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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!

Jun 29, 2006


My local team just aquired arguably one of the top three goalies in the world.

I am so pyched! I can't wait for the new season, I've been waiting for a good goalie since the days of Kirk Mclean. No offense to Mclean, but Vancouver has never seen a goalie this good before. Too bad we had to give up Auldie in the process, but I see a brighter future. The Northwest is ours again. :)

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Jun 10, 2006

Model Sheets, Avery Flicks

Since I haven't seen these offered anywhere online, I thought I'd share, just in case anyone was interested. I've been really getting into character design lately, so I found these when I was going through all my model sheet photocopies.

The first is a model sheet for the wolf from the Tex Avery short entitled, "Swing Shift Cinderella". I'm sure you've all seen at least a clip from that short, I don't think I've seen it in it's entirety. Anyway here it is:

The next is for a character called Heel-Watha, that I recognize, but I don't think I've ever seen him in action before. I can only assume this is for the short entitled, "Big Heel-Watha".



So what did you think of Cars? I saw it as soon as I could, about 12:00pm on Friday. After all, I'm such a Pixar geek, I had to! I was really unsure going into this one though. I certainly didn't go into it with the expectations I had with other Pixars flicks.

I wanted to see what everyone else thought of it so far, and I usually check out the "Tomatometer" at Rotten Tomatoes to get a quick idea. So far the movie is doing better than most, as movies usually get the ratings they deserve on that site, but right now Cars is hovering right around 77%, it was 78% last night. A lot of the reviews claim it wasn't as strong as previous Pixar movies, not as personable. One reviewer actually went as far as to state the blatantly obvious:

"None of the characters in Cars feel like flesh and blood. None of them feel like family. Instead, they're just a means to an end -- vehicles and nothing more."

Really? Did you realize that you just went to see a movie called CARS....


The fact that Lasseter and his crew were able to instill the amount of personality and character into those cars as he did amazes me. Realistically it was quite a stretch on Lasseter's part to bring this idea to life. With everything else you've been able to relate quite easily, the anthropomorphism could be pushed to that level for bugs, monsters, and even sheep in "Boundin". The empathy was there, but there's only so much of that that can be applied to cars, only so far you can go, and I think that's the reason why some people felt a little detached. I know I felt a little unempathetic in a few scenes, but overall I thought they did an excellent job.

It makes me wonder if this is the main reason behind the dismal ratings so far, or is it because everyone was expecting this to be "not as a good as Incredibles". I know that's all I've heard from people since the first teaser for the movie came out. Still I knew I'd love it, and I did. Did I like it as much as Toy Story or Incredibles? No, but that's just me, and those movies are hard to top.

Pixar's had nothing but hits, and secretly I think everyone's waiting for the first flop. Well apparenlty Cars has a weakness: unempathetic characters (in a few scenes), something Pixar is great at avoiding. So even though the movie is averaging at a B grade right now, according to the aforementioned Tomatometer, that's pretty much a flop for Pixar standards. Take a look at the ratings for Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug's Life, Monster Inc, Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles. Not one of those movies received lower than 91%.

Personally, I thought is was a great movie, I really got the sense that Lasseter took everything possible from those cross-country trips with his family and dumped it right into this movie. You get all the feelings he aimed at: It's not the result that matters, it's how you get there. It's the journey, etc. There was a lot of heart in this movie. I'd see it again for sure, it's all about making people believe right? Well, I believed, for most of the movie anyway.

I won't even get started on the animation, I'm still trying to figure out how to animate bi-pedals. I don't even want to think about how they pulled this one off, and how they shot reference footage, it's all way beyond me as an animator so early in his education. I sure can't wait for the dvd though. The acting was great, and it feels weird saying that about cars, but it was!

Who wants to go see it again with me?

P.S - The movie has a great soundtrack too (I'm not usually one for country).

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Jun 8, 2006

Daniel Son

A quick game test I did for my demo reel, about four hours work.

Modeling and texturing for this character was done by the talented Adam Scott, check out his portfolio by clicking the link on the right.


Jun 7, 2006

Ray Harryhausen, One Man Army

If I could pick two animators that I could meet in the near future (for obvious reasons), Ray Harryhausen would be one of them (the other being Ollie Johnston). Check out this video, in which Harryhausen is interviewed over the phone, and lets it be known that while CG flicks can sometimes take hundreds of people to complete, in his day he did it all.

And you did it well Ray.

Jun 2, 2006

John K and Preston Blair

John K has an incredible blog that's he's recently made even better by posting animation drawing assignments. He's using pages from Preston Blair's infamous book on animation, a book I've had and read, but never really used. That is, until now... I'm a little behind on the assignments, but at least I'm doing them. Here's my attempt at the head construction one. After about six tries I got this close:

It's still not spot on but I learned a hell of a lot doing this assignment and I'm ready to move on and let the next pages of Preson's book further hone my skills, specifically my eye for precision and perspective.

I remember a while ago before John K started posting these assignments he said that Preston Blair's book was all anyone really needs to learn how to draw. I remember reading that and thinking that I should dig out my copy and try a few drawings. Now that I have, I'm hooked and while I can't wait to dig into my Christopher Hart and Tom Bancroft books, this will definately give me a firm foundation.


Jun 1, 2006


Posted with permission of Jerry Beck (Cartoon Brew).

This is a handout I got in Animation History class listing the fifty greatest animated short films as voted by industry professionals. We were told to check off the shorts as we saw them. We only saw a handful in class, (mostly those at the top of the list of course) but I made it a personal goal of mine to watch all of them. While I have seen most of them, I still haven't achieved my goal...yet.

Anyway, here's my top ten shorts (some not listed in Jerry Beck's top 50):
  1. What's Opera Doc
  2. Toot, Whistle, Plunk & Boom
  3. The Band Concert
  4. The Pointer
  5. Rabbit of Seville
  6. The Barber of Seville
  7. The Old Mill
  8. Gerald McBoing Boing
  9. Der Fuehrer's Face
  10. All The Cats Join In

Disney's "The Pointer"

Disney's "The Old Mill"

Honorable Mentions:

Clock Cleaners
The Skeleton Dance