I had the pleasure of restoring an old photo for a friend. His wife only had this one picture of herself as a teen and it was badly damaged. This was kind of a tricky restoration because of the back lighting wanting to turn her face into a dark puddle, but my friend was happy with the results, so yahoo.
While my children were growing up, I came across the book "The Boy Who Could Sing Pictures" by Seymour Leichman. I thought it would make a wonderful animated film and pitched the idea to the studio I was working for at the time. It's a simple story of a kingdom lead by an inattentive ruler who is kept in the dark by his advisers. The overall atmosphere and mood are excellently captured by the illustrations and I wanted to keep the anthropomorphic sadness the architecture of the peasant township intact. There are some changes I think would make the story stronger and more dramatic but I still think the book would make a magical animated musical.
Here are my interpretations of the kings advisers Pomp and Circumstance.
Here's my composite picture called "Home Grown" I did in 3D using vintage photos. There's a free-view, version where you cross your eyes and focus on the image that forms in the middle. I've also made an anaglyph version for those with 3D glasses.
The client just picked up their oil portraits of Jessy (little girl dog), and Maverick (big Dane guy), and were glad to get it for the Christmas giving. This was an almost life sized painting and very fun to work on. I love Jessie's sweet smile and Mavericks goofy grin!
I hope the owners enjoy this painting for years to come, and that you all have a Very Merry Christmas!
I just received a lovely notice that Maggie MacLean is well pleased with her portrait and so is her owner Kevin. I'm so pleased they both are too. Kevin is a Disney animator now and has many screen credits under his belt. I first met him at the Will Vinton Studios where he was the youngest animator barely out of High school. Go Kevin, go Maggie!
I’m not ashamed to say I’ve been around awhile, and I’m
proud to say I’ve worked in animation professionally for most of that
time.I share a time period similar
with legendary animator Eric Goldberg who has repeatedly said his influences
were early television which used the best of theatrical shorts to fill it’s
ravenous maw with screen time.Every
Hollywood studio had a shorts division, and specifically an animation studio,
turning out on average, 12 seven-minute animated cartoons a year.These cartoons were made by adults and aimed
at a general audience who might find them equally as funny as the people who
Television gave these old shorts a new audience, (they even
played the silent cartoons with piano music added), and created a special arena
for new cartoons made especially for this media.Hanna Barbera, who incidentally gave us the wonderful, noisy, and
hilarious original “Tom and Jerry” cartoons, made a reputation with their
limited animation series and dominated the Saturday morning time slots, and
even broke into prime time, with original material.
I was able to watch and learn from it all.Now, I’ve been given a chance to do some
limited animation myself.The term once
was a derogatory slur and called ‘Illustrated Radio’, because of it’s reliance
on heavily dialogue driven scripts. Admittedly the over use of dialogue is
still a problem with today’s animation, but I digress.
One technique, used to fill copious screen time with the
least amount of animation, is the wide establishing scene, or a master shot.From this wide perspective all the
characters are shown, and then cuts to individual characters in close-up or
isolated groups are used to bring focus to who ever is speaking and should be
the center of our attention.Cutting
around this main group of people can bring life to a static stage setting and
the reuse of mouth shapes and simple gestures used to fill minutes of screen
I used this "master shot' method to pitch an idea for my New Bremen Town Musicians, or BTM to a studio I was working for at the time who wanted to look into web-animation. Made in Flash before it was thought of as an animation platform, I did two master shots and cut around inside them. Remember this was done for a pitch session in-house and never meant to be seen by the public so the sound is awful but I wanted to show it could be done quickly.
I used the same technique for my talented friend, Jim Hardison.Jim is the creator and writer for “The Helm”, a popular comic
book published by Dark Horse.Jim
wanted to keep cost down, and we agreed on a kind of “Scooby Doo”
approach.This is what I came up with
for him, ‘limited
animation’, using one long panning background; the same recycled animation
and a few camera cuts.
It was quite fun and a second one is waiting to have music
scored for it.I hope you enjoy it and
you really should check out the comic book, which has some great artwork and
very clever writing.