Wrapping up RockDog!

I made the big move from Los Angeles to Dallas, TX where it's much flatter and gets a whole lot hotter in the summer to work at Reel FX. I'm so glad I did!

Rockdog was my first fully animated feature film that I had the privilege to work on. It was an extremely smooth show overall. The style was really fun and pushed which made it a great show for animators. The team here at Reel FX that we had was the best, everyone felt at home and was able to do their best on the project.

I hope that you all will be able to see this movie soon! It's got heart and is entertaining.

On to the next project!

It's here! Halo 2 Anniversary Cinematics

My summer was a huge animation learning experience. It was in early March when I first got the email from the recruiter at Blur Studio that they were interested in hiring me. I was working on my personal animation at the time and still just focused on landing my first studio gig, so this was my chance. I had an interview with my soon to be animation supervisor Thierry Labelle over skype and then would drive across country to move to Los Angeles. 

Moving to LA and working at Blur was better than I could have ever expected. The studio overall was really laid back and fun to be apart of. Blur has been around for quite some time now and some of the employees there have been on since the beginning. It literally was a big family that grew to about 170 in middle of production. Everyone was welcoming and helpful, especially Betty :). 

This was my first ever animation production in a studio and it was very much a trial by fire. I was thrown into the deep end of the pool and this was my time to learn to swim. I was also learning a new software when I started, going from Maya to Softimage. Also never working with mocap data before, the project was sure to be a huge test of my skills. 

Animation went fairly smoothly throughout the time I was there. I was able to work on more than just animation when I was there. There were quite a few technical problems that came up during production that I was able to help out with and fix. Also there was quite a bit of things that needed to be done for animation layout so that we could sell the animation pass to the client. Most of it was animating effects that would be used as a guide for Scene Assembly to then create the final look. I was actually pretty pleased to see most of the same timing and look that I created in the animation pass made it to final, but with much better details and awesome rendering!

One particular shot that I had a great time doing is in the showcase below. I animated a truck being smashed by a giant robot leg. This was meant to be just used in the animation pass as a stand-in so I only spent a few hours doing it. I was asked to scale around the truck and see what I could do because there was no rig for this and the client needed to see the direction of this shot. I ended up animating the geo and used deformers to get the final look of the animation. I thought simulation would then go in and make the actual animation later on but towards the end of production they came to me and asked to use my anim as the final look! So Scene Assembly took my animation and added some glass breaking simulation and dust to get the final look of the shot. 

I could go on for awhile about how amazing my experience was at Blur Studio but this will serve as a quick summary of my time. Once the Halo 2 cinematics were wrapped up I was also invited to join up on another project there at Blur to animate on. I worked on a commercial TV spot for the new Assassin's Creed Unity game. You'll see a good chunk of the work I did on Halo 2 as well as the shots I worked on in the Assassin's Creed commercial in the video below.

Now on to my next animation adventure! 

The full cinematics are up in my work section.

Animation: Seven Essentials

So lately I've been on a huge Glen Keane kick...pencil test, drawings, animation, etc. Here's a great nugget of advice from the man himself. #animtip

1. Make a Positive Statement

  • Do not be ambiguous in your approach.
  • Thumbnail until you have that clear approach and conviction.
  • Be bold and decisive.

2. Animate From the Heart

  • Feel your drawings.
  • Let your action be an extension of how you believe the character feels.
  • Put yourself in the place of the character your animating- associate.

3. Make Expressions and Attitudes Real and Living

  • Focus on the eyes and eyebrows, mouth and cheeks.
  • Always lead with the eyes.
  • Be sure the eyes are solid and placed securely in the head.
  • Study your own attitudes. Ask yourself, “Does this drawing feel the way my face feels?”

4. Draw As If You Were Sculpting

  • Describe the forms in dimension.
  • Understand the character design in 3D.

5. Animate the Forces

  • Allow the momentum of and already animated movement to suggest the next drawing.
  • Draw the leading edge of forces.

6. Visualize and Feel Dialogue

  • Be sure you are truly capturing the inflection, volume and tone of the dialog with proper mouth shapes.

7. Simplicity

  • What is the essence of your scene, your action, your expression — what is indispensable in communicating your thought?




this is the cutest fucking thing ever holy fuck

And then you see the most recent advert (in the UK at least) for Disneyland  and you realise the marketing department at Disneyland are controlling tossers that use your emotional reaction to guilt trip you into taking your family to Disneyland.  

It’s basically targeting Dads and being like, “Isn’t your daughter growing up so fast?  You’d better take her to Disneyland right now while she still loves you before she runs off with boys and drugs and you lose her forever!”  What little respect I had for Disneyland and Disney in general was lost when I saw that ad.  

I was at home momentarily this weekend and that advert came on - now before I finish this story I will say my dad FUCKING LOVES DISNEY PARKS and so does my stepmum and so do I.

The ad came on and dad crossed his arms, looked at me and went ’ that advert does nothing to make me want to go to disneyland ’ and this is a guy that will fancy going to disneyland if you even think about watching a Disney film.

Shittiest advert ever. Disney advertising department please phone me, we can work things out. I’ve perfected getting dads to do things.

I really wish I could animate a little kid like this :)

Source: http://perfectdisney.tumblr.com/post/20188...

-God, how long are you gonna do this? -Do what?

More awesome Breaking Bad reference!