Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Kelly Clarkson - Underneath the Tree (Official Lyric Video)

Kept hearing this on the radio, nice sentimental song. Some good motion graphics here: Art Director: Scott Brucato Produced by: Laura O'Connell Animation: Erika Lepke, Tyler Donnelly, Amanda Schmick Agency: Gupta Media, http://guptamedia.com Enjoy!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Watchcat xmas 2016


http://watchcatfiles.blogspot.com/

Watchcat teams up with Ol' Saint Nick to foil some last minute Holiday crimes. Looks like Santa has learned to handle himself over the years!

(copyright Jim Richardson)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

2016 What a year!

What a year. And 2016 isn't done with us yet-

(copyright Lucasfilm/Disney)


Hang in there Carrie!

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Frosty the Snowman directed by James Cameron

Just some quick bashing in Photoshop...
Update: Good to see it again on CBS.
(original copyright Rankin/Bass)

I thought it would be a kick if James Camero, or Ridley Scott directed the old Rankin/Bass Frosty the Snowman TV special...

(copyright 20th Century Fox)

Of course, if it were this intense, it wouldn't be fun.
Just trying to get some ideas down, don't know when I can finish this...

Thursday, November 24, 2016

CTN Expo 2016 photos

A few snapshots of CTN Expo 2016 photos...

 
Woodbury University...


with its media heavy presence...



Me old Alma Mater, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.Go Fighting Scots!  Good to see Mike Penz again.



The Animation Guild, my other bread and butter! Should be everyone's.



The stars from Moana... (copyright Disney)



And Woodbury's neighbor across the way, Disney. (copyright Disney)


 
The new tent was HUGE...


 Had some hassles with the rain, and a minor power failure, but it was CTN's largest and most impressive Expo yet. Congrats to Tina Price and everyone!

Ghosts of Christmas Future

Politicking is dangerous, but not speaking out is also a great risk.
These are my opinions, and I have tried to be well informed.
It's not so much about how Trump won, but how Hillary lost.

HRC needed to be more than just the anti-trump. She finally adopted some of Sanders' talking points, but the DNC could not connect with the battleground states, and took the "firewall" states for granted.

Millions of voters in middle America believe liberals have left them to rot. And they have proof. There are other factors at work, and critics can't lay this at the feet of Jill Stein or Bernie Sanders:

Billions of dollars in free media exposure for Trump.

Electoral college countermanded the popular vote.

Voter suppression among minorities.

Public's perceived electability of candidates vs. actual capabilities.

Low voter turnout due to unappealing candidates on both sides.

Mysogyny, and the hatred of Obama.

Gerrymandering.

* * * * * * * * * *

Trump has exploited the fears, prejudices, and misery that the GOP has created in the South and the Midwest. Many people there believe the money elites have abandoned them, left their towns to rot, and also coddled other people who are "unworthy". A Trump administration may toss a few bones to these states with infrastructure projects, but will also run up colossal deficits. I believe quite a few people in the U.S. also hope the "unworthy" people will quickly deported... or imprisoned.

This post is grim, and it is meant to be. The idea the pendulum will swing back to the left is obsolete. We also thought George W. Bush was the worst, but conditions in the U.S. will only bring out people like Trump. And worse.

Happy Holidays.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Election Day

Many people want this to end, but whoever gains the White House, and Congress will need steady feedback, and complaints to keep our nation from slipping further into barbarism.

 (copyright Disney)

In other words, it's never over!

Get out there for election day.




Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Stick-Gods

I was doing some Googling about the Egyptian god Anubis, 
and this popped up

(art copyright Inonibird)
Cute, fun stuff! Well designed, low key, but clever humor. 
He has a fresh approach. Spiced up my day a bit.

"You attract what your focus on."
At least Inonibird's Egyptian gods have seen the 
Charlie Brown Christmas special. 
Here's to counting down to Halloween, and then the winter Holidays!

Good Grief!


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Flaming Skull


Quick Halloween sketch, with very ruff inking.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Halloween old marker drawing

Here's an old drawing I did during my internship at the old Tele-Media local cable access channel,
back in the mid 1980's in Concord, Ohio.
 
 
This was used as a title card on the Tom Morrow show, sort our version of the Johnny Carson show.
 
I was going over my old portfolio, and found this little chestnut. I had fun making it, and the show's producer seemed to use it quite a bit.

I hope it gets more exposure here than it did on old local access 
channel 6.

Happy Halloween!


Friday, September 30, 2016

Planet Soltice - More Sketches

Late Summer/Early Fall sketches

 
One point perspective on some Borg-like tech, this is actually for something else...


Landscape...

 

Another one point perspective, need the practice.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

NBCUniversal To Eliminate 200 Jobs At DreamWorks Animation Glendale Campus

Well, it had to happen...

(copyright DreamWorks)

When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.
It won't be DreamWorks without Jeffrey Katzenberg.

According to the Animation Guild blog, no artist positions have been affected... yet.

http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/2016/09/dwa-downsizing.html

Friday, September 09, 2016

Shane Acker's 9 movie

Just realized it is September 9th, seven years since the release of Shane Acker's "9"movie.

(copyright 2009 Focus Features)

While everyone else is celebrating 50 years of Star Trek, (which is fine), I thought I should bring this little gem back out into the spotlight. As a student at UCLA, Acker created this short film about war, oppression, loss of personal freedom, and science run amok as his student project. "9" caught the attention of Tim Burton who worked with Acker to produce "9" as a feature film.

While I am a little tired of the post apocalyptic story theme, the David and Goliath struggle of the little doll people struggling against a devil device bent on devouring their souls is still worth watching. Acker's commentary on current world affairs is still disturbingly trendy, even more now today!

And it has one of my favorite actors, Martin Landau providing the voice of "2".
 
Enjoy!

 
 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

NBC-Comcast-Universal takes over DreamWorks Animation


Jeffrey Katzenberg steps down after 22 years at DreamWorks Animation...
 
 
(copyright DreamWorks Animation)


 
 
After hits like "Kung Fu Panda", "Madagascar" and "How to "Train your Dragon", we'll have to see how it goes with the new management. I was at DW back in the day, but I had to move on due to office politics. A student who had assisted me this summer has landed his first job there, I wish him all the best for the future, and the future of DreamWorks Animation.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Herman Bear on the planet Solstice

Here's some sketches from July in Canada...


Herman Bear lands on my new planet Solstice...


I didn't want him to be alone on the planet,
so I gave him a new companion.
(Cubcake is also there, but I'm not sure I'll keep her in the story.)

 
The bear has to make a new friend, literally! Herman assembles "Athena" from different organisms to build a composite creature. Sort of a cross between Larry Niven's Pierson's Puppeteers, and Sylvia the "Zbornak" from Disney's "Wander over Yonder".

http://larryniven.net/puppeteer/pupbod.shtml

(It's a long story)


When Herman first sees Athena, she is just some kind of seed pod that drags itself along the ground with some sort of beak. Herman has to put her together as an intelligence test designed by other aliens. Enjoy!




Sunday, August 21, 2016

Kubo and the Two Strings

(copyright Laika studios) It's mortals vs. the gods in Kubo and the Two Strings. An outcast boy whose music and stories that brings origami to life goes from hustling on the street to a real challenge when he learns more about his true origins.

Laika has got another winner here! The plot is a little vague at the beginning, but things are not what they seem, as Joseph Campbell might have once said, and that's good for the film. The stop motion is well done, almost looking like CG animation. Director Travis Knight and his crew didn't cut any corners on this film

The action, although theatrical, is intense, and I am still surprised (and annoyed) at parents bringing very small children in the cinema. Still, the story succeeds on concepts of being true to yourself, appreciating your parents, and your gifts.

Get a good seat! I'm looking forward to the Blue Ray already.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

3D print dragon

Finally got my female dragon head. The resolution is a little low, 
but it gives the figure an interesting texture.


Sculpted in Maya, "Cassandra" was made in 
Woodbury University's Digital Fabrication Lab, kudos to Matt and his crew!


Here is the Dimension UPrint + (SD) unit that did the dirty work.
Super cool! Good modeling experience, 
but I need more practice in modeling the interior 
to get the proper wall thickness.


She has a few errors on her surfaces, and the eyes 
didn't print for some reason. Will have to go over that again.

Matt and William use Rhino software to convert .obj files into .stl (stereo lithography) files.

Have a good summer gang, school starts at the end of August.



Jack Davis, R.I.P.

Ah, no...


All those Mad magazines, gee whiz.
Still, a great artist, great caricaturist.


(copyright publisher, from The Art of Jack Davis)

Maybe he's still doodling in the great bullpen in the sky...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Exceptional Minds on KPCC

 Caught this bleary eyed on KPCC this morning:



I met Ernie Merlan at Studio Arts years ago.
Good to know his school his helping young people find work in animation and effects.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Jodorowsky's Dune (2014) - HD Trailer



I just found out about director Alejandro Jodorowsky's plans for Frank Herbert's book from a Dune quiz on Facebook. The art by Moebius, and the storyboards look fantastic. I think this would have been far superior to David Lynch's creep-out movie. Now if I can just find it!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Joker Mashup... with Marcie?

Hello Batfans, and Charlie Brown aficionados, just blowin' off steam with another mashup.

(copyright Time/Warner and United Feature Syndicate)

With everything that's going on in the world, 
I just thought it would be funny to have Marcie assist the Joker for a while.
 The Joker would finally have Gotham City on it's knees, 
only to have Marcie question everything:

"Why did you do that sir?"

"Stop calling me sir!"


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

3D Printing

After all these years, Herman Bear emerges as a 3D print out!


Still have to clean him up, get the support material out of his mouth.
Kudos to Woodbury University's Digital Fabrication Lab. 

(Forbidden Planet, original copyright MGM)

We don't have sci-fi replication technology just yet, but we're getting there!

Will update details asap.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Planet Dolan

Stumbled across this on YouTube...

(copyright Super Planet Dolan)


On this channel, Danger Dolan, and his cute kitty pal Shima answer 10 of your most burning questions about just about anything... as long as it's some common sense question that can have a weird answer.

Dolan, who reminds me of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters, will come up with the most absurd answers to obvious questions. Shima can be counted on to come up with clear, scientific explanations... In other words, the right answer.

Have a good Memorial Day weekend. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Mountains colored in Photoshop

Blowin' off steam...

 
Quick sketch, colored in Photoshop.

Rocket Racoon for President

This fall, put some REAL crooks in the White House!

(copyright Marvel/Disney)
Hey, you could do worse.

Quick sketch, will try to do more.


Friday, May 20, 2016

Behind the Scenes of Zootopia: Gnomon Alumni Panel

It was a packed house in the old Quonset hut auditorium as the Gnomon School of Visual Effects hosted five Zootopia artists, sponsored by Walt Disney Animation Studios. While the buzz for Zootopia may have cooled off a bit, the advances Disney has made should give them quite a lot of momentum at the box office for a while.



 Alberto Abril (Animator), Chika Saito (Modeler), Diana Zeng (Lighter), Dylan Ekren (Modeler), and Tyler Bolyard (Look Development Artist) each spoke about their time working on Zootopia, and their learning experiences at Gnomon and the other schools they attended.

They all seemed to have enjoyed working at Disney, and I must admit, I kind of envy their talents and the opportunities that they have had.

Studies of animals in the wild were shown, along with a pencil test of Walt Disney's Robin Hood. Special plugins for Maya, such as Xgen were discussed, along with lighting strategies, not to mention good old-fashioned hand drawn art for development.

Just the development of fur and hair seemed to consume a lot of time and resources. There was some "recycling" as one basic species model of a gazelle/deer was tweaked with different horns, fur color and different outfits to create extra background crowd characters.

(my photo from CTN 2015, copyright Disney)

Unfortunately, there will be no streaming of this presentation due to copyright issues. 
However, I did do a little digging to bring some examples of their work.

Here is Chika Saito’s Modeling Demo Reel 11/30/12

 Alberto Abril's reel,

 Diana Zeng's blog,

 Dylan Ekren's work,

And Tyler Bolyard's Facebook,

Just being on the grounds at Gnomon is always interesting. Their campus is the old Television Center Studio lot in Hollywood. The buildings are characters in themselves. There's a mixture 1930's and 1940's architecture that has a "Diesel Punk" feel to it. Add in the extra plumbing and cables with Gnomon's high tech interiors, you have some cool, gritty movie exteriors right there.

I'm trying to find out more about the history of the place, but it's past seems kind of murky right now. Which makes it that more interesting. UPDATE:


The original home of Technicolor, set in a 1920's Art Deco style. There has to be more than a few ghosts haunting that building.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

25 Animation Related Blogs that will explain more about animation


Animation Re-creation is number 16 on the "25 Animation Related Blogs will explain more about animations" on boredwiki.com

(copyright Time/Warner)


Posted by Alicia Mehra.
Many thanks!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Zootopia Documentary



courtesy of Cartoon Brew.

UPDATE: Sorry folks, this video was pulled.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Zootopia meets Pixar Presto mashup

Sorry, with all the death and destruction going on in the world, I could not resist bashing this together.

(copyright Pixar and Disney)

UPDATE:
Happy Easter!

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Social Commentary of Zootopia


I finally saw Zootopia, and I was surprised at some of the issues the directors took on, such prejudice, class and disillusionment. For example:

Good people fall back on old negative stereotypes.

(Every Disney movie has plot point where the hero makes a horrible mistake, and then has to overcome the consequences of that error. Judy's press interview for instance.)
 
"Treat me like a criminal, I will act like a criminal."

(Nick Wilde is Zootopia's Han Solo, but he is also finally coaxed away from his criminal past.)

 Characters get hurt emotionally as well as physically.
(Both Judy and Nick during their childhoods.)


(my photo from CTN 2015, characters copyright Disney)

While the world of Zootopia doesn't have our level of wars, poverty and injustices, the basic personal issues still remain:

I have an image to maintain.
Jumping to conclusions.
Not sure who to trust.
What's in it for me?

 On the other hand, Zootopia did cheer me up a little bit, when I look past their cloying cutesiness:

 Things are not what they seem.
The strong don't always prey on the weak.
People can go beyond their apparent limitations.
The past does not have to decide your future.

Imho, Some of the old cartoon jokes hurt the movie, like the population counter of Bunny Borough, but that's showbiz.
This blogger has a more severe view:

http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/03/03/zootopia-review-a-muddled-mess-of-racial-messaging...-and-cute-animalshttp://birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/03/03/zootopia-review-a-muddled-mess-of-racial-messaging...-and-cute-animals

 Good points. What are our real cultural and ethnic blind spots? How do you present these issues to younger children without sugar-coating it too much?

Minor points:

Where does the protein for carnivores come from? What forests were cut down, and what mountains were strip mined to build the city? There all kinds of  logistical and technical questions that interfere with my suspension of disbelief, but Zootopia is still a clever, thoughtful movie nevertheless.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Gnomon Workshop presents an Evening with Grzegorz Jonkajtys

Polish animator Grzegorz Jonkajtys has an interesting technique in combining miniature hand built sets with CG characters. Glad I made it over to Gnomon to see the talk.

Grzegorz's film credits include Sin City, Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Mist, Rango, Pacific Rim, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Warcraft, and The Revenant. His titles were VFX Artist and Lead Animator.

(copyright Grzegorz Jonkajtys?)

After such grim short films such as ARK, where an animated Leonard Nimoy type character is trapped on a doomed plague ship, Grzegorz is bringing us a family oriented film based on a Polish character, Teddy Floppy-Ear. 
Teddy, and his friend Hare find out that a toy factory is not all fun and games. Grzegorz slips in some social commentary when the system tries to toss Teddy into an incinerator for having one minor defect, in this case, his floppy ear,
After years of CG work, Grzegorz said it was refreshing to build miniature sets by hand. He pointed out that his hand built sets have a more convincing depth and character than the usual CG backgrounds. This was his strategy in filming "ARK". Grzegorz had his crew do lighting checks with real miniature models so the lighting on the CG characters would match the hand made backgrounds in a more convincing way.
Using kit-bashing and Styrofoam containers, drinking straws and mint candy box tins, Grzegorz and his crew built the charming, and at the same time, frightening world of Teddy Floppy Ear.



Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wander Over Yonder cancelled

Well, this is not what I wanted to hear:

 
(copyright Disney)
 
I was enjoying this series, even though it was designed for a younger audience. There are a few, *ahem*, mature quirks in the show, but you have to look very closely.

Some of the episodes really pushed the artistic boundaries, such as "The Void" where everything this side of "Yellow Submarine" was possible.
 

"WOY" creator Craig McCracken has confirmed this. Personally, I think Wander was railroaded the way the original Star Trek was put into lousy time slots by NBC during its original broadcasts. The Mouse picked up a Cartoon Network type show, and didn't know what to do with it.

 
No toys, no other merchandise, All I can say is "Bah, Humbug".
Speaking of Star Trek, I was hoping we would see Lord Dominator get her comeuppance. Maybe in the way Trelane did in the "Squire of Gothos".

 
Still, I fell in love with the characters, and the designs, so Wander, Sylvia, and all the villains will still have a place in my heart. 
 
Except for Hater, he's still a jerk. 


Saturday, March 05, 2016

Crunchy Bunches- A serial about breakfast!

One more web comic, worthy of further perusal...


Follow Munchy as he and his pals go on fantastic adventures to bring home the ultimate crispy, crunchy breakfast experience.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Zootopia

Disney, furry, adorable, humor,
more to come!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Wild's End Comic

Guilty pleasure time. Think of H.G. Welles "War of the Worlds" meets "Wind in the Willows".


Check it out!

Best Animated Feature 2016 - Inside Out

No surprises here.


(images copyright Pixar/Disney)


I may have to watch it again. If this was a film about depression, or childhood trauma, or just how a human being becomes lost when key moments in life do not come together in the right way, then all the eye candy in this film distracted me from those points.

The 1998 copyright extension, or the “Mickey Mouse Protection Act”

Dubbed the “Mickey Mouse Protection Act” , the 1998 copyright extension seems to be done at Disney's behest. Employees should chip in, because they're part of a big, happy family.



(photo copyright collegehumor.com)

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/02/disney-ceo-asks-employees-to-chip-in-to-pay-copyright-lobbyists/

Hard to think of Mickey in the public domain. But it might happen someday!

Best Animated Short 2016 - Bear Story

 Okay, it's not heavy journalism, but now I want to see this.
I guess that's what the Oscars are for, more exposure.


(images copyright of the authors)

Friday, February 19, 2016

Wander over Yonder - the Bot - A character dies!

Well, I didn't see this coming:

 Lord Dominator is not turning out to be such a likable villain. At first I thought she was so powerful that she was simply competing with the other supervillains just for fun. But now we see her ruthless side, and executes not just one, but two of her minions in a demonstration of sheer callousness.

First, "Bot" 42 ( a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference?) is sent to a fiery death after he turns in a poor survey report. It turns out that Lord Dominator needs a special element, "Volcanium X", to power her army. Dominator then calls on her favorite evil space probe, "Bot" 13. "Bot"13 inadvertently helps cause "Bot" 42's demise when his report shows 3 planets rich in "Volcanium X". In a fit of pique, Lord Dominator tosses poor "Bot" 42 out of her ship, and lets him burn up on entering a planet's atmosphere.

After making an example out of  "Bot" 42,  Lord Dominator demands that the rest of her 'bots to move it, and resume their search for more "Volcanium X" in a hurry. "Bot"13 seems eager to please, and heads off to keep his good record going.
Naturally, "Bot"13 crash lands after getting snagged on Wander's kite. Damaged, "Bot"13 is unable to attack Wander, and Wander, naturally, tries to help him. Unable to speak clearly, Wander mishears the robot's name, and calls "Bot"13 simply "Beep Boop".

After resisting Wander's initial attempts at being friends, "Bot"13 learns to appreciate Wander's kindness, and refuses to cooperate with Lord Dominator. After deleting his files containing the location of the mother load of "Volcanium X", (which happens to be the planet Wander and Sylvia are visiting), "Bot"13 shares the fate of "Bot"42.

Only this time, "Bot"13 takes a last look at photo of him and Wander as friends.
Wander managed to stir something in "Bot"13, and helped him outgrow his obedience to Lord Dominator. Before "Bot"13 vaporizes, his memories go back to the good times he had with Wander, and states: "I am Beep Boop".

At the same time, Wander and Sylvia begin to realize that "Bot"13 did not give their position away to Dominator, and are impressed at his bravery. They look up at the night sky and see a shooting star.
Unaware of "Bot"13's situation, Wander can only say, "Good luck Beep Boop".


Friday, February 12, 2016

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Commander Kitty is back!


One of my favorite webcomics is back online.
Hope it makes to the climax of this story...

Friday, January 15, 2016

Tardis_V01

Quick bash up of a Tardis with Maya and Mental Ray

Have to get the "Police Box" and other graphics attached, along with door handles and dirt and scratches...

Version_02...


I made my own sign art in Photoshop, rather than swipe it off the internet.
I'll see what else I can add...