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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!

Feb 23, 2006

Cleese on Faces

If you ever felt that your knowledge of facial expression was a little lacking, I recommend that you watch the BBC documentary, "The Human Face". I first saw this years ago when I lived in England, but recently saw the DVD popping out at me at my local video rental store. Having no idea it was published, I immediately picked up a copy to add to my ever growing "Motion Reference" DVD library.

The documentary is hosted by John Cleese of Monty Python fame, (so you know you're in for a laugh) and Elizabeth Hurley. Together they attempt to understand the face in it's entirety. Over the course of four hours they talk facial expression, facial recognition in infants, facial anatomy, facial responses and response times, etc. The list of subjects goes on an on, and while not all of them apply to animation as evidently as others (they talk about facial reconstructive surgery), they are nonetheless interesting.

Plus, if you're a total geek like me willing to read Gary Faigin's, "Facial Expression", cover to cover, then I'm sure you won't have a hard time watching this. If anything it will give you a deeper understanding of the sublteties of the face that will undoubtedly strengthen those tough acting scenes that we all love so much :)


Feb 16, 2006

The Renaissance

There's a great two part article over at AWN written by Tom Sito entitled, "The Late, Great, 2D Animation Renaissance". It's really worth a read if you have the time. Especially if you're an up and coming animator, shall we say an eighties child. The article spans the 80s and 90s and talks about the rise of greats such as Keane, Goldberg, and Deja (and the reasoning behind their, at the time, bloated salaries). Plus there's all sorts of fun facts in there that I was unaware of. For example, I had no idea Disney owned the rights to The Lord of the Rings throughout the sixties. Can you imagine if they did something with it?

The Late, Great, 2D Animation Renaissance — Part 1


Feb 15, 2006

The Animator Disposition

I was reading Scheif's latest post and I came across this comic that really hit a chord with me. Doesn't this just completely encapsulate the entire animation process?


Feb 14, 2006

Williams on Animation

I just finished watching an episode of one of my favorite shows, Inside the Actor's Studio, with guest Robin Williams. The guy is basically a cartoon, just like Mike Myers, he was out of the chair more often than in. When asked about his character of Genie in Alladin, he had a lot to say about acting for animation and his favorite cartoons. I figured I might as well start a repuation for myself as, "He who shares animation videos", or something to that effect. The clip is four minutes long, hope you enjoy!

Robin Williams on Animation (WMV, 12MB)

If you don't already, I recommend that you watch this show any chance you can get, it's pure gold!

Inside the Actor's Studio Website


Also, Keith Lango just made an incredible post on his site, worth a read. I swear, if it weren't for blogs like his an Seward, I'd be hard pressed to stay inspired and confident in animation! Thanks guys!


Feb 8, 2006

Just What I Needed

Jim Hull just made a great post that's slowly getting me back on my productive feet. It's great that after you go through a scene, and the never ending slew of deconstructive thoughts and self loathing that goes along with it, there's someone else that reminds you that that is perfectly normal. While I don't know what that's like from a feature production standpoint, could it really be all that different?

Make sure you read the comments, and when you're done read this for more inspiration.

I guess I'm gonna take a break now...


Feb 6, 2006

Flushed Away

Dreamworks has a great new preview for it's upcoming film Flushed Away. I've been eagerly awaiting this preview because I've been wondering what sort of character designs they would use. I had no idea Aardman was involved, and was pleasently surprised to see "Aardman-esque" character designs make the transition into CG. Also, from an animation standpoint, I don't think I've been this excited about a Dreamworks film yet (excluding Wallace & Gromit). Make sure you check it out:

Flushed Away Preview


Feb 5, 2006

It's a sweep!

Turns out Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit swept the Annies. Check out how well they did here. I can't say I don't agree, what an amazing film!

Wallace and Gromit has been one of the biggest inspirations for me, I can remember watching The Wrong Trousers a billion times, not to mention Creature Comforts. I bow to thee Nick Park.

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