Monday, December 18, 2006

Rest in peace, Joe Barbera | MetaFilter

Rest in peace, Joe Barbera | MetaFilter:

The last of the great animation directors has died. Joe Barbera was half of the Hanna-Barbera Tom and Jerry cartoons for MGM. When that studio closed, they learned how to do cartoons for television on a much smaller budget, and gave us so manymemorable characters. Mark Evanier worked for Barbera, and is sharing his memories on his always excellent blog. duo that created the Oscar-winning

posted by evilcolonel (14 comments total)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

YouTube - Frosty the Snowman -Original UPA 3 minute short film

YouTube - Frosty the Snowman:

In 1954, the UPA studio brought "Frosty" to life in a three-minute animated short which appeared regularly on WGN-TV. This production included a bouncy, jazzy version of the song. It has been a perennial WGN-TV Christmas classic, and was most recently broadcast on December 24 and 25, 2005, as part of a WGN-TV children's programming retrospective, along with their two other short Christmas classics, "Suzy Snowflake" and "Hardrock, Coco and Joe".

Monday, October 09, 2006

MIT sketching - MIT's Assist Sketch Understanding System and Operation

It's called MIT's Assist Sketch Understanding System and Operation.

MIT Assist Sketch Understanding System and Operation works by sketching a simple mechanical device onto the drawing board and then demonstrating how the system understands the sketch through movement. (Magic Paper: drawing out ideas) (

ASSIST: A Shrewd Sketch Interpretation and Simulation Tool

Draw objects like ramps, carts, wheels, baskets with springs, then hit run and this program MIT is developing will process physics-based simulations on what you drew. I could spend hours messing with something like this, I need it! Give it to me, MIT!! :>

YouTube - MIT sketching

CGTalk - Sugar Rush, short by Guillermo Careaga

Really nice work by Guillerrmo Careaga, Ringling has a reputation for graduating top-notch candidates.

Hi everyone! I graduated from Ringling School of Art and Design this past May, and I had meant to post my animated short months ago but I just didn't have the chance. Here it is though (you need the DIVx codec to see it):

CGTalk - Sugar Rush, short by Guillermo Careaga

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mayerson on Animation: The Grosses

Got this link from Ray Chase this morning. Interesting numbers, I'd like to see how many 'butts in seats' there were per film, just to get a better picture of how popular films were w/o shuffling increasing ticket prices, etc...

Mayerson on Animation: The Grosses

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Monday, September 18, 2006

Annie Awards 2006

Annie Awards will celebrate the best in animation during the 100th year of animation

Nominations are currently being accepted for the 34th Annual Annie Awards: Honoring excellence in the field of animation, the deadline for ASIFA-Hollywood to receive entry forms is October 6, 2006. ASIFA-Hollywood must receive materials for nomination judging October 27, 2006.

To access all forms, including the Official Entry Form, visit the Entry Forms page.

Call for Judges: ASIFA-Hollywood is looking for individuals interested in serving on the 2006 nomination committees. Click here for more information.

Rules and Categories: The Rules are now available online on the Rules/Categories page

Key Dates: Be sure to visit the Key Dates page for important deadlines.

This website will be updated in the next week. Be sure to check here often for the latest up-to-date information on animation's highest honor.

Annie Awards 2006

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

shh-LIFE! - REPOST: The Fear of moving past blocking..

Good advice for newer animators.

"The more you know, the more fear you have.

Seems to be a rule true of many things.. tree climbing for example. Before you know about gravity and how much breaking an arm can hurt, you really don’t worry that much about falling out of the tree, you just sorta climb on up there and monkey around. It isn’t until you see your friend slip and fall and break her arm when you think “ohh.. wait.. this can be painful…” and you start to worry.

The same is true about animation.

When many animators first start animating they just move things around willy nilly, making things go this way.. that way.. etc. They have no fears, they just move things.

Granted, their animations may looks like ass squished up against a large pile of roadkill, but at least they have no fear." (full article at link) shh-LIFE! - REPOST: The Fear of moving past blocking..

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Cloud Boy, Oh Boy! >>Drawn! The Illustration and Cartooning Blog » Blog Archive

"Tantalizingly short, and oh so sweet, Cloud Boy is a wonderful little children’s book by previously blogged cartoonist/ illustrator Rhode Montijo. That last link takes you to some cute craft ideas for the classroom, if you’re interested. I just keep loving Rhode more and more." (more)

Drawn! The Illustration and Cartooning Blog » Blog Archive » Cloud Boy, Oh Boy! - online gallery - online gallery

Picasso, Paula Scher, and the lifetime behind every second - Signal vs. Noise (by 37signals)

Picasso, Paula Scher, and the lifetime behind every second - Signal vs. Noise (by 37signals)

Charging By the Project or the Hour

Charging By the Project or the Hour: "What are you worth? How much do you charge for the wonderful work that you do? How do you communicate your value to your clients? Do you quote an hourly rate, and then present a tally of hours and expenses at the end of a project? That's typical of many IPs, who find this the simplest way to charge their clients. Or do you quote an up-front, flat rate for a project? This eliminates the sphincter-tightening moment at the end of the job when you present your bill. You run the risk, however, of seriously undercharging if the project turns out to be more complicated than you thought it would be."

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown - CalArts 1986

Charlie Brown is on the run from the Peanuts Gang after the Great Pumpkin puts a bounty on his head in this wild animated student short by Jim Reardon.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


"Jonas Geirnaert graduation project "FLATLIFE"(2004), selected for Short Films in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival 2004."

YouTube - FLATLIFE (2004)

"Zemeckis' ImageMovers moving to Disney?"

from breaks the news that Robert Zemeckis may be moving his ImageMovers production company to Disney, in a multi-year deal. In fact, the online publication calls the action "a cat's breath away" from occuring. Specializing in motion-capture technology, ImageMovers has been involved with such films as The Polar Express, Monster House, and next year's Beowulf. According to an insider, Disney CEO Robert Iger believes Disney's acquisition of Pixar last January was only the first step in the company's move toward leading the animation industry.

Supposedly, the deal currently being arranged with Zemeckis will have John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Feature Animation, consulting on all ImageMovers productions. Thus, the word is that Disney may very well be aiming to own all areas of animation: Pixar, for computer animation; Walt Disney Feature Animation, for traditional animation; and ImageMovers, for motion capture animation. The article ends with a notice that an official announcement, either confirming or denying the news at hand, could arrive as early as next week.

08/08/2006: "Zemeckis' ImageMovers moving to Disney?"

Monday, August 07, 2006

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 3-D - Film Database

Oooooo... I wanna see this on the big screen!

Release Date: October 20, 2006
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Director: Henry Selick
Caroline Thompson
Starring: Chris Sarandon, Danny Elfman, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey, Glenn Shadix, Paul Reubens, Ken Page, Ed Ivory, Susan McBride, Debi Durst, Greg Proops, Kerry Katz, Randy Crenshaw, Sherwood Ball, Carmen Twillie, Catherine O'Hara
Genre: Animation, Family, Fantasy, Musical
MPAA Rating: PG (for some scary images)
Official Website:
Review: Not Available
DVD Review: Not Available
DVD: Not Available
Movie Poster: Not Available
Production Stills: Not Available
Plot Summary:
Enter an extraordinary world filled with magic and wonder -- where every holiday has its own special land ... and imaginative, one-of-a-kind characters! "The Nightmare Before Christmas" tells the heartfelt tale of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, and all things that go bump in the night. Bored with the same old tricks and treats, he yearns for something more, and soon stumbles upon the glorious magic of Christmas Town! Jack decides to bring this joyful holiday back to Halloween Town. But as his dream to fill Santa's shoes unravels, it's up to Sally, the rag doll who loves him, to stitch things back together.

QuickTime, Super Hi-Res
QuickTime, Hi-Res
QuickTime, Med-Res
QuickTime, Lo-Res
Windows Media Player, Hi-Res
Windows Media Player, Lo-Res
Real Player, Hi-Res
Real Player, Lo-Res

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 3-D - Film Database

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

PIKAPIKA: in kitijoji. Animated light pen gifs

What is the "PIKA PIKA" ?

Hello ! I'm takeshi. I go by TOCHKA with Kazvon.
Now I tell you what the "PIKA PIKA" is.
Thank you!

We took a photo of each image using long exposures and put them together to make them look like one animation.

To work on this project,we went out to various places in Japan:parks,under the train track,the Tokyo Bay,school hallways,and so on. (Quicktime movie here)

We got all sorts of friends in different fields together to work on this project.
During the process,they got to know each other and discover new things. This is also about "communication". People can meet new friends as they create a piece art very easy which brings every one happiness. We spend a very enjoyable evening at the workshop and the party through this animation.

Really neat, animating on the fly like that is amazing, has a magical quality to it.
More at the link.

PIKAPIKA: in kitijoji

Friday, July 28, 2006

big gulp - flash animation

Neat shape shifting animation. Kafka would approve.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Comic-Con Audio: The Ant Bully - (audio interview mp3) talked to the team behind Warner Bros. Pictures' animated-comedy The Ant Bully--writer-director-producer John A. Davis, art director Chris Consani, concept artist Bob Eggleton, concept artist Sarah Mensinga, and lead character H. Buck Lewis--at the San Diego Comic-Con and you can now listen to the audio interview here! (right click to download mp3)

Comic-Con Audio: The Ant Bully -


Comic-Con 2006 had a Animation Panel for the feature film I worked 'The Ant Bully'. Here are some highlights of the panel from the article:

John Davis – director
Sarah Mensinga – concept artist
H.B. “Buck” Lewis – character designer
Chris Consani – art director
Bob Eggleton – concept artist

  • At first they tried a realistic design with the protagonist but realized that was too creepy so they skewed his proportions and gave him somewhat of a caricature head.

  • They modeled Paul Giamatti’s exterminator character after Giamatti with initial designs ranging from a more comedic look to a “what would Henry Kissinger look like as Satan?” look.

  • They wanted to strike a balance between the ants having slight human characteristics yet remaining decidedly insect-like.

  • One of the more interesting things they did was after they showed the process of rigging characters, they showed how they test-animated characters by putting them through an actual obstacle course to see how well both the ants’ and human characters’ behavior and movements conformed themselves to their environment.

  • They showed a few sequences where they cycled from the book illustrations to the concept art to the final sequence in the film. The sequences included when the kid first becomes ant size to when he’s sentenced to work in the colony.

  • It was important to Davis to create an alien-looking civilization for the ant colony and for the ants’ biology to be accurate but still be able to function on six legs and two legs.

  • When Davis was asked about whether he was worried about parallels to A BUG’S LIFE or ANTZ, he mentioned that initially he was but realized that there was room for more and used the abundance of “cowboy movies” as an example (where he also managed to sneak in a BROKEBACK reference – what you got against gay cowboys, dude??!)

  • Davis modeled the alien-type of civilization after tribal and aboriginal cultures. He felt that, like aboriginal cultures, ants were connected to Earth and communicated with odor cues.

  • Interesting side note – ants apparently have antibiotics on their bodies so if ever you’re in the jungle, get sick and have no medicine, rub some ants on you and you’ll be set!

  • They differentiated the ants’ world from the humans’ world by spatial cues – for example, things are round and small in the human world but large and cavernous in the ant world.

  • Since the entire film is in IMAX 3D, the production faced more challenges as they had to do everything in real 3D space and couldn’t do any 2D cheats.

CON: WB Animation

Animation Nation Bulletin Board: Drawing for the Sake of Drawing

Thread started by Michel Gagne, lots of interesting responses at link:

A couple of months ago, I was in Calgary doing an animation panel with some animation folks. The hugely talented Stephen Silver was on the panel with me and he mentionned that to become of good draughtman, you had to draw, draw and draw. He advised artists to carry sketchbooks wherever they go, and practice whenever they get a chance. This got me thinking... I never carry a sketchbook. In fact, I don't even own one.

I was going through a huge pile of rough drawings the other day and realized that every single one of those was done for a specific project (90% being my own personal projects). It seems like whenever I draw something, it's always with the thought of creating a bigger whole than the drawing itself, whether it's animation, comics, books, a gallery project etc... A lot of those drawings will never materialized into projects, but that was the intention when I created them. I've now come to the conclusion the even though I spend lots of time drawing every week, I never do it for the sake of it. I never have and probably never will.

I love creating art projects, that's my passion.
Drawing to me is a mean to an end but rarely the end into itself.

Animation Nation Bulletin Board: Drawing for the Sake of Drawing

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Japanese Classic Cartoon(1933)

(From YouTube)

(Moving picture -Fox and Asian racoon's cheats each other)
Director:Ikuo Oishi

In the temple that became ruins, the fox that disguises as the samurai does the fight of magic with Asian racoon's parent and child.

It seems that it was influenced from the style of Max Fleischer's Cartoon.

Article on pioneers of early Japanese animation.

YouTube - Japanese Classic Cartoon(1933)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Ant Bully - Film/Movie Previews - - The Latin Perspective On All Films!

Tons of great pics and movie trailers (all the pics are at the bottom of the site) at

I noticed latinoreview still has Alan Cummings listed as a voice, but he got yanked from the film and now the voice of Fugax is portrayed by Bruce Campbell (IMDB) of Evil Dead fame. Bruce did a gread read for the movie and really brought a lot to the role.

The above pic (click it for larger version) is from a shot I did where Lucas (the boy hero of the film) lands on a human scalp loaded with head lice. YUM!

(via, w00t Ray!) - The Latin Perspective On All Films! - Film/Movie Previews - The Ant Bully

Jan Svankmajer's Food Trilogy (videos) - WFMU's Beware of the Blog

Jan Svankmajer's Food Trilogy (videos)

From WFMU:

"If you've got the stomach for a heavy dose of gastronomic surrealism, here is Czech animator Jan Svankmajer three part movie called Food (Jidlo). Svankmajer made it in 1992, employing his trademark stop motion techniques with human actors and clay prosthetics.

Part One, Breakfast: A tale of food and automatons in which Mr. Babicky, Mr. Cecil and Mr. Albert take turns eating from, and providing the services of a food dispensing machine not unlike the kind that used to be found throughout the US at Horn and Hardart's Automats. [download mpeg video, 15 megs or youtube it]

Part Two, Lunch: The best of the three parts, in which an inattentive waiter forces two diners to partake in lunch without food. They eat everything on their table - the flowers, the tablecloth, their plates, their clothes, and in a nod to Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush, their shoes. But it doesn't stop there. [download mpeg video, 18 megs or youtube it]

Part Three, Dinner: The cannibalism continues at a higher end establishment, but unlike at lunch, the diners now have all the necessary garnishes and sauces to flavor their own body parts. [download mpeg video, 8 megs or youtube it]

More info on Svankmajer's Food here and here, and you can purchase it on DVD here. And if you like Eastern European stop motion animation, don't miss Mike Brent's Dark Strider site. via parumo"

WFMU's Beware of the Blog: Jan Svankmajer's Food Trilogy (videos)

Friday, July 14, 2006

SCIFI.COM | The Amazing Screw-On Head

"In this hilarious send-up of Lovecraftian horror and steampunk adventure, President Abraham Lincoln's top spy is a bodyless head known only as Screw-On Head.

When arch-fiend Emperor Zombie steals an artifact that will enable him to threaten all life on Earth, the task of stopping him is assigned to Screw-on Head. Fortunately, Screw-On Head is not alone on this perilous quest. He is aided by his multitalented manservant, Mr. Groin, and by his talking canine cohort, Mr. Dog.

Can this unorthodox trio stop Emperor Zombie in time? Does Screw-On Head have a body awesome enough to stop the horrors that have been unleashed? Where can we get a talking dog?

All these questions (O.K., maybe not that last one) will be answered when you watch the thrilling tale of The Amazing Screw-On Head!" (more) SCIFI.COM | The Amazing Screw-On Head

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Interview with John Davis about 'The Ant Bully'

Great 8 minute interview on CNN with John A. Davis, writer and director of upcoming 'The Ant Bully' feature I worked on while at DNA. We had our studio premiere in Dallas last weekend, movie looked great, kudos to all my friends that made a solid film!

Link to CNN interview

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Talking with Molly Crabapple, founder of Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School - village voice > people > The Interview by Rachel Kramer Bussel

What a fun idea.

"Didn't get into Pratt? Work on Wall Street but secretly long for a gallery show? Local illustrator Molly Crabapple wants you! Using burlesque performers, roller derby girls, and hunky topless men as models, she hosts Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School on alternating Saturday afternoons. For three hours, you can wield the implement of your choice to immortalize these bodacious beauties. Want to draw a feather-laden, half-naked girl hunched over a toilet? No problem for the tipsy curiosity seekers who pack the Lucky Cat saloon with their sketchbooks. Expect to find snarling clowns, glitter, pasties, swords, hula hoops, and more to inspire your next masterpiece." (more) village voice > people > The Interview by Rachel Kramer Bussel

CON-CAN Movie Festival / Web Film Festival

"CON-CAN Movie Festival is an online international short film festival connecting creators and viewers all around the world. (Win/Mac compatible)" CON-CAN Movie Festival / Web Film Festival

Friday, July 07, 2006

Thursday, July 06, 2006

YouTube - The Ant Bully remixed with head photos

Bizarre. No idea if this is a "viral" ad or just some fan.

"This is an editted version of the 'The Ant Bully' preview. All added heads are that of myself (Ant#1) and co-workers. The antbully character is played by a Vice President, Cary B., at the company I work for., best viewed in original size. *Click the 1st resize button*" YouTube - The Ant Bully

(via email Andrew Burke w00t)

Friday, June 30, 2006

Muscle and bone bring animated characters to life

"A system that automatically generates a biologically accurate skeleton and muscles could help movie and games animators create characters who move more realistically.

Computer animators working on video games or films such as The Incredibles usually start with a virtual wireframe model of a character's outer appearance. The wireframe moves using preprogrammed limb movements, which in turn allows the animator to work out how the character's outer layer should bend before overlaying skin and hair." (more) New Scientist Breaking News - Muscle and bone bring animated characters to life

How to draw a pixel head - Flip Flop Flying

Neat. Tutorial at link.

Flip Flop Flying

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Stumbling on Happiness - NPR : Sharing One Secret to Happiness

Psychology professor Daniel Gilbert has spent a lot of time thinking about what makes people happy. He shares one of the secrets he has uncovered. Gilbert is the author of the new book Stumbling on Happiness. (Link to audio at NPR) NPR : Sharing One Secret to Happiness

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Dog neurons in a dish control video game (Quake 3). Skynet unavailable for comment.

The video links are spooky yet cool. Robot military, no draft.

"When the brain is first hooked up to the game, it doesn't know what it is doing so it randomly moves around," Thompson said. "After enough data flows to the brain it begins to change the neural network, it starts to control the character in a progressively more intelligent way."

Though the brain can successfully compete with a bot, the goal is to gain better understanding of how brains function, Thompson said.


Videos of the brain controlling the game are available:

Video 1: early stages of learning about 4 hours of learning

Video 2: slightly advanced, about 13 hour of learning

Video 3: more advanced, notice the collision detection and change of direction, about 42 hours of learning

Video 4: most advanced with combat, over 9 days of learning


Hoffman to be 200th ‘Actor’s Studio’ guest - TELEVISION -

68? Wow, I didn't realize he was that old.

"James Lipton interviews Dustin Hoffman in an episode 'Inside the Actors Studio,' which airs on June 25. The 68-year-old Hoffman, who won best actor Oscars for 1982's 'Tootsie' and 1979's 'Kramer Vs. Kramer,' is the 200th guest on the program." (more) Hoffman to be 200th ‘Actor’s Studio’ guest - TELEVISION -

Throwback Throwdown - The Austin Chronicle

"Retro gaming is adjunct to everything that's going on right now," says Billy Cain, vice-president of Critical Mass Interactive in Austin. Cain has been designing games for 14 years; his company recently finished some of the graphics for Jaws Revenge. "The retro games are cultural memory," Cain says. "Other countries that we work with never had those games. Countries like India started with Lara Croft from Tomb Raider; they have no reason to buy a retro game."

On the other side of the card is David Kaelin, owner of Game Over Videogames in North Austin. His business is in the sales of vintage used games and their respective systems, knocking on the door of gamer nostalgia. "Statistics say the average player is 30 years old. They don't want the newest and greatest game. They want something that's easy to learn, something their kid can play that's not too violent – like a cartoon."(full article at link) The Austin Chronicle: Screens: Throwback Throwdown

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

"Digging For Worms: Why Doug Tennapel Doesn't Care What His Fans Think"

"Occasional game developer and character designer Doug Tennapel is probably most often remembered for his work creating the Earthworm Jim franchise. In addition to EWJ, The Neverhood, and other fan favorites of the 16-bit era, Tennapel is an accomplished comic book artist, and is currently working for Nickelodeon on the show Catscratch.

Gamasutra took some time out of Doug’s day to catch up on Earthworm Jim, get some thoughts on character design, and wax philosophical about the state of game creation today." (full interview) Gamasutra - Feature - "Digging For Worms: Why Doug Tennapel Doesn't Care What His Fans Think"

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Animation ID - Identifying animators from Golden Age of cartoons

Neat site, bunch of YouTube videos embedded at this page with some great old cartoons, check it out.

"The goal of this blog is to help people identify the many wonderful (and then not so wonderful) animators from the Golden Age of cartoons. Check back every day for more fun!" Animation ID

Cynicism in feature animation? - CGCHAR -- Animation News + Community + Forums

Pixar focuses on making stories with heart and broad appeal, largely due to the creative forces at the heart of the company. Lose the heart of your company and it makes it hard to rebuild.

"The new issue of Fortune Magazine includes a nice article on John Lasseter and, parenthetically, some comments from Bob Iger (Disney) about why Disney thinks Pixar is so special a company. In those comments, Iger observes that Pixar movies 'do not have one bit of cynicism.' I think he's on to something, how about you?

DreamWorks, for instance, has made at least two movies that I suggest come from a cynical core: 'The Road to El Dorado' and 'Over the Hedge'. Each of them begins with lead characters that are ethically-challenged scoundrels. RJ in 'Over the Hedge' is propelled into the action of the film because he was caught trying to steal food from a sleeping bear. During the course of the movie, he tries to trick the other animals by faking friendship. Finally, RJ learns that living life as a scoundrel is not the best way to go. This is the same kind of setup the studio had with 'Road to El Dorado'. Ethically-challenged scoundrels discover that friendship and honesty are the best ticket.

I suggest that this forumla faces trouble going out the door because nobody in the audience considers himself to be ethically-challenged. When presented with these kinds of characters in the opening moments, they RECOGNIZE them, but they don't particularly EMPATHIZE with them." (more at link) CGCHAR -- Animation News + Community + Forums

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

New Job Alert: I am going to KingsIsle Entertainment!

I went down yesterday to get an apartment in Austin, this Saturday I move down to the Hill Country to start at KingsIsle Entertainment, Inc.!

DNA underwent a massive round of layoffs just recently, but I am fortunate to roll into a great new gaming company, the Creative Director is Tom Hall of Commander Keen, id Software and Ion Storm fame, so I look forward to exciting projects. :)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Evolution of Dance - YouTube

Andrew Burke threw this link out, I saw linkage a few days ago but never sat down and watched it. Damn RSS overload.

The transitions are the thing to watch for in this video, animator friends...

YouTube - Evolution of Dance

Peanuts Meets Marvel!

Quite possibly one of the best mashups I've seen, I grew up copying Peanuts and Marvel comics! (see link for tons more pics)

Statue Forum - Peanuts Meets Marvel!

PS3 games: Plunging deeper into the "Uncanny Valley"

The concept is simple: When we look at a cartoon-like drawing of a person, like Charlie Brown, our brains fill in the missing information, and the cartoon seems warm, cute, and lifelike. But when an animated version of a human becomes incredibly close to being real, we start focusing instead on the tiny details that aren't right: The slack skin, the not-quite-dewy-enough eyes, the stiff body movements. Paradoxically, the more realistic the human becomes -- the worse they look. Sure, enhanced graphics look terrific when lavished on static things, like scenery or smoke or bullets. But the human face? Our video-game graphics aren't up to it -- and, if you believe the Valley theory, may never be. (more)

collision detection: PS3 games: Plunging deeper into the "Uncanny Valley"

John Lasseter at French premiere of 'Cars' - Cartoon Brew: May 2006 Archives

Videos at link.

From Cartoon Brew: "John Lasseter sat down and answered questions at the French Premiere of CARS last night. Our friend Kinoo (of the French website, Pixar's Room) has posted video and pictures from the event.

I had the luck to be at the premiere of CARS yesterday in Paris and attended the discussion with John Lasseter following the digital projection of the new movie (and the well received Ratatouille teaser). I was able to ask him a question about his future, as he has many resposibilities now following the merger with Disney, and if he will be able to direct another movie soon? His answer can be seen on the first video clip."
Cartoon Brew: May 2006 Archives

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Digital Domain Sold to Bay - CGCHAR -- Animation News + Community + Forums

“At a time when every top grossing motion picture is relying on digital visual effects to help tell compelling and entertaining stories, we believe this translates into a bright future for companies in this field, and we believe Digital Domain represented a unique opportunity to invest,” said Stork, whose accomplishments at Microsoft included leading the development of Windows® 95/98. “The creative and talented team at Digital Domain has a great reputation in both the feature film business and in the commercial advertising community for high-quality, award-winning work. Adding the expertise, business acumen and diverse relationships of the Wyndcrest principals will allow Digital Domain to capitalize on the rapidly expanding opportunities in the entertainment business. (more)

CGCHAR -- Animation News + Community + Forums

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Deviation: Machinima about a game-character's existential crisis


The short film ‘Deviation’ was shot using an online game engine with the virtual actors and director never having met one another.

Macintyre, an online-game character and member of a four-man counter-terrorist squad, attempts to break out of the cycle of futile violence that has been his sole existence.

Dropped into the middle of a mission and faced with the prospect of climbing into an ambush at the end of a manhole tunnel, Macintyre strives to convince the other squad members that there is another way...

Boing Boing: Machinima about a game-character's existential crisis:

Animation School Lesson 2 -Squash and Stretch on heads - blog of John Kricfalusi - all kinds of stuff

He is going over Preston Blair's book, yesterday he posted a great article on Squash and Stretch pertaining to heads.

Definitely worth checking out.

all kinds of stuff

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Lowman Rigs with Facial Controls at Animation Apprentice

An animator I work with (Patrik Puhala) gets the kudos for finding this link for a nice, simple free Maya rig, spotted at Animation Lounge.

Based on the Lowman rig, but with facial controls based on the ‘Stop Staring’ simple setup. Created in Maya 6.01.
Rigs at Animation Apprentice

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

World of Warcraft headed for Hollywood -

'Ant Bully' gets a mention below.

"The Times is reporting that Blizzard will announce Tuesday that its massively successful, massively multiplayer online role-playing game is set to be made into a big-budget fantasy picture along the lines of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings films, with Warner Bros.' Legendary Pictures handling the production.

Director, cast, release date, and budget are all undetermined as of yet, but the paper quotes Blizzard CEO Paul Sams as saying that the goal is to make 'one of the best films in the world,' a World of Warcraft pic that will appeal to gamers and nongamers alike. He said Legendary Pictures management was keenly attuned to what Blizzard wanted out of a World of Warcraft film. Legendary's first film was Batman Begins. Other projects being brought to the big screen by Legendary Pictures include Superman Returns, The Ant Bully, Where the Wild Things Are, and Frank Miller's 300."

Monday, May 08, 2006

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Advanced Animation by Preston Blair | MetaFilter

The link directly below goes to, a great resource by The International Animated Film Society (ASIFA).

Advanced Animation by Preston Blair, "the best 'how to' book on cartoon animation ever published." Blair, a Disney and MGM animator, put the book together in 1947 to illustrate the various basic principles of animation, only to have the book pulled from shelves after the rights to use some of the characters were revoked. Animation historian Jerry Beck has been hunting for a first edition of Blair's landmark book for many years. He finally found a copy and is sharing high-quality scans on the Animation Archive. (Archive previously linked in this thread; discovered via this thread.)
posted by soiled cowboy (1 comment total)

Advanced Animation by Preston Blair | MetaFilter

Friday, May 05, 2006

Dog, Meet Your Large, Large Tail: Weekly DVD Rental Numbers Show Hollywood's Shift - Cinematical

I always hear people say, "Hollywood releases crappy movies. No wonder the box office numbers are going down." I think the reality is that movie executives don't really care about boxo office so much, it's just gravy and advertising for DVD rentals/sales.

"And this week's numbers serve as a pretty clear indicator of how much Hollywood economics are changed by DVD. Of the Top Ten DVD Rentals in Box Office Mojo's chart, 5 are in their first week of release, which isn't surprising. What is surprising is that when you compare first-week rental revenue to total box office for those five, you realize that Match Point, in it's first week of release, has made 21% of its total box office in rental revenue ... and that's the lowest percentage in the bunch. Top renter Aeon Flux's first week rental revenues equal 29% of it's box office; Tristan and Isolde is next at 34%; Casanova is next at 39% ... and Shopgirl's first-week revenue alone equals 43% of its total theatrical box office." (more at link) Dog, Meet Your Large, Large Tail: Weekly DVD Rental Numbers Show Hollywood's Shift - Cinematical

Say “No!” to spec

Make sure and head to the link at bottom of this post, check out the informative comments on this topic.

"NO!SPEC is an organization with a mission to educate the public about speculative, or ’spec’ work:
Our target includes those who use creative services, as well as creative professionals (designers, photographers, illustrators, writers and those in marketing, branding and advertising). It also serves as a vehicle to unite those who support the notion that spec work devalues the potential of design and ultimately does a disservice to the client.

The site is filled with information and articles about how doing creative work for free completely devalues not only one’s work, but their entire profession. The site is heavily-weighted to graphic design, but most of the information applies to all creative professionals. NO!SPEC"

Drawn! The Illustration Blog » Blog Archive » Say “No!” to spec

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

16 days until my end date at DNA Productions

Time flys by. It seems so recent that I was graduating from The Art Institute of Dallas in 1997 and then starting at DNA. We went from under 10 employees to well over 200 over the span of my (nearly) 9 years with the company, what a ride.

Some of my friends have asked me, "Laid off? Nearly the entire company?".


Sucks, huh?

I guess my main feeling is disappointment that it seems to be ending this way, but that's just a reality in the animation industry. I've had a longer run at one place than most people get as cg artists, and I've learned a lot. 2 feature films (Jimmy Neutron, The Ant Bully) and 3 years of Jimmy Neutron TV series.

Fortunately for me I've gained a ton of experience and I know I'll be ok, interviews are going great and there are lots of opportunities for seasoned animators. It's just bittersweet that it happens right before we release 'Ant Bully' August 4th of this year. I'm not particularly keen on the idea of having to possibly sell my home and uproot my family, but them's the breaks, got to be willing to go to where the work is. It will be nice to have more than one studio on my resume, get to meet new people and learn new things, work on different projects.

Lots of fellow animators at DNA have thoughts on this:

Ray Chase (actually, Ray hasn't put his thoughts down on this, but I bet he will soon, his last day is this Friday...)
Keith Lango
Andrew Burke
Joe Gorski
P.J. Leffelman
Brian F. Menz (I'll post a bit from his site, he doesn't have it set up to go to this directly if he updates again)

March 6, 2006

Animator for Hire

... Unfortunately with "The Ant Bully" nearing completion, DNA Productions will be doing some major slimming down. This includes the animation department in its entirety. It's been a great ride; I've had the pleasure to work with an extremely talented group of people, and work on a great movie. And if I haven't said it in the past... you gotta see this picture in 3d IMAX, it's AMAZING, and not "hash browns amazing".

hash browns amazing:
adj. hash.browns a·maz·ing
1. not good, bad, really bad
2. not amazing

[From Old Canadian hash browns, meaning potatoes and from amaze, meaning sike.]

"hash browns amazing" refers to an event in which Andrew Burke took a whole slew of his friends, including yours truly, to a hole in the ground breakfast place for what he called "amazing potatoes." To protect this establishment from bad press lets just call it "Duffy's" in Irving, Texas off MacArthur Blvd. Probably the worst service I think I've ever had (accept for the time the waitress had me eat chili con queso with a spoon, but that's another story entirely). This was the second chance I gave "Duffy's" to supply me with its rumored most delectable sauteed starchy treats. I even specified when I ordered that I did not want the McDonalds patty hash brown they gave me the time before as a less than adequate substitute. Anyway to cut right to it, of a table of 10 to 15 people Andrew was the only one to get those "amazing" potatoes. They ran out again and we never went back. Remember "Duffy's" is a stand in name not to be confused with a Duffy's located in Irving, Texas off MacArthur Blvd.

Now back to it. Below is a link to the first of several interstitials advertising "The Ant Bully" on the tv. I didn't work on any shots in it. It goes by the name "Hot Enough For You?" and everyone that worked on it, in my opinion, did an amazing job. Again this is not movie footage, so don't be disappointed if you don't see it August 4th on the big screen. Click on the picture and enjoy... (link)

Monday, May 01, 2006

Resume for Paul C. Allen, CG Animator

Paul C. Allen
CG Animator
Email: leave comment for email


12 years in the CG industry, animation supervisor experience on a CG feature (Jimmy Neutron:Boy Genius), working closely with all departments. Class instructor at high-profile online animation school (Animation Mentor), where I direct 14 - 17 students through weekly projects, providing insight/constructive guidance to improve overall skills. Small project development experience for in-house short competition at DNA, all aspects from initial idea creation, dialogue recording, working with storyboard artist, animation, modeling, lighting. Currently I'm a Senior Animator working on game cinematics and facial animation on Ghostbusters: The Video Game.

  • Senior character animator - Terminal Reality Inc, Lewisville TX Oct 2007 - present
  • Senior character animator - KingsIsle Entertainment, Austin June 2006 - Sept 2007
  • Character animator - The Ant Bully Nov 2004 - May 2006
  • Character animator - The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron (TV Series) 2002 - Nov 2004
  • Animation Supervisor - The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron (Feature) 1999 – 2001
  • Character Animator - (Santa vs. Snowman, Jingaroo, Olive the Other Reindeer) 1997 - 2000
  • Supervisory experience (Feature)
  • TV/Feature film background
  • Objective, looks at the "big picture"
  • Good communicator/easy to work with
  • Takes charge, handles long term/large responsibility tasks with ease

  • Character animation instructor at Animation Mentor, 2006 - current
  • In-house acting classes, DNA Productions, 2000 – 2005
  • Ed Hooks 'Acting for Animators' workshop, San Francisco, 2000
  • Wrote/developed short film subject at DNA (in-house project), 1999
  • Art Institute of Dallas, Associates Degree in Computer Animation, 1997
  • Military background, 1988 - 1996 (Marine Reserve)
SOFTWARE (Used in a production environment)
  • Maya
  • Lightwave
  • Photoshop
  • FaceFX
  • Vegas
(reel available upon request)