Thursday, June 14, 2018

True Detective - Acting Analysis

This acting analysis clip covers a lot of different topics: unspoken history through body acting, expanding the scope of your scene through extra characters, sneaking in polished animation for extra awesomeness, and more, as I'm walking you through this sequence from "True Detective", season 1.

*hahaha not sure why I said "nervous" during that nun animation by Guilherme Jacinto, she's more frustrated than nervous :)

Animation Workshop Romana Sonntag #1

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Power through these ANIMATION EXERCISES!

This FNA goes through some of the helpful animation exercise lists you can find online, which should keep you busy for quite some time and how you can tweak exercises for even more challenges.

Friday, June 1, 2018

True Blood - Acting Analysis

Today's acting analysis takes a look at "True Blood" and how a simple head angle change can affect the intent of a shot!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Animation Topic: ZERO GRAVITY - Spring 2018 Contest

Here we go! The topic is:


 You got 1 week! 100 frames! GO GO GO!

 Shots are due no later than end of day Friday the 25th of May. So 11:59pm is your absolute deadline!
Email me your Quicktime (1080p, h.264) or link to Quicktime to:

 contest (at)

 Make sure that your full name is somewhere in the email, no crazy usernames! HAHAHA!

7 ESSENTIAL Tips for Filming Reference

New FNA Friday is up and today it covers 7 essential tips for filming reference, the dos and don'ts and pitfalls you need to avoid when filming reference

Animation Workshop Shuwei Kuo #8

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Midnight Special - Acting Analysis

"Midnight Special" is the latest Acting Analysis clip I just posted and I'm looking at multiple things, covering acting beats but also other elements like audience anticipation and how you can add traditional animation exercises into a more cinematic shot approach.

Animation Workshop Shuwei Kuo #5

Monday, May 7, 2018

100 Frame Animation Contest - Spring 2018 Edition

It's time for another 100 Frame Animation contest! WOOHOO!! You can check out previous contests here (we've been doing this for almost 10 years! WOW!) This time around the prize has been raised to $100 + plus an extra surprise gift of my choosing.

The contest topic announcement will be:

May 18th

and the contest runs for a week until:

May 25th. 

1 Week. 100 Frames. $100.

You can get just the money via Paypal or if you see something on Amazon that tickles your fancy I can also send you a package of your choosing (as long as it is a reasonable and valid shipping address).

Send me your submission to:

Good luck everybody!!

Animation Workshop Kyaw Saw Aung #4

LOVING the Nintendo Labo!

For once not animation related but I just wanted to quickly say how much I love the Nintendo Labo!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Doubt - Acting Analysis

New acting analysis clip is up, this time from the movie "Doubt". I'm looking at a very short moment in a sequence (even though the whole movie has great performances) and I think it's something that you could use in your animation, or at least it can be a springboard idea wise for a performance you might create. (that's a lot of maybes HAHAHAH)

Animation Workshop Kyaw Saw Aung #3

CGI & VFX Demos: "Horse R&D Project - A Breakdown" - by Lonnie Kraatz

I thought this was a cool breakdown of all the separate elements.

Horse reference

A horse on a treadmill!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

"IT" (2017) - Acting Analysis

This clip goes over some of the scenes from the 2017 version of "IT" directed by Andy Muschietti, based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Stephen King. I'm looking at specific acting moments, character introductions, contrast in movement, etc. which hopefully serves as a springboard for your own animation scenes and character choices.

Animation Workshop Mike Kersey #5

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Who am I?

I don't even know what readers of this Blog know of me. I know my students know me pretty well if they've suffered through my classes and Q&As. :)

The first few clips on my Youtube channel will be introductory in nature for those who don't know me and the lectures will also start from the beginning.

In the meantime, here's a very brief into of who this JD guy is. :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Frank Oz interview

The Empire Strikes Back Yoda is still awesome to me. There's a good little interview in this episode of the Star Wars show around the 3m16s mark. I'd love to see more puppet work but with an added layer of CG eyes just for that extra life.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Channel update and future plans

Alright! I'm diving into the Youtube world and will start to transition my critiques over there, so you'll see a mix or archive critiques and new ones that I'm doing now.

I'll also add new Spungella content, as well as Animation Buffet, and some personal things here and there.

The plan is to do this on a regular basis, so as mentioned in the clip below, if you want to get notifications feel free to subscribe to my channel for original content. The blog continues with regular updates and things that I find online or things that people ask me to post.


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Kingdom of Heaven | Why the Director's Cut is Better

YES! Was totally board when I first saw it in theaters. Then watched the Director's Cut and LOVED it!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Wednesday, February 21, 2018