Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cinematographer Style Documentary

Cinematographer Style is about the art of how and why films look the way they do. It is about the influence of style, technique and technology-the art and craft of filmmaking.

info here: Cinematorpher Style

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Find of the day: 'Creative Illustration' by Andrew Loomis

I didn't know much about Andrew Loomis until I took an Advanced Figure Drawing class taught by the legendary Mark Tennant (more on this later). In his class Tennant used many examples from Loomis's books to help illustrate the basics of human proportions, perspective, composition, etc. Many of these diagrams and studies are listed in 'Creative Illustration' but unfortunately it's out of print and will set you back a couple of hundred should you want to buy a copy. So, listed below is a .pdf of the book! Enjoy

Creative Illustration

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Chuck Jones, The Master Series -- DVD

What animator isn't a fan of Chuck Jones eh?! Check out the info on this new DVD that will be available in Feb.

More info over on The Chuck Jones Blog

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Secrets of Screen Acting: Podcast

I found this website today called 'Secrets of Screen Acting'. It has some great 'sample' podcasts about the techniques of acting. You have to purchase a subscription to listen to the archives though booooo! Anyhow, it's a site worth checking out! Enjoy!

Secrets of Screen Acting : Eye Flashes and 'Fake Eyes'

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

NEW BLOG -- "Behind The Scenes"

I've started a new film blog called "Behind The Scenes". I'll be posting 'Making of' and 'Behind The Scenes' featurettes from various movies as I find them. Enjoy!

Behind The Scenes

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Face: Emotions Revealed

The human face as we all know is SUPER complex! I've started looking around for more in depth studies of emotions and micro expressions to better enrich my facial performances. I'll be posting more about this subject over the next few weeks.

"A human being can generate 10,000 visibly different expressions but most of them you'll never see" - Paul Ekman

Emotions Revealed - KQED QUEST

*One interesting point from this vid (5:30 mark):

"Each emotion prepares the body for a specific action" meaning when a person is angry blood surges to the arms preparing you for a fight. When a person is scared blood flows to the feet preparing for an escape.

Friday, November 20, 2009

"The Mni Expression" by Mark Walsh and Bobby Podesta

This quick lecture about "The Mini Expression" given by Pixar animators Bobby Podesta and Mark Walsh focuses on observation and slowing down actions in order to analyze them.

via Acme Animation

Friday, November 13, 2009

Understanding Story: or My Journey of Pain by Andrew Staton

My friend Dan Kunz sent this to me yesterday and I thought I would pass it on you all! It's a great lecture on story and screenwriting. Enjoy!

//update//  So the original audio has been taken down but you can read the transcript here:
Andrew Stanton keynote talk on Screenwriting Expo 5 (2006), Understanding Story: or My Journey of Pain - transcript -

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Monkeys fall into the 'uncanny valley'

I found this article by a Princeton research team very interesting! Even monkeys can detect the 'uncanny valley'!! Check out the info here:

Like humans, monkeys fall into the 'uncanny valley'


My friend Dan just sent this to me as well. Looks like WIRED also put their 2cents in on the 'uncanny' monkey subject:

WIRED on 'uncanny' monkey

Monday, October 05, 2009

Secrets of District 9: Grungy Alien Realism

I saw District 9 a couple of weeks ago and was blown away by the gritty realism of the environments and the aliens. The story was decent but could have used some more work. I do hope there's a sequel though and from what I hear it might be in the works!! Enjoy this featurette I found over on WIRED:

Special Effects Add to Realism in 'District 9'

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Tim Burton Interviews Ray Harryhausen

Ray Harryhausen interviewed by Tim Burton! How great is this! It's a must see!




Thursday, September 17, 2009

Find of the day: Pencil Test Depot

A friend told me about this blog today at work. It's a good collection of pencil tests both old and new. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Creature: Bat Running and Walking

I just thought these vids ROCKED!! How creepy is it to see these bats run and walk! Talk about some sweeeeet creature reference eh?!! Enjoy!

Bat Running:


Bat Walking:


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Don't Replace the Actor - Replace the Animator?!

The article posted below is very troubling -- I'm about to go on vacation so I can't write much more but I'll update this post when I get back from the UK!!

read the article here:
The "Avatar" Effect: Don't Replace the Actor - Replace the Animator

Here are some bits to chew on:

"To me, it's the exact opposite," Landau says. "Our goal on this movie was not to replace the actor, it was to replace the animator. If you think about it, what a great actor does and what a great animator does are antithetical to one another.

"A great actor withholds information. Dustin Hoffman in All the President's Men can sit there and do nothing. No animator would ever allow that, they would put in a twitch. So our objective was to preserve Sam Worthington's performance and have that be what you see in those characters."

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Making Of Dr. Strangelove

Here's a special on the making of 'Dr. Stangelove' -- awesome!!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Brad Bird Presents Dr. Strangelove

Last night was a rare treat! Tiff and I got to see a brand new print of Stanley Kubrick's film 'Dr. Strangelove' on the big screen! And as the 'icing on the cake' Brad Bird introduced the film and gave a great Q&A afterward! He talked a bit about the legendary design of the 'war room' created by Ken Adam and explained how Kubrick was ahead of his time in his use of handheld cameras, comedy approach, storytelling, and production techniques. It was a fantastic night and very inspiring! Also, I found the 'making of Dr. Strangelove' and will posting those shortly!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Acting Notes for Animators

I saw these notes the other day and found that some of them applied to animation. Despite being directed toward live action actors - many of the sample principles and directions apply to the animation industry. Most of the notes are common sense but it's always good to brush up on the basics. You might find a few nuggets of gold in there as well!

I took the liberty of editing these notes down to the pure meat so some sections might be out of order:

Monday, August 03, 2009

Gobelins - Annecy 2009 Animation Intro

The Gobelins School is something of an anomaly when compared to other schools that teach animation. There is really no comparison except maybe Cal Arts (on a good year). The short animated films that come out the Gobelins school are really fantastic and convey a look that is clean, professional, and polished. There is however a definite animation style the flavors most of these films. I remember when "Burning Safari" came out a couple of years ago and I loved the 'snappy' style of animation. But what seems to be a reoccurring theme in most of the Gobelin films is fast action and editing. In most all cases the animation is spot-on and so is the editing but it looses it's uniqueness when every other film is featuring these same themes. For example the film "Octopodi" has an immaculate chase scene at the end (which is finely animated I might add) but it still slips into that fast action fast editing mode that many Gobelin films feature. Don't get me wrong because I love the action and camera work. It just makes me wonder why so many of the films end up using these techniques as a major part of the story or as a crutch to help support the film when it lacks a story. Any thoughts?

Here's the 2009 Annecy Animations:

Friday, July 31, 2009

Animating 4 legged animals

I found this basic animation breakdown for 4 legged animals over on Animation Meat a while back. Cool stuff -- nice reminders for line of action, anatomy and simplicity of form.

Animating and Drawing 4-Legged Animals
.PDF -- via Animation Meat


Eadweard Muybridge - compilation video [warning: artistic nudity]

This is an interesting video compilation of some of Muybridge's work. The piece is kind of 'artsy' but there are some decent sections.

{aslo} Muybridge image search on BING - Muybridge Images

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Art of Storyboarding - with Eric Goldberg

This is a great little featurette hosted by the great Eric Goldberg. It offers some basic incite into the benefits of storyboarding in both live action and animated feature films.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Miyazaki/Lasseter Press Conference

So if any of you are Miyazaki fans like I am you'll really get a kick out of the press conference video that's been posted by Jerry Beck over on Cartoon Brew!

Luckily my wife and I got a chance (once in a lifetime!) to see Miyazaki at a sold out lecture he gave in Berkely last Friday. I'll post some notes from that talk later but for now be sure to check out the vids over on Cartoon Brew!

Miyazaki/Lasseter Press Conference via Cartoon Brew

New Chuck Jones Interview!

So, despite the fact that the interview is a bit awkward and poorly edited Chuck has some great things to say about the industry and his life! Great stuff here!

It's in 3 parts and unfortunately embedding isn't allowed :P

Part 1 -- Part 2 -- Part 3

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mulan - Khan Horse study (via Hans Bacher)

Hans Bacher has posted some great visuals illustrating his articles on style. This series really caught my eye. I love how these quick drawings breakdown the volume, form, and posing of Mulan's horse Khan.

more pics here: Style 3 Article via One1more2time3

Princess and the Frog - Pencil Tests

These tests are really awesome!

Check out the clips here:

Princess and the Frog - Pencil Tests

Monday, February 23, 2009

TED: How Benjamin Button got his face

This is a really great lecture from TED about the VFX of Benjamin Button. My wife and I got to see a special screening of the film at Skywalker Sound a couple of weeks ago. After the film was over there was a Q&A with Craig Barron who was the VFX sup for Matte World Digital. He gave some great insight into the development of the cg environments and compositing that MWD provided for the film. Congrats to Craig and his team for the Oscar win last night!

This lecture however focuses on the techniques and processes Digital Domain used in creating the cg Benjamin head for actor Brad Pitt.

TED: How Benjamin Button got his face

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Vid on how Pixar hires

This is a really cool short talk by Randy Nelson on what Pixar looks for when hiring new employees. I really liked the improv stuff!


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

On Composition

I was digging through Mark Kennedy's blog today and found that he had posted a great section on composition. Included in his 2 posts were scans from Andrew Loomis's book "Creative Illustration" and scans from Famous Artists Course book.

Check'em out here:

FAC: Composition

Creative Illustration: Composition

sample scans via Seven Camels: