Friday, December 18, 2009

Mini Film School in 70-Minute Video Review of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

I highly recommend that you watch the whole thing, there is some great information in it. It's a bit choosy when trying to point out flaws (asking about characters and not asking about Darth Maul, although he's going for main ones, so he still has a point), but overall it's very well done. Don't be fooled by the voice. :) WATCH IT! (explicit content!)

"Rad how to" - Drawing blog

This blog is fantastic! Found it through Anands Twitter feed @anands1729

Alma - by Rodrigo Blaas

Nice and creepy, but they should have embraced the creepiness fully. The music kills it!

Alma from Rodrigo Blaas on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

[updated] SOS Workshop... Online?

If you're interested, please write me an email using signup(at) and put "SO Workshop" in the subject line!


WOW! I just got to my mail and holy moly, that's quite a demand!! Thanks everybody! Alright, so this advanced from a "maybe, if there are enough people" to "Hell yeah, I need more days in the week!" :)

In terms of who will be in it, I will have to go by "first come first served". So, sorry for those who heard about it later than others. I will check time stamps of the emails and comments and go from there.

Start date would still be around February to coincide with the start of the on-site workshops. I don't want to overlap too much since I'd like a break every now and then as well, especially for family time.

I'll set up a proper site and email for future sign-ups, just like the SOS Workshops. I guess this one will be called SOL Workshop. :) And no, it doesn't stand for sh*t out-of-luck ;)
Actually, since "online" is one word, it should be SO Workshop.

Keep posting comments if you have any feedback, concerns or if you are interested!

Hey guys, quick survey.

I'm thinking about adding an on-line extension to the SOS Workshops for those who can't make it to the on-site sessions. The model would be something like this:

- 7 animators tops

- each animator gets one day (Monday through Sunday) during which I would dedicate a certain amount of time for feedback/lectures. By that I mean: the animators can email me their work (attachment. link, etc.) at any time, any day, as always, but just like the on-site workshop has a session once a week, there would be a session once a week for each online workshop. Instead of piling up feedback for everybody during one day, each animator has his/her above mentioned set day as a weekly deadline.

- feedback will be in-depth and workshop animators will always get feedback priority (versus animators that I don't know who just send me emails, they will have to wait their turn (sorry!))

- there are advantages to the on-site workshops, so since the online-workshops are "limited' in that regard, the price will be cut in half, so $400 for 16 sessions per animator

It's not going to happen immediately this week, but depending on demand I could open this up pretty soon (February?).

Sooooo... if you're interested, leave a comment and spread the word.


Shrek 4 Ever After Teaser Trailer

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Animation Mentor Newsletter - December 2009

The new December newsletter of AM is out!

- Exploring Alternatives for Financing Education
- CTN Animation Expo: The Challenges Animators Face in Their Careers
- Short Film: Reach by Luke Randall
- Mentor: Aaron Gilman (WETA Digital)
- Student: Carolyn Vale
- Why don't we teach more styles of animation? by Shawn Kelly

The end of the first SOS Workshop!

Yesterday was the last session of the first Spungella-On-Site Workshop and I wanted to thank every animator who was part of it! Those Tuesday evening were a blast and I had a really fun time every week. You guys are an awesome group and very very talented on so many levels (the 100 frame shots that you guys did were so cool and once everybody is happy with their work I'll post them here for people to see). To finish this off, here a few pictures from their visit at work.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Skywalker Ranch (NAR)

Skywalker Ranch from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Despite the N-on A-animation R-elated nature I wanted to post this awesome clip of Skywalker Ranch shot using Canon DSLRs.

Head over to for the whole story about this shoot.

If you ever have a chance to go up there I highly recommend it. It's so quiet and beautiful, I love to visit Ranch.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I just answered an email question about how to fix weight issues and I thought I might as well post the answer here.

About the weight. ... [there's] not a trick per se to fix it, but you can pay attention to the translation specifically. Any movement that's going up/down or sideways has to have a slow part going into something faster or vice versa.

If you have even timing and even movement it will look robotic and/or floaty.

If someone goes up, then he/she/it has to activate the muscles and fight gravity, so the up movement will be slow at the beginning, but increase over time.

Same during a down movement. The down movement of the character will start slowly and increase as it goes down since gravity comes into play.

For sideways movement think of how the character is moving and where it is going. If the character is just standing there facing you and taking a sidestep screen left for instance, then the screen right leg is doing the pushing. So those muscles have to fire up first and then the character can push off in order to move. The spacing will start close together and get wider over time.

If a character is moving fast or jumping in one direction and is then doing a direction change you have to think about how the body has to deal with the momentum.

Now, depending on the style, those ease ins/outs can happen over ten or more frames or over one or two. I'm just talking about the general idea or principle. Always be aware of the style (and to a point also the physical nature of the character (ant vs. elephant for instance).

Hope this helps!

pic source

Friday, December 11, 2009

Run for the Artifact

Head over to cgsociety and watch Run for the Artifact. The animation might need some more work, but there are some cool ideas and designs in it. The site is nicely detailed as well, with making-ofs and other informational tidbits. Thanks Omer for the tip!

The Gloomers

Rachel Rhee asked me to check out The Gloomers and you can as well! There's a holiday episode featuring tech/web celebrity Veronica Belmont (@veronica).

A little back story on the Gloomers team:

The Gloomers is an animated, family-centric cartoon series that launched at Comic Con in 2009, and is a reinvention of Hanna Barbera style and content. Gloomers Chairman, Charles Mechem, was CEO of the company that owned Hanna Barbera from 1967 until 1990. Neal Barbera, Joe Barbera’s son, is a senior writer for The Gloomers, and previously penned scripts for Scooby Doo, Yogi Bear and many other memorable HB shows. More information is available at

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Madame Tutli-Putli

[update] Thanks Stefan for the link! Click here to see how the eyes were done.

Word is that the eyes were real and composited into it? Anybody know? Did they use Winona Ryder for reference? :)

New Site: Speaking of Animation

Check out the new site Speaking of Animation by Jacob Gardner and his friends! Looking very cool already and there's a podcast with Dreamworks Animator Ted Ty! (thanks for the tip Jacob!)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

AM Tips and Tricks blog: What makes a good and honest animator

Check out the latest post by David Breaux over at

Great advise on how to grow as an animator:

Strive to do your best work, and remember it isn't your show/game. You are providing a service. If a director wants something, and you think it’s a bad decision or a problem, make it known to your supervisor or animation director, but don't fight it. If they elect to follow your opinion great, you’re a hero for pointing it out. If not don't latch on like a pit bull, leave it at that and do the best you can given the constraints. I think that makes a good honest animator: you are showing that you recognize issues, care about your work, and confront them head on, but are still a team player.

Head over there to read the whole thing!

Disney's Prep and Landing

Watch it on Hulu! It's AWESOME!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Workshop Dates and Schedules

Head over to Spungella On-Site for all the information regarding start/end dates. In short, first 2010 workshop starts February 2nd, the second one starts March 25th. 16 sessions as always.


Critique - jump, fire, collapse

My 2 cents:

- I wouldn't add that camera move at the beginning of the last shot. It
happens right at the beginning of the shot and gets lost because it's
over so quickly. Either take it out or add a slower version of it. No
dealbreaker though.
- The dart seems odd. When you step frame through it you have a very
blurred frame pointing down, the a slightly less blurred one, then the
hit with no blur. And the spacing gets smaller as it approaches the arm.
Something a bit off. No dealbreaker except that blurry pointing down
first frame.
- anim wise the biggest thing to me is the guy's pose and expression in
the last shot. He feels a bit curious, surprised, but that's it. For
someone who's on the run I miss an intensity and urgency and even slight

Looking good!!

For more work of this animator, check out

AAU Animation Festival guest speaker Nik Ranieri from Disney

David Nethery sent me a reminder that Disney supervising animator Nik Ranieri will be at the annual AAU School of Animation Fall Animation Festival today (sorry for the late notice!!) Head over to David's blog for more details.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Peek inside the Pixar Studios

John Lasseter has a lot of toys, holy moly! - found via

The Passenger by Chris Jones

Completed in 2006, The Passenger was created in its entirety by Chris Jones over an eight year period. Find out how and why at: . Note: this is a low res, monophonic, compression drenched, generally fairly appalling version - for an idea of the DVD quality, download the hi-res trailer at

Very cool!! Make sure to check out the main site and the making-of!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2009 Annie Award Nominees

Full list at Cartoon Brew:

Character Animation in a Television Production

Kevan Shorey “Merry Madagascar” – DreamWorks Animation
Mark Donald “B.O.B.’s Big Break” – DreamWorks Animation
Mark Mitchell “Prep and Landing” – Walt Disney Animation Studio
Phillip To “Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space” – DreamWorks Animation
Tony Smeed “Prep and Landing” – Walt Disney Animation Studios

Character Animation in a Feature Production

Andreas Deja “The Princess and the Frog” – Walt Disney Animation Studios
Eric Goldberg “The Princess and the Frog” – Walt Disney Animation Studios
Travis Knight “Coraline” – Laika
Daniel Nguyen “Up” – Pixar Animation Studios
Bruce Smith “The Princess and the Frog” – Walt Disney Animation Studios