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