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)