Sunday, August 26, 2007

Walt Kelly

Yesterday was Walt Kelly's birthday. He would have been 94. Kelly is dear to me not only for his connection with Fred Moore and Ward Kimball's unite at Disney and the work he did on the classic animated films. He is treasured as the creator of "Pogo", a comic that continues to amuse and amaze me. Happy news it is to find Fantagraphics Books is doing a reprint of everything Pogo. Check out Mark Evanier and the Kelly Studios site here:

Friday, August 24, 2007

Madame Tutli Putli

I've not seen this yet but after watching these clips it looks very good. Here is a link to an interview with the film-makers about the two years of darkness and tedium they endured to animate this stop-motion film. It never mentions if the eyes were real and put in later but that's what it looks like to me.

Check out the video here:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Sultan's Elephant

I love the surreal moments life throws out unexpectedly. Here is a tiny piece of a grand scale performance that happened over four days in London. You can go to YoutTube and find the Elephant yourselves. He's quite impressive and it looks as though a lovely time was had by all.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ron Mueck

Hope you all have high speed connections and can enjoy this link to a video about the incredible Ron Mueck. The still image is just one of his startlingly real sculptures.

Watch video here:

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Elephant Gun

I couldn't resist posting this lovely moody video with music by Beirut.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Cinema School

I've discovered a new favorite site from Stage 6 called Cinema School. Here's a link to an interview with David Lynch a director I'm fascinated and frustrated by. He comes across as a sweet almost childlike guy and the irony is not missed that he's surrounded by sharks. As David would say, "Keep your eye on the doughnut and not the hole".

Sunday, August 12, 2007

More Virtual Pose

I tired using “Virtual Pose #3” by Chakkour with my Wacon tablet again for figure drawing. I’m finding I can’t get a good global reading of proportions. To see anything on my small screen I need to zoom in and out and soon I’m lost. Also there has always been a bit of a disconnection for me drawing on a Wacom because the image is not directly under my pen. The Cintiq tablet looks like the way to go for digital drawing but I can’t afford one yet and my tablet is fine for my current work which does not involve much drawing.

Digital sketches by Joel

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

No MooCap!

Keith Lango has a post called Dangerous Opinions. it's about not being able to express an opinion because it might damage your career. I can understand if you break your confidentiality clause and leak something before release time or discrediting a film as it's being made. But what I found intriguing about this is the fear of speaking out against Motion Capture or Mo-cap. No animator wants to clean up mo-cap but the use is becoming more and more prevalent. It’s too bad that productions can’t use it judiciously. Say what you will about “The Barnyard” and those damn udders on males but here is a case in point where mo-cap was used well. Mo-cap was used ONLY on the background characters in a crowd. The rest of the cast were done by animators of which I was one.

Read Keith’s’ Post here:

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Virtual Model

I can't get out for life drawing classes so I'm trying something different. I've had this book for awhile and never used it till now. It's "Virtual Pose #3" and consists of a book with numbered photos and a corresponding CD with QuickTime movies of the model that you can rotate 360 degrees and zoom in and out. I find there is a foreshortening that I need to overcome and sometimes I get disoriented zooming in and out. I'm drawing in Photoshop on my Wacom Tablet and it's difficult to make nice swooping lines like you can by rotating paper. These sketches are kind of scratchy but I suppose they could be cleaned up on another layer.

Digital sketches by Joel

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Jim Tyer Smear

Thad K. has posted a break down of some Jim Tyer animation done at Terrytoons. Many have held Tyers’ work in high esteem but I personally find a large majority of it annoying. What set Tyer apart from other animators was his variation on the ‘smear’: a technique used to bridge large distances in fast moving objects or appendages. The smear was used to simulate the blurring found in live action motion pictures caused by fast movement and slow film speeds. Tyer used it in almost a reversed fashion where a part of the body, say a nose, would stretch out in a direction before anything else. Then the rest would stretch to catch up with it. Tyer also had the habit of doing ‘shrink takes’ where the character would actually shrink in size and then pop back out again. He also blinked the pupil of an eye without blinking the lids over the eyeball, very strange stuff.

See Thad’s study of Tyer work slowed down for full effect here:

Friday, August 03, 2007

Mr. Men

We just got great feedback from Cartoon Network about the first four episodes of "The Mr. Men Show". It's going to be a pretty cute show and very funny. I think it will reach a wide range of age groups and most adults who have seen it find it funny and charming as well. Check out the site here: