Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Animation Book compilation

Got this via the AM twitter feed:
To all you animation hopefuls out there, here's a great list of resource books for animators! (Thanks Albert!)

And yes, it's a great list! Check it out!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Critique - Bar guy


I like the idea, but I think you could push a few things.

The sniffing and the "disgusted" part are a bit simple. I think you could push the acting in those areas in order to give him more character. It's a bit generic right now and given the long pause, it's a great opportunity to do something very character specific. It doesn't have to be something crazy, but just a specific, original way he sniffs it and reacts to it.

You could maybe also involve the bartender more. What if, after he puts down the last drink, he leaves his hand at the edge of the bar top, and then taps his finger(s), something that shows he's slightly annoyed, since the customer is taking so long.

What do you guys think?


How to Train Your Dragon's Directors Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois - Interview

"There are some similarities," Sanders admit from his hotel room in Miami, "but there are also some huge differences. This is really an action film, where Lilo & Stitch was more family. I mean we never had a film that started out with a war. We do here. The second act is all set in a gladiator ring."

Continue reading @

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Interview of Simon Otto - Head of Character Animation - How To Train Your Dragon

Fellow Swiss man!!

and more!

Interview with VFX Supervisor Craig Ring - How To Train Your Dragon

Interview with Gil Zimmerman from How To Train Your Dragon

Interview of Alessandro Carloni - How To Train Your Dragon

10 Questions for Kathy Altieri- Production Designer of How To Train Your Dragon

Interview with Art Director Pierre-Olivier Vincent - How To Train Your Dragon

Interview of Matt Baer - Head of Effects - How To Train Your Dragon

I watched "How to Train Your Dragon"...

... and I was blown away by it! It was so good! I loved it! It's my new all time favorite animated movie!

The story was so engaging, epic, funny, heartfelt and entertaining! Nothing took me out of the story, no silly jokes or pop culture references (although I laughed when the kids enter the arena the first time - that was straight out of "Gladiator"). The character design was fantastic! I love love love the look of the vikings and dragons. The renders were amazing! I loved the overall color tone and feeling of their world. The animation was really really well done and the acting choices were great! The voice acting was also fitting and I got used to Hiccup's voice right away (only thing that I wasn't too sure about from seeing the trailer).

One fantastic aspect I loved involves SPOILERS! so highlight the text below if you've seen the movie already or don't mind:

I was so happy to see that there are consequences to people's actions in their world. When you think that Hiccup is dead I was actually wishing that he was. When will an animated movie be so bold to kill off their main character (it would have been great for Shifu to die in Panda). But of course, Hiccup lives, hell hasn't frozen over yet. BUT BUT! He looses his foot! So people are NOT indestructible. LOVED IT! It would have been sweet to hint at real consequences at the beginning of the movie to set the tone, but that surprise was still great.


I bow down in awe and can't wait to see it again. Please go watch this movie! Give it the success it deserves!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Body Language - Jobs vs. Schmidt

I'm a total nerd and I love gadgets. So I'm an avid reader of Today a picture was featured that showed Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt talking to each other. The press is reporting a feud between Apple and Google, so everybody is all over this picture. Me too, but more from a pose point of view. When I first saw it I thought Schmidt's pose is very submissive. It's like a school boy who's in trouble and who's sitting in front of the principle. :)

Gizmodo has an analysis by Janine Driver who's a body linguistic expert, in case you want to know more and see more comparison images.Here's the main the pic that started it all:

Dark Cristal - Robot Chicken

Dark Cristal [Robot Chicken] from Aaaaa Kkkkk on Vimeo. Claymation TV Commercial

The latest TV commercial from & Y&R Chicago, featuring claymation animation from Aardman, and directed by Peter Peake.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

For Sock's Sake by Carlo Vogele

Ting reminded me to watch For Sock's Sake and there's an awesome little moment on 2:11, where you can see a little mole screen left. That guy is from a classic kid's show I used to watch a long time ago!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

End of second SOS Workshop!

Last Thursday was the last session of the second Spungella On-Site Workshop! Although the group was smaller than the first one, I sure had as much fun as before. You guys were great and thank you very much for attending those weekly animation meetings!

Joey, thanks for the amazing reference footage! APPROVED!
Josh, thanks for introducing "actually" to my regular conversations. Actually, thanks for NOTHING!!
Ivy, can't wait to see your spaghetti monster thesis fully realized!
Sunny, your martial arts movie recommendation was awesome, seeing how you enjoyed the footage was scary. ;)
Annie, you have some of the weirdest and most creative shot ideas I've seen. So. Awesome.
Dean, thanks for helping out setting up the room and putting it back to what it was, thanks for being patient despite all my notes for your shots and thanks for creeping me out with the shot about the guy and his love for dismembered legs. :)
Bernie, it's always a pleasure to have you show up on Thursday, or Tuesday, or any other day you might show up.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Animation Insiders Book

I got a friendly email from Patrick Beaulieu pointing out that his book "Animation Insiders" will see a release on April 27th. Here's some info on it:

Animation Insiders is a series of books dedicated to animation. Theses books are a compilation of know-how, experience and anecdotes from talented animators. Each book explores a new theme. Animation Insiders is aimed at people who are passionate about animation, those who are looking to surpass their limits and acquire new techniques. Animation Insiders is the perfect tool to learn from the best animators. For more information about Animation Insiders contact us at

Looks like it's going to be an interesting read. The participants are Victor Navone, Jason Ryan, Jason Martinsen, Jason Schleifer, Pablo Navarro, Anthea Kerou, Ana Maria Alvarado, Mike Nguyen, Pedro Blumenbaum, Matt Strangio, Emilio Gorayeb, Reno Armanet, Gabriele Pennacchioli and Andrew Gordon.

"The Radical Axis Show! Oh yeah... and Matt Maiellaro"

Posting for Jennifer:

Join us at WonderCon to celebrate a decade of cartoon insanity,
anthropomorphic food and animals, and a total disregard for traditional
forms of storytelling...

"The Radical Axis Show! Oh yeah... and Matt Maiellaro"

Starring Scott Fry, Craig Hartin, Todd Redner and Special Guest, Matt

Saturday, April 3rd

6-7pm -- Room 104

Tales will be told, friendships explored; shenanigans will ensue.


"Radical Axis is to animation what the Gutenberg Bible is to publishing.
In short, one of the most significant, groundbreaking inventions in
history that will move us forward and out of these dark ages."

-David Cross, actor and comedian

Radical Axis

The animation studio behind Adult Swim's "Aqua Teen Hunger Force",
"Squidbillies", "12 oz. Mouse", "Perfect Hair Forever", Comedy Central's
"Freakshow" with David Cross and H. Jon Benjamin, and FX Network's new
hit show "Archer". Founded in 2000 by Scott Fry, an original animator on
"Aqua Teen Hunger Force", who began operations out of a storage closet
in Williams Street Studios.

Matt Maiellaro

Co-creator of "Aqua Teen Hunger Force", "12 oz. Mouse", "Perfect Hair
Forever", other credits include "Space Ghost: Coast to Coast" and

Animation Mentor Newsletter - March 2010

Another month, another AM newsletter!! The topics are:

- Living the Animation Dream - Former Animation Mentor Student Philip To Wins An Annie
- March Madness! Upcoming Animation Events Worldwide
- Short Film "Bandito" by Brad Kinley
- Mentor: Chad Stewart
- Student: Elena Miroglio
- Animation Tips & Tricks Tutorial: What Can Beginning Animators Do to Improve Their Timing Sense in Animation?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Looking for an illustrator

Posting this for a friend of mine:

We are looking for a skilled illustrator for quick realistic sketch/drawings of children doing different activities. (Playing on the Beach, going Trick or Treat, Surfing). The drawings will be used to show new concepts and ideas to the clients. The drawings are more sketchbook like than final illustrations.
The project requires a very good realistic drawing style with a good sense of perspective. Be able to come up with quick ideas and be enthusiastic to work in a team.

If your are interested please contact, 415 362-5505.

Thanks a lot for your help!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Watch your silhouette

Quick quick post, but now that Sony has officially announced the Wii2, oh wait...

... just a quick reminder to always do the squint test when posing out your characters, especially if it is for a one frame promo picture... uh... silhouette heavy shot.

Unless pirate ladies are the target audience for the "Move".

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Current SOS Workshop Update

As workshop start dates come closer, the inevitable re-shuffling starts, so here's the current information in terms of start dates and how many spots are left. Maximum is 12 animators per workshop.

- updates can be found here.

A location change has also happened. It's about the same distance away from the 180 building of the AAU, still downtown, on 580 California St. For more information and pictures, check out the SOS FAQ.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Azo - one kick ass animator

Shaofu alerted me to this clip and this guy is awesome! Check out those two clips:

Elk Hair Caddis

Peter Smith and three fellow students at The Animation Workshop finished their graduation short Elk Hair Caddis (thanks for the tip Peter!). Peter's thoughts on their project:

One of the goals with this piece of animation was to investigate the some of the limits of the 3D media, and how close we could bring it to a 2D feel in terms of broadness and flexibility.
One of the very important inspirations that made us think along these lines was the work of the swedish company Meindbender. Particularly the short "football vs. rabbit" was a very helpfull source of inspiration.
For the animation we used maya and blender (anisculpt) and for comp we used Fusion.


The animation Workshop is also responsible for the two shorts "Out of a Forest" and "Vegeterrible" from this year, which you might also want to check out.
(very shortly they will also publish "stop mother f*cker")

The short is really cool and I like the style a lot. Neat to see how the CG is blending in with the real sets.

Elk Hair Caddis from peter smith on Vimeo.

There's also a making-of clip available:

MakingOf_ElkhairCaddis_peter smith from peter smith on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Gorillaz - Stylo

CG Gorillaz. They won't let you embed it, so here's the direct link to it: youtube
Guest starring... Bruce Willis?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How to Cheat in Maya 2010: Tools and Techniques for the Maya Animator

I highly recommend this book by Eric Luhta to every animator starting out in this field. There are nice little tips for seasoned animators as well. What's really great is that this is purely about animation in Maya. It's not a Maya book that covers the software and has one little chapter about animation, it's an animator's workflow in book form, covering everything you can imagine that has to do with animation in Maya. So go get it!

Monday, March 1, 2010


@azizk got another great find (thanks!), this time it's a site called Not too sure how this works copyright wise, but either way, it's a great resource for quick little acting clips. Great for reference, great for inspiration, great for audio clips, etc. It lets you even embed the clips and all kinds of other options. It's also cool that they different categories, like "most popular" and "iconic lines", two sections you should avoid in terms of using them as audio clips for your reel. :)

Very sweet, I hope it gets out of beta soon. Go check it out!