

I have a few weeks at home to spend with the family, then it's up to Canada to enjoy a nice warm winter up there. I'll be working on an animation project that I'm not sure if I can talk about yet. I think it's OK to talk about but better safe then sorry. I'll be back in LA once the project wraps up. There's a lot of really great animation going on up north it'll be great to see it in person. I hope to catch Ottawa while I'm there.

May 8, 2009

A quoi ca sert l'amour

I really like this short. It's got a great look to it, great animation and great pacing. Check it out:

May 4, 2009

Quimbly The Mouse

I'm a big fan of Chris Ware's work. But he really out did himself with this new short. Apparently it was done to promote This American Life Live. It's a great short, nice style and lot of fun.

Quimby The Mouse from This American Life on Vimeo.

Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea

I'm really looking forward to this one. It opens on August 14th. Here's the new trailer:

April 25, 2009

How Feature Films are Written

Here's Monty Python showing us how Films get written:

April 21, 2009

Ralph Bakshi Surviving Tough Times

I like this video, I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of Ralph Bakshi's films. I did like what he did with Mighty Mouse, and I think he has a really nice drawing style and some great cartoony sensibilitys. But beyond that, his stuff just isn't my thing.

I do have to admit that he does make a good point in this video I don't agree with everything he says but I like the attitude in which he says it. Pixar got to be where it is today by making short films, they studied and perfected the craft of making them. And doing that got them to be where they are today. Sure theres a lot of other factors but if Pixar didn't make those shorts they'd still be making software today. A lot of good can come from a well crafted short. Go out there and make one.

April 20, 2009

Palindrome Video

This is fun to watch. Someone made a Palindrome video. It works both forwards and backwards. It's pretty cool how they pit it together so the acting works in both directions.

April 17, 2009

Drawn To Life

Walt's notes, before and after

So I bought the new Walt Stanchfield books: Drawn To Life 1 and 2.

I wasn't going to buy them. I figured I already had those notes, I've already read the notes, why did I need more copies of the notes. But a friend of mine bought a copy, and as soon as I flipped it open I knew that I had to get my own. It is really well put together. Color illustration, drawings are reproduced in a nice crisp Kinkos free way. Plus it feels like someone spent time putting the notes in a much more concise order, much easer to read straight though.

If your serious about being an animator you'll get these notes. There is incredibly valuable information in them.

I first found out about these notes at R&H in my first real job in animation. I had a really great director. He liked my work but he thought I could use some help. He said my motion was good and appealing but my poses were weak. He pulled out his set of Stanchfild notes and told me to read them. If you ever seen these notes you'll know what that must have felt like. It's huge, it's like someone handing you a phone book and telling you to read it. I took a look at that giant stack and gave him a puzzled look he said "Just put them in the bathroom, they make great toilet reading."

I did not take them to the bathroom but I did read them and I was glad I did. Walt has a great way of cutting through all the crap and getting to the heart of what really matters in a pose. What is important, what reads and what's entertaining. My favorite lecture is when he's talking about drawing a guy reading a newspaper. He asks what's the most important thing in this pose? He then distills the pose to two dots for the eyes and the paper itself and I'll be damned if doesn't work. It's not just that there's two dots for the eyes but it's also the angle of the dots and their relationship to the paper. Drawn any other way and it wouldn't work. It opened my eyes to the idea of focusing on what's important first and filling in the details later. You can find that note on page 220 of the first book.

The guy had a lot of passion for animation, you can't go 2 pages in without feeling it. They're great for inspiration if your ever feeling the slump. The books are a steal at $30 a pop.

March 30, 2009

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs Poster

It looks like the first poster for Cloudy is out. Believe me, this film is going to be a lot of fun.

March 18, 2009

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs

The trailer for Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs hits the web today. Check out what I've been working on:

Here's a better link:

I can't wait to find out what people think of this. It's pretty different, I like it, but I wonder what others will say.

BTW I got one shot in the trailer, that's huge for me. I almost never get a shot in the trailer. I got 6 frames in the Bolt trailer but that doesn't count. It's the "it really works" shot.

I'm excited about this film. I've seen two screenings and I really like how it's turning out. It's got a great story and it's a lot of fun.

February 7, 2009

Must See Video of The Day: Perfection and Colaboration

PU's improv coach gives a quick lecture about Collaboration and Perfection. This is an inspired talk and a must see:

January 22, 2009

The Cat Came Back

Sweet. It looks as though the Film Board of Canada has decided to release some of their films on line. For those of you who don't know the Film Board of Canada is responsible for funding some of the greatest animated shorts ever made. I remember going to animated film festivals and watching that green eye (they symbol of the film board) pop up in front most of the shorts there. That and channel 4.

Anyhoo, sit back and treat yourself to: The Cat Came Back

This was animated by Cordell Barker who later animated the short Strange Invader: