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The journal of an aspiring animation filmmaker. Inspiration, Film Analysis, Animation Art, Student Work, Book Notes, Book Store, Composing Pictures, and much more!

Jul 28, 2005

Nice Balls

As I'm striving to get deep into character animation I'm reminded in a recent post on CG Char what real animation is all about. Timing and spacing. Kaven Michael posted her bouncing ball exercises and like the first time I saw Cameron Miyasaki's ball exercise I was immediately inspired to do the same. I'll finish up my reel first, but this is gonna be the first exercise I do after school, getting back to basics and re-applying everything I've learned. I can't wait :)

You can enjoy Kaveh's exercises here:

Balls 1
Balls 2


Jul 20, 2005

Production Bliss

I'm so exhausted.

To the point where I think I can actually use the word "fatigued" to describe my constant disposition.

But I'm also so happy.

I wake up at around 7:30 every morning and before I know it, the clock says 2am. I get so caught up in animating all day and (even though it takes forever and it's so frustrating sometimes) I can't get enough of it. I remember when I started here at VFS having so much respect for all the new traditional knowlegde I was gettting. But at the same time I was going nuts waiting for my chance to enter the production phase. Well here it is!

I don't know if I'll end up with a job in 3 months time but I know I'll still be animating all day and night regardless. I guess the ultimate job for me would be getting paid to make my demo reel. Sound retarded? Brian Taylor certainly doesn't think so...


Jul 14, 2005

New Run and Animation Section is Up!

I've changed my run dramatically. I received a tremendous amount of valuable feedback on it and was able to improve it ten fold (Atleast I think so). So now that I have more than one piece of animation to show, I've made the animation page. Enjoy :)


Jul 13, 2005

Copyright Schmopyright...

I've got a nice soundtrack picked out for my demo reel, and an even better dialogie clip I'm planning to use for my final exercise. You would think I could just go ahead and use them, like every other demo-reel-making student on the planet does, because who cares right? Nobody's really gonna know right? Atleast noone that would get upset....

Unfortunately the sound geeks at my school want copyright permission in writing for everything I use that isn't mine. I've spoken to a lot of students at a lot of different schools (even Academy of Art), and this is unheard of. Those students just do what they like, and I think we should be able to as well.

Can you imagine how long it's gonna take for these big production companies to get back to me? I guess it's a good thing I started sending out the requests now...

Evening rant concluded...

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Jul 12, 2005

Royale with Cheese

Been working on a Run and Stop exercise. I'm still blocking the scene out, but here's the run so far...

Let me know what you think on CG Char or CG Talk!


Jul 11, 2005

Listen to Lango

In a recent post at CG Char, I posted my opinion on the current snappy animation trend that we're experiencing nowadays, and in doing so I mentioned one of Keith Lango's tutorials that I'm sure everyone has read. To my surprise it reached his screen which resulted in a post about it on his blog. This led to a small conversation between the two of us in which, quite honestly, I learned a lot! Keith mentioned that we've only scratched the surface of performance and acting in animation, and curiously I asked to hear more. I thought I'd share some of what he said, because from my perspective, it sounds quite exciting! :)

I think Pixar shows flashes of it. There's points in Finding Nemo where they nail it. Still a few more spots in Incredibles where they nail it. Syndrome has his moments. Dory hers. But they're not hitting on 100% all the time yet I don't think. I think the stuff we're aiming for is the level of animation the old Disney masters were hitting when they were at the height of their craft (mid 1950's until the early 1970's). The thing is these guys were hitting stuff on almost every scene. The best of them, anyhow. But by then they'd all been doing it almost 20 years. It's not even about the quality of their draftsmanship (although it was great) or the excellence of their motion (again, amazing). I'm talking about the richness of character, the uniqueness of one character from another in every area of the performance. The performances, the pesonalities. I don't think we're hitting that level just yet. We're just now finally getting a critical mass of what we call "good CG animation". I call it level 1, getting stuff to move in a pleasing and believable fashion that's entertaining. Great. Disney's solved that question in 1937 with Snow White. Now what? This generation of CG animators is just now getting to this point. Those of us who've ben at this 10 years now are at the point where we're going to know the principles and methods of "good CG animation" so innately that we're going to be free to explore and demand more from the character performances. When the Doug Sweetland's and Carlos Baena's and Victor Navone's and Mike Thurmeier's have 15, 20, 25 years of animation under their belts- THAT's when it will be sweet I think. We're still learning the alphabet it seems.

keith lango

What a nice guy...Listen to him!

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Jul 10, 2005


I posted the links section last night. Check it out, if there's a site in there you haven't been to, GO THERE NOW! Only the best of the best get on my links page ;)

The animation section will be up within the next couple weeks...

I finally saw The Emperor's New Groove last night on tv. I thought it was hilarious, I had no idea Puddy from Seinfeld was in it! I've heard of Kronk's New Groove, but now that I know who voice's Kronk I will not be missing this sequel. Looks like I gotta add this to the "DVDs to get" list.


Jul 9, 2005

How did I miss that?

Working on my second reel exercise right now and I've come to a surprising realization. I've never actually animated the placement node on a character. As I think back to all the animation exercises I've done (and try not to cringe as I think how bad they all are) I can't think of a single time where I actually moved the character around in space. I've always animated them on the spot, or just moved them a step or two without animating the placement node. So I guess this is a first, I can't exactly get out of it considering I'm doing a Run and Stop exercise. It's interesting to know I've covered so many things in animation in such a short period of time and still have some really basic things I haven't tackled.

When I'm done this exercise I'll post my animation section. Right now all I have is the walk cycle to show, which wouldn't be very interesting.


Jul 8, 2005

Never tired of walking...

I recently "finished" working on my walkcycle for my reel. I never understood why everyone said walks are the hardest thing to animate. Now that I've had my ass kicked by one, I think I get the picture. But man oh man do I love how much I learned in the process. Aside from the result, that was the best part. Now I just have to adjust it with the pages of crits I received from CGChar and CGtalk, thanks everyone! This walk is gonna be sexy when I'm officially finished :)

If my stuff doesn't excite you, then make sure you check out JD's newest piece entitled, "I am an animation god". You can find it here.



Working hard on the demo reel has it price it seems. I finally burned out. I didn't think I could, or would. Heck I've been pulling all nighters on the computer everyday since I was 15! I have a theory as to why I finally fell victim to the burnout though. I have a deadline! That adds a level of stress that's unheard of even to my nocturnal self. On top of that, I'm trying to impress everyone, or atleast everyone that matters. It's a new form of all night from here on out.