Wednesday, November 30, 2005


(image copyright Filmax Animation, 2005)
Here's a pic from the new film by Filmax Animation, the Spanish animation company that did El Cid. This thing looks gorgeous. I really dig films that totally transport you to another place. Just the way the characters are presented makes me want to know more about them. Everything fits together stylistically and the movement is very rich. Most American films tend to have the same thing going on in them and when something as cool as this comes up, it just has to be checked out. Traditional animation is not dead, and there's still some amazing stuff out there. I definitely want to get a hold of this film when it comes out.


Milt Kahl Would Slap Me

Some people have called this last week "Thanksgiving break." I did slip into a poultry-induced coma once or twice, but only to come back and get plugging away on my film. I've got over half of the scenes for it posed and timed out. There are also over half a dozen scenes "finalled." The textures aren't done and the lighting is just in a first pass, but I've managed to get seven scenes fully animated.

It's exciting and even though I'm busy, I've still found ways to watch my favorite videos. I can't stand Media Player, but iTunes doesn't have that cool minimize and still watch the video feature. So here's a work-around. Maya's web browser is not the best way and it does jump around quite a bit. But the point is that you CAN watch videos while working in Maya.

(inset image copyright Keith Lango 2005. Character copyright Drew Blom 2005.)

Now I know this pushes the argument of whether or not one should listen to music while animating, but when you gotta animate and learn at the same time, there is little other choice. There are times when I can't do both at the same time, but using the tools available has been a pretty good way to get some things done around here. At the same time, this could be useful for using video reference. Maya is a little tempermental about video file types, but .mov's seem to work pretty well. I know that this is probably old hat to alot of people who have been using Maya for a while, but I hope it'll help someone.


Monday, November 14, 2005

Clock in, Clock out

I started this over at Spline Doctors, but instead of making this an immensly wordy post, I decided to post it her. It gives me a little more room and it isn't impolite.

hey guys.

i don't want to sound like too much of a "fanboy" and i really hate comments that gush just because "you're on real pixar animator's website." with that said, this is really a great piece if advice. when you're only 12 credits away from being a real college graduate, you start to reflect. i didn't do, even though it's a great program, but it wasn't around when i started school. i wish that i could just focus on character animation here at school, but (i say this with a lump in my throat) i'm glad that i've gotten a more broad education. but at the same time, i've had to be more dedicated than (some) others because i have to keep from getting sidetracked on the "other."

This is a gross analogy, but I used to work in a factory. Several actually. And there is one thing that has really taught me a lot. I'm dipping down into a deep past that at times I wish I could erase, so please indulge me.

The most helpful piece of advice I can give is that if you want to be a good employee, not just animator, it really pays to know what happens to the piece, whether it's a scene (in the case of animation) or a trailer house (in my former life) before you get it and after you get it. There is so much to learn by looking at what the people who setup the scene for you (layout) and what happens after you. In order to do something "right," it takes a knowledge of what is going on in general.

The question of which school to choose in this case is really obsolete. It comes down to knowing "thyself." Know what you want to do. That takes time and figure this out. With that in mind, it doesn't matter as much where you study, but keep in mind what you want to do.


Saturday, November 12, 2005

Flex the Muscle

This was a fun exercise in one of my classes last year. The assignment was (hopefully) to exaggerate the muscles and the pose. This was to help get a sense of drawing from the model and not copying the model. I like drawing like this. It's really liberating and helped me push some of my other drawings (and consequently my animation poses) to be more expressive. Here's a comparison of what came from drawing like this.

ps. I finally got the stupid titles to work so that the archiving looks nicer!! Yay tutorials for idiots.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Demo Reel!!!!!!!!!!

Clicky clicky for reely reely!!!!

Well this is an abbreviated (see previous post) version of my reel. I took the sound out and also some of the fluff that I wish I would have taken out for the DVD's I just burned, but hey, no one's perfect. Anyway, the first few scenes are from my short and they give an idea of the continuity of the story and the rest are motion tests, some better than others. Anyway, have a look and tell me what you think. I'd love to hear from everyone on this.

In other news (and to continue with the shameless self-promotion, it is my blog afterall) here are some drawings that I've put together of different stuff. It's just been a while since I've posted drawings and since I don't have any deep insight into the film industry or even really into the inner workings of animation, I'll stick with showing drawings every once in a while.

This is not to say that I don't have opinions, but being a student of animation, they really don't hold as much weight as, say, someone who feeds their family by doing this stuff. My dog is content to eat socks (actually, that's probably what he's chewing on here). Ooohh, if you want good advice, go to Spline Doctors or Keith's site. Anyway, hope you like all this stuff.

ps. I got a spiffy new avatar so y'all can put an equally obnoxious face to my comments;)