Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Slightly Early Happy Halloween!

Since I'm going to be pretty busy the next few days finishing off homework projects I'll post this now before I forget and it's suddenly November. =) So yeah, Happy Halloween ya'll!

Looks like Annie is feeling the holiday cheer, eh Mom? ARRG!

Update on Stick-man: He's limping along, I mean he's dancing, but he's not going to win any dancing competitions so hopefully between early tonight and all of tomorrow he'll be a little better. For now, going to focus on animating his hat.....also need to work on Friday's project that's due: The teacher is having us get into groups and pitch a feature movie idea to the rest of the class. It's a lot of work to suddenly do in a week and my group and really everyone else are frantically finishing up the stories, concept art, and presentations. PPT to the rescue! I haven't presented anything in Powerpoint in such a long time, going to be a hoot. haha. Alright back to work!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Stick Man Dance

Our next assignment for traditional animation is to make this character:

dance. As is, nothing added onto his stick structure aside from that hat(to practice follow-through!). And after many grueling hours today trying to make this guy dance to everything like Thriller to Cotton-Eyed Joe to Ballet to Charleston...I wish he wasn't a stick---cause they all look VERY bad...I think the Charleston one is salvageable though. The teacher showed us this clip awhile ago featuring Richard Williams and how Art Babbitt visited his studio and assigned the animators(Richard included) various exercises---one being making a stick man walk. While reflecting on this experience Richard Williams said how much he struggled with it because there's nothing to hide behind, it's a bare bone figure that doesn't allow for any fancy drawing skills. Your animation skills are all on the surface and completely exposed for anyone to see. After today's mini-battle, I can really see his point. It's certainly a fantastic animation workout and I highly recommend trying this out, but geez! This little stick figure needs to boogie and be getting down by Thursday---pressure is on. I'm very glad for youtube....so yeah this is my current project, but I'm going back to the dorm(Internet is now officially in my cube! YAY!) now before the insane trumpets blasting outside in the gallery(there's about 12 inches of wall between the sounds of dying animals and me) give me a headache(even with headphones on I can still hear them.)

Oh yeah, it's raining! Finally fresh air that doesn't reek of smoke like it has been for the past few days.

Thank You Mom!

Received a lovely package from my family, it was a great way to start the weekend off. =) Thanks you guys! Loved the card and absolutely got the bat reference! The candy corn is very much appreciated. ;) So as a little return:

Here are some doodles of some well-known characters that are favorites among the family. =) Can't wait for you guys to visit in about 2 weeks! Alright it's definately time for bed........

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How do you do? Fine how are you? Pretty good sure as you're born.

Recent Song of the South pieces have made it online:

Some Bill Peet storyboards of the Tar Baby sequence

Somebody has posted the entire video(in several parts) on YouTube! So hurry and check it out before it's taken down.

I've never seen this so it's been great watching this. Fantastic character animation! Brer Fox is wonderfully animated! Look at that walk when he's succeeded in catching Brer Rabbit in the tar! I've watched a couple of these sequences several times and have that whistle-tune perpetually looping in my head. =) So go be inspired by those two links!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

How I spent my 2 Fire Days....

Animating of course! So yep, the fox is moving more then just his tail(it's only assigned to do a tail-swishing cycle, but I wanted to do more in the end). And then here's a general idea of what the background actually looks like when there's not 2-3 sheets of paper ontop of it(animating in layers is an interesting process):

I did a very simplified version of how the backgrounds in Bambi were created: Multi-layered drawings. The effect is pretty cool as shown above in the animation. Though my way was VERY simple and Bambi's backgrounds trump mine.

Well night everybody, and just so you know I can't even see the fires anymore like I could last night.

Just a quick update

Today was primarily blue sky, you wouldn't know about the four fires in the area unless you actually knew where to look(at least with the Six Flags fire) so no problems. Winds are kind of behaving. I've just been inside working on my fox...it's coming along nicely---just got to fix a little problem with his tail, shoot a nice quality video of it, and then I'll post it. =) Oh yeah, school resumes tomorrow...granted it means I have my critical studies class, but at least it means Thursday's animation class is so far in the clear! =) Well back to the cubes!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday Night Madness

So just a follow-up, it's not incredibly bad here. I'm probably making it sound more exciting then it really is. In reality, I'm really safe...the fires are still around, but not a sign of a single flame. It's the smoke I have to watch out about. The smoke is making it seem like the fire is right at the doorstep, when in reality it's still pretty far away---the wind has even died down a lot so it's a lot calmer outside. What I'm up to the rest of the night: watching Jurassic Park in the Palace with a bunch of other freshmen. =) I'll be posting Mr. Fox tomorrow, just to prove I did go indoors and wasn't outside running around inhaling the smoke.

Edit: Here are some more pictures starting from around 6pm...

This last one was shot around 11:30 at night. See the VERY bright orange speck in the center there? That there is fire on the horizon. I'm going to guess that it's the "Magic Fire" that's threatening Six Flags and about(according to Google Map) 2.8 miles away...as of right now that is definitely the closest fire--and it's only 20% contained. The picture was taken from the balcony of CalArts' main building...You can definately see some flames as proven by this picture. Well here's hoping for an uneventful night and hopefully tomorrow will be a successful fire-battling day.

Fun is over

CalArts hasn't evacuated yet, but if the winds change:

^-----This one was taken on the steps of CalArts. So it's right across the highway and just over the mountains.

Planes are flying overhead every couple of minutes.

Picture of the fire that's North of us.

That's all heading our way. There's about 3 fires that are dangerously close now: Left, right, and just North of campus.....we are supposed to receive official word on how the rest of the week goes any minute now. Various parts of Valencia are evacuating and everybody is packing just to be safe. Yikes.

Edit: For now, CalArts is again closed just for tomorrow. Classes are canceled, etc. Tomorrow is also supposed to be the last day of these nasty winds, so hopefully by Wednesday the firefighters will have a better chance to fight back.

Firey Update Part 2

So, the fires are so bad in the area that CalArts is closed today. Classes are canceled and everything.....so I guess this is known as a Fire day? I was really looking forward to pitching my 70 storyboards tonight too(I'd rather have a fire day TOMORROW....). Oh well, I'll use this sudden "free" time to go finish that fox animation.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Firey Update

The high winds around the area have helped fuel a wild fire in Malibu and in several other places in Southern California. The Malibu fire is about 40 miles from CalArts and around 3pm today we all felt the effects of the fire:

The high winds have caused a lot of debris to be blown around:

Branches everywhere....
Ash is being whipped around in the high winds(burns the eyes real fast) so anyone who is outside walks around squinting and holding something over their mouths. The smell of smoke is outside AND inside the main building....
Otherwise, I've just been working away on homework. I've finished the two major projects and am now finishing the smaller assignments.
For my design class we have to do paper-cut out silhouettes that all illustrate a similar theme. 7 panels, has to stand on its own, etc. I decided to bring a piece of Southern Oregon to CalArts and themed my project on: The Mall Food Court. Here are some quick pictures of it:

The morning Mall walkers!

When looking at it from one end to the other.

The never-ending line for food.

It starts out with empty tables, moves to the regular mall-walkers, then the people who only read at the mall, the people standing in line for food, people eating, people talking/really busy, and then the people leaving the mall with their bags of stuff. It was entertaining at least and I'm happy with how close the silhouettes look to my drawings.

The other big assignment was a 60 panel(minimum) storyboard about our character from last class(mine is a guy who is colorblind and names colored pencils) so I finished that off today. BEFORE he named colored pencils he worked at a grocery store---so I told that story instead. It's around 73 panels. Here's a quick picture of the finished stack:

Otherwise, I'm diving into Flash and roughing in my fox animation before I take him to pencil and paper. I also need to finalize a background since the teacher is putting some emphasis on design so after dinner---to Google images! =) Well ta ta for now!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Weekend Inspiration

Throwing out some of my favorite links, so enjoy these little gems of the internets:

Animation Backgrounds

Animation Treasures Part One(This one ran out of space and has since moved to "Part Two")

Animation Treasures Part Two

The next one can be summed up by the title, "Cartoons, Model Sheets, & Stuff."

A couple glimpses of rough animation towards the bottom of the page: Click Away

Just because this site needs to always be mentioned more than once: Spline Doctors

Maya People: I don't know how I came about this link, but look at the texture possibilities on this site bit easier then hunting around Google images. ;)

Very handy video footage sites for animation reference:
Animal Footage
Some of the videos on this site can be a little iffy, and sometimes I cannot get them to work, but it's a good springboard for inspiration and when it does work---it's wonderful.

Ocean Footage

Both very good reference, though with both sites and any reference I use, I just use it as a springboard and when I actually animate I go for the overall motion/feeling, not super realism. There are too many examples of animators who solely rely on realistic footage type animation and the results often can't compare with when the animator goes beyond the realism.

Just a couple of my favorites. =) Again, enjoy....

Wish I could share the rough animation I saw last night. Our teacher brought in a lot of animation---Snow White(deleted material, not anywhere on YouTube sadly), Rough Captain Hook animation, Chuck Jones Rough Animation(not last night, but he has in the past), Pinocchio, Richard Williams animation(Thief and the Cobbler mostly), Hayao Miyazaki rough animation(Totoro and Princess Mononoke), etc. and he'll show the clips, talk about them(or it'll have an interview with the animator) and then slow down the animation and show us the breakdown---frame-by-frame. Really cool seeing the pencil rough animations in slow-motion. One of my many favorite things about the class. =) Last night he was mainly demonstrating the differences between shooting on 1's, 2's, and 3's. He also compared underwater scenes from The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, and then Pinocchio--breaking down where the strengths and weaknesses were in each....while I enjoy Finding Nemo and find it gorgeous and is certainly one of my favorite Pixar movies---Pinocchio still wins--just amazing how they accomplished those scenes!

Well those links should entertain everybody for the weekend. I'll be pretty much wiped off the face of the planet, hidden away in my little cube. I've got a lot to do(60 Panel storyboarding assignment---unrelated to my film, silhouette cut-out design, fox tail animation, now entirely re-do the snowman animation, finish Girl Interrupted, brainstorm an idea for a feature length animation film*going to pitch this idea to the class in two weeks!*, and more things I'm temporarily forgetting). Well night and have a good weekend...

Once more another shout-out: Hey Oregon gang! Hope you are all staying dry, I'm told it's been a bit cold and rainy up there. Guess it's more reason to stay hunkered down in the animation labs eh? Well thank you guys again for the emails...it's great hearing from everyone! =) Can't wait to actually see what you guys are up to.

And on that note: Everybody go vote for "Defeating Path" when Apple opens up the gallery.

Maya woes

Three simple words sum-up why I now prefer working with pencil and paper animation over 3D animation:

"Unrecognizable File Type".....it was only 2 hours of work, but the snowman was looking so good before Maya crashed and corrupted the file.

Also, the Maya on this campus crashes, freezes, and displays the rainbow-swirly of death(which means I HAVE to force quit the program) at least every 5-10 minutes(the teacher warned us that this Maya is buggy, he's completely right). I swear I wasn't asking much of the computer or Maya, I would normally just be scrubbing through the time line and poof---it would quit itself or display the infamous swirly. I cower in fear over what these computers are going to do when we actually have to RENDER something. I want to be back in the SOU mac lab now....

Time to go watch the new Office episode on youtube and have some dinner before going in for round 2.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tin-Can and Ball Animation

Finished the animation for my traditional animation class:

Supposed to void the bouncing ball of ANY personality, while the can is supposed to have a little character. Both are supposed to move across the screen with the can chasing the ball. Otherwise we were given free reign on how creative we could go.

Just to follow-up on 3D animation: It's alright, we're finally getting to Maya and right now doing a quick very rough model of a snowman(to practice "parenting" an object together) and then animating him(more emphasis on animation then modeling, just 3 stacked spheres and a top hat). After now spending a couple weeks animating with just a pencil and paper, it's a bit of an adjustment to now go back to 3D, going to spend some time just playing around in Maya this weekend to get back in the groove of things and maybe post Mr. Snowman when he's ready.
This next part will only make sense to a VERY small handful of people: I'm going to work a little more on that griffin character from last winter, hopefully, before film season really hits, I'll have my griffin character completely textured and once I get my 3D books again, maybe rig? But right now I'm just aiming for texture. I've been hearing that a couple of people are continuing their own 3D characters from last winter and now I'm hopping on the wagon as well. =)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

lolcats X-treme

Researching for my film, phase one--the cat character:
*It's a big picture so heads-up*

Sunday, October 14, 2007


I actually set some time aside to work on my film today and guess what??? My animatic is certainly coming together. Still rough and doesn't exactly match what an animatic is supposed to be like, but it's meeting 90 seconds perfectly and hopefully everyone will understand what's going on once I share it. =) Quite excited and thrilled to be making this much progess on my film. Sadly, I'm not going to share a whole lot about the actual film on here. I'm keeping the number of people who know about the entire plot relatively small. For now, here's a quick storyboard snap-shot:

I wonder what he's up to. ;) Otherwise, people keep pulling the fire alarms around here. One this morning in the main building and then around 8 at night in the dormitories. It's getting rather annoying(they're not drills because 1) it's Sunday and no one except students are around and 2) the coast is clear every time.)

I'm sure a lot of people have heard about the big accident that happened on the I-5 over the weekend....when I went off campus today I could see the HUGE line of traffic stretching as far as I could see. They've also closed all of the exits around the area so no one can get onto the highway. Really terrible.

Well I'm off to go read "Girl Interrupted" for my critical studies class....wish I could keep refining my film. Oh well, night.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Picture Post

What's a good way to chill after a rousing game of dodgeball???? Photo update!

Our new animation assignment involves making a can and ball bounce....here's the stack of paper for both characters:

And for my Mom: Here's a very rough example of an animation term: The arc, as demonstrated by Mr. Ball:

And for the curious, I never did take a picture of the stack of animation paper that made up my Dorkfish animation. The black line represents how thick it is!

Also for animation class, we have to design a character based off of a large animal. I went my obvious choice: GATORS!

And to keep the Disney magic going here's a picture that made the Story for Animators teacher laugh very hard:

For the class we have to read "Story" by McKee. Well we thought it'd be hilarious to "read" the book on Space Mountain, I'm very serious when I say this is NOT photoshopped in any fashion, they really did pull that book out and pose when the lights flashed. There are posters of this everywhere now. :) haha!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Disney Caricatures

Here are the 3 highlighted caricatures of my Disney Trip! The top two are of an actual couple I saw while waiting in the Finding Nemo Submarine Ride Line.....I'm sure the expression on my face when I spotted these two was priceless. I drew these two a couple hours after seeing them and even my fellow animators were able to recognize them and go "Oh yeah! I remember seeing them!" Two of the many fantastic characters that inhabited Disneyland that day. The bottom one is from my second time around on Pirates of the Caribbean. I randomly turned around and saw this lady COMPLETELY by herself in the middle row of this boat snapping pictures of the ride and such. It was another image that was burned in my head and I had to draw her when I got the chance. I honestly want to go back to Disneyland just to sketch. It was great getting back out into the public and drawing after many weeks of zero public life drawing. I do miss my food court visits a lot.....but Disney certainly was a nice breath of fresh air in my newly started sketchbook.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Just continuing from Part 1:

After Tiki-Room we went to:

Haunted Mansion! Only this time around it has been changed to the theme of Nightmare Before Christmas! Here are a couple pictures of the interior, but heads-up, they're blurry---they still spin those carts like mad.

Blurry entrance picture! Pretty awesome. The elevator was pretty cool, the pictures were different from the originals and stretched to reveal some wicked Nightmare Before Christmas artwork.
Here's a little video of the dining hall sequence. You can actually still see the ghosts randomly dancing between the presents after the table*that's what we're laughing about in the video, someone made a hilarious comment related to that*(probably can't see the ghosts in this video version, but in the original file I have, you can)

And now, 2 of the "better quality" pictures taken while in the car:

Singing pumpkins!

HUGE animatronic Oogie Boogie to send us on our way! He replaced the Hitchhiking ghosts and instead of ghosts in the mirrors--you get a nasty nightmarish treat. haha.

Overall, it's pretty cool. I do like the original a tad better because the moods of these two rides are COMPLETELY different. Original ride: very spooky, dark, all kinds of intericate details, cool effects etc. Holiday version: still dark, but a little more jolly. Some of the rooms did come off with a: "eh who cares, this is coming down in a matter of time" kind of impression, but it still was pretty cool(the singing pumpkins and the animatronics of Jack and Oogie Boogie were pretty sweet and I wish the photos weren't so blurry of Oogie, he was awesome as an ending scene). But yeah it's just jarring going into Haunted Mansion expecting one version and suddenly go in and it's very "happy" compared to the way I've always experienced it.


*the fact that these two are really close to where I was standing when I took both of these pictures is a complete accident....haha. Though it's really cool huh?*

SPLASH MOUNTAIN! Just outside pictures. I'm not crazy enough to take my camera out during the ride, my left side was soaked---and I was in the back(big wave came up on the back left side after the drop and got me). The person in the front was drenched! When we came back out it was suddenly nightfall. We rode rides like the Winnie the Pooh one, and then headed back towards Fantasy Land. Here are just some general pictures of the park at night:

A whirl of carrousel lights!

In the end, we ended up at:


I think they're ready to rock that cup! It's all serious business in that pink cup! They spun that cup like mad! After the ride ended they all nearly fell out of there and were completely disoriented! Go fellow animators!

After Tea Cups we went to:

Small World....I have video, but it's too big for any uploader service so here's just a quick picture. =) This ride hasn't changed at all...still enjoyable without any remakes. It was nearing 8 pm by now so we headed back towards Dumbo and other rides and quickly made our way to one ride in particular----Peter Pan!

It was a 45 minute wait, but it was worth it and the long line gave me oodles of time to sketch.;) Disneyland is the reigning champiion of life drawing! So many golden opportunities of caricature! I'll post my favorite sketch at a later time...this particular couple were brilliantly fit for Disneyland. haha. Anyways, back to Pan:

*Camera with no flash is a sad camera, but the pictures are kind of cool*

By now it was nearing 9:30 and the group decided to head back to Space Mountain. A friend and I weren't too fond of waiting in another 45 minute line and decided to split from the group and ride Pirates just one more time. The lines were extinct! We just walked right onto a boat and snagged the back row. So my last ride of the day was indeed Pirates of the Caribbean. =) We still had time to kill since the other group was still at Space Mountain and also wanted to go on Buzz Lightyear's Astro-Blasters one more time, my friend and I just browsed shops and bought little goodies for family(Mom, Robert, and Greg: you guys are in for some fun stuff I assure you!) So around 11 we met up with the rest of the CalArtians for some waffle-cone icecreams on Main Street. We hung around and talked animation, browsed the windows, and toured a really cool gallery that had some original artwork from modern artists. And then around midnight we headed back out of the park and on our way back to CalArts.

Heading out of the park

Ratatouille Window Display! SOOOO cool! Linguini and Remy were spinning around, replicating that particular scene from the movie where Remy practices cooking with Linguini. This display actually has a couple hidden treasures too! That wine bottle on the fridge has a brand of "Lasseter" and that clock is hopefully an intended A-113 CalArts' reference!(see the hands that point to 11 and then 3!) Everyone geeked out when someone spotted the clock! haha. Great way to end the trip.

Anyways, this was certainly an experience to remember and it was a lot of fun being back at Disneyland! I know we're certainly planning on going back once films are turned in and job fair finishes up around May and before everyone goes back home so it outta be another grand adventure and hopefully Indiana Jones will be open again! Well I have class in a bit and these two posts took MUCH longer then I anticipated and I didn't even include every last detail! Well over and out!