Friday, December 29, 2006

My entry for AM's weekly sketch

Well, this week's topic is "superheroes" so I thought I'd throw something together for it. Here's what I ended up with, the body is fairly rough as you can see but oh well. I hope to enter into this weekly sketch more often.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Michael Caine acting videos

Hey everyone, I just wanted to point you all in the direction of the guy that uploaded the Caine videos to youtube. His name is Dan Caylor and he's an animation student also! He's currently attending AAU and you can check out his blog HERE! Thanks for the upload Dan, the videos are a great watch!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Michael Caine acting classes!!

Matt Kelly found these videos on youtube and they were such a great find that I decided to post them here. Waiting on the last video to be uploaded by the user so only 5 out of 6 are here for now.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Part 6:

Saturday, November 18, 2006


I've underestimated the people's lack of patience.

Another one sold for $10,000 yesterday just before this one but now they seem to be averaging out to around $2,500, still a good profit.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Spiderman 3

Here's a video some might be interested in seeing. Has previs stuff in it and also reveals Venom at the end of it. Definitely waiting for this thing to come out!

EDIT: video's been pulled down

Monday, October 30, 2006

My animation disc and light box

Ok, so I'm getting closer to finishing this thing and figured I'd post some images with everything kind of pieced together. I decided to make it a box rather than a full desk because it will be easier to move if I ever have to. I went with Oak, which is a more expensive wood, so one can be made even cheaper than this one. A lot of cheaper furniture you might buy and possibly even the light boxes online are made out of MDF, medium density fiberboard, and then covered up with Formica, which is the slick covering on most counter tops. The sheet of oak plywood was $42 and I have enough left over to make another disc and desktop. I've stained and applied 2 coats of clear to both the box and disc. I left the back of the disc and the inside of the box unstained since it won't be seen. The inside of the box will probably have a layer of tinfoil to reflect the light. I did apply the two coats of clear to the bottom of the disc though, just as a basic sealer to the wood.

The glass was $8 and the Plexiglas was $6. I wanted to size it out so I could use 16 field paper if I wanted to, so it measures in at 12" by "18. The glass was cut to that exact size from a local glass company and my dad was able to get one of the scrap pieces of Plexiglas that we ended up cutting to size. The only problem with it is that it is 1/4" thick when we I was looking to get 1/8" so I could place it directly underneath the 1/8" piece of glass in the disc. So I'll end up screwing the plexi into the underside of the disc, and inset the glass to draw on into the top of the disc.

Because of this thickness difference in the Plexiglas I was kind of worried about how well the light would diffuse overall and didn't want to run into dark spots so I went with two florescent bulbs with a higher wattage to be safe, since the circular bulbs that most people go with are only around 32 watts. You can find the circular setups with the fixture at a Home Depot for $20. The way I'm going will also make it cheaper, but with more wattage there is more heat, so I'll soon find out if I get any issues from that. I don't think it will be that big of a deal, but we'll see if the paper I'm drawing on goes up in flames :) I should also note that we made the circle cuts with a router and an attachment that allowed use to set a pivot point in the center, so the router will cut it out nice and clean.

Here are some more pics:

Here's an image of just the disc with the router work for the glass and pegbars:

And the last few images are of the box and disc where you can see the edges have been routed so the disc will fit inside of it and sit level with the top of the surface. We did the same with the back of the disc, routing it halfway through the wood.

Once I finish it all up I'll take some more final pics and give a summary about how much everything cost.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Lecture about storytelling!

Anyone that wants to hear how important storytelling is should watch this video! I found this link on AM alumni, David Martinez's blog. It is 45 minutes long but I didn't find it difficult to sit through at all. Andy Goodman made some great points about what makes narrative so powerful, what makes a good story, and how you make a lasting storytelling culture. Check it out, it's definitely worth a watch!

Storytelling Lecture- Keynote Address: Storytelling as Best Practice

He seems to have some type of online classes and workshops too.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Drawing time!

Well everyone I just got some of the stuff to get a 2d animation setup going and I'm pretty excited! I've never done 2d animation before so I'm probably going to be pretty disappointed after the first few(hundered) tests but I'm still ready to give it a try. I bought an acme pegbar, 12 field punched acme paper, a lightfoot pegbar so I can punch my own crappier paper for some quick tests and getting use to the whole process, and I'll be getting the glass and plexiglass cut tomorrow for the disc that my dad and I are going to be making! It won't be a professional setup of course but I figure I better not shell out $500 on the disc alone for soemthing that I'm trying for the first time. So far I think I'm going to be able to put together the desk/light table and full disc together for less than $200 but we'll see.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Pete Docter at Hallmark

Hey everyone, Pete Docter was here in Kansas City and gave a talk about animation and the process Pixar goes through when making a film. There were some interesting things that he showed that I thought I'd share with you.

One of the first things he did was show this commercial to show why animation works.

Even though it has no animation in it, it shows that people are always personifying things and that half the work is done with them just walking into the theater.

He showed another video of a study with salamanders and video images of crickets and rectangles. They put the salamander in front of the computer screen with various videos which had the cricket moving in an abnormal way and the rectangle moving in a way the cricket would move and each time the salamander would follow whichever object moved like a cricket, regardless of what it looked like. This example stressed how important our jobs as animators are! Also he was making the point that characters can be as stylised as we want, rather than completely life-like, and as long as we include movement that we can relate to it will work.
I couldn't find the video for this but I did find a pdf over the study.

This last video had to do with lip sync. He said that many animators think that they have to have perfect lip sync but the fact is that you need to have the body working properly and performing proper body language for that situation.

He also showed Pinocchio's "I've got no strings" pointing out the lip sync wasn't there at all really and just basically an open and close puppet mouth.

Friday, August 18, 2006

AM Student Showcase Reel! New link to the video.

Animation Mentor has made a page for the Student Showcase reel in a QuickTime format with a downloadable link. So if you haven't seen it yet go check it out and if you have seen it but want to hang on to it for a while, go save a copy of it for yourself!:)

AM Student Showcase Summer 2006

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Animation Mentor Student Work!

If you haven't checked this out yet go to and look at the new student showcase reel! There's some very impressive stuff on there and is very entertaining to watch.

Monday, August 07, 2006

More Ralph Eggleston

There's an interview done here with Ralph Eggleston for MoMA. Boy do these kids look excited about it.

Speaking of Character Design

Here's a pretty sweet blog on it! It just so happens to be named Character Design. Definitely something to check out! Quite a large list of interviews with various character designers! That's actually where I found the Chen Yi Chang images posted in the previous post. They've interviewed him themselves. Here's a link to that as well.
Chen Yi Chang interview.
And yes, there are more images of his artwork there than just the few I have in my previous post.

Chen Yi Chang video

I know this is an old video that a lot of you may have seen and already know about, but just in case anyone hasn't seen it or need a link to it I figured I'd do that. He is a Disney character designer and discusses some of his thoughts about working on Mulan, Tarzan, and a bit about the Batman cartoon series.

Chen Yi Chang Video

A few Pixarian Signatures

This one is from Pixar animator, Angus Maclane-

Storyboard artist, Mark Andrews

And finally one of the head honchos, Andrew Stanton

I found them on this blog post, the person that owns the actual signatures on paper. There's a nice little story about when he got them too!


The Spline Doctors have been doing some great podcasts with various artists from Pixar so I figured I'd have a link station to all of them in this post. If you've never been there before be sure to check out their other posts. They have some useful and interesting information there.

Spinecast 1:

To Spline or Not to Spline

Splinecast 2,3, and 4: Andrew Stanton

Andrew Stanton part1
Andrew Stanton part2
Andrew Stanton part3

Splinecast 5: Ralph Eggleston

Ralph Eggleston

Splinecast 6: Nate Stanton

Nate Stanton

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Animation Timer

Can you think of the beats you want for you animation in your head and click the mouse at the time the beat happens? Then this nifty little tool just might be for you! I found this a while back while surfing the web so I thought I'd link you to it. It's an animation timer application put together by Paul Van Gaans. Thanks Paul!

Animation Timer

(PC only at this time)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

A small car show

Well, it was fairly small but there were some clean cars there.

Hand Sketches

Here are a few hand sketches I did of my own hands. The open hand I did more recently roughing it in with General's pastel chalk, wanna be Conte. It was a bit larger than my scanner so there were a lot of dark areas that I had to clean up. I left the forearm uncleaned though. :/ The other hand I did a while back and it was smaller on newsprint.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

New Blog

Well, atleast for me it is! A blog that I've recently been checking out quite a bit with some inspirational stuff is a current student at CalArts. Lots of traditional work to check out since he posts quite often. His name is Steven Macleod and the name of his blog is Clockroom. He has a large list of links to other blogs that contain a lot of personal artwork of other artists. Just some stuff that has definitely been getting me back into the drawing mode. Hope to post some stuff up soon! Again, here's the link to his blog:


I've recently heard some great news about my former mentor, Scott Lemmer. He was working at DNA studios on The Ant Bully and the studio is closing after that so he was going to be out of a job but he got into Pixar! WOOO! Congrats man! Awesome to hear. Get this, on the Jimmy Neutron tv series he was doing anywhere between 800 and 1,000 frames a week!! Sometimes more, and the quality of the stuff was pretty darn good for that kind of a timeframe! Lots of entertaining stuff there. Anyways, just wanted to say congratulations Scott! You deserve it!

Friday, July 28, 2006

WHOA, WHOA, WHOA!!! Hold everything!!

Ok, so I was just looking over my blog and realised something! I haven't given proper introductions for my past 2 mentors and my current one!! WOW, I can't believe I let that one slide! Well, for term 3 I had Scott Lemmer from DNA studios! It was an awesome term and my breakthrough into acting, where I started the Robin piece that is shown below. Term 4 I had Dave Vallone from Blur Studios! Man, this guy can talk! And most of it had to do with animation! lol I had a great time working on facial animation for the Robin piece with him and doing a complete 2 person dialogue shot. He gave some very great and detailed crits. Now, drumroll please!

The mentor I currently have for term 5 and 6 and for undertaking a short film is!:

Doug Sheppeck!

Here's a list of his stats-

Cars (2006)

The Incredibles (2004)

Finding Nemo (2003)

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) - senior Animator

Toy Story 2 (1999)

A Bug's Life (1998)

Toy Story (1995)

I'm in week 4 right now and so far Doug has been great. I'm really excited about these final two terms at AM and know that he'll really push me to and beyond my limits!

Friday, June 02, 2006


Well, here's my first dialogue test. Still could use tweaking here and there but it's time for me to move on! No final quality render on it just yet. Just a plain old playblast. Thanks to a friend supplying me with bandwidth I'm able to put this up here! Thanks again man! Always good to get comments and critiques!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Over the Hedge

I haven't seen it yet but I've only heard good things about the new release, Over the Hedge, from Dreamworks. Some of the things I've heard was that it was the funniest animated film that they've seen and the animation on the animals was phenominal. I heard that the movie is up to par with the Incredibles! Definitely a movie to catch in the theaters! So I'm hoping to see it this weekend and enjoy it as much as everyone else have been.


Sunday, April 30, 2006

Listen to a Movie

So have you ever been searching for dialogue out of a movie and just gone through countless dvd's, taking them out of the case, putting them in the dvd player, letting them play through and so on? Well there's a site that actually allows you to listen to a movie from start to finish. They have quite a selection to go through too. The site is Now the audio quality isn't the best but just create yourself a user name and it's free to listen. They even have a few tv shows up there.

Monday, March 13, 2006


Since I'm in the process of posting images, here's something that is pretty awesome that a friend sent me a while back.

Dialogue preview

Ok, so I don't have any space to put my animations right but I figured I'd give you a bit of a preview on what I'm currently working on for my first dialogue test. Yes, that is Robin.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Long Time, No Post!

Wow, so I see it's been a while since I've posted here. I've been pretty busy with Animation Mentor, currently in term 3, with V2 of their site! Which is still rockin'! I've also been going to community college for traditional art classes and have recently been attending some aacting classes. I just finished up my second pantomime assignment for AM and am currently working on my first dialogue shot! My mentor this term is Scott Lemmer from DNA studios and is definitely keeping me on my toes, so free time is hard to find. I hope to purchase some bandwidth sometime in the near future so I'll be able to present my work here. I would also like to add that I am coninually astonished by the improvement of the work that all the students at Animation Mentor continue to make! It is just really inspiring to cruise around the campus and see what everyone is doing in their assignments! If you haven't seen any of their stuff then you can check a few of their pieces out on the home page at Animation Mentor