Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dude Results

The full story, and all the other great pics are here.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Once in a blue moon.

Only the third time in 10 years sans side burns.

Here is the proof that it happened.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Big News

I start this coming Monday as a BG Character Animator at Blue Sky Studios. Although terribly exciting, my current mental state is most aptly described by the image below. I shall go out this evening to buy some whip cream for my forthcoming servings of humble pie. Perhaps a cherry too...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Kill the Crap

The Crap is Dead

Long Live the Crap.

But seriously, big news with in a few days. Just waiting for the confirmation. And watch the other 3 parts to this video on youtube.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Light at the end of a Tunnel?

And soft serve ice cream that looks like poo. But its ice cream, I swear.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I Knew It!


And on an animation note, a fancy schmancy new REEL will be on display in a few weeks! I'm working on some GREAT notes from some animators who have been incredibly generous with their time, and honesty.


... nope, just hungry.

Monday, September 08, 2008

I Hope ...

... I don't understand young people when I'm older too. Wait ... I already don't.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


here is the almost final. What about the spliny-ness of the end there, after the hand slaps down, that move to the left, second to last pose?

The hands probably need a little love, but, if you watch it once, and watch the eyes, things are working pretty well.

I added in a few smear frames here and there, (4 to be exact) and I am liking 2 of them, in the air for one, and not so much the last.

Allright. One more go on some simplyfying the gibberish bit again this week, then on to new stuff ... maybe even some recent drawings will be posted ... oooooohhhhhh ...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

out by the Roots

I was reminded of this blog entry: http://splinedoctors.com/2008/06/get-down-to-the-root-of-things/

And another I can't remember the location of that talked about the reason for messy head arcs is often the result of root/torso problems.

I find myself encountering this as we speak. In trying to polish up a shot, I had a few people mention that things were a little weightless in parts, so, I went back and did a cursory "re-do" of the hips/torso, and then started in with the head. I then found myself, when trying for nice clean arcs for the face REALLY "fix." the arc of the head.

Reminded of the above posts, I then got rid of all the head/neck keys, to see exactly how smooth it looked, just being on the torso, and discovered how atrocious the hips/torso really was. The cleaner I am getting the hips/torso, not only is the weight better natually, but the head starts "falling into place."

Any one else encounter anything like this, or have any thoughts.

Discovering this weakness really makes me feel like I need to do a couple walk cycles and weight shift exercises, as I often am less then impressed with the weight of the hips in stuff I see online, but am now finding myself doubting I could do any better.

Monday, August 25, 2008


And here is what they wanted for the blanket shot. My how things change, lol.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Help Please

How do I take these to the next level?

I'm making some very slow progress trying to polish them, but I feel I'm missing the mark trying to improve these, more then I am actually improving them.

What doesn't work for you guys? And why? How would you suggest fixing it? What works? And why?

I think I need to step back from these for a bit, start some new shots, or get some hands-on tips from some pros. What'd I'd give to be able to walk over the cubicle of a veteran and have him lay down how to make this sing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen ...

... May I present to you, our competition:


Inspiring stuff. Hope to work with you all some day.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Still needs a face pass and a polish pass, but I"m liking how some of this is turning out. Still a lot that could have been clearer. lots of hands all jumbled together.

Tets Updates

No visuals, as I"m pluggin along.

But I have had some great crits.

The dialogue bit, I had taken as far as I knew how. Most recent crit was to simplify and strengthen for clarity. I've had some one else remark that I "had a lot going on," in it. So, i'm thinking the problem is the hand slap and the mouth pop are too close together, and then the hand shaking and head shaking are distracting from each other. Alos my polish needs work, and its still hitting some walls.

Fixing the wall hits is no problem, not entirely sure about how to up the polish, and I have some ideas for the simplyfing. I'm still clueless on the mouths. I'm thinking leave the hand on the table with the hit, keep the attention on the head, and on the final hit, where the hand goes forward, keep that in there, but take out some of the hand shaking. Also, get rid of some of the head wagging.

The long armed piece is coming along. Still over complicated I think, but, too late to change it at this point. I'm trying to get that sort of thing taken care of in blocking, so I need to make my blocking more clear, so people can catch this stuff earlier on. I HATE redoing tail end work. After a certain point, and cencept is signed off on, I'd like to finish it up according to plan. These are wishes, as every production on earth has last minute changes by directors and creators who don't know what they want till they see it.

Ideally, early in the shot in my long armed piece, I'd get the focus of the audience on the hand thats going to trip, much sooner. How ever, this piece has been evolving from just a few jumps of the long armed guy, to adding the second character, and everything else, and I'd pretty much be re=animating the whole beginning, which is irritating. Its "working" as it is, but I completely agree that would make it stronger. I'm hopeing in the future, when I have some direction of my shots, these sorts of problems can be avoided a little more. We'll see. Updates to show come early next week.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Friday, August 08, 2008


When swinging by youtube, their "your friends are watching:" or what have you, and I noticed Steve Neary, was watching this. I've been looking for this for a while. Very powerful film, if you ask me.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Glory. Yes? No?

All rigs should have a glory control. They are more fun to make, and the rest of the staff likes the surprise.

Ya, its a semi truck, real complicated I know, but I don't know how to do screen grabs, and controls don't render. Not that a semi truck really needs more then about two.

And far as the blanket. Welp ... its one of those production miscommunications. The kind where I get an assignment I actually enjoy, found myself looking forward to, was feeling competent on, had ownership over with out weeks of revisions because no one knows what they want until they see it, and its a shot that was changed last week, and no one told any one.

I'll probably be able to save the edge fold over, and some of the settle, but all the rest, the being drug up the side of the wall, rigging a blanket, vert animation on ones, to try and get a cleanish silhouette. In the trashy can can. Day of work lost. Doesn't sound that bad, in retrospect, just like redoing some blocking, and one can't get attatched to blocking, but, one of the few things I've been able to do for the ol' preschool programming I actually gave to hiccups about.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Of course, they needed the blanket animated. Couldn't draw it cause the shading needs to match the cg back grounds, and we don't have a sim dept. Gotta have the character getting out of bed, then getting the blanket to drift down and make itself.

This is actually pretty fun, which for preschool TV, is a super plus. And its taking 1/10 the time I thought it would. Joints, lattices, and some vert animation. It has promise, and I might even have enough time to make it look half decent.

Thats my "stand-in" texture till we get some pastel goodness that matches the rest of the preschool show, so until then ... HAIL SATAN! ('s bed sheets).

can't show more of the scene for legal reasons.

And here is where the problems are Ladies and Gentlemen. Smooth out the bumps, still feeling like its bouncing off walls on the way down to me, and not sure about the more exagerated followthrough on the bottom of the blanket this time round, get some fresh eyes on it tomorrow.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Update, What the hell ...

As you can tell this is about 1/3, 1/2 way through first pass splining. I'm trying to get things pretty finalized when I'm smoothing out. Take 30-60 frames at a time from blocking, and starting at the root, work my way out. Extra love for the head.

From this, parts are not WAY too off when splining out, but I'd sure like to get them closer first time. I need to understand better what I'm going to get from my blocking, in terms a smooth, and how that set up effects smoothing out. Keeping the tension in the long pull is going to be a bitch I know it. And the end expressions are corny as all hell. What ever. Gotta try doing something other then humor and adolescent angst/rage some time.

And keeping on schedule as far as splining out. Clocking in at 35-40 hrs for the first 110 frames smoothing out. They need a face/polish pass, but aiming for 60-100 frames, final animation, per 60 hours, not doing too bad.

I reached the point where I was starting to loose objectivity, and not sure my changes were making it better. The mouth can be simplified, but I need to research that, as I'm fresh out of ideas. Also, I suspect the face needs another polish pass, and the resting hand, needs some love, but, I'm pretty much at the end of my current abilities with this one, and need an expert eye for any more improvements. Help please.

Audio fixed. Stupid youtube couldn't process it correctly.

the Rusty, the Improving and the Ugly

Recent figure drawing. Been a few months, and I'm rusty.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Dialogue update. Making progress on all fronts. Also keeping decently in line with the schedule (100 frames per 60 hours worked). Splinning is so far ahead of schedule, on both tests. That is sweet!

Been learning a lot, and feel like my eye is getting much sharper. How ever, that also means I am not satisfied with anything for more then a few seconds, and the masters, seem to be getting farther away, not closer.

Oh, and PLAN!!!!! I've made this mistake with blocking, and see it profusely on 11 second club, in where, they have 4 "poses" for a 10 second piece of dialogue. I quote "poses," because moving the torso, does not count as a pose. You need STORY TELLING images. This needs to be a whole body pose, facial included, that COMMUNICATES an emotion, or idea, clearly, to the audience. The pose needs to be dynamic, interesting, weighty, balanced, all the principles of what makes a good image.

Then, once those few are figured out, start thinking about how they relate to each other, how one might move between them, then, just start in betweening them. Once you break it down enough, to where the story is told, with a little texture of timing and spacing, THEN, and ONLY then, is your shot "blocked." If what we are calling "blocking," does not communicate ANY ideas, its not blocking, and there is no way in hell we are going to have "happy accidents," and just stumble upon genius when we start splining things out. You'll have to think about it, and KNOW it, eventually, before you can animate it. Good animation, is proof that some one KNOWS something about life.

But there in lies the biggest hurdle. You need something to say, that more then one other human, will give to hoots about. Yes, if your poses are all balanced, and beautiful, and communicate clearly, the thoughts and feelings of the character, your off to a great start. But then the line that separates the artist, from the technical master, is drawn. The artist says something meaningful. The work becomes more powerful, each time it is experienced. The technical master how ever, looses its luster half way through the first viewing/listen, ect. You can't teach some one WHAT to say. Only the words, for HOW to say it. Here is hoping I can say something meaningful eventually.

A special thanks to Lou, for some great tips on refining this. Just few frame difference on the face stuff on the hit, and some larger "off model" suggestions that are really helping out. I need to sleep on it, take another look, tweak, send out for crits, polish, and call it done for now. CLOSE!

Hand Tweak

Friday, July 11, 2008

"Final," chimp test.

Finished this guy up a few months back, and was feeling too good about myself before I got another awesome critique and notes from Mr. Andrew Coats. A little over whelming, and made me completely doubt myself, so I went back to my cave and commenced trying to make sense of it all. (these are the best times, as long as you don't give up, because you really have to figure out how to get up, and walk, when you think you were already)

Mostly bringing the ideas I have in there, together seamlessly. Like the first move on wait. Get a realy "w" mouth shape in there, and bring things together so its not, here is the pose, then an eyebrow move, then some mouth, now down with the head to the left, ect.

One day... Untill then, keep on trying things out.

Blocking updates

Here is some, hopefully, entertaining context before the dialogue bit.

The new blocking is about 150 frames, and took 10-12 hours. Which, if the quota is 100 frames a week, one would need to get it blocked in on monday, so, I'm getting closer. Plus, I have no direction, and making everything up as I go along, which I don't really know if its harder or not. Went through about 4-6 ideas/variations on the theme before I got it down to this. Which re-inforces what I've learned before. From initial inspiration its at least 5 idea revisions to clearify what I'm trying to communicate, before I start seeing what I want to see.

TripSlap update below. Spread out the hits, definitely liking that better, not happy with the last two poses though. Still off timing and spacing wise mocing into the second to last pose, and the last move, still seems, kitsche, or cliche, or, just bad acting to me. Not Olie yet.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Face reference

Check out this guys mouth when he speaks.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


All right, a few preliminary crits are in for the tests below. They are great, and I have to agree with what is being said so far. The good and the bad.

There is hope for the two character bit, the slap needs some work, which I am doing, and people seem to like it. I like it, all around.

The dialogue piece is getting a less favorable response, on the grounds of "what the hell am I watching?" I'm sticking to it, because I like the audio, and, non sequitur, fits with some of my sensibilities. This test is fun, and thats what I need right now. HOW EVER. It does need some context. As in, some emotion change/thought, before/after the bit, to give believable justification to his out burst. Which I think is a compelty valid request.

I shall rant about how sick I am of doing long tests, and my failed efforts to do some under 100 frames. But its very frustrating! (and the spell-check for this blog keeps underlining "sequitur," even though its spelled right)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Blocking Updates

The two character bit has been evolving since I wanted to play around with how a character with the proportions of the Blue guy, might move. Just been making it up as I went along. Which is quite fun, and there are a lot of bits that I like in it, but its not as well staged, organized, or clear, as a piece thats well planned from the beginning, with a purpose, and good idea of who the characters are, and how the shot might be part of a larger story.

This dialogue piece is self explanatory. Both of these, I'm feeling i've done about as much as I can with them, with out wasting time, before I start splining. I'll add in some chair stuff, still in blocking, before I go to splines.

And if you got crits, lemme have em.

Fun times.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Important stuff

Close freinds and family matter.

Striving for excellence in one's work is necessary, but can be awfully lonely, and unrewardingly frustating some times; emotionally, spiritually, and monetarily, so chose your delusions carefully. Never settle.

Fault is one of the Wild Sound's "best animated films," of 2007. Here, is the screening schedule. Feels pretty good to be included on the same roster as the other big players up there. Pat Smith, who was a formative force in my undertaking of animation is screening, as well as fellow NYU alum, David Pagano.

Another school friend, Steve Neary, will be spending some time up at Blue Sky this summer, so kudos to him.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Aussies like "Fault" ...

It seems the fine film going fellows from down-under, have, for a second time, honored me with the enjoyment of my movie

It kind of makes the hours, and money, of submitting to festivals worth it. I'm glad some people are getting a kick out of it.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Short on Youtube

My short film is open again for viewing on youtube. Did about 6 months of festival stuff, and burned out. Not my bag of tea at the moment, so I let that train sail.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The approved

Here is the pencil test of the shot I've been working on for a while now. Many ideas tried, and versions experimented with, to the frame. Its for the film my Professor back in colege is making. Its ridiculous in what it tackles in craftsmanship, beautiful, and really a work of art. I'm honored I was trusted enough to contribute to it. This will later be cleaned up onto frosted cell, colored with colored pencil, then shot on a bolex.

I'm trying to get some of the versions we went through up on my training log, but blogger is being uncooperative.

Monday, April 07, 2008


Yes, ladies and gentleman, shot 01_03_028, has been approved. Goal of finishing the chimp shot by end of next Sunday, and then we are back on the zone!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

New training log. For my animation. Check the links.

Monday, March 03, 2008


Here is an update with another 8 hours or so. Lip synch is getting better, hands still need a lot of polish. Tear it apart please.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

animation update

all right, finally found some time to get some more work on this test from months ago. I need to loosen up the hands, get some pressure in to them, and the arm reach, I don't like the movement, need to smooth that out a bit.