Monday, December 31, 2012

Walt Disney Animation Studios – Technology Papers Videos

Love seeing all that! Head over here for all the clips.

Link's Triumph (Legend of Zelda)

Little guy fighting big creature, love it. Would be fun to animate that in 3D as well. Plus it's Link!

Realism and Abstraction - by Andreas Deja

Great post about using reference and how to alter the timing and staging. There are great photos and the information is very interesting (as with everything on Mr. Deja's blog). So head over there to check it out! => Realism and Abstraction

Friday, December 21, 2012

Fall 2012 SOS Workshop is DONE!

It's the end!! Luckily not the end of the world, but the Fall 2012 Workshop has come to an end!!

The list of classic and hilarious workshop sessions keeps growing and the animators attending never cease to amaze me. Good luck to all of you (and for some of you, see you in Spring!).

As always, thank you!! And happy Holidays!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

On-Site Workshop location change and open sign-ups

There is a location change happening for the On-Site Workshops. It's now:

1 Market St (in the Steuart Tower)

It's still very close to the Academy of Art (since most of the animators attending are AAU students, it was important to me to minimize travel time for them).

I'm signing up with Opinno and they offer great conference rooms and one very big event space, where the majority of the sessions will be held. Seating arrangement can be reshuffled to make it super comfy!!

This all means that 
sign-ups for the Spring 2013 Workshop sessions 
are open!!

So if you want to join, let me know! Email me using signup(at) And if you have any questions about the workshop, hop over to for more information!

Golden Eagle Snatches Kid

Anybody who's attended my on-site workshops will understand the awesomeness of the clip! CAW-CAW!!! (and yes, it's actually really scary)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Paperman - Score

I quite liked the score to Paperman and immediately got it. You can head over to iTunes or Amazon to do the same. Would be cool to get a compilation of Pixar shorts music too.

- found via Big Screen Animation

Acrobatic Reference: Christophe Hamel Demo 2012

Holy moly! Found via Brad Clark's Twitter

Friday, December 7, 2012

Incepted Hammy

I was made aware of this in our anim workshops and it just made my day. Fantastic anticipation to an awesome ending. :)

Incepted Hammy from Grizzly Behr on Vimeo.

Monday, December 3, 2012

40th Annie Award Nominations

Bummer to see no Character Animation noms for Wreck-It Ralph... So no boycott this year? ;)

Congrats to Jakub, Maia, Scott, Steve and Kiran!! And it's Scott Benza, not Benzu. :)

Full list @ Hollywoodreporter

Character Animation in a Feature Production
Dan Nguyen ‘Brave’ – Pixar Animation Studios
David Pate ‘Rise of the Guardians’ – DreamWorks Animation
Jaime Landes ‘Brave’ – Pixar Animation Studios
Phillppe LeBrun ‘Rise of the Guardians’ – DreamWorks Animation
Pierre Perifel ‘Rise of the Guardians’ – DreamWorks Animation
Travis Hathaway ‘Brave’ – Pixar Animation Studios
Travis Knight “ParaNorman’ – Focus Features
Will Becher ‘The Pirates! Band of Misfits’ – Aardman Animations

Character Animation in a Live Action Production
Erik de Boer, Amanda Dague, Matt Brown, Mary Lynn Machado, Aaron Grey ‘Life of Pi - Orangutan’ – Rhythm & Hues Studio
Erik de Boer, Matt Shumway, Brian Wells, Vinayak Pawar, Michael Holzl ‘Life of Pi - Tiger’ – Rhythm & Hues Studio
Jakub Pistecky, Maia Kayser, Scott Benzu, Steve King, Kiran Bhat ‘The Avengers’ – Industrial Light & Magic
Mike Beaulieu, Roger Vizard, Atushi Sato, Jackie Kochler, Derek Esparza, Richard Smith, Mac Tyrie – Columbia Pictures – THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN - Sony Pictures Animation

The Man with the Golden Beard

'Star Trek Into Darkness' Poster

Looks like they're really sticking closely to the Dark Knight (title, poster...). :)

Anyway, besides lots of awesome baby duties, I've been busy working on the next installment of Star Trek, hence a bit of a slower pace in terms of postings. As with everything concerning work, I'm not allowed to say anything but I am excited about the movie and I can't wait to hear the final score and sound design!

Poster found @

AnimSchool: Showing Weight

It's awesome that AnimSchool puts those lectures online!

Cryosuit from iAnimate

iAnimate is pumping out really awesome rigs for their online school! It's a great feature of theirs and having new and original rigs will help your reel stand out.
Maybe it's time to bring back Generi and Package Man, it's been a while! Generi had great facial features at the time!

Cryosuit from iAnimate on Vimeo.

The Games of Hunger by David Stodolny

I like how even the handheld camera feel of the movie is being replicated here. Too bad about the Mario cameo. I guess it's in line with the Dreamworks pop culture references and the kids do come out of the pipes, but still, it would have been nicely contained within the Hunger Games world without it. Rant Monday I guess.
But what's better here than in the movie is her use of the bow as a final measure. After all the fuss that's being made in the movie about her being such a good shot, she barely uses it in the movie. Wasted opportunity! Same goes for "Brave". It's all about her bow and arrow, but it's barely being used in the movie. RANT MONDAY!!
Anyway. According to Cartoon Brew:

Dreamworks animator David Stodolny has been working for the past 3 months in evenings and on weekends on this hand-drawn parody of The Hunger Games.

I miss 2D.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New "Epic" Trailer

I absolutely love the way this looks! It could end up being FANTASTIC! But if there's more of that "Hey baby girl" lameness in there, what a fail. I know you have to make it work for kids but come one, kids are not that stupid. Who voices that slug?

Friday, November 16, 2012


Do you guys remember The Chase? Now this group of girls are aspiring to be in a rock band! If you want to see them before, support the G.I.R.L.S. kickstarter!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Friday, November 9, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wreck-It Ralph - New Lighting and Effects Technology

Head over to AWN for a very interesting article about the lighting research that went into making Disney's Wreck-It Ralph, which btw. is a fantastic movie! Go watch it!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The “Unofficial” Tangled Animators’ Audio Commentary

Very cool!!

Here it is: the UNOFFICIAL Tangled Animator’s Commentary made by the biggest group of animators you will probably ever hear in one room. Here’s the plan: queue up your copy of Tangled to frame 1 of the actual film (before the castle logo) and hit pause. When we count down 3-2-1-PLAY, you un-pause and hear us talk through the film. Like I said, it’s was an experiment and we may not always talk about what’s on screen, but it’s a great opportunity for you to hear many of the voices behind the film.

Head over to for more details!

Despicable Me 2 Trailer

Watch the trailer at Apple!

La Luna - Pixar Short

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fata Morgana

Fata Morgana from Frodo Kuipers on Vimeo.

DVD Review: Adventures in Plymptoons!

First off, a big thank you goes to Cassie Brewer for sending me a review copy of "Adventures of Plymptoons"!

Every animator knows Bill Plympton, even if it's just a peripheral knowledge of his work. But I have to admit that I wasn't that familiar with his life and his journey to becoming one of the most famous independent animators. So watching this DVD was something I was looking forward to.

For a quick overview, here are the official details:

Cinema Libre Studio DVD release
- SRP: $19.95
- TRT: 85 Minutes
- Street Date: 9/25/12
- VOD platform also available

DVD Extras:

- Trailers
- Bill Plympton Day
- “The Toonist”
- Deleted Scenes

 ADVENTURES IN PLYMPTOONS! goes deep inside the method and madness of America’s most independent animator, creatively incubated in his hometown of Portland, Oregon.  Interviews with many of Plympton’s collaborators, such as Tom Kenny (voice of SpongeBob SquarePants), David Silverman (Director THE SIMPSONS MOVIE), Terry Gilliam (Writer, MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL), Martha Plimpton (THE GOOD WIFE), Matthew Modine (FULL METAL JACKET), Ed Begley, Jr., Peter Jason, Moby and Weird Al Yankovic, offer candid and comic insights into the irreverent man who has become an international success by not selling out.

Adventures in Plymptoons! A documentary on Bill Plympton trailer from Alexia Anastasio on Vimeo.


And here my thoughts on the DVD:

The DVD comes in a standard case with no booklet inside (which could just be the review copy and not what you get when you order it), but it's a fun cover and the backside has all the necessary information on it.


Once you start watching the disc you're being greeted with the familiar warning screen regarding illegal distribution, which then leads into a selection of trailers:

- No subtitles necessary: Laszlo Vilmos
- trailer montage for The Films of Jean Jacques Beineix
- Mary Pickford: The Muse of the Movies

The good thing is you can skip all of it and go straight to the animated menu which is presented in widescreen with "The Face" music looped over it. The main menu has the following options:

- play - scene selections - extras - also from cinema libre studio

 Also from Cinema Libre Studio:
- here you can watch the trailers in case you skipped them at the beginning

- Adventures in Plymptoons! Trailer
- Bill Plympton Day
- Make Toons That Sell
- Cheatin'
- The Toonist

 If you use the right arrow on your DVD remote, you get a hidden item in form of a pencil, after Cheatin':

"Annie Sprinkle "The Pencil Test"" (1m50s) 

- the video quality is average, but I did learn something new. The pencil test refers to the method of measuring breast sizes with pencils. The person demonstrating the test has her generous breasts fully exposed, so this would warrant a NSFW viewing.

Scene selections:
- standard option with animated chapter boxes

- says it all

Technical stats:
(review hardware: Samsung Blu-ray player BD-D5500 and 46" Samsung HDTV)

The main documentary clocks in at 1h25m10s and is presented in widescreen with 2CH Dolby Digital sound, but unfortunately there are no subtitles available, which is a glaring omission. The live-action footage quality is average, with the animated content looking a tad better. Picture quality improved when I was watching it on m PC due to the smaller screen, but just as a test I also watched it on an OPPO Blu-ray player (BDP-83) through a Panasonic projector (PT-AE3000U), and as expected, I wouldn't recommend it, but let's not forget that it is not a Blu-ray. The picture quality did not diminish my viewing experience, as I was more interested in the content as opposed to the presentation.

The documentary itself:

The content is presented by interviewing directors, actors, childhood friends, his sister, brother, Ron Jeremy (with a profession accurate interview setting...), ex girlfriend, film critics, animators, etc. etc. The variety of people makes for an interesting range of topics, from childhood stories of how he grew up, to school andarmy experiences, his first jobs, the Oscar nomination, first feature and so on.
I thought it was very cool to see the singer of "The Face", which was actually a woman (Maureen McElheron) who played the piano as well.
There are title cards between topics and once you get to "How to take criticism", you're introduced to W. P. Murton, who looks like a fake critic, with a weird beard, talking how animation should be like Disney and who drinks wine at the end. I have a strong suspicion that it was Plympton dressed up. :)
Btw. his "Acid Rain" for MTV is awesome. I was hoping to see the inclusion of more of his shorts, like "The Face", if not during the documentary, then at least in the Extras section, but unfortunately that's not the case. The DVD is not a collection of his shorts, it's purely about Bill Plymptoon.


About the Extras:

Bill Plympton Day (17m41s)
- explains who's behind the creation of that day and the efforts of making the first full length documentary on Bill Plympton
- presented on stage, in Q&A form (without the Qs) and ends up being a bit dry

Make Toons that sell (2m08s)
- it's a pitch of his book; flips through it for sneak peak, which is nice

 Cheatin' (2m41s)
- talking about "Cheatin'", content and how long it's been in production

The Toonist (5m02s)
- funny live action short with Winsor McKay (it will make sense when you watch it), Bill Plympton and Gus Van Sant about The Flying House


All in all the documentary was entertaining and for people who are not that familiar with Bill Plympton a good insight into his journey as an independent animator. The extras are fun but it would have been great to include more of his work.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Morpheus Rig 2.0 Kickstarter Teaser!

Morpheus Rig 2.0 Kickstarter Teaser! from CG Monks on Vimeo.

Frog Bar by Andy Wood

Head over to Kickstarter for more information!

The SPA Studios Masterclass 2012 - Character Design in features & Physics in Animation

Things You'd Better Not Mix Up by Joost Lieuwma

Hahahaha!! The bear trap and trash one cracked me up!!! And all the others.... hahahaha, so good!
Thanks Seppe for the tip!

Things You'd Better Not Mix Up from Jiek Weishut on Vimeo.

bhGhost - Outline onion skinning

I thought this was super cool and will try it at home very soon. Head over here for more info!

bhGhost Tutorial from Brian Horgan on Vimeo.

Stop-Motion Guide

I wanted to assemble some useful links for people who want to start doing stop-motion. I have no idea, so if you have any helpful links or ideas, please post them in the comments section. Thanks!

The only random ones I have so far are:

- Stop-Mo-Tec Armature Kit and 24 Feet of Wire

- Stop Motion Tutorial: Start-up Guide from the 11secondclub blog.

Boxer Story - The Animated Short Film by Lance Myers

This looks pretty cool. Head over here more info. There are more clips here.

Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask - Character and set gallery

Head over here for a nice collection of character and set images from Professor Layton.

Joe Bowers Tangled/Bolt Animation Breakdown

Super cool! Found via

JoeBowers Interview from Frame By Frame on Vimeo.

11secondclub - September Winner

I like this one a lot. I love how the pauses between the audio are being used! Watch the winning entry here.

Kung Fu Cooking Girls

Kung Fu Cooking Girls from Wolf Somke Studio on Vimeo.


At first I thought, kinda cute, but love where it went with it.

Destiny from Bellecour 3D on Vimeo.

Step 2 Spline: Part 1 (iAnimate Class Demo) by Jamaal Bradley

Step 2 Spline: Part 1 (iAnimate Class Demo) from Jamaal Bradley on Vimeo.

One day

Animation School - AnimSchool Classtime: Realistic Eye Blink Breakdown

A lot of great details!

Puss in Boots: Test 001 by Jamaal Bradley

Nice touch with the last head accent!

Puss in Boots: Test 001 from Jamaal Bradley on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tarzan 3D - Teaser

I'm not a big fan of that spiraling camera at the 1:24 mark. A little bit of imperfection in the camera movement would go a long way. Smooth camera pet peeve of mine...

 I sense a side by side with Rise of the Planet of the Apes post coming...

Free Animation Reel Review - Reel Feedback with the Animation Collaborative


Updated 10.03.12. Stay tuned for more updates!
Mike Makarewicz, Animation Supervisor – Pixar Animation Studio
James Brown, Animation Supervisor – Tippett Studio
Tom Gibbons, Animation Supervisor – Tippett Studio
Hans Brekke, Lead Animator, Tippett Studio

More info here!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

Arthurnal - animation examples and shot breakdown

I highly recommend you head over to Spungella Workshop feedback page and look at the work of Arthurnal. He's been doing a lot of great work and it's always exciting to see what he comes up with. 

Besides the two shots above, he's also working on another body mechanics one, and he was very forthcoming by sending me his different stages for that shot and I thought it'd be cool to share it here as well.

Here's the first blocking version he sent me (he's also a very fast animator):


And below you can see the different stages and his approach to certain technical aspects. Click on the images for the clips to play.


In his words:

Hello JD,

      I'm so appreciate that you interesting in my shot and thank you very much for the feedback.
I'm pleasure to show how I come up with my ideas. It's very simple animation but if we're take a look for the detail  we could see a little more technique such  FK , IK switching all the time . I have to analyze how he gonna hung on the steel bar first because we gonna get more work if we get the wrong plan. In this case I decide to move  the root under the all mover for change the pivot instead we constraint by locaters , it's very easy.

     For this shot I want to move camera simple ,it's easy to see the animation clealy. I want to show the body machanic and make it feel interesting also, and your feedback is helping me a lot.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Animation is a business


from @VFXSoldier

One DD family loses it all. If you know of any job openings for them please email

This is really messed up. If possible guys, try to have a plan B in case the animation job plans fall apart. I hope DD is helping that family out somehow.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Call for speakers - Tea time animation club


Tea Time Animation is looking for talented, dedicated professionals looking to give back
to humble beginnings and the future of our industr y – Students!


The goal of Tea Time is to bring together current students and Alumni to discuss industry and department related news and concerns, facilitate
lectures by guest speakers, nurture communication between the student body and the Animation Department and finally, to provide an opportunity
for peer-to-peer critique. We are a networking resource for the student community.
A simple lecture, workshop or question and answer session with Tea Time members. Since the advent of Tea Time, we have hosted guests involved
in both freelance and large studio – i.e. Pixar, ILM, Tippett – environments. In the past, really successful talks have been based around the
speakerʼs own personal success story -- how it is they broke into the industry/got to where they are now. We've also had people come in and do
animation demos, where others prefer to talk about what professionals are looking for, and how our students can best tailor their reels and focus
themselves on work that is in demand right now.


Standing outside and looking in, the industry can be incredibly daunting, even discouraging, at times. The opportunity to share in the life and
experiences of someone who has successfully achieved their goals – even just for an hour – is exactly the kind of push that students need to break
through barriers and the pressure that school can bring while baring down upon them. Not only does it give us the opportunity for an eye-opening
and insightful look “behind the screens” of the industry, it provides a pleasant change in the routine of homework, and gets everyone excited to
hop back to their monitors and drawing boards to create masterpieces of their own.


Besides spreading a little knowledge (and a little love) to the student body, this is the perfect opportunity for a little shameless self-promotion.
There are so many external organizations out there offering classes/workshops/lectures to students looking to get more out of their education.
Tea Time is the perfect place to market your product. In exchange for your company, we will do everything we can to help you get the word out.
With an online viewership of nearly 3000 views a month, and access to the entire student body at the Academy of Art University, we are an ideal
source to find some future Padawans. Not enticed by ulterior motives? Well you might just find yourself gaining a little bit of knowledge (and a
lot-a-bit of love), yourself.
Interested or looking to ask a few more questions?
We would love to hear from you.

All our best,
Tea Time

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sign-up for On-Site Animation Workshops is open! Adding Video Review to Online Workshops!

If you're interested in attending the On-Site (San Francisco) Animation Workshops, head over to to find out more about it!


The Online Animation Workshops are in full swing since I opened the sign-up windows to individual needs. It's pretty much full but each month  (especially in October) animators are ending their run so sign up to secure a spot!

What I'm adding to the Online Workshop is video reviews. I've been testing them for a few weeks now and so far the feedback has been very positive. So from now on review sessions will be a combination of email/screenshot and video feedback, depending on the complexity of the review content and of course the preference of the animator.

For more information about the Online Workshop, head over to


Friday, August 17, 2012

Spot the animation references

Can you find all the animation references in this picture? You get obvious ones like The Iron Giant but also subtle ones like Marge Simpson. :)
More info here and thanks Dan for the tip!

iAnimate Games Showreel August 2012

iAnimate Games Showreel August 2012 from iAnimate on Vimeo.