Friday, December 23, 2011

Fall 2011 Spungella Animation Workshops are done!

If I had to describe the feeling of this Fall's workshop (as well as AM's Creature Class), then it would have to be like this:

Thanks to everybody who participated, it was again a TON of fun and very inspiring to see what you guys come up with! We even had a leprechaun in a suitcase for crying out loud!!! :)

Have a great holiday break! You all deserve it!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sophia Grace and Rosie - Contrasty behaviour reference

I found this clip very interesting and funny to watch. On one side you have this outgoing and loud girl and right next to her the shy and quiet one. Fun pose and gesture differences.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Disney Animator Tom Bancroft Webcast

If you've signed up for the newsletter, then you've received the cool news that you can watch the recording of the Tom Bancroft webcast. That opportunity is not going to last forever, so check it out here!

Tony Chau Nov 2011 Demo Reel

Man, that first shot really gets me...

Tony Chau Nov 2011 Demo Reel from Tony Chau on Vimeo.

Michael Amos Animation Showreel

Nice little Jungle Book reference at the 33sec mark! :) Great anim and look!

Michael Amos Animation Showreel from Michael Amos on Vimeo.

2012 Golden Globes Nominations

Awards season is upon us!

Check out the full list here.

Animated film:
The Adventures of Tintin
Puss in Boots
Cars 2
Arthur Christmas

image source

Twitter Anim tips

#animtip on Twitter has been around for a while (I believe originating as an every-week-on-Tuesday thing) and there has been a constant flow of good tips, but in the recent weeks a treasure trove of tips has been added by Kevan Shorey with really helpful advice by a ton of dreamworks animators.

Definitely recommended, don't miss it!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Diablo 3 Exclusive Intro Cinematic

Cool look at the beginning! Thanks Ricardo for the tip!

Click here to watch it.

Behind the Magic: The Look of 'Rango'

I'm still surprised at how many times people say that this movie is "not animated" or that it used mocap. Really?
I like how Hal addresses the emotion capture thing though. Maybe people just read that part a long time ago and since "capture" is part of it, the notion of motion capture as a dominant factor crept in?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

12 Drawings a Day - 12 Dessins par Jour - by Denis Chapon

12 Drawings a Day - 12 Dessins par Jour from Denis Chapon on Vimeo.

During 3 years (2008-2011) i have been drawing 12 drawing of animation every day, it make one second of film. I had no plans what so ever before starting the first drawing. And then, each of the folowing days, I took the 3 last drawing from the day before and kept on animating. I use a none erasable pen, and drew on the back side of used A4 paper.

Pendant 3 ans (2008-2011) j'ai fait 12 dessins d'animation chaque jour. Ce qui équivaut à une seconde de film. Je n'avais pas de plans précis quand j'ai fait le premier dessin. Puis, les jours suivant, je prenais les 3 derniers dessins de la veille et continuais à animer. J'ai utilisé un stylo non-effaçable et je dessinais au verso de feuilles A4 déjà utilisées.

Prep and Landing 2: Naughty vs. Nice

Noel's face after "I thought it was Francis." at 10min35s cracked me up. That expression is so good! :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

39th Annual Annie Nominations

Congratulations to everybody involved!! Head over here for the full list!

Best Animated Feature

A Cat in Paris – Folimage
Arrugas (Wrinkles) - Perro Verde Films, S.L.
Arthur Christmas – Sony Pictures Animation, Aardman Animations
Cars 2 – Pixar Animation Studios
Chico & Rita – Chico & Rita Distribution Limited
Kung Fu Panda 2 – DreamWorks Animation
Puss In Boots – DreamWorks Animation
Rango – Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies present A Blind Wink/GK Films Production
Rio – Blue Sky Studios
Tintin – Amblin Entertainment, Wingnut Films and Kennedy/Marshall

Annie Award for Best Animated Special Production

Adventure Time: Thank You – Cartoon Network Studios
Batman: Year One – Warner Bros. Animation
Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas – Blue Sky Studios
Kung Fu Panda – Secrets of the Masters – DreamWorks Animation
Prey 2 – Blur Studio
Star Tours – Industrial Light & Magic

Friday, December 2, 2011

Reel making tips

Funny and true list of things to consider when building your reel, found via the 11secondclub blog. Head over there for the full list:

5. This is the most important thing in this list. Everything you ever animate, ever, needs to be entertaining. If it's not, stop what you are doing, right away. Unless you are learning a principle, or its a school lesson, STOP NOW. Or unless you are entering some odd film competition, that 95 ppl out of 100 would want to punch you and the films watched in the face. STOP. If you don't know what's entertaining, or how to make a shot entertaining, STOP, ask everyone you know to look at your work and what you can do to inject entertainment into it. If you still don't know, STOP, watch every movie you can. If you still don't, STOP, rethink your career. All humans watch t.v, cartoons, movies and play video games with one purpose and only one purpose, TO BE ENTERTAINED.

Tangled Character: Rapunzel

Cool artwork, head over to (via 11secondclub blog)!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Movies on the Radio - Music for Pixar

Not animation per se, but I love movie scores and if you do as well, I'd recommend checking out the "Movies on the Radio - Music for Pixar". It's a great collection, with cues from "Up", "Toy Story 1-3", "The Incredibles", etc.

Thanks Jonathan Korzen for the tip!

... WQXR's "Movies on the Radio," hosted by David Garland. This show featured the music of Pixar as a tribute to the life and accomplishments of Steve Jobs.

Pixar Animation Studio's computer-animated films provide great story-telling, with memorable characters, playfully astonishing visuals, and compelling music. For their feature films, Pixar has used three talented composers: Randy Newman, Thomas Newman, and Michael Giacchino.

Garland presented music for such Pixar films as "Toy Story," "Up," "WALL-E," "Ratatouille," "Finding Nemo," and others, while reflecting on the ability to Pixar's music to communicate clever motifs and powerful emotions. Saturday’s program included Randy Newman’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” (Toy Story) and Michael Giacchino’s “Seizing the Spirit of Adventure” (Up).

Body movement in support of personality

Each animator will get to a point where they will have mastered the body mechanics enough so that they can focus on acting choices. But temptation is always there to have gestures or other body movements showcasing animation principles instead of personality. I totally understand and I'm guilty of that myself. A frequent example in my workshops is my Maya 3 assignment from the Academy, Ze Chair:

which was lovingly referred to as "Animation Jerk Off" by the awesome teacher Lisa Mullins. She immediately let me know that this is just animation for animation's sake. And she was totally right. I was more in love with the animation principles and focused on showing them off, instead of thinking about character and personality. I hope she's still teaching. Her class was the first real character animation class for me and one of the best ones.

So once you get passed that, it's less about "there's a pop on x17" but more about acting choices, which fall more into the "I prefer this over that." as opposed to being wrong (of course you can have totally inappropriate acting choices that will feel wrong, but I hope you get my point).

Which brings me to a workshop clip I was giving feedback for. The question from the animator was, which version I preferred. My response and preference was based on movement supporting a character's personality, which I'm sure is totally debatable, but I just wanted post the feedback from the Workshop Feedback page here as well:



(This is in response to which version I prefer.)

Funny enough, I like them both, but specific parts and would mix them. I know that sounds complicated and not sure if that's helping you. What I like about "stuck02" is the amount of rotation and overlap the body has after she's being stuck. In "stuck02" she goes pretty far down up to x54, whereas in "IP10" she doesn't go as far and stops a bit abruptly. So anim wise from a body mechanics point of view, "stuck02" feels better.

But what I prefer in "IP10" is her left arm from x51 to 74, because it's stiffer. She's surprised, a bit irritated, but tense, and that is reflected in that stiffer arm. In "stuck02", from x54 to 85, the arm is loose and dangling, and feels too out of control and animated. Too me it's not in character.
After that it's up to you. Neither versions are wrong, they are just different in terms of acting choices. In "stuck02" she looks back up to x100 in a slow way, which gives her a feel of "Hello? Uhm... anybody see that? Help me!". In "IP10" she goes up very fast to x93, which gives it a feel of "Oops! I hope no one saw that!", which is a bit more in character because she looks and moves like a confident business woman, so when she's in trouble, I think she would want to keep that strong and confident look, so she wouldn't look around for help, she would try to fix it herself. That strong personality is reflected in x182, how she puts her glasses back into the right place. Then at the end when the manhole cover comes out, that's what breaks her confidence and that's why she looks surprised and out of it at x240. It's good contrast and a change in her character, whereas in "stuck02", she already looks a bit helpless like that during the x91 area. So the ending in "stuck02" is a bit more of the same in terms of character and less of a contrast.

So basically, I would use "stuck02" until x56, then use the rest of "IP10". :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Free Reel Review by Reel Feedback

Here's a message from reelfeedback's Hans Brekke:

We got a cool event for animation students next month in Emeryville. We're having a free reel review where students can bring their reels and get feedback. Its on Dec 15th from 7 -10 pm. We're having it at Lanesplitters so students can have some pizza and hang out.

Here is a link to the event site:


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Origin of Acting Choices

One thing I always mention in my workshops in terms of acting choices is how the environment can and should influence the acting choices of your character.

The main example, which I ripped off of "Inside the Actor's Studio" (but don't remember who said it first), is:

- imagine a scenario where a character enters a room/place and gets ready to go to sleep.
- the steps involved in doing so could be: entering room, turning lights on, putting keys or other belongings somewhere, brushing teeth, undressing, going to bed

Now. Those acting choices and whatever the character is doing in order to go through those steps will be different depending on where the character is.

If the character (a man for instance) is at his own place he will be familiar with his surroundings, so when he enters his house/apartment/whatever and switches on the light, he won't have to look and search for the switch, he probably won't even look in the direction of the switch while he flips it, because it's a habit. All the bathroom interaction, etc. etc. will be based on familiarity and routine.

But. If the guy is staying at a hotel (first time there), the same steps (entering, lights, keys, etc.) will have different acting choices because he is not familiar with the place. He will have to look for the switch, for other rooms, etc. etc.

So the same action will be different depending on the environment and the character's relationship to that environment.

Why do I bring this up now? I was reading an interview about John C. Reilly and his new movie "Carnage" at and one of the questions was "What did you learn about filmmaking from Roman?" (Roman Polanski is the director)

I found his answer very interesting and it reminded me of that Inside the Actor's Studio thing.

During rehearsals, I'd have this book in my hand, and I have to set this book down in order to do the next bit of acting, and he would say: "Why would you put the book down? You don't know that you're going to pick up the bottle yet. You're doing that because you know you need your hands free, but that doesn't make sense."

Totally true and a good reminder to question the origin of your acting choices!

Ice Age 4 - Scrat

Awesome! Too bad the anim credits are not in. The underwater stuff cracked me up! Anybody know which animators worked on this?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dan Schoening

Check out Dan Schoening's gallery, love his work! Those Ghostbusters one are so cool. Would be awesome to have those as maquettes and anim rigs. :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Interviewer reference

This clip, besides being about this crazy awesome kid, had a section that cracked me up at 2mins 52seconds. The interviewer's facial expression and timing during his statement is just too cartoony!

New The Lorax trailer

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Emil's Animation Reel 2011

Emil is looking for feedback!

Kibble and Bites - by Agnes Salek

Awesome and creepy! Another Halloween addition! :) Great work Agnes!

Back from the Dead by Mark Estrada

Extending Halloween time! Thanks Mark!

The Last Train by Animation Hub

Very nice, love it! Thanks Simon for the tip!

BEAT by Or Bar-El

Super cool! Thanks Eitan for the tip!

Foot detail in animation

I love putting in finishing touches on feet and hands/fingers in my animation whenever time permits and it's a frequent topic in my workshops (will ad a clip and anim notes about that later). Lauren pointed to this great clip regarding micro movement in feet. Nice find, thanks!!

ILM Tour

[update] Boooooooo! They changed the permission settings!

Thanks to a co-worker and through Super 8 behind-the-scenes clips I found this Epix clip with Shawn (not Shaun, hahaha!), giving the viewers and inside tour of ILM. Good stuff!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Trailer for Dr. Seuss' 'The Lorax'

Fun animation! I really like the shot of the kid at the table, eating and asking his mom a question, nice detail work in his readjustment. Cute designs too! Watch the trailer here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Prelude to Eden - Michel Gagné

This is an older piece and was posted on my older blog, but it's so awesome, that I need to repost it here. Thanks Matthew for the reminder! Head over here to find out more about it (making-ofs and music).

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Imagine animating this...

There would be so much frame by frame work... The move on 4:12 is awesome.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Looney Tunes: VES Submission

Head over to and watch the AWESOME clip showcasing the rigging and anim of Looney Tunes. Holy moly!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Crazy Fencing poses

I just put "fencing" in Google to look for a pose and the image results contain so many awesome photographs:

And of course's The Big Picture has really good pictures:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Jacobs Lament


Notes from Stijn Windig:

It's a collaboration between myself and fantasy illustrator Ian Miller. It is made as a test/showcase for a bigger project.

It is not as polished as most of the good stuff on your site, but I hope you like it enough to consider giving it some attention

Sure thing! It's not like there's some quality level that you need to achieve before I post something. And this is already cool! Curious to see the bigger project!

Jacobs Lament from Stijn on Vimeo.

Frame a Frame: Sergio Pablos (English Subtitles)

Thanks Christian for the tip!

Sergio Pablos, former Disney Supervisor is the director of The Spa Studios, who designed the main characters of Rio and were responsible for the original idea of Despicable Me.

Frame a Frame: Sergio Pablos ( English Subtitles ) from Christian Dan on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Adventures Of Tintin - Trailer

Still not convinced regarding the faces, although Haddock looks like fun. But holy moly, the set pieces are awesome!!

<a href='' target='_new' title='MSN Exclusive: The Adventures of Tintin - trailer' >Video: MSN Exclusive: The Adventures of Tintin - trailer</a>

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Arthur Christmas trailer

Nice! Much better trailer! The old guy is awesome!

<a href='' target='_new' title='MSN World Exclusive: Arthur Christmas 3D - trailer' >Video: MSN World Exclusive: Arthur Christmas 3D - trailer</a>

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Saturday, October 1, 2011

View Conference

all images copyright © Disney/Pixar

Looks like another industry event with cool content! For instance:

Pixar's Director of Photography/Lighting Sharon Calahan: Reflections on Light and Color

This workshop is intended as discussion about using light and color to create memorable images that support the story. Sharon will talk about her favorite images and why they captivate. Sharon Calahan joined Pixar Animation Studios in 1994 as lighting supervisor on the studio’s first feature film, Toy Story. She then served as director of photography on Toy Story, A Bug’s Life , Toy Story 2 , Finding Nemo , Ratatouille and Cars 2.
Sharon knew at the age of three that she wanted to be an artist for Disney. She went on to study graphic design, illustration and photography. Following art school, she began her career as an art director for broadcast television and video production.
Prior to joining Pixar, she was a lighting director at Pacific Data Images completing commercial work, longer format television, and graphics packages.

Here more info about who else is attending:

Sharon Calahan will be the opening keynote of VIEW 2011. Some of the other international special guests of VIEW2011 will be : Randy Thom, multiple Academy-Award winning director of sound design for Skywalker Sound; Tom Wujec , the visual thinking guru and award-winning innovator @ Autodesk ; Cory Doctorow , science fiction novelist, blogger, e technology activist; Glenn Entis , Academy Award Winner, Co-Founder and General Partner @ Vanedge Capital ; Scott Farrar , Academy Award Winner and VFX Supervisor for Transformers 3 , @ ILM; Roger Guyett, VFX Supervisor for Cowboys & Aliens , @ ILM; Lucia Modesto , Character Technical Director Supervisor for Kung Fu Panda 2 , @ PDI/Dreamworks Animation; Peter Nofz , CG Supervisor for Green Lantern , @ Sony Imageworks ; Erminio Pinque , Artistic Director at BIG NAZO LAB; Joshua Grow , 2011 Siggraph Computer Animation Festival Chair; Roger Gould , Creative Director @ Pixar's Theme Park Group; David Revoy , Digital Painter and Art Director.

And where and when is this happening?

VIEW Conference is the premiere international event in Italy on Computer Graphics, Digital Cinema, 3D Animation, Gaming, VFX and Interactive Techniques. It will take place in Turin from 25th to 28th, preceded by the VIEWFest , the Computer Animation Festival (from 21st to 23rd October 2011).


Looks like a massive project!

Inspired by the ocean, theBlu is a global mission to create the
world's largest globally shared art and entertainment project of its
kind on the web. It is a beautiful interactive online world where
every species and habitat is a unique work of art created by global
digital artists and developers from all walks of life. TheBlu is a
geosocial web app where people connect across the Internet and explore
a vast and growing ocean gallery on the web.

See more at

Friday, September 30, 2011

Gear change reference

Awesome emotional change when the kid here's the song he likes! Watch the clip here!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


I have to rant.

This is about stealing.

I know, I know, a lot of you are rolling your eyes after reading this. But come on. Seriously?

Most animators in my workshops want to work at Pixar, yet on their hard drives or thumb drives the majority of ripped or downloaded movies are Pixar movies. They've heard my rants many times but I ask again.

You want to learn from Pixar teachers. You want to work there. But you don't have $9 to buy the DVD?

Don't you want to support the company so that they can continue to make their movies, so that you can one day work there? Sure, that's a simplistic view, but I really don't get it. It's not going to break your bank and you support your peers.

You're stealing! I know, I sound like an old fart, but hey.

It's so easy nowadays to get things for free but out of all the things, as an animator, wouldn't you at least support the animation industry?

But this is not what prompted this post. It was an email from Jamaal Bradley. His "From Planning to Polish" tutorial is $29.99 and it's a great tutorial, well worth the money.

Yet in his email he explains that people have been passing along the quicktime tutorial, which forces him now to change his ways of delivering his tutorials to people.

And that just pissed me off.

Seriously? You can't afford to buy something for $29.99?

A fellow animator is working hard to produce something in order to help other people. But none of that matters. Just like movies, or music or whatever is easily copied and ripped, why pay for it?

I know this is a useless rant, but I still had to rant. Out of all the things, you don't even support your own industry.


Animation Mentor - Creatures class01 by Aulo Licinio

Nice creature work!

Animation Mentor - Creatures class01 from aulo licinio on Vimeo.

Moonshine: Artists after dark

Thanks Alexis for the tip!

Moonshine : Artists after dark from alexis wanneroy on Vimeo.

DreamWorks first personal art publication, Moonshine, was conceived as an opportunity to highlight the breath of artistic development talent at Dreamworks.
This short documentary gives you a sneak peek into the personal works from the artists.

Directed by Alexis Wanneroy & Christophe Lautrette
Artists : Sam Michalp, Nicolas Weis, Christian Schellewald, Paul Duncan, Marcos Mateu, Nathan Fowkes
Special appearance from Jeffrey Katzenberg

Moonshine book :
Produced by Angela Lepito
Published by Design Studio Press
Edited by Christophe Lautrette & Pierre-Olivier Vincent

Music by Drew Barefoot - The forest in bloom

Animation Tutorials

Over the Summer I've been downloading and watching awesome animation tutorials and highly recommend them to you.

First, you got Jason Ryan's tutorials at (and there a ton of them there).

There are also webinars available, which kick some serious butt! If you go to, you have a great selection:

Jason Ryan Four Legged Series

Ken Fountain Animating a Basic Acting Shot

Jamaal Bradley acting shot walk-through

There's a lot more to check out, so don't miss it!

A Monster in Paris - Trailer

Rio - "Samba Parade" Blu Animation

Nice work by Isaak Fernandez (thanks Christian for the tip!)

Rio - "Samba Parade" Blu Animation from Isaak Fernandez on Vimeo.

youanimator community

Head over to and check out what they're offering! Here some info about it:

What is YouAnimator?
YouAnimator is a place to showcase your demo-reel or short animation! Stop sending your demos to studios to add to their pile of CDs and video tapes. If you are an aspiring animator – eager to be discovered, this is your page. Our goal is to create a central site on which the world’s best character animators can show off their demo reels – and be discovered – may they be in India, Argentina, Norway, Iceland, the US or any place in the world.

What’s YouAnimator’s purpose?
Our purpose is to help you achieve your dreams as an animator actor: to be discovered as a character animator. Here you can create your own portfolio page – and send its URL to friends and collegues and companies. YouAnimator is also a site where you can learn from each other and each other’s work. There is a LEARNING menu button that will take you to the SWEATBOX – page. The Sweatbox is where your work-in-progress can be critiqued by others. And we’ll give you some tools to practice your trade. We’ve uploaded a few animatable character rigs (under DOWNLOAD) that you can use to create short animations with.

They also offer two rigs and multiple sets for download!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ni No Kuni TGS Stage Presentation

This looks so good! Gameplay footage at the 3:12 mark (trailer at the beginning of the clip).

Scar pencil tests

Besides the general awesomeness, I love the head movements!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Simon Irvine August 2011 Animation Reel

The Norman parts cracked me up!!

Simon Irvine August 2011 Animation Reel from Simon Irvine on Vimeo.

Reelbarrow - Reel Animation Inspiration

If you head over to you get a list of tons of awesome animation reels you can check out.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits - new trailer

Age of Empires Online - Full Cinematic Trailer

Thanks Le Roy for the tip!

Thomas BECKER - Demoreel 2011 - Animation (creatures)

Thomas BECKER - Demoreel 2011 - Animation (creatures) from Thomas BECKER on Vimeo.

Enid by Leanne Towers

Enid from Leanne Towers on Vimeo.

Animation Scout

Great site with lots of tutorials (via onanimation) and a free rig!

Head over to, the TV part is very important. Don't go to Just sayin'.

Acting References post in Italian

Some of my acting reference posts have been translated into Italian! Thanks Eleonora Tiberi!! The posts are:

Die Hard (acting & staging)
The Illusionist
Star Trek Nemesis
The Quiet (cartoony acting)

Head over here for the list.

Down with Richie

Reference: Interpretative Dance

Definitely acting out the words, but the timing and ideas are funny! Thanks Le Roy for the tip! Watch all the clips here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Gear change reference

All I can say is... holy crap. But it has great emotional changes. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Animation Contest Winner - Summer 2011 - "Magic"

This round had a lot of great entries, thanks again to everybody who participated!

And the winner is: Joey Kim


A lot of votes came in for Jeff Williams (2nd place) and Ryan Moran (3rd place), so congratulations to you guys as well for your great work!

And here again all the submissions:

Spungella Animation Contest - Summer 2011 - "Magic" from Jean-Denis Haas on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 25, 2011