Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Farewell, Blogger

After some consideration, I've decided to make the switch to the more-fun-to-use tumblr. So from here on out this blog will continue here:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Illustration Friday

I've decided to submit stuff to Illustration Friday and this is my first submission. It's for the word 'freeze'.

Monday, July 23, 2012

BG Process

I'm making a new short set in suburbia with Girl Scouts. I've finished storyboarding it and I'm working on the backgrounds now. Here's a quick rundown of my process:

First initial sketch
Second sketch
Color sketch done on an iPad

Layout sketch
Final painting

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sketchbook Project

I participated in the Sketchbook Project and submitted a sketchbook to be archived in a New York library of other sketchbooks. Here are some pages from it:



Saturday, May 12, 2012

Evolutionary Acting

I was reading Andreas Deja's blog post on dual character staging in animation when he posted this picture:

He said even though she's facing away from us, we understand through her body language and the juxtaposition of the concerned cat that she is sad/deep in thought.

It reminded me of something we learned in my evolutionary anthropology class in that learning to detect even minute, subtle cues in body language was an evolutionary adaptation for us to build complex culture, our species' killer app. It helped us build empathy and cooled our "wild nature". The ability to empathize with each other in effect domesticated us.

A lot of animation is so on-the-nose that I think we forget that our minds have evolved to be acutely aware of even the slightest hints of emotion through body posture. Acting has over time since the '50s gone from a more broad, theatrical style to an increasingly subtle reflection of our actual behavior.

Bouncy, obvious animation is fun to do and watch, but it shouldn't be at the cost of more subtle cues. Figuring out someone's emotional state is one instance where it's fun for the audience to meet the film maker/actor halfway. There couldn't be anything more natural for the viewer to do.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

TRS Background

I made a background for The Totally Rad Show which features fan-made backgrounds weekly. I've always thought the three host's features could lend themselves to a simplified approach.

It was featured!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Making Traditional Affordable

The Secret World of Arrietty - Budget: $23 million. Gross: $143,925,084

I don't understand why major animation studios don't make cheaper traditionally animated films. I was thinking about the worldwide gross of Arrietty and how, paired with a $23 million budget, its $143 million gross is a huge success for Studio Ghibli. Traditional animation can be done cheaper and faster (but not necessarily worse!) with today's technology than ever before.
I don't see any reason not to put out animated films in the $20-30 million range. If it makes up its budget, then that's ok. But if it's a runaway success and brings in big money on a small investment then great! If it bombs but is still critically acclaimed, there may be some reward later on during award season.
I don't understand the mindset that all the chips have to be bet on a $200 million CG extravaganza every year.

Puss In Boots Budget: $130 million plus a crap ton of marketing
I'm not making the case that traditional animation should be revived from a rosy, nostalgic point of view, but strictly as a business decision that makes sense.
Give artists the opportunity to make films that don't have to appeal to the widest demographic; to make films that aren't huge spectacles and are instead more subtle and thematic. Sure, still have your major releases, but also have one or two of these smaller films released throughout the year. Why not?

Ponyo Budget: $34 million. Gross: $202,614,288

The Illusionist Budget: $17 million. It bombed but was critically acclaimed.

Culture Draw

I've started a new Tumblr blog called Culture Draw where I draw comics or whatever based on films, tv, video games, books, music, anything that's a part of our cultural zeitgeist. I hope to do at least one a week.

Here's the first one I did for The Secret World of Arrietty:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rejection, the sequel

This is my second rejection from the Calarts character animation program. They say third time's the charm but I'm done with this. I'm planning on signing up for Animation Mentor this Fall.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Dinky Dink

Final GIF

Process GIF

I made this on my phone with an app called Dink. So far it's the best animation app I've tried. It could be better but it's fun for quick little ideas and sketches.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Oh Miyazaki

Miyazaki on animation:

Why Miyazaki doesn't like modern anime:
The interview can be seen in two parts here and here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

iPhone 4S vs. Nikon D3100

 I wanted to do a quick comparison test between my iPhone 4S and my Nikon D3100 with a 50mm 1.8 lens. As much as I love my iPhone's camera, there's no comparison to the DSLR. But on a bright day outside the HD camera on the phone is scarily close to the Nikon's video. Still, it can't beat that depth of field on the 50mm lens.

iPhone 4S
Nikon D3100 50mm 1.8