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)