Setting the Scene arrives!

Just received my copy of Fraser Maclean's Setting the Scene: The Art & Evolution of Animation. If you are in animation or looking to enter the world of animation - this book is a must. Layout is an integral and extremely important part of the animation process. The better a scene or sequence is planned out in layout, the better prepared it will be for animation, background painting and eventually final camera - or what would now be compositing. I have only just started to peruse the book, but I can already tell Fraser has done his homework. It's an awesome resource to have and will benefit anyone not matter what your job is in animation.

Great job Fraser!!


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Fraser's new book!

Check out our pal Fraser MacLean's new Animation Layout book,
"Setting the Scene: The Art & Evolution of Animation Layout"
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Master Animator Tom Roth launches new animation course!

Tom Roth, an old friend and colleague from my Bluth and Disney days has launched a new online animation course. It looks like it will be a great resource especially for those who can't afford pricey schools like Cal Arts or Animation Mentor. Tom is a great animator and his course looks awesome. Check it out on www.animationalchemy.com
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Animators Bootcamp DVD1 is Finally Available!!

Check out our first DVD in the Dan Kuenster's Animators Bootcamp Series. The disc is for sale for $40 on animatorsbootcamp.com

Hope everyone finds it useful.
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Coming soon! Dan Kuenster's Animation Bootcamp

cddisc_2

We have teamed up with our old buddy and former bluth Director Dan Kuenster and have started to produce a series of videos based on his Animation Bootcamp which he ran a number of years ago. Look for news here in the next few weeks.
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Animation Mentor to Release New Free eBook

Animation Tips and Tricks eBook, Volume II – 2009 Edition
Available April 7th


Save the Date and Plan to Join Free Webinar on April 18th
eBook Contributors and Animators Wayne Gilbert and Keith Sintay Share their Professional Knowledge, Personal Tips and Answer Questions from the Audience

This is the Chance for your Readers to Learn Character Animation from Professional Animators

About the eBook
Ideal for people who love animation and enjoy learning about the art of animation, Animation Tips and Tricks, Volume II-2009 Edition takes it to the next level by offering budding animators a wealth of career advice, real-life insight on the working life of an animator in addition to valuable tips on everything from making a demo reel, making a scene, acting, bringing characters to life, workflow, and a whole lot more.

This eBook is written by Animation Mentor cofounders Shawn Kelly (ILM) and Carlos Baena (Pixar) and includes features by Animation Mentors Keith Sintay (Digital Domain), Aaron Gilman (Weta Digital) and special guest Wayne Gilbert.

*The eBook will be available online Tuesday, April 7, 2009. Please contact us if you would like to obtain the link to eBook before it goes live for easy online publication.

About the Webinar
Date: Saturday, April 18, 2009 (replay available after April 22nd)
Time: 1:00-2:30 PM (Pacific Standard Time)

eBook contributors and animators Wayne Gilbert and Keith Sintay share their professional knowledge, personal tips and answer questions from the audience.

http://www.AnimationMentor.com
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Walt Stanchfield Books available for Pre-Order!

Amazon finally has the Walt Stanchfield books available for pre-order! Even if you have a copy of the notes provided by Animation Meat, these books are still going to be a worthwhile part of your animation education.

Stanchfield1 Stanchfield2
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Eric Goldberg's Character Animation Crash Course - A Review

Well I finally got around to perusing Eric Goldberg's great new animation book. This is definitely one for the pantheon of great character animation books. I put it on my must have list for any serious student of the craft: along with the Illusion of Life, Richard William's Animators Survival Kit and the Preston Blair books. If you have these you pretty much don't need much else.

The best thing by far with Eric's book is the included DVD which includes clips illustrating each animation concept. It really helps to see all the various animation concepts so clearly articulated on paper and then see them in motion. I thought it was brilliant that he also put the charts on the dvd clips so you could figure out the timing as you stepped thru each clip.

Most of the material has been covered in the other books mentioned above but it is always good to have another reiteration of the rules of good cartoony animation. I always discover something new either when re-reading these books or getting a fresh new take like Eric's on the subject. I think the chapter on dialog is especially good, since pretty much the only other info out there is pretty much just a couple of pages in the Preston Blair books. Unfortunately if a young animator just follows the Blair examples the results are usually not pretty. Eric shows how it is important to figure out the accents and how to properly figure out what is important for the dialog to read. He makes clear that the lips are the last thing to think about and that acting and body attitude are much more important. But he doesn't give short shrift to the actual lip sync and has several tips that will help any mouth action look better and animate more smoothly.

At the end of the day this book is chock a block with great little animation tips that are sure to set your animation above the run of the mill. If you haven't added it to your animation library go and order it today. Now I can't wait for Eric's book on directing, whenever that comes out.

-hoops

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New Look!

Same great info!


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Eric Goldberg's Animation Crash Course Coming Soon!!!

About eight years ago we had just completed an opus work of note recompilation having taken the gritty xerox copies of Eric Goldberg's famous animation notes, and turned them into nicely formatted PDF's with searchable text. We had posted the first couple chapters up on the site when I got an email from my good friend Mark Pudleiner who was working with Eric at Disney. It turned out that Eric had finally started turning his notes into a book and had asked us to take down the notes. We ended up giving Eric all our PDF's hoping that it would speed up the production of his book.

Unfortunately the book took another eight years to get from Eric's mind into our hands, but I think the wait will have been worth it. I just got email from Eric and his book , Character Animation Crash Course! is coming out on Amazon next month. You can pre-order it now. The bonus is Eric decided not to just recompile his notes, he is giving us a cd full of animation tests and x-sheets to go along with all the examples he had to begin with. You will be able to examine stuff frame by frame, and see in real time all of his fabulous animation examples.

From the looks of it this will be probably one of the most informative books on animation to ever be produced. If you are a student of animation I would run, not walk, to get this book. Eric is a master of the cartoony style of animation we all know and love, and if you want to master cartoony animation there is now a way to see inside this master cartoonists brain. It will go alongside The Illusion of Life, Richard Williams’ Animators Survival Kit, and the Preston Blair books as one of the go to books for learning the craft of cartoon animation.

Here is a blurb from the email Eric sent out today announcing the availability of his new tome:

"Well, the animation book I've been writing for 25 years, based on my animation notes, has finally arrived! Well, almost... Character Animation Crash Course!, published by Silman-James Press, is available for pre-order on Amazon.com. It's 240 pages of cartoon goodness, all geared to getting great performances from your characters on the screen. It comes with an accompanying CD that has animation movie files of selected sequences in the book. You can watch them in real time, or frame-by-frame, and they all include X-sheets, inbetween charts, circled keys, and underlined breakdowns, so the tests can be analyzed while you read the book, revealing how the principles actually look in movement and why. Shipping date might be as early as mid-July. Also, I'll be premiering it at the San Diego Comic-Con, signing copies at Stuart Ng Books, Friday July 25th from 2 - 4, and Saturday July 26th from 11 -12. Also, the book provides examples from classic cartoons that can be pretty easily-accessed"


Anyway I'm about as stoked as anyone can ever get about this book. I can't wait.

Pre-Order it on Amazon

-hoops
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5 Second Animation Day

Titmouse_pic
Been a long while since the last post. I know. Well here's some cool news....

As you may know, last Thursday was Valentine's Day.

Well at Titmouse Studios in Hollywood, it was also
"5 Second Animation Day". This is a day that all employees are not to work on the regular in-house projects for the studio, but to take the day to come up with a completely original animation piece at least five seconds long. Any type of animation is allowed. Traditional, Flash, 2D, 3D, stop-motion, mixed media, pretty much anything you want. Licensed music is available to use. Use of the sound booth is open to record anything you wish. The sky is the limit. Judging by how late some people stayed to work on their projects (6am the next morning) this was not simply a day of play. A lot of effort was put into these pieces and it showed in the final product.

The genius of the idea for "5 Second Animation Day" came from above. Yes, this idea came from the head honchos of Titmouse itself, Chris and Shannon Prynoski. The artistic spirit that runs throughout Titmouse flows from top to bottom. It was their idea to have a day to break the monotony of the day-to-day grind and give their artists a day to let loose and see what they could come up with. Titmouse is neither the biggest, nor the most affluent studio in town, yet they still found a way to give their artists some time to blow off some steam and still be creative.

I guess the big question is, why haven't other animation studios done this? Or maybe they have (any recently)? If you know about any or just have a comment about "5 Second Animation Day" at Titmouse, please feel free to comment.

As of now, the films are not available online. If they become available, we will provide a link to them.

**UPDATE
- Here is a link to a few of the shorts posted at
. I will see about getting the rest.



- steve (a Titmouse employee and participant in "5 Second Animation Day")


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The right thing to do

We have some good news and some not so good news for everyone.

The good news is that Dee Stanchfield, Walt Stanchfield's wife, is publishing a book of all Walt's notes. It is currently being compiled and hopefully will be available soon. The not so good news is that we will be taking down the Walt Stanchfield notes from the site by the end of the week.

This site has always been about keeping the information alive. The only reason we started posting animation notes and tips and such was to make sure the information was never lost. Before, there was no way to obtain this information. Now there will be. Because all of the information from Walt's notes will now be in the book, it is not necessary to keep them on the site anymore. We wish Dee Stanchfield the best with the book and will include a link for ordering it when it becomes available.

Additional books strongly recommended for animators:

The Illusion of Life

The Animator's Survival Kit

Cartoon Animation

Timing for Animation

- steve and hoops






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Wow!

photo_01
Just go see Ratatouille - you'll see what I mean. Nothing else comes close. Pixar had done it again!

- steve

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66-70

Five new Walt Stanchfield notes have been graciously donated. Click here

- steve and hoops

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Notes for the New Year!

We have a bunch of new stuff posted!

Chapters 62 - 65 of the Walt Stanchfield notes now available for download. Also, we have Entertainment 11 - 14 from Eric Larson now available for download. A big thanks goes out to Tom Dow for all of his hard work. He transcribed the notes himself and sent them in to us. Thanks Tom! Enjoy the T-Shirt!

- steve and hoops



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Character Designer Lecture at CSUN

Sorry we didn't get this up sooner....
Stephen Silver flyer

*Review for pre-selected CSUN student work only. Submit work for condsideration to: Prof. Trujillo, AC 402, by Nov.14 6pm. California State University Northridge, CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. Art Department on Halsted St. Park in Student Lot E-6. PayBox in Lot $4 Art Dept. Ph: 818-677-2242

- steve


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Michel Gagne debuts teaser for his next short: Senseology

sensology_400wtd2
Our good friend Michel Gagne has posted a quicktime teaser for his next short film project. I remember being excited when he told me about this last Xmas but had forgotten he was working on it. As usual Michel's animation is as slick as ever and we get to see the design sense from his sculptures translated into animation. The new short is very abstract and obviously inspired by such greats as McLaren and Fischinger, but with Michel's unique snappy timing and efx design sensibility. I can't wait to see the rest of it and hope he enters it for the Oscars when it is done.

To see the teaser for Senseology , click here

-hoops

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Thinking Animation

ThinkingAnimation_Front
Just got some email about a former animation colleague, Jamie Oliff, and it looks like he has gone and written a book about transitioning between traditional and 3D animation. Jamie was in one of the years ahead of me at Sheridan back in the '80's and knows his animation stuff. He cut his chops on a bunch of great animation for Disney in the big 2D boom during the 90's, having worked on such films as Hunchback and Mulan. He made the transition to 3D animation working on Kangaroo Jack and Scooby Doo. For the book he has teamed up with veteran 3D animator Angie Jones whose credits include Stuart Little 2 and X-Men 2.

The book they have teamed up on is called Thinking Animation: Bridging the Gap Between 2D and CG and is described as a one-of-a-kind book that emphasizes how artists can use traditional animation techniques and principles with today's computer generated animation technology. The list of animators contributing to this book is a big one, filled with names most in the animation community will recognize: Henry Anderson, Bernd Angerer, Carlos Baena, Mark Behm , Chris Bailey, Tony Bancroft, Dave Brewster, Tom Capizzi, Brian Dowrick, Cory Rocco Florimonte, Dan Fowler, Angie Glocka , Eric Goldberg , Ido Gondelman , Evan Gore, Scott Holmes, Cathlin Hildalgo-Polvani, Victor Huang, Ethan Hurd , Ed Hooks, Mark Koetsier , Bert Klein, Keith Lango, Laura McCreary, Darin McGowan, Cameron Miyasaki, Mike Murphy, Floyd Norman , Eddie Pittman , Mike Polvani, Fred Raimondi, Nik Ranieri , Leigh Rens, Keith Roberts, Troy Saliba, Joe Scott, Tom Sito, David Smith, Roberto Smith, Javier Solsona, Mike Surrey, Richard Taylor, Conrad Vernon, Roger Vizard, Don Waller, Larry Weinberg, Paul Wood, Bill Wright and Dave Zaboski.

I haven't got my hands on the book for an in depth review but it looks like it will be a welcome addition to my animation library.

Check out the details on their site here:

Thinking Animation

Good luck to Jamie and Angie! I know this is one book I will be ordering.

-hoops
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59 - 61

Added three new Walt Stanchfield notes. Click here

- steve and hoops

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Flipbook for Mac OS X

flipbook
Well, it's finally here. One of the best pencil testers around is officially in beta release for Mac OS X. Congratulations to Kent Braun and Digicel. We've had the privilege of trying out the new software and it works very nicely. Not only is it ready for Mac OS X, it is a Universal Binary meaning it will run on the new Intel powered Macs. You can even use it with an Apple iSight. If you'd like to get your hands on it yourself, head over to the Flipbook website and download the beta.

- steve and hoops



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Eggman Cometh

ralph2
Great collection of interviews with Pixar's Ralph Eggleston by teens on the Red Studio site by Moma. Ralph speaks about everything from the "Pixar process" to his Oscar® winning short film For the Birds. Definitely worth checking out!

- steve

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Carping about Carp

hofferman04
Just got an email from an old colleague Richard Bazley whom I had the pleasure of working with back in the day at Don Bluth's studio in Dublin, Ireland. How time flies. He just wanted to pass on the news that his award winning Flash short The Journal of Edwin Carp is finally available on DVD for $20. AWN has a good review of the film. Click here

So if you want to check out this great little short which is done in the style of famed British illustrator Ronald Searle, email Richard for details.

richard@bazleyfilms.com

For those who don't know, Richard is best known for his supervisory work on The Iron Giant, he was also a lead animator on Disney's Hercules and has contributed to many other animated features. He is currently Head of Story at Aardman on Chop Socky Chooks.

-hoops
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A Scanner Darkly

winona
Great article in Wired about the tech and troubles of the new film A Scanner Darkly by Richard Linklater. To read more about it click here although you should skip the first paragraph which contains a spoiler. I never did see the entire film Waking Life, but it was curious. I think what they did with the backgrounds was more interesting than the people. It's hard to watch so much roto. In this film, rather than short vignettes, it's one long story.

Two things in the article stick out in my mind. One is when Bob Sabiston (creator of the Rotoshop software being used) says to his crew "I told them, you are making a living as an animator, that's the good news. The bad news is that it's hard work". The other is when Linklater says "I go crazy because it feels like the animation process just goes so slow." Well, all I have to say about that is, yes and yes. It seems that if they knew this stuff, they wouldn't have been surprised at how long the project was going to take. Roto is one of the most tedious types of animation out there. It is slow! Partially because it can get extremely boring. You don't have the freedom of expression like a traditional animator would. You need to stick with what is on screen. Linklater seems to know this as well. he states "It was more of a factory and less artists expressing themselves." Again, yes it is. I hope all of this sinks in on this project. You can't whip this stuff out. It takes time.

To be honest I haven't liked a single film Linklater has done except the genius Dazed and Confused. I'm a bit skeptical whether I will like this one. Other then the technique being used on A Scanner Darkly, it's the sci-fi aspect of the Philip K. Dick story that interests me. I really like the trailer. I hope that the story is solid and that the technique is only used to enhance the vision and not used as the sole driving force of the movie.

- steve



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Remixing The Magic

remixingthemagicevite
We are about a week late with this post, but please check out Gallery 1988, February 17th - March 10th "Remixing the Magic - 50 artists reinterpret Disney classics".

Gallery 1988
7020 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Hours:
Tuesday - Saturday 11am-6pm
Sunday & Monday closed

- steve and hoops

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Notes

Walt Stanchfield 56-58 are now available for download. Click here

- steve and hoops

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News Feeds

We've added a few more news feeds to our main page. Now you can catch the headlines from The Animation Archive, FPS Magazine and The Animation Podcast as well as the return of AWN Headline News. Welcome all!

- steve and hoops



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Keep it comin'!

OK, so not everyone believes the whole Disney/Pixar merger is a good thing. If you happen to wear a suit and currently work in the Disney Hat building, you are probably one of those people. This is from Jim Hill's excellent article called Big John ...

Well, let's start with WDFA. Where it's been reported that Lasseter (I.E. The new chief creative officer of the combined Pixar / Disney operation) and Ed Catmull (I.E. President of this new mega animation operation) met with middle managers in the Sorcerer Mickey building last Wednesday and basically told these folks: "If you don't draw for a living, then you really don't belong in this building."

Call it karma, call it fate, call it payback... Yes sir, the worm has certainly turned. There's a new sheriff in town. His name's Lasseter. John Lasseter and he speaks softly but carries a very big HB pencil.

- the other jon and steve!

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Bring it on!

With the purchase of Pixar Animation Studios by The Walt Disney Company, the future for Disney Animation looks brighter than it has in a long, long time. According to Floyd Norman, a Disney old timer who has also had the privilege of working at Pixar as well,

"As a guy who has been lucky enough to work for both companies, I can truly say this merger will be a benefit for both Disney and Pixar. As a Disney old timer, I can tell those who wonder what the difference is between Disney and Pixar, that culture difference we keep hearing about -- Pixar is simply the way Disney use to be before Eisner and his managers screwed everything up. With true creative leadership in place Disney will be free to thrive again.This is good news for everyone in animation.'

Nothing captures the moment as well as Floyd's cartoons from his book Son of Faster Cheaper. One in-particular that stands out in my mind is this one on page 86. I still get a kick out of it, but now it's even more fitting as a prediction come true.

john&steve
©2003 Floyd Norman. All Rights Reserved

Good one Floyd!


- the other jon and steve!

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Animo

animovectors
Recently I've received some questions about Animo. It's a piece of animation software that Hoops and I been using for over a decade for all of our animation needs. Everything from ink & paint to animation and character design using the vector tools (from the older system). Just to clarify a few things. Yes, Animo was the tool used for WB and Dreamworks' 2D features. Yes, Cambridge Animation is still around. Yes, Animo is still available. The current version is 6.0. I know of four studios here in L.A. that just recently started using Animo for their ink & paint needs. There are many others across the globe that use it as well. It runs on both Mac OS X and Windows and it has the best color model system around. I believe there is a student version available. If you are looking for more info about Animo, please head over to the CAS website.

If you are interested in the older vector tools have a look at my personal website. I've put up some samples and even the original demo reel of the product. Yes, that's the original Animo running on NeXTSTEP in the demo! Yes that's a screengrab of Animo 1.7 running on Mac OS X!

- steve



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Pixar board to approve Disney takeover

The board of Pixar Animation Studios, the digital animation company, is set to meet tomorrow to approve the company's $7bn (£3.9bn) takeover by Disney.


Here's hoping nothing but good things come to the animation industry from this merger.

- steve and hoops

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The Year Ahead

All
Hey folks! Butcher here. Been awhile since the last time I swung my cleaver, but I'm back and ready for some choppin'! It sure looks like a banner year for animation in 2006! There is no shortage of animated features due out this year. Plenty of animator's working hard to bring enjoyment to all. Sounds like the late 90's all over again doesn't it? Well, guess what? Nothing much has changed since then. There are a ton of studios out there trying to cash in on the "animation bandwagon" and make a quick buck. Don't believe me? Have a look at the following list and see what you think.

Hoodwinked - January 13th, 2006
Now remember, I am just looking at the trailers and not the films so these are just impressions of what the audience can see at this time. Hoodwinked sports some amazingly bizarre model work, some incredibly minimal jointing and some really weird lighting. The standard Warner Bros type script makes this a radio play with incidental art attached. My own sense is that this has to be a good film writing wise because the art is so unbelievably weak, right ? It's lucky trailers are short because otherwise I would have to kill myself.

Ice Age 2 - March 31, 2006
The rodent/squirrel makes me laugh. The trailer/teaser is mostly that thank goodness. Animations the same, designs the same and they don't tell you a thing about the story. Oh, who cares, it's funnier the second time, no matter what right?

The Wild - April 14th, 2006
The thing I hate most about this preview is the insipid preschool commercial you have to sit through to watch the trailer. You will actually lose brain cells watching it. The Wild is the final version of what started years ago as an early Disney CG project as I remember. Seen Madagascar ? Then you've seen this, or so it would seem. Animals escaping the zoo. The models aren't bad (if you like stuffed toy animals ) but the jointing and animation is weak. It's hard to tell as this trailer works just like lifting heavy weights. It makes me tired.

Over The Hedge - May 19th, 2006
Now I find the writing in OTH kind of typically bad (see Sharktale) but I like the models/lighting (excellent)/rigging here. And how can you lose with Shatner playing a possum playing Shatner. Brilliant !!!!!! There are some.... well, awkward lines here but .... well thats life . The squirrel saying "Wanna see my nuts"? Ha ha ! So .... funny (imagine Shatner saying that). You can expect juvenile humor like that throughout the film I suppose but DreamWorks is getting a lot of things right. Hate to say it but there is hope for them I think. Oh, the humans, well, no one is perfect. Looks good though.

The Ant Bully - Coming Soon
I had to watch this four times. I , I just couldn't believe there was so little worth remembering from this trailer. I would get to the end and it was like I couldn't remember what I had just seen. The models are better lit but remind me of Antz/Jimmy Neutron. Hey, I have a bunch of dust under my bed, I think I should make a film called "The Dust Bunnies". Ha! Thats so cute....and probably ten times deeper than The Ant Bully. If there is a film here they are hiding it... somewhere . But not in the trailer. Animation seems fine but what's it about? An ant bully?Whuuuaaaaahhh ???????????

Monster House - Summer 2006
From the people who brought you the magic motion capture of Polar Express. What this is, is a live action movie done in CG. That's all. No real surprise here. Oh yes, the models are fat cartoonier than PE but they still move like roto. You know that nice acting key framing you see in Pixar films ? Not here. Some nice art direction and lighting and Zemekis feels it's done. Please God , let there be a story with interesting characters, please!!!!! I just can't take any more films without a story. (The Butcher holding his cleaver to his throat).

Yankee Irving - August 2006
No trailer here and the web page tells you why. "Lets skip the trailer and release it before anybody gets wise". What did I ever do to you people to deserve this?! What?! I think the ugly baseball bat should work Irving over, but good. He's just a puppet, he wouldn't feel it. Trust me.

Open Season - September 29th, 2006
Ok, there's a new Open Season trailer. A vast improvement over the last one in that it has a story and it sort of makes sense. See, a bear is living in this garage, like a pet, see, and then this deer , er antalope or whatever comes to take it outdoors, away from it's owner? Then the bear is mad because it hates being out in nature and they run into nut tossing ... squirrels ? Squirrels are as big as giraffes this year in the cool characters to cast department. Everybody's got'em. Oh, hell maybe I'm just old. Nice animation in this baby anyway.

Happy Feet - Nov 17, 2006
Oh my lord in heaven, kill me. What the..... dancing penguins, voiced by, Robin Williams.... and ? story ? Is there a story ? I can feel the heaving of my gut now. No, don't look. It is too scary.

Barnyard - Coming 2006
And thats where you will wish it stayed. In the Barnyard. Oh, one thing folks, COWS ARE FEMALE!!!!!!!!!! Holy Jesus, this is dumb. The cow designs will make you want to break out your Playmobile toys to compare which has more detail. I hate the models , I hate the humor, I hate...... oh you get it. This one is the winner in the weak premise contest, hands, hoofs down. If you do not die from having every bit of your soul destroyed by it's smarmy cliche and lowbrow humor you will tear your eyes out trying to avoid it's weak design and poor execution. Damn the makers for not putting their names on the trailer! I wanted to sue them for causing brain damage. Next time, just do a film like this with hand puppets.

Now, does this really look like a list of movies that were created because of great stories and great characters? Or does it look like a bunch of suits saying "We've got to get in on that Shrek and Nemo action!" Folks, if it looks like a turd and smells like a turd, well.... you decide with your hard earned entertainment dollars. I for one will be putting my own dough into automobiles...er...um...Cars this summer.

The Butcher



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Could it be true?

fliposx
We received a post about Flipbook finally coming to Mac OS X. While this is encouraging news, this is a product that was announced as "coming soon" back in the year 2000. We remain skeptical whether or not this is a product that will actually ship in the coming months and be updated regularly after it is released into the wild. We have been pushing for a decent pencil tester program OS X since its release. A few have tried, but never seemed really understand the needs of the animator. Currently the only real option on OS X is Toki Line Test which is mediocre at best.

If Flipbook on OS X does become a reality it will be a welcome addition to the animator's arsenal.

In retrospect all we can say is "What took you so long?"

- steve and hoops

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Principles of Motion

pomreview
The UPS guy came today and I was happy to see my order from POM (Priniciples of Motion) had arrived. I popped the discs in the computer and was not disappointed. Each disc came with a large number of actions and the cool thing was that they have a mode which shows all the actions in top, side and front view at once (perfect for CGI). You can also view each mode separately as well. There is also large frame counter to help you with the timing of each clip. Overall this is a great product. I can't wait to start animating a breakdance routine from the urban hip hop disc. I would recommend these discs to any serious practitioner of the animation craft. The good thing is that POM is having a Christmas sale with all discs 45% off so if you need a perfect gift for your animator friends check out the deals at POM.

-hoops


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Happy Holidays!

Here are four more Walt Stanchfield notes for your collection! Click here.

- steve and hoops

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Great new reference for animators

pom_blog
It is about time someone did this. Principles of Motion has released a great set of DVDs which show various kinds of human motion, from basic walks to various fighting and dance styles. It is kind of a modern day version of the Muybridge books which most animators own. I just ordered a couple discs for myself since they are having a Back to School Special. The discs are very reasonable coming in around $25 each. I'll write a report on how good the reference is when I get the discs. Check out their website at www.pom.tv to see some examples.

-hoops
Comments (1)

The origin of the species

Here's a great interview by William Shaw with Ray Harryhausen about his career, his thoughts on Corpse Bride and Wallace and Gromit and Peter Jackson's new King Kong.

Click here for the article

- steve

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Don't Pick On Me

DontPickOnMe
Here's a great new animated music video by Tom Neely for the band The Muffs. Just click on the image to the right for the video. I've been a big fan of The Muffs for a long time. Nice to see them put out such a cool video. Cool music. Cool video. It's available in MP4 - Video iPod format!

Great job guys!

- steve

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Channel Frederator

Episode_1
Finally someone has done it! A fantastic way to get cartoons! Head on over to Channel Frederator. A new way of distributing cartoons from the people at Frederator Studios. From there go ahead and download or subscribe to an RSS feed and get your cartoons! By subscribing to the feed (in iTunes or other aggregator) you will have cartoons delivered straight to your computer! A great avenue for artists to show their work! It is currently a free service. After seeing the first few shorts though, I would have no problem paying for this service if I know the artists were getting paid for their work. For now, I am more than happy to enjoy it for free. I especially enjoyed the "Mantelope" cartoon! They were all really good though!

Great job guys! Keep up the great work!

- steve

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Animation Archive

Here's a post we received from Stephen Worth concerning the Animation Archive Project

Hello,
John Kricfalusi recently donated his archives to ASIFA-Hollywood. Included with the donation were original storyboards from Ren & Stimpy, copies of layouts dating back to Mighty Mouse, production manuals, and boxes and boxes of reference binders. We also have the production files from Mike Lah's Quartet Films, with material related to television commercials (Tony the Tiger, Snap Crackle Pop, Green Giant, etc.) dating back to the 1950s.

We're looking for volunteers to sort, catalog and help us make the material available for use by the public in our Archive facility in Burbank. If you, or anyone you know is interested, please contact me at sworth@animationarchive.org.

You can find more info on the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive at...


Thanks,
Steve


We are behind anything that preserves the artwork and knowledge of the art form known as animation. Good luck with the project Steve!

-steve and hoops

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A few new ones...

We have posted 3 new sets of Walt Stanchfield notes. Please feel free to add them to your collection!

-steve and hoops

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Cheeeeeeese!

wallace2
Aardman Animation comes through with yet another one of their timeless, classic stories: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. This time it brings back their two most famous characters "Wallace and Gromit" for their first feature length film. In this adventure they are known as Anti-Pesto; a humane pest control company. Wallace still has inventions that don't always seem to work as intended. Gromit still figures out a way to bail Wallace out. It's a tried and true formula that works. Why screw up a good thing? It's a wonderful story that is clever enough for the whole family to enjoy. The animation is top notch as always. We can expect this film to absolutely be in the running as Best Animated Picture at awards time. Go see The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. You will not be disappointed!

What did you think of The Curse of the Were-Rabbit ? Feel free to post your own comments.

- steve

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Prelude to Eden pt3.

Michel Gagne has informed us that he has secured more bandwidth for his site and is now distributing his short Prelude to Eden again. Head on over and check it out at Gagne International.

- steve and hoops

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Prelude to Eden pt2.

Unfortunately Michel Gagne was not prepared for the response he received after putting his animated short up on his website. He was overwhelmed!

from Gagne International:
Little did I know that putting Prelude to Eden on-line would create such a frenzy! In just a couple of days, the film has been downloaded several thousand times, far exceeding my bandwith limitations. I wanted to offer a high quality version for anyone to own, but the whole thing has sort of backfired and now, I owe a hefty penalty fee. At the rate people were downloading the film, I would have to pay about $1000 a month in additional bandwidth requirement. I have no choice but to take the film off line. I'll investigate some options and see what I can do.

Michel is going to investigate some other options and try and make the short available again at another time. I'm sure he'll let us know when it's ready.

- steve and hoops

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Prelude to Eden

prelude
Our good friend Michel Gagne has posted some good quality versions of his short film Prelude to Eden on his website. These are free to download and are the best web versions available to date. It's a great piece of animation and holds up well in today's world of "CG animation". Head over to Gagne International and check it out!

- steve and hoops

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Corpse Bride

bride
I was lucky enough to see a sneak preview of Tim Burton's latest stop-motion project, Corpse Bride. I don't think stop-motion can get any better than this (the Wallace and Grommit feature not withstanding). An incredibly well crafted film. It looks fantastic! Some amazing animation and of course, the Tim Burton design is ever present. Lots of familiar settings, but a very different film than Nightmare. The music was enjoyable, but nothing is still playing in my head like when I left the theater after Nightmare. If you love stop-motion animation, don't miss this film!

Have you seen it? What did you think? Feel free to post your comments!

- steve

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'Bride' Stripped Bare

bride2
An extremely informative article online about Tim Burton’s new stop-motion feature Corpse Bride from Editor's Guild Magazine. Have a look!

- steve


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No worries

We are experiencing technical difficulties with the downloads on the site. We should have it fixed soon!

- steve and hoops

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Eric Goldberg Notes

Let's finally lay this issue to rest.

Yes, we have a whole set of notes by Eric Goldberg. No, we will not be putting them up anytime soon. Long ago, when they were completed we put them up...for a about a day. Hoops had been contacted by Eric and he asked that we take them down because he was in the middle of writing a book. Of course we wanted to respect his wishes. That was about 5 years ago. We are still awaiting Eric's book and fully intend to help promote it when it comes out. In fact, recently Hoops talked to him and found out he had changed his plans and is writing TWO books! Awesome news!

So if you are looking for the Eric Goldberg Notes, all we can say is be on the look out for his book sometime in the future. They'll all be in there and much, much more!

-steve and hoops

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How Art Meets Technology

The Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be hosting an animation event - The Animated Performance – Art Meets Technology at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater at 7:30 tonight. The program will feature discussion on animation, animation performance, art and technology with industry experts including Academy Award winners Brad Bird (THE INCREDIBLES) and Jan Pinkava (GERI’S GAME). The event will be moderated by Bill Kroyer, Academy Award nominee and Sci-Tech Council and Academy animation board member.


Check it out if you can.

- steve and hoops

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New field guides

guide1
We really needed a standard traditional 12F guide for TV. Now we have one. I added a new set of field guides to our templates area. Created with Stone Design's Create for Mac OS X. All are in TIFF format. There's one for large printers or a two part version for regular US Letter sized printers. You'll have to tape them up yourself. Feel free to download whatever you need.

-steve


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Animator Mark Koetsier Debuts Jet Pack Benny

jetpackBenny1

Had lunch with good friend and fellow animator/story artist Mark Koetsier this week. I've known Mark since we both were animating at Bluth. His current day job is a story artist at Dreamworks (although I don't hold that against him). He gave me a peek at his new story book, Jet Pack Benny, of which he has a garage full of copies. The art is fun and the story looks like a good read for the kids. Jet Pack Benny follows the adventures of a rascally squirrel who like The Rocketeer has his own jet pack. All the illustrations were done by hand in pastel and evoke classic Disney pre-production art.

Mark will be at Comic-Con in San Diego July 13-17, 2005, and his book will be available at the Stuart Ng booth 5013.

Take a peek yourself by checking out the book at:

http://www.jetpackbenny.com

Hope you all love it.

- hoops

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A few more...

We have posted a few new Walt Stanchfield notes. They are available for download now.

- steve and hoops

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Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day to all our Canuck pals up North! Good day, eh!

-steve and hoops

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