Saturday, September 30, 2006

Angela Signing Off

Hello dear readers,

this will be the last post you see from me for a while. My lovely borrowed computer must return to its owner, and until I get a new computer (or get the old one fixed - darn you Dell Computers!!) there will be no more updates on Tuesdays.

Never fear though, for your insatiable need for cartoony art will return - hopefully sooner than later.

I bid you adieu (for now).

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Women in Animation

Ah fall.
The leaves begin to turn.
The children go back to school.
And all of the animation organizations return from their summer hiatus to once again inform the masses.

Women in Animation kicked off its first meeting by bringing together two industry greats - Tom Warburton, a.k.a. Mr. Warburton, creator of Code Name: Kids Next Door, and Heather Kenyon, Senior Director of Development of Original Series at Cartoon Network. I had the great pleasure of meeting Tom at David Levy's book signing earlier this year, and he is as funny as I remember. And as a HUGE FAN of Cartoon Network (ahem, "Teen Titans!", "Samurai Jack!") I truly enjoyed meeting Ms. Kenyon. She proved to be absolutely delightful offered a great wealth of wisdom regarding how to pitch a show, how to take criticism and what to put in a pitch bible (fill your pitch bible with cool pictures- don't make it novel size!) and what Cartoon Network looks for (boy's action shows). She also recommended that when creating a show, think of the type of show you wanted to watch at age eight that you never thought people would make, and go from there.

I learned that running your own series is not for the faint of heart. Animation is not a nine to five office job, and those that wish to create a great series ala "KND", "Teen Titans" or "Ben 10" better prepare to put in the hours - i.e. working 7 days a week, being the first to arrive and the last to leave (at 8, not 5). However, the reward is a great product and getting to work with awesome people, and if you don't burn your bridges, those are the same people you can bring aboard your next awesome project. For example, Tom worked with Mo Williams on "Sheep in the Big City," and he later brought Mo to work on "KND". And Rob Renzetti impressed the CN folks so much with his work and personality that he is now part of the CN development team.

When asked how he keeps from imploding, Tom responded that he does get overwhelmed sometimes, but that it is important to keep a level-head on the job, because people are looking up to you, their captain, to steer the ship. Also, he said that there would be times when things are crazy, but you get that extra rush of adreline and that enables you to work 7 days straight and get thing accomplished. Heather also added that proper nutrition, sleep and exercise will keep you sane during the creative process.

Mr. Warburton also recommended that beginning animators work on other people's shows, so that they can make mistakes on those shows, instead of their own, and learn how the entire creation process actually works.

So there you have it folks. Work hard, play hard, learn from those who've come before you and you'll be just fine.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Guy sitting 2

Guy sitting

Guy on bike

Alex plays guitar

© 2006 Angela Entzminger

Jeanne vs. Alex

© 2006 Angela Entzminger

Sketch Blog

So after posting last week I realized that I mainly draw characters standing perfectly straight.

But animation is all about movement. So this week I began to draw characters in various other positions. My good friend returned from Japan with several anime books for me, so I am teaching myself how to draw in that particular style. I am more impressed though with the various poses in the book, three of which are shown here.

And fear not - Alex Pariah will return soon.

An evening with Bruno Bruzzetto

This evening I had the great pleasure of watching celebrated filmmaker Bruno Bruzzetto present one of his feature films, Allegro, for ASIFA-EAST's first event of the fall. The film, inspired by Disney's Fantasia, takes place in an Italian Opera house, where a crazed conductor, a Liberace-like narrator, an abused animator, a young cleaning woman and an orchestra made up of geriatric women converge to create beautiful music and animation. Much like Fantasia, the movie cuts from comedic scenes in the real world to animated sequences set to such classics as Ravel's Bolero and Ivan Stravinsky's Firebird.

It was quite different than what I expected. Fantasia contains better stories, and some of the comedic parts of Allegro did not provide enough oomph. However, while not as whimisical as the Disney version upon which it is based, the animation of Allegro was quite good, particularly the character's expressions. My favorite scene, set to Bolero, chronicled the evolution of various prehistoric creatures who emerged from a primordial sea of (get this) Coca Cola and marching in time to the music. Very original indeed.

The best part though was meeting Mr. Bruzzetto in person. I met him yesterday at a rooftop party in the city, and found him to be most agreeable and kind. He remembered me today, and we discussed some of the technical aspects, such as how clean and clear everything appears on DVD as opposed to film, (keep in mind dear readers, that this film is over 30 years old).

I wish you well Bruno, on your journey to the Ottawa Festival. Hopefully one day we shall meet again!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Alex's English Teacher

This is Alex's English Teacher, Ms. Constance O'Malley.
I based her off of Ms. Woodall, my 11th grade high school English teacher. She was really cool, not only because she was interesting, but because she took the time to listen to students and get to know them as people. Ms. O'Malley helps Alex cope with his new life in a new school.

© 2006 Angela Entzminger


Now Jeanne is an interesting character. She is a combination of a couple people I knew in high school all rolled up into one. She likes to learn but is not a big fan of school and she knows that high school is kind of silly but she gets caught up in the crowd anyway sometimes. I experimented a lot with her, particularly her hair, to figure out how she should look.

I like the drawings in the middle the best.

© 2006 Angela Entzminger


Here's the first drawing I ever did of Kylie. Her outfit was inspired by 8th grade girls I used to see walking around the mall - lots of little kids in frilly skirts and giant chunky sandals. They all looked like they had leapt out of a "Limited Too" catalog.

© 2006 Angela Entzminger


This is a school photo of Susan, Kylie's best friend. In case you're wondering about the color - I use non-photo blue pencils when I'm sketching and then trace over the marks I like with a regular pencil. This works out well because blue pencils are cheap, they don't smudge and the marks don't show up when you make copies at Kinko's.

© 2006 Angela Entzminger

Alex Draft 2

I drew Alex in a style inspired by a show on CN called "Code Name: Kids Next Door."
Notice the oversized shoes and large sleeve openings.

© 2006 Angela Entzminger

Alex Drafts

Here are several incarncations of Alex.

© 2006 Angela Entzminger

Return of the fox

So after waiting on Sunday for my coworker to show up with my new monitor
(which never happened) and after having problems with my roommate's scanner (grr) I became thoroughly frustrated by this whole mess. Why did my laptop die after four short years?

Fortunately, now the scanner/printer is operating again so I can now resume with my weekly blogging. I am currently working on page 4 of "Alex Pariah," but while you wait, enjoy some of the sketches that I crafted in the interim.

As you will see, it takes many drawings to flesh out an idea of what a character should (or should not) look like.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Alas poor software, hardware, etc.

One day the stars will align and all computer errors will be a thing of the past.
But alas, today is not that day.
Due to my roommate's scanner AND Adobe Photoshop program not functioning (i.e. freezing then going dead) no new posts today.
I know, your tears could fill a thousand Tuesdays.
But fear not dear readers! For tomorrow is a better day (and I get a new monitor this weekend and return to MY computer and scanner - yeah!)