Sunday, March 25, 2012

Figurative Concepts Friday (from Friday before last)

This is the first head I drew in Figurative Concepts class. The paper got smashed on the BART, but you get the gist of what's going on here.

And here's a close-up:

Figurative Concepts Homework

Ears, eyes, noses and mouths, oh my!

My favorite ear:

Links of Note: The Animation Podcast

Links of Note is a weekly post in which I offer a description of the links posted on the right side of this blog. Today I will be discussing the Animation Podcast. Enjoy! 

Several years ago I came across an excellent podcast on iTunes called The Animation Podcast.

It was the first animation podcast that I found and still one of the best. Disney animator Clay Kaytis (animation supervisor on "Tangled") interviews  the greats in the industry, including Andreas Deja (supervising animator for Tigger, Jafar, Scar), Eric Goldberg (supervising animator for the Genie), and Burny Mattison (story department for "Tarzan", "Pocahontas", "Aladdin"). His interviews are in depth and he asks interesting questions. He conducted the last podcast in 2008 however the website is still going strong and he continues to answer reader questions.

Check out the podcast here and feast your ears on animation gold.

Image via The Animation Podcast

Thesis Project Thumbnails: "The Lord of the Ocean"

Here are the first thumbnails for my thesis project, "The Lord of the Ocean."

Jennifer Yuh Nelson - The Most Successful Female Director in History

Brenda Chapman (an excellent animation director in her own right) posted a link to this great article about Jennifer Yuh Nelson - director of Kung Fu Panda 2 and the most successful female director in history. She is incredibly humble and talented - it's exciting to know that there are directors out there as awesome as her. Keep up the good work, Jennifer!

Image via Manny the Movie Guy

Friday, March 16, 2012

Figurative Concepts Friday

Getting better at drawing the head and using the proper cast and form shadows. Not bad considering I had 30 minutes of sleep the night before. Here is the full head drawing:

Here is the close up:

And here is Serafina, the model. She's one of my favorite models and a very cool person:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Walk to Run Cycle Animation

Here is the third version of my walk to run cycle. This is a vast improvement from the one I turned in last week to class and better than the one I worked on yesterday. It still needs some work - there are two frames that need to be added to the transition, but overall it is a far cry from last week's walk cycle madness.

Animation is quite a mechanical process. Before I came to school I read several books and watched several tutorials on the process. Now that I am in my second animation class, the material I researched before I arrived at school is beginning to make more sense. Once you begin working on animation itself, the tips and tricks in the books become applicable to your everyday experience.

The toughest thing about animation is that it is a one step forward, two steps back process. We animated a walk cycle last semester, which was not nearly as difficult as this walk cycle, which is weird to me. You would think that having done this before, it would not be as difficult. I have a great teacher this semester who explains the concepts better, and I believe that the reason that all of my assignments are harder than last semester is because he is teaching us a better way to plan out our shots on the X-sheet and is focusing heavily on how we can improve our timing and spacing.

I am indebted to the other students in the grad lab for helping me figure out how to properly use an X-sheet and plan out my keys and breakdowns. Thanks also to the Animation Club for inspiring me to animate a ball with legs and to add the torso, head and arms last. It's all about working in layers - if the legs move properly, then you go on to the next thing.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sketchy BART People: March 13, 2012

Here they are. I really like the first set.

Andrew Stanton - The Clues To A Great Story

Andrew Stanton gave an excellent talk at TED about creating a great story and his work on "Finding Nemo," "Wall-E," and "John Carter."

Special thanks to the 11 Second Club for posting this link on their site. Enjoy.

Steve Hickner - Building Your Career

Here's a great video that my friend sent me of a talk that Steve Hickner, Director of "Bee Movie" at DreamWorks Animation, gave at CTN Animation Expo last November. Great stuff. Take notes.

Building Your Career from Getting In to Getting It All from Creative Talent Network on Vimeo.

A job might last two to three years where as a career in the animation business is “a life”. Steve presents an engaging opportunity to build a point of view and help you get in this industry and continue to grow. ~Steve Hickner, Director DreamWorks Animation Studio

Sketchy BART People: March 12, 2012

Here are the unsuspecting BART riders I captured with my pencil yesterday.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Storyboard Animatics I & II: The Legend of Magdalene

And here is the final result of the previous posts storyboards - the animatics for "The Legend of Magdalene." I used a combination of one and two shots and rearranged the order to get a different feel for the story.

The Legend of Magdalene Animatic I

The Legend of Magdalene Animatic II 

The Legend of Magdalene Storyboards

Here is the storyboard project redux - this time Bob had us create two sets, one shots and two shots.
I enjoyed the project but I see now exactly why there is a mix of ones and twos in a film. Makes it a lot easier to come up with a wide variety of camera angles. 

One Shot Thumbnails

One Shot Storyboards

Two Shot Thumbnails

Two Short Storyboards

Sunday, March 11, 2012

UPA Cartoons Are Coming!

I am super excited about this - Turner and Sony are releasing "UPA Jolly Frolics" on DVD on Thursday. What is UPA you ask? Only one of the coolest companies ever to have existed in animation history.

Several of the Disney strikers left the company in the 40s, went off and formed their own company, the United Productions of America and produced several Academy Award winning shorts, including "Gerald McBoing Boing" based on the Dr. Seuss story of the same name of a boy who speaks in sounds instead of words.

"Gerald McBoing Boing"

This is the group that brought you "Ragtime Bear" (the very first Mr. Magoo short), "A Unicorn in the Garden", "Rooty Toot Toot" and Edgar Allen Poe's the "The Tell-Tale Heart," one of the darkest films in the medium. We watched all of these shorts in animation history class last semester and I instantly fell in love with the limited animation and graphic style, especially "Rooty Toot Toot", one of the best cartoons I've ever seen.

"Rooty Toot Toot"

Sadly the company began to decline due to pressure from the House Un-American Committee, threatening legal action if anyone in the company was suspected of being Communist.

However, you can PRE-ORDER the DVD on site right now and enjoy the films that heavily influenced Disney, Warner Bros. and many of the cartoons you now see on Cartoon Network. The DVD includes 38 shorts and commentary by Leonard Maltin ships out on March 15th.

"Gerald McBoing Boing"

Model Sheets from

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Man With No Name Walk Cycle

THIS is what I was trying to do with my walk cycle for Animation II.

The cycle was done by Stephanie Blakely.

Great job.

Heads and Hands Day 7

For our Figurative Concepts homework I drew 24 heads based on famous paintings and Greek and Roman Sculptures. I seriously enjoyed this assignment. All of the heads were drawn in 15 - 20 minutes. More hands in the next few days.