Archive for the ‘Animation News’ Category
This blog was originally started to keep track of my progress through Animation Mentor and my progression as both an artist and an animator. I’ve since graduated from AM and its been a good NINE MONTHS since my grad back in January of this year. I finished the program around September of 09 and I have nothing but good things to say about the program. All my mentors were there to chip and mold me into a better animator and I have nothing but praise for each and everyone.
Special thanks to Bobby, Carlos and Shawn. My classmates and my mentors:
Class 1. Martin Hopkins
Class 2. David Breaux
Class 3. Nick Bruno
Class 4. Jason Martinsen
Class 5. Jed Diffenderfer
Class 6. Greg Whittaker
It’s a special thank you to all the men and women who comprise AM mostly because after freelancing for 6 years in Los Angeles I have finally landed a gig at Sony Pictures Imageworks. I tell a lot of people that before AM I had been rejected from Sony on numerous occasions. But each lesson, critique, encouraging moment from classmates, inspiring clip from a peer, video lecture and finished assignment all added up to my overall improvement. I still feel like I have a lot more to learn, but I definitely feel more confident and poised when I receive my shots now than I ever did in the past.
From here on out I’m going to utilize this blog as a progression of my animation career along with an intended return to more 2d projects. If time permits I’d definitely like to delve more into digital painting and sketching a ton more. Also keep a look at my attempt to finish my AM student film along with a few new clips to continually progress.
Here is the latest commercial spot I was able to do with yU+co. It’s an interesting piece done with Turkish Telecom celebrating both the opening of a soccer stadium, Children’s day and Marvel’s superheroes.My contribution was the second to last shot with Iron Man landing within the stadium. I also helped with the kids being held by Hulk as he galloped towards and away camera and helped out with polish on the blocked out Hulk. It was a fun project and a mini reunion with the great Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle team from last summer, not to mention some new faces that were a fresh and welcome addition.
Recently I had the great opportunity to work over at Method Studios with a great team to bring life to some robots for an upcoming short film entitled “I’m Here” from Spike Jonze.Here’s the trailer!I’ll do a more in depth post once the film becomes more public. It just made its debut at Sundance. I guess the film will make a world premiere at the film’s website in March. But you can see it if you happen to be at the Berlin film festival in Feb!
The last few months I’ve been working at a company called yU+co trying to breathe some life into some characters. I lucked out and got to animate the teenage mutant ninja turtles! It was a fun experience being a lead animator with such a great crew.
There’s plenty of applause to go around, but first and foremost, its definitely hats off to Garson Yu and yU+co for securing this project and allowing all of us creatives to be as imaginative as we could be. The production team of Gordon Bellamy and Dan Mascarelli were top notch in taking care of us artists and making sure we hit our milestones. Working with our intial braintrust of director Jim Sonzero and fight choreographer Reuben Langdon was both inspirational and very educational. Just observing their thought processes on motion, camera, action, and narrative was worth being on the project for. Our CG supe was also fun to work for, Stephen Fedasz, or the ” Fedaszzler” as we would call him. Definitely a good guy to have around to pull stuff together at the zero hour of a project but still keep things relatively sane.
Our modeling team was great and was headed up by the ever so talented and hard working Nghia Lam. It was fun to have such robust environments to animate within so thanks Josh, and of course Kye Wan’s one and two.
Big shout out to the Eric Smith and Stephen Delala for all the awesome lighting work they did. Stephen was also our rigger and overall generalist problem solver, definitely couldn’t have done it without him. And last but not least, a big huge congratulations to our small animation team of Alessandro Ceglia, Conner LaBella and myself. It was great to work with such inciteful, talented and self motivated animators. There wasn’t a moment where I felt we couldn’t meet our various milestones and deadlines, and not only that, meeting the deadlines with animation that was appealing and entertaining.
Our last minute addition of Steve Viola was also great. A very talented overall artist who made both the intro and ending title sequences come to life. Not only did he have little time to do it all, he finished it and ended up helping on other aspects of the commercial as well.
Very memorable project indeed.
So earlier this week I was able to attend an homage of sorts to Milt Kahl over in Beverly Hills. First and foremost I have to thank my friend Clement Yip who tipped me off very early in April and allowed me to secure my tickets. I tired to return the favor by saving him a seat in a packed house. I even bumped into AM buddy Marcelino Newquist there. Such a small animation community this is, never ceases to surprise me.
Basically the event was broken down into either people who knew Milt during his lifetime or a showcase of his animation and drawings. There were various amazing stories, funny events in Milt’s life, and just a warm feeling that he touched a lot of people during his time here. Notable guests were Andreas Deja who showed his HUGE and impressive collection of Milt Kahl drawings. Among the other speakers were Milt Kahl’s daughter( Sybil Byrnes), Marc Davis’s wife ( Alice Davis) whom was a dear friend to Milt, Brad Bird, Ron and Jon, Floyd Norman, and John Pomeroy.
Other than sheer awe of Milt’s work I was able to walk away with a few things after the lecture. Milt seemed to bring everyone else up around him with his really high standards of quality. It would seem that even though he was extremely talented he worked extremely hard at whatever animation task was at hand. Apparently he was very honest with how he felt about other people’s work and wasn’t afraid to tell him. But he also would help a person on the team by doing a drawing or showing them what needed to be fixed. Someone who pushes others around him to be better is probably worth its gold in any studio.
Milt ‘s hardwork seemed to stem from his explorations of the animation. Apparently he tried several versions of each and every pose to find the most ideal one. Working hard to ” kill your babies” and strive for ideas after the first generation is extremely essential. There have been many a time where I’ve either had recommendations by peers to push a pose or made myself push harder, only to find myself much more happy with the later generations of ideas.
Milt’s assistant, Floyd Norman, said there would be times where Milt had no pencil in hand and was deep in thought. Concentrated. Only to pick up a pencil late in the day or the next. Floyd was convinced that Milt had animated and pondered the scene in his head. Which sounds like something Mozart would do if you asked me. But in the end, it meant that you have to own your shot/ scene. You’ve got to get into the moment of the characters, the moment of the entire film that you’ve been tasked with and just sell that idea.
Many comparisons to artistic geniuses were made of Milt. Mozart, Michaelangelo, and even being from another world. And his work definitely showed it. Whether it be the princes of all Disney fare, Sher Khan, King Louie, Mowgli climbing a tree, Jimeney Cricket running while getting dressed or Roger making fun of Cruela Deville in song. Just amazing. Milt was also credited with a lot of finalized looks for characters such as Pinnochio, Sher Khan and many others.
I walk away from these events feeling two distinct ways. MAN i really want to draw and animate RIGHT NOW! And of course, MAN I have a long long long way to go. But in the end great lecture. And I feel really bad for the many people who were left standing outside do an oversold show. I wish the theatre found a way to just cram everyone in.
Really memorable moment.
” the play’s the thing”
Now I’m not much of a animation historian. I’m a newbie when it comes to identifying the ” giants” that helped set the foundation of what we know as character animation. One of which I hear a lot about is Bill Tytla. Now for those who don’t know ( and for most who read this, you’re probably all animators anyhow..so you DO know), he was one of 3 supervising animators for Snow White. And was famous for Pinnochio’s Stromboli, the Dumbo reunites with his mom scene, and of course the big Devil in Fantasia.
I wish I had read the article I’m gonna leave as a link from ASIFA, a few years back. When i was a total animation NOOB. And I’m still not that far off. I was able to go to an animation event at the Academy in Hollywood. Basically had a few great speakers talking about how animation is moving now that more mediums like 3d are in the mix. The special treat AFTER the show were a bunch of animation bg paintings, cells, and drawings. A friend of mine wildly pointed out the very familiar Stromboli drawings that I had recognized by watching the movie. But even NOT knowing who Bill Tytla was, I was hypnotized by the beauty of EACH and every key. I mean you could have framed any individual one. And here there were at least six to eight drawings in front of me. Hes definitely someone I hold in high regard as I try to learn this animation artform. His story is almost like a real life greek tragedy in a way. With him leaving Disney in his prime to go east with his family and not being able to further contribute more masterpieces for generations to come. Maybe the most brilliant candles can only burn for so long? Would have been interesting to see what he might have contributed to say, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella or Lady and the Tramp. Or better yet, how he might have influenced the nine old men while still at disney.
Enjoy the article!
This article is just further proof on how Pixar is such a fertile bastion for creatives and artists. It seems like if you love the culture there, full of ideas, and work hard you can go beyond what you set out to do. In this case from animator to a director of a Pixar short.
Also one of my many animation heroes. And owner of one of the many companies I’d like to work for one day.