Friday, October 31, 2008

Acting With Myself

I can sort of understand the difficulty actors have when acting in front of a bluescreen. There is nothing to react with. This scene is a multi-character shot. I have two guys talking in a bar. I shot this footage late at night so I was not able to bring anyone in on this one. I DID find a way in Premiere Elements how to move and split the screen. THAT was fun!! So what you see is me acting with myself.

After the video reference is my first pass at the layout of the scene. This is the general camera angle I am going for. They said we could have two to three camera cuts, but I opted for a simple camera pan to the right revealing the punchline.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

This is a FIRST!

I saw an animation book at work and I DID NOT want to buy it.

I saw this book Animation Unleashed by Ellen Besen sitting on the shelf. Being an animator, I exclaimed "Ooooh!" with joy and took it to the breakroom to look at on my break. I flipped through it and nothing really grabbed me. I looked at the table of contents and again, nothing really grabbed me. I looked a bit longer but there wasn't anything there that I did not already learn, or could learn, from one of the many books I already own. And believe me, I DO NOT need any more books on animation. (But I will have more!)

There was a book that I DID pick up a few days ago.

This book, The Alchemy of Animation: Making an Animated Film in the Modern Age by Don Hahn, I DID buy. I saw it on-line one night and ordered it the very next day at work. I have flipped through this one and it is just amazing. I have not had a chance yet to sit down and start reading it, but I will.

So that's one more animation book added to my collection. I know of at least one more coming soon, and that's The Art of Bolt by Mark Cotta Vaz.

I am really looking forward to this one because I want to see Chris Sanders' early conceptual art. Chris is the creator and co-director of Lilo & Stitch. He left Disney in the middle of production of Bolt. I need to do some research to find out why. I think I remember reading that there may have been some disagreements between him and John Lasseter over the story direction. I could be wrong but I will find out. I hear he is now directing a new film at Dreamworks called Crood Awakening.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Audio Clips For The New Scene

The assignment for Week 4 is to find three lines of dialogue with multiple characters. After looking a while, I decided on these three clips.

AUDIO CLIP #1 from Flash Gordon

"I swear Munson I'll shoot!"

"Get shot or go up in that thing? What's the difference?!"

"This way you'll be giving your life to save the Earth. Haven't you any spirit at all?"


AUDIO CLIP #2 from Flash Gordon

"They were brave creatures, Vultan."

"Shut up!"

"With respect, the man who rid us of Klytus should not be deserted."

"Will you shut up?! There's no way I can help a man who's dead!"

AUDIO CLIP #3 from O Brother, Where Art Thou?

"You stole from my kin!"

"Who was fixin' to betray us."

"You didn't know that at the time."

"So I borrowed it 'til I did know."

"That don't make no sense!"

"Pete, it's a fool who looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart."

These are from a couple of my favorite movies. Flash Gordon is sort of a guilty pleasure but I just love it! It's corny, and cheesey, and the costumes are so over the top. It also has an awesome soundtrack by Queen, so I think that helps a bit.

I recently turned in these scenes for this week. I have already received some feedback and the majority of my peers like Clip #3. They said there is great character and tempo changes. I, personally, was hoping to go with Clip #2. I can see great possiblilities with both but I may end up going with Clip #3. Either way, it is going to be both very challenging and a lot of fun.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

WATCHMEN - The Pumpkin

Every once in a while, they let us do something creative at work. I remember a couple of times they let me and a few friends hang artwork and photographs around the Cafe. Well, this time they let us decorate pumpkins for Halloween. We had to choose a literary theme. A coupleof the ladies chose kids books and made their pumpkin look like the main character. I decided to go with WATCHMEN. Not only because the book is getting a lot of press, but also because of the movie coming soon.

So here's what I got:

Here are the book covers I used as reference:

You know, I still have not read the book. I have a loose idea what it's about but that's only from what I've heard others tell me. I guess I should read it, but I don't want it to spoil the movie. I love movies. However, I heard that from the trailer, the film seems to be shot-for-shot from the graphic novel. So I should be ok.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

** FINAL **


This is it! This is my FINAL take for this scene. It's been a long road getting here, but also a huge learning experience. I feel I have learned a lot with this scene that will carry on to the rest of my work.

And with NEW Joker make-up

I'm not saying it's complete because I will never see it as complete. I will always be able to find something that STILL needs to be tweaked here and there. But, it will do for now.

We also had some sketchbook assignments for this week as well. Here's what I got:

Now we get to move on to a NEW SCENE!!! WOOHOO!!! For the rest of this term we will be working on a multiple character scene. I need to find three scenes of dialogue and do the usual video reference and sketches for them all. This one will be a bit longer at 12 - 15 seconds. I have a few ideas but I'm still looking for more. I'll be posting them up next week.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Jeff Dunham in CC

Comedian Jeff Dunham was in town tonight at the American Bank Center. I wanted to go but wasn't able to get any tickets. I've seen his DVD many times and laugh harder and harder each time. I found these bloopers on YouTube and was just cracking up. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Polishing Week 2

This is my submission for this week. There were a lot of subtle changes from the previous week. Most of it was in the mouth shapes and the hands pressing on the table at the end. All in all I feel pretty good about it.

One more week and I'll be done with this shot. I need to get his wardrobe ready. I once tried using the same one as the earlier versions but for some reason it just did not fit right.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Week 2 Sketchbooks

This week we had a sketchbook assignment. We had to find two pictures in a magazine and recreate the facial expression with Bishop. Here is what I submitted for this week.

Sketchbook 1

Sketchbook 2

We have more sketchbooks assignments throughout the semester.
There are more to come.

This just in....

The following article is from

Glen Keane Leaving Rapunzel?

October 10, 2008

CARTOON BREW and AINT IT COOL NEWS are both reporting that Glen Keane is stepping down from directing Disney's upcoming animated feature RAPUNZEL.

AINT IT COOL posted this memo from Ed Catmull, president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios:

For nearly two years, Glen Keane and Dean Wellins have been directing partners on Rapunzel. As Glen lessens his directorial responsibilities to attend to some non-life threatening health issues, their involvement on the project will shift. Glen will step back as a Director but stay attached to Rapunzel as an Executive Producer and Directing Animator. At the same time, Dean will move into development to pitch three new ideas for one of our future feature projects and focus on directing one of his CG shorts. We are happy to announce that Nathan Greno and Byron Howard have accepted to partner as directors on Rapunzel as we continue to hone the story in anticipation of our Holiday 2010 release. We want to welcome Nathan and Byron to the project and thank Glen and Dean for their great contributions to date on Rapunzel.


Keane has been involved in Disney productions like PETE'S DRAGON, THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE, THE LITTLE MERMAID, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and ALADDIN. He helped write POCAHONTAS and TARZAN.

According to the memo, Keane's latest health problems are moving him off the director's chair, but a source told AINT IT COOL that Keane and Wellins' version of RAPUNZEL wasn't working. Bryan Howard stepped in on BOLT when Chris Sanders' early work led execs to believe that film was not working.

Calls made by AWN to a Disney spokesperson were not returned as of Friday morning.

The following article is from

Rumor Central: Lasseter Knocks Keane Off Rapunzel?

October 9, 2008 1:40 pm

A local LA animation student who asks not to be named sends in this rumor that’s too juicy not to share:

Just a bit of info from one of our teachers here. Apparently Glen Keane was kicked off Rapunzel yesterday by Lasseter. Word around the campfire is that Lasseter didn’t like the latest reel.

7 years, man. 7 years Glen’s been working on this. The skinny is that the directors of Bolt will be taking over. No word about if Glen is still involved in any way.

Truth or fiction?

UPDATE: Floyd Norman confirms in the comments that this rumor is indeed true.

UPDATE #2: Ain’t It Cool News has published a follow-up story to our initial report. They reprint a letter from Ed Catmull that says that Glen has lessened his directing responsibilities to “attend to some non-life threatening health issues.” Co-director Dean Wellins has also removed himself from the project for unspecified reasons. They are being replaced by directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard. Keane will stay aboard Rapunzel as a directing animator and exec producer.

-End of Line-

All I have to say is....WHAT THE FRICK?!?!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Class 4 has begun!

I am back at Animation Mentor and couldn't be happier! Class started last week and it is back to work. As luck would have it, I have the same mentor and Q&A time. So once again my mentor is Dana Boadway. She is a freelance animator that has worked with several diffrent studios. She is currently working on cinematics for one studio and her own short film. It would have been nice to have some fresh eyes on my scene, but this works out well, too. I know what she is looking for and know what I need to work on.

So here is my scene from last semester. For the first few weeks we are now focusing on animating the mouth with the dialogue and the eyebrows for more facial expressions. Before the last semester was over, I tweeked the scene a bit more and Dana noticed. "Everything with the body is looking much better. You've done a lot of good work on it." THANK YOU! There are still a few things that need to be ironed out but it's getting there. The lip sync is coming along nicely as well. The difficult part for me was in the middle when the dialogue is going so fast. Also, the generic mouth shapes the school has provided for us are a bit too "happy." They are always smiling. Well, my guy is not smiling so I need to bring them down a bit.

All in all, so far so good. I'll be working on dressing Bishop this week. Just a few clicks here and there and he should be back in his wardrobe.