March 31, 2011

How To Steal Like an Artist

This article is fantastic. It's by Austin Kleon, who's known for creating Newspaper Blackout poems. He recently gave a talk about being an artist, and then published said talk on line. It's very good, I highly recommend it:

How To Steal Like An Artist

March 22, 2011

Medusa by Nick DiLiberto

Really nice short:

I like how this is an action film with a very unique look. It starts in action and never lets up. I kinda wish we got a better read on the Medusa at the beginning but the rest is really good. Awesome work.

Found on

March 2, 2011

Drawing Inspiration

Here's a great short called Drawing Inspiration:

Drawing Inspiration from Wesley Louis on Vimeo.

Even better is the production blog:

The thing I like about the blog is how it developed. The main wino character changed pretty dramatically from the beginning to the end. I love the page of faces that he did, trying to find the face. I think he made a great choice going with a more stylized look.

Great stuff.

February 16, 2011

The Saga Of Biorn

This is the short film "The Saga Of Biorn".

If I'm not mistaken it was done in the school an Viborg Denmark "Animation Workshop." I've been to that school, it's a very nice place. It's good to see such solid work come out of it:

February 15, 2011

Eye Tracking

This is amazing. This video is a part of the movie "There Will Be Blood" They used an inferred eye tracking program to track what people looked at while watching the movie. Each green dot is from different people's eyes. They used 11 adults, the bigger the dot the longer they look in the same place.

The movie has great cinematography Paul Thomas Anderson really knows how to lead the audience's eye. When we start the shot we're really in the dark and the eye will jump to any light source at all, they even jump to where we think the face will be before we see the face. Notice how the eye movements jump from person to person as they talk, and as they don't talk. Notice after one actor asks a question we jump to who he asked the question to before they respond, even before they finish the question. People can figure things out pretty quickly, what they want is to see the response. Then when we cut from inside to outside, it feels like a seamless cut becouse the perspective doesn't change, but the eye is drawn to the vanishing lines of the train track.  As soon as the car starts moving into the shot the eye jumps to to the first thing that is moving.  These are all my quick observations, Im' sure there's a lot more of them. Really great stuff, nice to see:

February 11, 2011

Learn to draw, don't be lazy, make a film and find your own voice.

None of these videos are new, there's a good chance you've seen them all before. This combination of videos is what I think most animators need to see and to keep in mind as they more forward in their lives and careers. They're worth watching again.

The first is Saul Bass, if you don't know who Saul Bass is he is, just take a look at the graphic designs he did for movie posters and you should have a good idea who he is: His work is amazing, the clarity and creativity of his design is unsurpassed. He is able to distill a complex idea into one graphic shape that anyone can understand in a second. This kind of clarity is what many of us struggle to get in our staging and animation. I feel like it is something that every animator should strive for. Here he is on the most important thing you need to learn:

Doug Tennaple is a great illustrator and comic book author. He mentions this same thing in every lecture he gives, and it's important every time he gives it: Artists are inherently lazy.

Besides learning to draw, working hard, Ralph Bakshi I think has the right entrepreneurial spirit that we all need to embrace.

Ira Glass is not an illustrator or an animator but he nails the idea of finding a voice, this is part three in his series, all four are very much worth watching. Here Ira does a great job nailing down what it takes to find your own voice:

Learn to draw, don't be lazy, make a film and find your own voice. This is the theme that I hinted on in my last post. The theme that I'd like to explore more of in continuing post. What these four things have in common is the push to encourage us to be artists and not just cogs. It's this idea that I don't feel like this idea is being stressed enough in schools today. The idea that you have to make films and lots of them. Not just shots for your demo reel, but true ideas, ideas you can build on, learn from and be proud of.

February 8, 2011

External World

I really like David OReilly's work. His latest film External world is as brilliant as it is insane:

January 28, 2011

Hello again

Wow, I never really intended to leave those slightly gross x-rays of people talking up for so long. Oh well, so it goes.

In the next few weeks I intend on making posts about inspiration. Things that inspire me and drive me forward. Stuff I feel like is a "must see." Mostly to sort this stuff out for myself. I feel like I've been seeing a lot of articles and books about how to be inspired and how to make your own work better. A lot of it seems to have the same theme and I'd like to explore that idea.

Fist up is an interview with Frances Ford Coppola that my friend Ben turned me on to. It's a fantastic interview:

What I really like his is drive for taking risks and telling personal stories. Telling a personal story is a risk so you can not have one without the other. I also really like his idea of self financing his own films. He's absolutely right about money for art. We are entering a new era where it will be hard to make money for producing art. We have had it good for the last 100 years, things are changing weather we like them or not.

Anyhoo, I highly recommend the article. Back with more next week.