Friday, November 16, 2007

If you have ran out of stuff to spend money on...

This is the most frivolous item I have seen in a long time:

Sunday, August 26, 2007

305 - first acting shot 'candy'

Here is the first of 2 assignments for this term:

The assignment was open, just some little bit of acting. One suggestion was to show a contrast of emotion, so that's what I went with.

Tune in next time for some dialog!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I went to SIGGRAPH for the first time ever a couple weeks ago. School and work were crazy when I got back, so it took me a while to get into everything. Being a student volunteer was definitely the way to go. Not only did it save me the cost of admission, but I met so many cool people! A bunch of people from AM as well as other SV's from around the world.

My 3 roommates were from Montreal, Spain and Hong Kong. I also met many people from Germany and Norway. Most of our shifts we were just watching a door and chatting, I learned some German!

Here is a scan of my head I got at the Guerrilla Studio.

Fun stuff, so lookin forward to next year!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Summer, 2007 demo reel

Here it is, some choice shots from my experience at AM so far:

I tried to put in my best shots, but not a lot to choose from just yet :)

Monday, June 11, 2007

subsurface scattering part 2

I gave the sss another go, and experimented with getting stewie out of maya and into blender. Now I just have to get the rig...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

subsurface scattering - aka, blender is 'incredible'

I just found ouPublish Postt recently that blender now offers subsurface scattering. this is the effect that gives surfaces a warm glow in movies like the incredibles. i just played around with it for about 20 mins and came up with this render. the monkey on the right has the predefined 'whole milk' setting applied. the other has all the same settings, without the sss.

i hope to play with it more soon, skin should look really cool.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

for fun, door pull

this is a still from my current assignment where stewie pulls a door that won't open. i just thought this pose turned out well and wanted to render it out.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

208 - gap leap

Here it is, the second big assignment for Class 2 at AM.

Monday, May 14, 2007

200 update!

Here it is, my first shot of class 2

I heard once that "Art is never done, it just stops at an interesting place" But, perhaps I am just justifying all the stuff that I see that I still want to fix. In any case, gotta move on for now or I will fall behind!

My mentor this term is awesome, really gets in to detail with my crits. And the Q&A's are more like lectures, he has a different topic for us every week.

I also took advantage of the featured mentor this week for the first time, Jason Schleifer from Dreamworks was featured. He explained much about Dreamworks, PDI, and Dreamworks Animation. Very fun stuff. I need to take more advantage of this resource, it's a very interesting perk of AM.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Diet Berries & Cream Dr Pepper

If you haven't tried this yet, go out and do so as soon as possible. It will change your life.

That is all for now.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

open source motion tracking!

Ah, blender, my faithful friend. At times I get too caught up in my own life to give you the respect and attention you rightfully deserve. Sometimes, months go by when I can't find time to even so much as pull up a blenderartists thread. But, you are always there when I need you, popping up in the least likely of places.

Like today, when I was searching for information on camera motion tracking. Amidst the plethora of high-end, multiple $k software solutions, I find this information on motion tracking coming to blender! You continue to grow when I am not looking, and that is fascinating. The article says tracking won't be ready for testing any earlier then June, but I am not in a hurry. I will be there when you are ready!

'Till then, old friend, I will try to check in with you more often.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

live traffic info on google maps!

I don't know how long it has been there, but I noticed a button on google maps today labeled "traffic" I clicked on it and saw this overlay. After consulting the help docs, I found that:
  • Green: more than 50 miles per hour
  • Yellow: 25 - 50 miles per hour
  • Red: less than 25 miles per hour
  • Gray: no data currently available
As you can see, on this sunny, Sunday afternoon in Clifton, there isn't much traffic around my local intersection.

Fun stuff, thought I should share. If I have to nit-pick, it sucked that I had to consult help to figure out what I was looking at. Seems like they could have a key that appeared with the overlay to make that a bit easier. In any case, it's still pretty darn cool and google amazes me once again.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Say 'good-bye' to Disney DTV Sequels (more news on the John Lasseter front)

An Animation Mentor classmate brought this article to my attention:

End of the Line

It details Disney's resolution to put an end to their Direct to Video sequels. It seems Lasseter is not responsible for the decision, but is backing it 100%.

I guess we never will get to observe the touching coming-of-age prequel about Silver's shape-shifting pet, Morph (yea, I made that up, but who knows what we would be expected to endure of this trend continued?)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

class 1 reel

Um, can i just say 'WOW'? I can't believe it is that time already. The past few months have been incredible, and quite the jump-start! The first several weeks were a little slow, but they got much more challenging as we got into overlapping action and then walks. It is now time to put together a final reel for AM. They say they archive our work to track our progress and for possible job considerations, so that might be something to look forward to some day. I wanted to go back and redo just about every one of these assignments, but that would take weeks. So, here it is:

My goal for the next term is to better manage my time. I will probably be working more, and I got pretty unorganized this term. I need to schedule time for my assignments as well as keeping up this blog and (if i keep them both, who knows)

Here comes class 2, body mechanics!

Monday, March 05, 2007

there may be hope for Disney yet

In the form of Mr. John Lasseter. Over in the AM forums, this article was posted about Lasseter now being the chief creative officer of animation for the Walt Disney Company. In the past decade, Disney has taken a nose dive in several projects. I liked “Treasure Planet,” but most didn't since it was their biggest flop. I am also to see 2d has practically disappeared from the main stream, and, lets face it, the Parks could use some help too.

Lasseter intends to change all that, and he is just the man for the job.

"But since Pixar was acquired, Mr. Lasseter has been heralded as a latter-day Walt Disney, a cultural arbiter who can rekindle the spirit of Disney’s famous animation at its theme parks, on store shelves and in a theater near you.


"Since taking over, Mr. Lasseter and Mr. Catmull have instituted a program to revive the hand-drawn animated short. 'The whole purpose is to get these artists ready for feature films,' Mr. Lasseter said.

"The day after he won a Golden Globe for 'Cars,' Mr. Lasseter and 13 animation executives gathered in Story Room 1 on the second floor of the studio in Burbank to hear an art direction pitch for a new short film featuring Goofy titled 'How to Hook Up Your Home Theater.'"

The article goes on to describe Lasseter's ideas for the company, including marketing arrangements with high-end organizations like Sur La Table and promotions like a “Ratatouille” -inspired, 'cheese of the month club' with Costco.

You don't want to miss He Runs That Mickey Mouse Outfit over at

Thursday, March 01, 2007

East coasters!

This is a random post, move along :)

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

104 - 106: different weights, obstacles, and pendulum

Wow, long time no updates. I have just been so busy with work and everything, I have had trouble just getting my assignments in, much less update my blog. So, after an afternoon of youtube uploading, here they are:

two balls - this assignment asked us to animate two balls with different weights. stu, again, makes a guest appearance.

obstacle course - a simple ball goes through an obstacle course, using some squash and stretch. stu supervises. this week we also had another stu pose to do:

pendulum, overlapping action - to demonstrate an understanding of overlapping action, we were given this model of a pendulum. stu is along for the ride.

107???? well, I really got behind this week because of some family stuff. I did manage to get it in on time, but it wasn't really as done as I would like. I will revise this week and turn it in a again. after my next crit, I will post it here.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

103 - Bouncing ball and "Excitement"!

This week we had to sketch poses of "excitement" and pose Stu in one of them. I did my typical crappy sketches and then Saturday, my Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation came in. So, I read it cover to cover and took another stab at my sketches:

Then finished my pose of Stu:

This morning, it was pointed out to me that it was hard to see if both feet were on the ground, so I ended up biting the bullet and doing some lighting to show the ground. I told myself I would never bother with lighting or anything other then animation, but maybe it was needed this time. I submitted both and will see what Sean (my mentor) as to say about it. Might have been a mistake.

Last but not least, here is my animation of a bouncing ball. We were to animate a believable ball bounce with the weight of a basket ball or soccer ball:

Fun stuff!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

102 - final, and a note to any new AM students

Here it is:
Could have worked on it for ever, especially since it is my first assignment. But I had to stop. I have uploaded at least 6 versions, all with tons of feedback. The AM community is indispensable in that way, I hope I can always find this level of feedback, even after AM.

In other news, I ordered the Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation. I wish I had known about it before. It seems to be more important to the first class then the other books (illusion, and 'the kit) but it wasn't listed on the public site. So, any one out there who is joining AM, GET THIS BOOK

ANYONE SIGNED UP FOR AM, GET Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation!

Before you do anything with the princeples of animation, or walk cycles, or anything, you will have to sketch and that is where Simplified is suggested.

12 hours till a new assignment!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

102 - sketches and a pose

I had my second QA last night. It was supposed to be Tuesday night but since it was actually 12:00 AM Wednesday EST where the mentor was (Florida), he got confused and thought it was actually Wednesday evening. Oh well, I am in the EST as well and almost missed the first one because of that. See, your calendar shows a big gray block for Wednesday and that sorta sticks in your head. We all make mistakes. We all waited till 1:45 AM and then most left, and of course he showed right after that. He apologized and explained and said he would try to get it rescheduled for the next night, which is what he did.

Really nothing much was discussed, I asked about the sketches that are due this week, as I am having trouble capturing poses with my stick figures. Here is what I ended up submitting today:

And here is the render of that circled pose:

That was after a LOT of feedback in the chat room, and there is still more I need to do to get it right. I am trying to get the best silhouette, that is why the angle is a bit different then my sketch. There is still a tangent where the left elbow is too close to the body. I still have time to mess with it some more.

On a related note: I worked on this a bit today when I was in the computer lab at UC (on my laptop). I saw a guy I had taken some animation classes with there in the past. He was really interested in what I was doing and I was proud to explain how it worked. Too bad I didn't have any new animation to show him yet.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

first QA

I had my first QA session with our mentor tuesday night at midnight (wednesday). Not much to report, mostly just introductions from my fellow classmates and trying to get everyone's cameras up and working. I got there at 11 pm, an hour before it was to start and no body was there. People starting coming in a few minutes later. We went right up till 2 am.

It was cool to hear my mentor, Sean McLaughlin, is from Columbus, OH, about 2 hours away from where I am now in Cincinnati. He talked about his work on Over the Hedge and his current work on Bee Movie.

I didn't realize that Jerry Seinfeld wrote Bee Movie. This should be very interesting, I can't wait to see it.

I wish there was more of an assignment this week, we really don't have much to do at all. Learn the site, watch the videos, post a bio, avatar, and a video journal, that's about it.

I want to make something move!!!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

i wanna be like a grizzly bear

Just a quick note, I got the keys to the kingdom. Today, the rest of the members site on AM was unlocked. After tracking down some guys I had been in contact with to add them to my buddy list, the first thing I did was watch the lecture for the first class.

It was amazing. Shawn Kelly and all the rest of the folks that spoke were so energetic and passionate. It was really inspiring. Alex Nussbaum, a former animator turned comedian, compared great animators to grizzly bears and it was beautiful. I can't do him justice, but basically a good animator evokes an involuntary reaction in the viewer. Not many other things can do that, except, well, being face to face with a grizzly bear and having to then change your pants. I wanna be like a grizzly bear!

I'm afraid to talk to much more about the lecture, they have been really cracking down on people sharing too much info. AM is great, well worth the $$$ and I don't want to f'this up!

Oh yea, our first model we got was stu!