Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas

This year's Christmas Card was finished a bit late to hope of making it to mail boxes by Christmas. Therefore I've decided to wish you all a Merry Christmas digitally. Here is the finished card for all to enjoy. I hope you are all well and have a wonderful Holiday.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tippett Studio Secret Santa Gift Exchange

The Tippett Studio Holiday Party is tonight! With so few posts about the gift I've created I'm sure you doubt I was able to finish one. Well I did! However I was quite forgetful about documenting the process along the way. My camera seemed to be at home when I remembered to take a picture or I'd forget to snap a shot even with the camera in my pocket. Anyway here are a couple of "In Progress" shots with images of the final piece down below. I'll update tomorrow with pictures of the recipient of the gift while holding the final product I like to call "Ed Wood".

Friday, December 16, 2011

Free Reel Review Night with Reel Feedback

Last night was awesome! There was a HUGE turnout at Lanesplitter's in Emeryville for Free Reel Review Night with Reel Feedback. No kidding, we reviewed more than 150 reels in four hours! The place was packed and I think I only stopped twice in the four hours only to use the restroom. The folks who came were fired up and so was The Review Board. The Review Board consisted of Hans Brekke (Founder of Reel Feedback and lead animator at Tippett Studio), Tom Gibbons (Animation Supervisor at Tippett Studio), Miko Coedel (Senior Animator at ILM), Erik Kling (Animation Supervisor at LucasFilm Animation), Pete Kelly (Lead Animator at ILM), and myself. It was amazing. It was electric. Thanks to everyone who made it possible and thank you Hans for including me in such and awesome event. Here are some pics taken by Jimmy Almeida who not only took pictures, but brought us beer too! AND he can animate!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Free Reel Review with Reel Feedback

I mentioned a while ago about Hans Breke creating a place for people to have their demo reels reviewed by professional animators called Reel Feedback. Well now he's putting together a promotion night where you can receive a Reel Review for FREE! Here is the poster (Click on the poster to see it bigger) and a link to the event. And if you didn't already have incentive to go, I will be one of the reviewers... oh. Not helping? Well come anyway and enjoy some pizza and beverages and talk animation with some awesome people. Hope to see you there.


Saturday, November 12, 2011


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tippett Studio Secret Santa Gift Exchange Update

For this year's Tippett Studio Secret Santa Gift Exchange (TSSSGE) I've decided to take on a medium that I have little to no experience in: Wood working. I've made an "Aggravation" board game for my old man for Father's Day, I've cut some wood trim for my windows, and made my own "Cornhole" boards but that's about it. Square cuts, nothing too out of the ordinary. Well now with the help of my good friend Blair Clark I'm learning how to make all kinds of cuts! What am I doing with all this new knowledge? So far it's looking like a pile of wood pieces and some random sketches. Hopefully later this week I'll have more to show for my new learned skills. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tippett Studio Secret Santa Gift Exchange

Every year Tippett Studio has a tradition that is one of the coolest I've ever been a part of. It is called "The Tippett Studio Secret Santa Gift Exchange". I know most of you are saying "We have one of those at our company too." And I'm sure you do... but maybe not like this. Rumor has it the original Tippett Studio Secret Santa Gift Exchange happened decades ago when none of the artists had money but were good at creating art (Not much different today, but you get the point). The idea was spawned that an artist would draw another artist's name out of a hat in the month of October. Then they would CREATE a special gift to be given at the Tippett Studio Holiday Party with out that person finding out who made the gift. Hence being their Secret Santa. This still holds up today. Every year people volunteer to be a part of the exchange in October, draw names and begin probably the most stressful art project of their career. I've been a part of the exchange twice. The bar for the gifts is set so high that I can't possibly do it every year. When someone receives a Starship Troopers maquette that looks like them with bullet casings and dead warrior bugs to boot you suddenly start to wonder if your silly attempt at a goofy pun holds water. The answer is probably no, but it's damn fun to try. And this year I'm doing it. The Holiday Party will be held on December 17th and the count down has begun. I'm not 100% sold on what I'm doing just yet, but I have my person selected (Can't tell you who it is or they might figure out it was me) and my goal is to keep you updated on a weekly basis. This blog has driven me to accomplish a lot of things and I'm hoping it will push me to finish the project I'm planning. Wish me luck and next week I'll, hopefully, have some images to show!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


After a nice hiatus from this blog I'm going to be posting again. How regularly is yet to be seen but I do have some things lined up for the rest of the year. To warm things up here are a few sketches I did on my iPad using "Art Studio" while lounging in Mexico with mi familia. Rough life right? These sketches really show how rusty I am and how badly I need to be drawing again. However I tossed aside the fake iPad stylus pen for the good old fashioned finger. It's amazing how sketching that way has a visceral appeal. I just might be doing more sketches this way. Thanks for checking in.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Last Week - The Towel

This year I set out to do an animation a week. After last year's drawing a day I figured an animation a week couldn't be THAT hard. It was. I am officially throwing in the towel. I need some time off. The gas tank is empty and the battery dead. I'm looking to take a month off from posting anything. I appreciate all of you who check this site regularly and all of you who supported my goal and it is because of you that I will be back. There will be more content. Just not for a month. Here is my last animation for this New Year's resolution.

A special thank you to Tom Gibbons for keeping me going this long. We jumped on this train together and it's looking like we're jumping off together too. And an extra thank you to my wife: Thank you Lady. Your support for my art inspires me.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Week 29 Animation - THAT Guy

Have you ever played touch football with THAT guy? You know THAT guy who plays touch football like it's tackle? THAT guy always takes everything too seriously.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Week 28 Animation - Walk

Here is a little walk cycle I did using Animation Creator HD on my iPad. I did this while working in Boston for the week. I didn't have a lot of time, but it was fun doodling while Alec Hart, Creative Cartel's Data Wrangler, was learning the software on his iPad. Good times at Chelsea by the Sea.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

No post? What gives?

I'm sitting in Logan Airport trying to figure out a way to post my animation for the week and it's looking like it is not going to happen. I've been in Boston all week. Stick with me my friends. I do have my animation done. It's ready to post. The silly little walk cycle will be published as soon as I get home to the Bay Area.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Week 27 Animation - My Pal Randy

This week I decided to veer from the piece that I've been putting together over the last few weeks. I was inspired by a friend who has left the top hemisphere for the land under the Down Under. I think he's working on Hobbits or something.

Then again, maybe the fact that 4/5ths of Tippett is animating wolves for the new "Twilight" movie has something to do with my subject matter this week?!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Week 26 Animation - Debt Unpaid - work in progress

At work this week I was talking about needing to animate for my weekly animation when a fellow animator named Ryan Hood said, "What are you going to animate this week? More running?". Well Mr. Hood the answer to your inquiry is yes, yes I am.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Week 25 Animation - Debt Unpaid - work in progress

And another scene. This one still needs some work, but I did manage to figure out all the shots for "Debt Unpaid" and do an animatics pass. Now I just need to animate all of it. Piece of cake right?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Week 24 Animation - Debt Unpaid - work in progress

This week I realized drawing backgrounds on paper and scanning them in in Photoshop is a much better option the trying to draw them in Flash. I'm actually pretty happy with how this shot turned out. Next week I'm hoping to crank out at least two shots. I'm telling you all this so you'll hold me accountable!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Week 23 Animation - Debt Unpaid - work in progress

Here are a couple more shots from "Debt Unpaid". It's been awesome figuring out camera angles, deciding what's the best way to tell the story and experimenting with Flash. However after two weeks of working on this piece I'm realizing it's going to take me a while to get it done. What is it about animation that starts so simple but ALWAYS becomes more complicated? I even have a post-it on my computer that says "Keep It Simple!".

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Week 22 Animation - Debt Unpaid part 1

This week starts a series of shots that will part of an entire sequence. The look is still being worked out as is most of the sequence, but here are a couple of shots that I've started. Enjoy.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Reel Feedback

For all those people sending out your animation reels and wondering if your reel is good enough, I have a site for you.

Reel Feedback

What is it you ask? It's a site that was started by Hans Brekke, an exceptional animator, where you can upload your reel and have professional animators from all over the industry see it and give you notes. No longer do you need to wait for feedback. You can now check in with Reel Feedback and find out how good your reel really is plus receive pointers to make your reel better. It's genius. It's simple. It's not a school with tuition. It's a place where you're reel will be reviewed and you'll get answers. Check it out.

Week 21 Animation - Ready, Set...

Sorry for the late posting. This last week I was out of town and couldn't figure out a way to copy and paste the embeded code from youTube to this blog on my iPad. Anyway, a quick flower sack test.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Week 20 Animation - Lounge - Final

Here is the final piece for "Lounge". It has SOUND so turn on those speakers and enjoy the show.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Week 19 Animation - Lounge Part 2

So this week was brutal. I played with technology for too long and achieved very little. Then I excuse, excuse, and excuse. It was a tough week. However I did manage to clean up the animation a bit. Next week I plan to do more on this piece.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Week 18 Animation - Lounge Part 1

This week I started playing with sound! It has been awesome... until I tried to export a quicktime out of Flash. The sync is WAY off. I cannot figure out how to get it to line up. I spent tonight not animating, NO. I spent tonight effing around with audio. GAH!!!!! Anyway, here's the first half of the piece (Without sound), not cleaned up. Next week I'll have a final product.

Hope this appetizer keeps you satiated until I can put together the main course.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Questions and Hopefully Answers - Forks and Roadblocks

The question that recently came up was, "Have you ever come to a point in your animation progression where you are completely stumped?". My answer, "EVERY time I animate.". When I started really thinking about the question I realized there are two categories of stumped: Forks and Roadblocks.

A Fork is a point in animating when you're suddenly inspired to "try something". Then you look at what you've "tried" and can't tell which path is better. Do you go forward on the new path or go back to where you were going originally. This can be something as simple as a different timing on that pesky foot plant to a different acting choice. Either way you're stumped.

A Roadblock is a point where you can't move forward. It can be caused by procrastination. It can be caused by a lack of knowledge or technology issues. It can be anything that stops you from continuing along your path to final animation. You're stumped

So what do you do? How do you pick a Fork? How do you break through that Roadblock? The short answer is that I have no idea! Ha! The longer answer is here is what I try to do:

With a Fork I'm stuck trying to make a decision on two or more paths. Sometimes this decision can be based on many factors. The first factor usually is quality. You're stuck between two choices that you equally love and cannot decide which one is going to be more awesome! Or sometimes your stuck between which choice is less worse. Yikes. The second factor is time. You're trying to make a quality animation in the time you've been given, but time is ticking away with ever second you can't make up your mind. In either situation I like to ask myself a series of questions. The answers will most likely give me a direction that I, and as importantly my supervisor, am happy with:
1. Which one is clearer? Clarity should always be the deciding factor in your animation decisions. Because if you have to explain it it isn't working.
2. Which one helps sell the shot? Does one path tell the audience what you're trying to get across better than the other option?
3. Does it even matter? Show your choices to a coworker or friend and see what they say. If they say, "What's the difference?", then it doesn't really matter. You shouldn't be wasting your time.
4. How much time do you have? If your deadline is coming up fast, that fun little foot kick that will take you two days to animate probably isn't worth it. Especially if your answer from "Does it matter?", is no.
5. What's your gut saying? Lastly learn to trust your gut. Run a movie of your options side by side. Look at one. Look at the other. Make the call and don't look back.
Usually after I've answered these questions I'm off and running. Overall don't let this Fork become a Roadblock.

A Roadblock can be much more difficult to overcome. A Roadblock can come in many shapes and forms, but all have the same result of time lost. The first thing I do is ask myself a question (you'll notice I ask myself a lot of questions), "Why am I not moving?". It is important to answer honestly. The answer usually fits into a category such as: technical issues, waiting on notes, don't know where to go, task is too big, laziness, etc... At that point I will take the answer and start breaking it down in manageable steps that I CAN attack. The trick to getting past that damn Roadblock is to remove all reasons NOT to do something so you HAVE to do something. For example, if you're working in Maya and your rig loads inside out, but you don't know what to do. Break it down in to manageable steps: e-mail whomever you received the rig from, go back to your thumbnails and rework them while you wait for a fix, if you built the rig then go over the rigging steps again, put the shot on hold and start another shot even if it's just planning. Or another example, let's say you're feeling lazy. You just don't feel like hammering on your shot. Break it down: Take a break, Walk around the building, sketch, grab a drink, but make sure to give yourself a time line. Tell yourself that in 15 minutes I am going to do a specific shot related task such as clean up the curves on the torso of my character. Just make sure you have a task when you get back or else you will sit there and find something else not to do. Bottom line is you can always do something, even if it's taking a step back, to help you go forward. Momentum is key to breaking down that Roadblock. Do something.

Both Forks and Roadblocks will happen through out your career. It's the people who learn to solve them quickly that are successful. Hopefully this helps if and when you become stumped. Especially if you're reading this to procrastinate from what you really need to be doing!

Hope to work with you soon.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Week 17 Animation - Sad

Yes. This week's animation is just sad. Due to some freelance work I wasn't able to spend much time on this week's animation. At least it's done right?... Right?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Week 16 Animation - Terrarium

I've realized that my children need a pet. A dog? Too many landmines in the yard. A Cat? Cats would eat us if they were big enough. A bird? Since my children have grown out of pooping on me I'm kind of cool with no other animal pooping on me. How about an amphibian type reptile thing?

I do need to say that staying on model is a difficult task. My hat is off... WAY off to anyone who does traditional animation professionally. You people are awesome.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Week 15 Animation - Eminent Doom

This is a quick one for this week.

CTN Expo 2010 - Animals and Creatures Animation Breakdown

UPDATE: Apparently CTN took the link down. If I find it again I'll make sure to post. Sorry folks.

Last year I did a talk at the Creative Talent Network Expo with some awesome animators from Tippett and ILM. It was an amazing experience. I met some very inspiring people. The expo was a well done event. I highly recommend that anyone interested in the world of animation, illustration, design, and film in general should attend. It's still a very intimate expo as far as conferences go. Here's the talk in case you want to check it out:

Animals & Creatures Animation Breakdown from Creative Talent Network on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Week 14 Animation - The Revenge of The Burrito

This week's animation was inspired by eating a very large burrito. The character design was not based off of any one. Especially anyone named Jeremie. Especially anyone named Jeremie who LOVES burritos. Any similarities are solely by coincidence.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Week 13 Animation - Snow Day

Even in California us kids wish for a snow day. However with this whole "Global Warming" thing I still haven't given up hope.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Week 12 Animation - Bar Fly

Let's just say after this week I need a drink.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Questions and Hopefully Answers

Recently I was asked the question, "What makes a good animator?". That is a tough question, but it really got me thinking.

Before I answer the question let me start by stating that I am in no way an expert on what it takes to "make it" in the world of animation. There are a number of different paths and talent levels that will work and be successful in the medium of animation. My experience is in the world of Visual Effects animation.

The obvious answer to, "What makes a good animator?", is, "A good animator knows how to animate." HA. That's not going to cut it for my answer tonight. I am assuming a good animator is someone who not only knows the basics, but someone who knows the details of animating a character as well. What I want to discuss is who makes it as a A-Team player, a solid professional animator.

Here is what I see as the main quality that makes a good professional animator: A problem solver. In the world of visual effects the client can change their mind with the change of the wind. It happens so much so that we at Tippett tried to convince Animation Mentor to create a class where a student works on a shot for four weeks then the mentor completely changes the idea of the shot and the student then has to finish the shot in one week! Ha. A good animator has to be able to handle that kind of madness and still create a quality product. But how? They learn to solve problems. Not only does a good animator learn to solve problems, they learn to set themselves up to solve problems before they even happen. Kind of like a good fighter can see a punch before it's thrown. Now what does that mean? How do you learn to do that?

I'm not saying you need to be a smart person, because I'm definitely not. But what I am saying is you need to be able to put your ego aside, not focus on what you've already created and solve for the current problem at hand. It's not easy. Trust me. There have been plenty of "cooling off" walks around the building to get my head back on straight. There has even been a broken keyboard (a story for another time). The main goal is to please the client and still get at least a sliver of our own creativity in there. If you can take notes from a client, supervisor, or lead that may even seem crazy and make them work, you will be rewarded. Especially if you do it with a cool head and in a timely fashion.

But how do you plan for that? How do you see that chess move three steps ahead? Here are some things that I do:

1st, take a LOT of notes. Even listen to the notes other animators have been given. It will save you time later. Study the vocabulary of whom ever is giving you notes. They may like to say "more Mickey Mouse", but mean "Get his ears up". Then you can solve for that note that much quicker and preemptively add "more Mickey Mouse" to your next shot.

2nd, come to the table with some of your own ideas. Be ready to not use them, but make sure you're not sitting there saying, "I don't know. What do you think he should do?"

3rd, keep your blocking simple, but make sure it reads. I can't seem to remember who said this, but "If you have to explain it, it isn't working". If you need to get that hand gesture in there to get your idea across then do it, just don't over work that fancy overlap.

4th, be ready to Hack and Slash. Grab the problem area and tear it out if need be. Don't get married to an idea. (Tom Gibbons will disagree with my Hack and Slash technique. But what does he know? He's only been animating for 30 years or so. HA. Love you Gibby)

5th, it's all in the details. Be the Wolf, from "Pulp Fiction" with the details. Make sure your suprevisor/lead doesn't have to remind you to animate your toes and tails. Make sure you have the latest rig if need be. Publish your shots the proper way. Don't make your leads double check your work. As Phil Tippett likes to say, "Make a coffee list." It's a list of all the things you need to do before final on every shot. Tape that list to your monitor and double check it before you call it final. Because the worst thing isn't that you forgot to do something and you've slowed the production. No. The worst thing is you forgot to do something and it's in the movie FOREVER!!

And the last thing I want to mention is for some of the students out there working at your first job or even if you're a veteran changing companies, problem solving also involves having the guts to get out of your seat and ask for help. Go talk to your fellow employees. Don't wait for the lead or supervisor to come around and ask if everything is okay before mentioning the rig is inside out.

Overall, a good problem solving animator is self motivated to get it done and make it look good no matter what it takes. The greatest thing for a supervisor to hear from an animator is, "I already took care of that."

Hope to work with you soon.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Week 11 Animation - Lil' Pirates: Part 2

Here is the final product of "Lil' Pirates".

Another "Thank YOU!" goes out to Randy Link for supplying the characters. Here is the model sheet he gave me for inspiration. As you can see there are a few differences. The hat became more square, for instance. He also lost his belt after about the first drawing! HA.

And here are my thumbnails. I originally had the bit end with them in the original position and burping up shark bones, but it felt like I was trying to fit in too many gags: He hits lil' squab in the water for sinking the boat, he's scared lil' squab is eaten, he thinks HE's going to be eaten, he's confused by the giant dead shark, he's happy to see lil's squab. It just felt like it didn't need the burping gag. Besides, gas gags are easy. Don't get me wrong I love a good gas gag. "Dumb and Dumber"!! One of the best toilet scenes ever! But this time it felt like a burp gag for the sake of a burp gag. It didn't have a purpose. In "Dumb and Dumber" it served the story.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Week 10 Animation - Lil' Pirates: Part 1

This week I have to thank Randy Link for letting me use his characters. The Lil' Pirates are his characters that he created for his own comic of the same name. They are silly and fun and Randy was cool enough to let me run with these guys.

The piece is not finished, there is still a part two and I want to do some clean up to part one. However hopefully you get a flavor of these two characters and you'll come back next week for more Lil' Pirates fun.

Also, Randy does other things than draw silly fun pirates. You should check out his zombie short film "Salty Dogs".

Friday, March 4, 2011

Week 9 Animation - Bruce Forgot His Car Key

This week I purchased an iPad! Yes, I know the iPad 2 came out. And Yes, it was announced practically the DAY after I bought mine. But I don't care and here's why: I flew to Boston for work for a few days and I was able to animate on the plane!! How awesome is that? So this piece was done on my iPad, on a plane, on a long trip home. Fantastic right? The app I used was "Animation HD". It is not as robust as some animation programs on home computers, but I did this on a plane! It's a little piece about emotion. Did I mention that I did this on a plane?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Week 8 Animation - Artistic Freedom

Another week, another unpolished animation. Wait... WHAT?! Time keeps promising me more and then it runs and hides at the first sign of commitment. Damn you Time.

This little bit was inspired by watching my kids paint/color/create. They work with such freedom and joy. They love the experience as much, if not more, than the final product. They are so much fun to watch create. I highly recommend it. I mean I recommend you watch kids create, not necessarily MY kids. Just kids in general. Um... Please make sure you know the kids because that might be a little weird if you're just staring at some random kids. Especially if you're at a park, by yourself, wearing dark glasses, and with a bag of candy and a box that says "puppy".

Friday, February 18, 2011

Week 7 Animation - The Marshmallow Experiment

This week's animation is a take on The Marshmallow Experiment. I wasn't able to complete the animation to a polished level, however I do feel I hit all the beats I was going for and then some. The great part about 2D animation is you can add as you see fit, yet still see the work in progress and make out what is happening. In contrast, CG animation tends to look floaty and light weight in the early phases and takes a leap of faith from the viewer to see what is intended. ANYWAY, here is my animation for the week:

Here are the thumbnails of this animation for those that are interested. They go in a serpentine motion starting from left to right and bending back right to left on the second row and so on and so forth. Hopefully you can follow the arrows and the action. You'll notice I did stray from some of the actions and added a few new ones. Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Week 6 Animation - Watch Your Six Part 2

This week is the conclusion to "Watch Your Six". I've had fun playing with ones versus twos and even some threes this week. It's amazing how much freedom you have playing with holding frames. You can get some really snappy fun actions when you play with twos versus the smooth action of ones. Then again sometimes you really need ones to sell the action because it's just happening too fast. I've never really had the opportunity to do this kind of experimentation since I've been doing CG animation my whole career and CG is totally on ones. Reading all those books about how to animate in 2D is really making sense now.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Questions and Hopefully Answers

From time to time I receive questions from animators who are looking to learn more about the craft. Even though I've done some lectures and am a mentor from time to time at Animation Mentor AND I've been animating for a good 13 years now, I'm still surprised when people ask for advice. Crap, I still have way more questions than answers myself. Although sometimes I actually do have an answer! "So what?", you may ask. Well I'm thinking if any of you out there have any questions feel free to ask. I'll do my best to answer.
Here's the first one!

An animator recently asked me "How do you animate a wing flap on a creature?"

To make a believable wing flap, on any creature, you first should look at reference of birds, bats, and insects. When you're actions are grounded in real life they will be more believable to the audience because it's something familiar even though it's on a different type of creature. Once you've studied that reference you'll see that a wing flap is not just up and down. It's not even just up and down with some front to back. There's a twist in there, literally. Not to mention the attitude/motivation of the creature will dictate the type of flap you need. A flap that helps a flying creature land, for instance, is much different from a flap that accelerates the beast.

One way to think about a wing flap is as if the creature is "swimming" through the air. Air, even though it's primarily a gas, still has a lot in common with water. Therefore flying is a lot like swimming through the air. Think about when you tread water or even do the butterfly stroke (Okay only like 2% of the people in the world can do a proper butterfly, but you've at least SEEN it done). When doing these strokes your arms don't flap up and down hap hazardly. They PULL you through the water or PUSH you above the water. Now go back and look at some birds flying and see if you can see the commonality between Michael Phelps doing the butterfly and a loon taking off.
Good Luck.

Week 5 Animation - Watch Your Six

No blood was spilled during the making of this week's animation, only wine.

I'm hoping to animate part two of this animation next week. Stay tuned (Yes, I know that was a perfect opportunity for a pun but as an animator "Stay Tooned" is too cliche for even me.)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Week 4 Animation - Strike

"Free Time" is a rare bird these days. Every time it's with in my grasp it scurries into it's secret nest and mocks me from a far. This week's animation is not complete, but I'm posting anyway because I feel it's a success due to the illusive aforementioned "Free Time". I'm looping this weeks animation three times (Seems fitting considering it's subject matter) so you won't have to keep clicking on the play button if you feel the need for multiple viewings. I may continue to do this looping, and then again I may not! I really have no idea.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Week 3 Animation - Bad Take

This week was so busy that I didn't really have time to do much. I'm not too proud of this piece as much as I'm proud for sticking with it this week. I tried a couple of things, like a different frame rate (16fps) compared to standard film rate (24fps). I also tried some crazy blur frames. Honestly, I feel like I throwing spaghetti against the wall here. I'm not sure if anything is sticking yet. (Add long exhale here.)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Animals and Creatures Master Class

I wanted to post this sooner, however I haven't had time until tonight. Animation Mentor, on Tuesday, made public their new class series called the "Animals and Creatures Master Class". Some folks and I over at Tippett Studio along with animators from ILM and Sony Imageworks, among others, worked with the amazing team at Animation Mentor to create a curriculum that will not only teach animators how to animate creatures but how to animate them in a Visual Effects world. My description at this hour is not doing it justice so head on over to Animation Mentor and get a better idea of the amazing classes that have been created:
Animation Mentor

Plus you can read about it in these articles:
Animation Magazine
Animation World Network

It's an awesome opportunity to learn from the people in the Animation/Visual Effects business.

Week 2 Animation - Super

You have to love Preston Blair's book "Cartoon Animation". It has some great ref and inspired me to do this piece. I learned a LOT doing this exercise. Scale and volume are very difficult to keep consistent. I'll try to post more interesting bits as the weeks go on, but for now here's this weeks animation.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy 2011!!

With 2010 in the books it's time to come up with a new New Year's Resolution. I've put a lot of thought into this. I had to consider what's realistic as well as what will push me to learn. My answer!?!?

An Animation A Week!

Yes. A little crazy, but I'm not limiting myself here. It can be a flip book on a post-it pad or some stop motion or especially Flash animation. My goal is to get better at animation as a whole. However do not expect to see anything work relate or anything "CG" for that matter(even though Flash is technically Computer Generated, but that's a whole other debate for another time). There is no frame limit or mandatory subject matter. I'm hoping to leave this open and see where I go. Wish me luck. Oh... Here's the first week's animation:

Update: Embedded YouTube Video for higher resolution.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 364 - Stick Figures

This is it. A YEAR! A year spent looking to improve. A year spent drawing everyday for the full 364 days. A year of fun and frustration. What a year. And this last drawing is what it all came down to. HA. Gotta love it.

Thank you to everyone who has been checking in. Thanks for all the kind words in the comments section. You all kept me going. Thank you to Brian Mendenhall for being my editor. Thank you to Blair Clark for lending me his Wacom tablet. And thank you to my wife, Wendy, for being cool with me spending most of our evenings together drawing and asking her, "Is this funny?".

So what's up with 2011's resolution? Well there is something in the works. I've made it, but I'm not quite ready to share it just yet. I'm going to take this weekend to relax and not draw for a couple of days. Check in later in the week. Thanks again.


Day 363 - Almost There

It's amazing to think I'm almost there. I just need to take that last couple steps. And then I go on a trip and forget my sketch pad. However, I made do with some old school lined paper and a ball point. It really reminded me why I love drawing so much.