Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Spec Work

Don't do it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Organization Tips

Here's one for web designers, but there's good stuff here for your own workflow

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Train of Thought

A stop motion film of interest. If you've think you've got lots to do, watch the making of.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Zen and The Project

“The Zen master taught him to focus on the pleasure and tiny nuances of breathing properly, attaching the string setting the arrow in the bow, drawing it back, and releasing it, rather than hitting the target. By focusing on these actions, Herrigel and fellow archery students were rewarded in two ways: they took more pleasure from doing each task, and since learned to master the nuances, they hit the target more consistently as well.”

Robert Sutton, notes on Zen and the Art of Archery: Eugen Herrigel

In our projects, if we can devote ourselves to incremental steps of the process-boards, lecia, layout, poses, colour script- rather than the broad target of getting the project done, we will increase our odds of completing the work successfully while enjoying the ride.

How You Draw Is How You Draw

Tim Burton on his drawing skill:
“We were out sketching at a farmers market in L.A. and I was really frustrated because the teachers [at CalArts and probably other unnamed animation academies]were like, ‘That’s not really the way you should draw. You should draw like this.’

“And I got so frustrated, it was like a weird drug experience. I just said ‘I don’t care. I can’t draw that way. I’m just going to draw whatever way I can.’ And it was kind of mind-blowing. I’ll never forget it and, from that moment, it changed for me. I didn’t worry about being the greatest draftsman or the greatest artist, I just decided to draw the best way I could.”

Negatives became positives for him.

From the Toronto Star.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Business Info

Here's what the government has to say on the business of being an artist in Canada.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Empty Space

Frank Miller on the use of negative space. Let's give the eye a place to rest.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The New Animation Vehicle

To my thesis that all illustration will have to move:

Friday, November 12, 2010

iPad Storybook Apps

This is an area of animation development that will enlarge.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Web Colouring Tutorial

Here's a good guide on colour painting you may what to look at in doing a colour script for your project. Here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Entrepreneurs Toolkit From MaRS

For all of you who are planning on or building a business. Here.

There's lots to read but use as a template to think about your business.

SXSW Title Design Competition

For all you Group Aers with existing films, I'd consider entering this. $10 bucks. Cut down your current film, add credits and go for it. It'll build your cred.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Walking Dead Titles

Here's a good use of AE that will do you well to deconstruct.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Here's Real Action Analysis


Motionographer is a good resource to see the state of the art animation in commercials and motion graphics that's not in the feature world. Look at the diversity of work your animation talents can lead to. HERE.


Here's the video on previz I spoke of.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Here's a good reference for all you UPA types in the crowd. It also goes to my thesis of illustration/cartooning needing to move in the digital age. This type of drawing rose in the 5os as television was putting a clamp on the budgets of features and as a result lots of animators were looking for work. Recessionary times call for us all to be flexible in the application of our skills.

It is a BAA (Bachelor of APPLIED Arts) you know.

Today's Inspiration is a great resource to look at.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sample Job Positing

I found this posted on Creative Heads today. This is a sample of where there are going to be jobs for those of you who graduate. I am convinced that as iPad and similar devices continue to roll out, there is opportunity for new animators with drawing skills to flourish. (i.e. to find employment.) I'm not saying apply to this job, but look at what they're looking for and tailor your portfolio accordingly. You should all be paying attention to your portfolio as you create your film.

I don't know this studio but I think there's going to be more "motion comics" created.

Illustrator & Animator
Motion Comics Department
Caliber Media Co.
Los Angeles, California - United States

Project: Motion Comics Department
Job Duties(s): Animatics , 2D Art / Graphic Design, Matte Painting, Motion Graphics
Software Utilized: Photoshop, After Effects, MacOS
Genre(s): Animation (2D), Design (Concept & Production)
Bonus Eligibility: Yes
Relocation: No
Required Spoken Language(s): English
Required Work Auth.: United States
Start Date: Immediately

Caliber Media Co is in development on a motion comic that requires
color and animated sequences. The director wants something that has both a traditional color feel along with some digital elements as well. The drawings themselves are already completed, there's no new art being made, just manipulation of finished drawings. This is a great opportunity for students looking for industry experience or recent graduates who are looking for a strong portfolio piece while making some money on the side.

We are seeking a hybrid animator/colorist who is versed in both traditional and digital coloring and has 1-2yrs. AfterEffects experience.

Notes from the Lecia Lecture

Here's some notes that stood out for me in the lecture today about Lecia reels. Present were Kevin Parry, Martin Sokol and Randaloph Lizardo.

About the lecias:
"Leave room for revision"
"The reel is the backbone"
"People can always add things."
"I had at least 20 copies of my lecia reel."
"See the progression of the film."
Kevin said he had his reel done in August.

Martin mused about the moral implications of a hen that can't lay egg which led to Chris discussing the importance of subtext to the film. Kevin suggested he keep the subtext purposely ambiguous so everybody could get something different from it.

"We through out PILES of boards"
"I would have done more of a pre-production package." Martin

"Always be ahead of the milestone." Randolph
"Get cracking'" Martin
"With no dialogue, it is important to concentrate on the timing and the visual structure."
"You see it evolve" again the progression.
"You'll feel good when you see your finished film."
"One head of a studio refuses to look at unfinished films"
"Have a schedule"
Do your film that "will satisfy the industry."
"the industry (I think he means the market for animation) kinda sucks these days."

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Blur Studios

I know at least two of you are making cinematics.Follow the link to an article on Blur. Analyze how they tell a story as they do cool shots. Like all good trailers, there has to be a story thread through out.

The link is here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Digital Economy in Canada

There is an interesting series currently running in the Toronto Star. Because we are working in a cultural digital industry, it would do you well to read and think about the economic basis for employment.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

You May Be Interested In This

Needless to say, I'll be at our meeting. If you're going, please let me know.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Notes for Milestone 2

The idea here is to get your ideas onto paper or whatever as soon as possible. The faster you can get something visual down and TIMED the better. Don't go for pretty drawings. Boards -eps in this case- are supposed to be disposable. For years, Nelvana did their's on Post-it notes to facilitate removing, shuffling and tossing out panels/sequences.

That said, they must be readable. An educated client -not your mom-should be able to see what's going on without your narration.

This is your first visual slash at your story. Use it to plan. Plan location reuse. plan money shots. Plan where you're going to spend the most of your attention. This is an important milestone. (Not that they all aren't.)

I can't give you my opinion if you've got nothing to show. It wastes your time and tuition.
Next week-Week 4- we're going to have individual meetings 20 minutes each.I'll be asking you to bring your portfolio so I can see where you're at. Sign up sheet will be at our meeting this Thursday.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dead Tech

For all you destroyed city fans, this book has some great reference.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I mentioned this last week. Watch this space for info on Ontario computer animation studios. They received government funding to promote their studios.
There's a listing here.

Presentation/Pitching Practice

From Presentation Zen

Kyuzo Mifune's seven rules of judo practice.
These seven rules are written for those who practice the martial art of Judo, yet you can use your imagination to see how these simple rules are invaluable guides that you can apply to your own life and work outside the dojo. You can certainly see the applications to [pitching]. For example, a sure way to lose credibility in front of most audiences is to make light of your competition (in the case of business) by saying disparaging things about them. True humility is a sign of strength, over confidence or arrogance is a sign of weakness. Take some time to think about these seven rules as they relate to your own life and work.
  1. Do not make light of an opponent.
  2. Do not lose self-confidence.
  3. Maintain a good posture.
  4. Develop speed.
  5. Project power in all directions.
  6. Develop self-control.
  7. Never stop training.

There are no quick fixes or secret techniques
Whether we are talking about business, or presentation, or of life in general, there are no panaceas to the challenges we face. There is no substitute for study and steady practice and a commitment to continuous improvement. For this point, too, Judo has a lesson for all of us. "Do not place hope in finding a secret technique," said Kyuzo Mifune. "Polish the mind through ceaseless training; that is the key to effective techniques."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Meeting Times and Office Hours

Our new room is G302. Thursdays 1 to 3.

My office hours are: on Thursdays, I'm in at 9 to 10, 11 to 12, 3-4.

Please arrange a time to meet to talk

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Kung Fu Panda Character Development

THis is long but it's got some goood stuff on how to work in the big animation machine that is/was Dreamworks.

Milestone 1

Here's where you can put your comments/questions about Milestone 1.

The big take away is to start early and boil down the story quickly.

Pitch with visuals of what you are looking for. Bring reference. Remember to build portfolio pieces as you go.

Play to your strengths. If you're not that strong an animator, don't plan lots of complex acting.

If you are planning to work as an animator, try to get some lip sync in. Not many of the films on Industry Day have lip sync. You'll stand out.

Watch those crowd scenes. They're a killer.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Learn After Effects

Here's a good demo on workflow for puppets and After Effects.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cloud Kid

Here's a company's whose work is worth checking out.

Look at this as a sample of how to display your concepts and develop on your own IP (intellectual property.) Easier said than done, but inspiration's here.

They're lookin' for Flash animators, but they are in Boston.

Jobs in the Air

Word is that 9 Story is lookin' for "flash folks, designers, strong drawing skills."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Look to create a professional and personal profile.

Globe & Mail, Section L, August 31, 2010.

New Year, New Start, Same Title

"No mentor can guarantee a job. It would be like asking a personal trainer to lift the weights for you." The Globe & Mail yesterday.