On Animation has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 5 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

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

Mar 29, 2006

Harryhausen Double Feature

As part of the Berrnard Herrmann theme tommorow night on Turner Classic Movies, you can catch two of Ray Harryhausen's more popular films. First up is Jason and the Argonauts at 10pm, which is immediately followed by The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad at midnight. Be sure to catch these classic films!

As a preview of the extensive Harryhausen posts I'm prepairing, I have an excerpt of an interview he did for Jason and the Argonauts, enjoy!

(Please excuse the out of sync audio track)


Tuesday Night Life Drawing

Well despite my obvious need to draw more, I had a blast! I forgot how a life drawing session makes three hours seem like twenty minutes, it all just flies by.

I spent most of the time trying to get back into the swing of things, applying the little knowledge I had to find the anatomy and proportion. Dropping plum lines, taking angles. I forgot how much fun it was. But since there weren't a lot of poses of more than ten minutes in length, I didn't get to draw too much of the actual body. But rediscovering the human form on paper, in a systematic way (I have a technical mind) was still quite enjoyable, and I look forward to next week.

Here's my ugly drawings from last night. Since I don't have a scanner, you get bad image quality AND bad artistry all in one!

Surprisingly I was able to find the proportion the best in the toughest poses, those with the most foreshortening.

(Honestly people, these are the best from a three hour session!)


Mar 27, 2006

Life Drawing

For the first time in over a year, I'm going to a life drawing session. I found a local group in my small suburban town that meets on Tuesday nights. Why am I posting this? To make sure I go and post at least one drawing from the class, no matter how horrible it is.

You see, I plan to make this a weekly event for the next two months (when the class ends until the following September). So at the end of the next two months, I hope to show a comparison of the first and last drawings done to chart my progress.

Here's hoping I improve quickly :)


Mar 26, 2006

Stop Motion vs CG

I found this hilarious short in which a stop-motion cyclopic creature fights a cg dragon. This short was produced by Laika (formerly Vinton Studios). Another Laika project you might already have seen a trailer for is Moongirl.

I'm sure many have seen this, but if you haven't it's worth a look.

Stop Motion vs CG

And my fascination with stop-motion continues...


Mar 21, 2006


I've been working hard on my acting piece again for the last few days, and I started to get unsure. When this happens, I always take breaks and look at animation that inspires me. Today I was unsure of my antics and settles in a move, so I loaded a peice from Toy Story done by Doug Sweetland. I've always loved the scene where Woody comes out of the box. Everything is done so masterfully. So I watched the clip, from when he comes out of the box to when he goes back in (roughly 30 secs). Then I watched mine. Now if you've never done this, the first thing it does immediately is put you in your place. I felt like shit. However, after I kept watching them both, one after the other, I starting pulling all the inspiration I needed to continue in my own work. I've done this plenty, and it always helps strengthen my animation.

Take a look at the screen caps below and marvel at the genius that is Doug Sweetland, or better yet load up the DVD and watch this scene. Even if you're not having trouble with a scene, it's an education in itself to frame by frame this scene. The unbelievable character interaction, the snappy movements, the wild antics, and the incredibly subtle and intricate settles. Gold, pure gold. I tip my hat to you Mr. Sweetland.


Mar 20, 2006

Power of Pantomime

Here's an article about the power of silence in animation. I couldn't agree more. An excerpt:

"American animation wasn't always like this. Some of its most memorable moments have no talking: Mickey Mouse dancing with the brooms in "Fantasia"; the Seven Dwarfs weeping at Snow White's bier; Bugs Bunny riding in as Brunhilde on a white charger in "What's Opera, Doc?" Animation is often funnier, more dramatic and more powerful when words aren't distracting the viewer's attention from the stylized expressions and movements.

Walt Disney often made his artists prepare their storyboards with only pictures; dialogue was added at the end of the process, when they determined how few words were actually needed to tell the story. In 2001, Joe Grant, who did key story work on "Snow White," "Pinocchio" and other Disney features, said in an interview: "Walt was a great advocate of pantomime. He would stand in front of the boards and re-enact the scene. You could see the reflection of him in the film: his pantomime was beautifully followed through. Today it's all talking heads."

I have still yet to see The Triplets of Belleville, and now I want to see it even more!

Source: Animated News


Mar 19, 2006

Incredible Eye Candy on the Way

I've had the opportunity to peruse these tomes once or twice in the last year, eagerly waiting for the prices to come down so I could snatch them up.

Thanks for the tip brewmasters!


Mar 18, 2006


Mark Kennedy has been relentless recently in outlining the importance of silhouette in drawing and animation. Personally, it's the one principle I've been thinking about the most in my animation (especially recently). So it's nice to hear him go on and on about, it's like a nod that I'm headed in the right direction. And just when I thought I couldn't be more conscious of it, I catch myself picking it out all the time now, being a devoted Seven Camels subscriber and all. Job well done Mark, you've drilled it into my head for good!

Of particular note is this fun drawing by Gabriele. As soon as I saw it, I was impressed with the value of sihouette. Nice work Gabrielle, keep on inspiring me to start drawing!


Williams on Tommorow Night

The aforementioned Robin Williams episode of Inside the Actor's studio is schedueled to be aired tommorow night at 9/8 PM on Bravo!. Be sure to catch this episode, it's one of the best I've seen on the show.


Mar 13, 2006

Burton On Corpse Bride

I found an old four minute interview with Tim Burton talking about his Academy Award Nominated film, "Corpse Bride", at would looks to be a press junket. There are some interesting insights into the world of stop-motion in it (for those of you that haven't yet been exposed to it). I know I can't get enough of it. I'm studying Harryhausen at the moment, and I should something to share in the near future. :)


Mar 11, 2006

Steamboat Bill?

I just finished reading, "Disney's Art of Animation", which I really recommend. Those that swear by the Illusion of Life (which should be everyone!), will find it an enjoyable read.

One of the many little gems I picked up from reading it was that Steamboat Willie (1928), was actually a take-off of a Buster Keaton Short released earlier that year entitled, "Steamboat Bill, Jr". That sparked my curiosity, and shortly after I found the original inspiration for Disney's first cartoon with sound available for download. Take a look at this interesting piece of animation history as well as a lot of other Buster Keaton shorts below

Steamboat Bill (1928)
Other Keaton Shorts

The best part about this site (archive.org) is that not only have they made these films available for download, but you can also get most of them in high-quality MPEG formats ready for DVD burning.

As far as Keaton is concerned, I've never really studied him to be honest. I've crammed plenty of Chaplin, and was told to check out Keaton if I enjoyed it. I guess I always assumed Keaton was just a knock-off, but I guess it can't hurt to break the norm once in a while and watch some classic comedies. I do somewhat agree with Jim though, they can get boring at times. But if this is as boring as animation gets, I don't think we have much to complain about, do we?


Mar 9, 2006

Animation Art Part 2

So right after my last post on animation art, I stumbled onto another great animation art site, The Animation Art Gallery (Thanks to Amid Amidi at Cartoon Modern).

Despite the size of the gallery I managed to pick out a few future pieces I'd love to own.

Lady and the Tramp is one of my favorite Disney films, and I just finished geeking out on the new DVD, so these immediately caught my eye.

Especially this story panel signed by Joe Grant!

I particularily like story/concept art and maquettes the most, but I could go for some animation cels (Especially if they were from some of my favorite animated shorts like, "The Band Concert (1935)", and "What's Opera, Doc? (1957)"). Naturally I can assume that those cels are quite rare and therefore quite pricey. Oh well...

"When you wish upon a star..."


Mar 7, 2006

The Animation Art Gallery

When I was in England for Christmas I decided to explore everything to do with animation that was available to me in London (that I might be able to check out if time permitted). Unfortunately time did not, but I still found a place I'm likely to buy from in the future. That place was The Animation Art Gallery. I spent a couple of hours going through their galleries and mentally placing my favorite pieces on the walls in my hypothetical future house. Among some of my favorites are the following:

I love all the old WB cartoons and nothing would be cooler than to fill my home with such inspiration. How could I ever have a moment of no creativity?

If you've been lucky enough to stop by this place, please comment on the experience.


Mar 6, 2006


A big congratulations to Nick Park, Aardman, and John Canemaker. I'll have to see Canemaker's film. I guess this means Reese Witherspoon can act now? I guess I'll have to see Walk the Line tonight :)

Labels: ,

Mar 4, 2006

Lady and the Tramp DVD

There's a great sneak peak of the extra features on the new Lady and the Tramp DVD on the Disney Motion Showcase site. Just click, "The Lady and the Tramp Animators".

There's also some more videos on the official site. But don't just watch these videos, make sure you go out and pick up a copy of one of the best animated films of all time (in my opinion).

Labels: ,