Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday, December 05, 2011

Reclining Nude Anaglyph

This is the latest of my life drawing conversions. I've done a free-view style of this too but you'll need the colored glasses to see this one.

(click image to enlarge)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fab Four

I can't believe I haven't posted my completed nod to the greatest band in the world. I had offered posters and Tee-shirts and all kind of products with this image on my Zazzle store but they made me take it off. It's kind of funny because there are all kind of Disney imagery on there and I doubt the sellers are given permission to use them.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

(Caricature of The Beatles by Joel Brinkerhoff)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Here's the promo for the Holiday Special I did some animation for. Don't confuse this with the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie of the same name!

Jingle All the Way from Bent Image Lab on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Anaglyph and Free-view

Its been awhile since I've done any stereo conversions so I dug up an old life drawing of mine and gave it a whack. If you have the blue and red lens glasses, you're all set. If you don't the double image is a free-view style that can be seen in 3D by crossing your eyes and focusing on the image that forms in the middle.

(Click images to enlarge)

Friday, October 07, 2011

Dark Horse

Still learning digital paint. I'm finding caricature to be pretty tough. I think it's become bad portraiture. I don't know.

(Caricature of George Harrison by Joel Brinkerhoff)

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

"La Joie de Vivre" influencing "Fantasia"

It’s never been mentioned in anything I’ve read about the making of Disney’s “Fantasia”, but was this film influential in any degree? Heinrich Kley is clearly an inspiration and only recently being acknowledged but what about “La Joie de Vivre” (The Joy of Living), by Anthony Gross and Hector Hoppin?

Could this 1934 film have inspired the Tchaikovsky Nutcracker sequences of the 1940 film “Fantasia”? To me the sprites of “La Joie de Vivre” looks strikingly like the fairies in Fantasia with their long legs and relationship to nature. The nude bathing scene in particular has all the proportional designs of the fairies and echoes of the ice fairy can be seen in their involvement with the lake. The sprites of “La Joie de Vivre” make flowers grow and dance among leaves. They also disguise themselves as flowers and the Disney’s fairies are introduced emerging from flowers, and have similar interactions with nature. There seems to be many parallel elements to me.

I see “La Joie de Vivre” as a viable springboard to “Fantasia”. It also reminds me graphically of what Lionel Feiniger, (“The Kin-der-kids”) might have looked like animated. I also see some “Yellow Submarine” too.

(Character designs for Fantasia)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Boris Goodenough

I did a preliminary sketch that was all scratchy and some friends like the quality. I worked over the top a little and decided to leave it loose and that this was good enough.

(Caricature of Boris Karloff by Joel Brinkerhoff)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Unka Walt

This came out creepier than Walt ever was.

(digital caricature of Walt Disney by Joel Brinkerhoff)

Friday, September 09, 2011

Mellow Costello

Caricature of Elvis Costello

(digital painting started in Corel Painter and finished in Photoshop by Joel Brinkerhoff)

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

All You Need is Photoshop

Okay, I've played with Corel Painter and I'm having the same trouble blending as I do with ArtRage. It just seems to swirl the colors around in a very uncontrollable manner. I know many people doing great things with both programs so it must be me. I will need to pick their brains for the proper technique. For Now I will stick with Photoshop.
Digital painting of John Lennon by Joel Brinkerhoff (Click image to enlarge_

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Time to look into Corel?

I did this caricature of Tom Waits in Photoshop which doesn't have the control I'm looking for in digital painting. I have ArtRage and have seen impressive work but I just can't use it for blending. I've known about Corel Painter for sometime but only now found I own a copy that came with my Wacom tablet! Time to start playing with Corel Painter.

(click image to enlarge)

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Digital VS Old School

I've been exploring the paperless digital graphic art alternatives to old school methodology and am still on the fence about the whole phenomenon. The convenience and flexibility of digital graphics is something I greatly treasure and will probably always rely on for exploratory design work. The actual execution of finished art is something I'm wrestling with. I seem to spend more time digitally trying to mimic what is pretty easy with the old fashioned pen or brush.

The example illustrations shown here are how fluid and varied Jack Davis was able to get his lines simply using a brush. The other two color drawings are mine using a digital paint program and I am not at all satisfied with the line quality. I didn't care much because they were exploratory drawings but I could not let these go as finished art and would have spent a lot of time tweaking line thicknesses.

I work with incredibility talented illustrators and they seem to have adapted pretty well to the digital revolution. I do see them spending a great deal of time laying down and deleting a single stroke until there is something they like. Would it be more efficient working old school? We still need to get that image digitized to be usable today though, don't we?

Brush work by Jack Davis (click on image to enlarge)

Digital designs by Joel Brinkerhoff (click on image to enlarge)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Trot Chart

I made this chart and movie to help me figure out which leg was passing on which side for a show that involved a little dog as its hero. This was really pretty helpful.

Nine frame trot shot on two's. Click on image to enlarge

Monday, August 08, 2011

Old School...

I came across this bit of video documenting the making of Canadian Broadcastings 1978 production, "The Devil and Daniel Mouse". It's a pretty representative example of how animation was done and the incredible amount of work involved.

Of course all that has changed with the digital age. I think there is better control and less waste today but the Zen like quality of old school cartooning is missing.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Back to Stop Motion

Okay, Hallmark has given an air date: Friday, November 25 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C) so I can talk about this now.

It's been awhile since I have posted anything about anything. Partly because I took a much needed vacation, and mostly because upon my returned I took an offer to do some stop motion again for a Holiday Special called "Jingle All the Way".
It's very cute and has a lot of heart and I hope it will become a perennial favorite like "Rudolph" but, oh my, I forgot how physical stop motion animation is, and I've been just too tired to do anything else afterward.

The first week had me climbing onto a table top to reach the characters for every frame, (I think it was a shot well over 100 frames too), and the first night I has a massive leg cramp that made me stifle crying out and waking my wife. I've lost five pounds so that's not bad, but I've also lost sleep worrying about how to get shots done.

I've had a chance to work with some new technology that wasn't around before called Dragon Stop Motion which is pretty cool and allows you to plot out your shots with more accuracy. I also have renewed admiration for all the talent involved in a stop-mo production. It takes a fairly sizable crew to light and build sets and keep the puppets in good repair.

It's also humbling to work with the other animators. They're all so talented and young. I asked one of the crew if they had worked on "The PJs" which was a stop motion TV series that ran three seasons. She laughed and said she hadn't been born yet! Man, I'm old.

I'm mostly looking forward to watching this with my grand-kids, (yes, I said grand-kids. I told you I was old.). I also want one of those Jingle Xmas ornaments for my tree!

Hallmarks Jingle Xmas Ornament

The Hallmark Book the Special is based on.

Read more about the production here:

Friday, May 20, 2011

Northwest Animation Festival

My film "Pop Goes The Weasel" will be showing opening night, Friday, June 3, as part of the Northwest Animation Festival. Please come see it if you're in the area.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Piggy Bank

I'm doing a ceramic bank for a friend. This is the design I came up with. Maybe I'll post the finished sculpt later.

Click on image to enlarge

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pop Goes The Weasel

 This is the finished short done on my home setup.  It's entirely digital and would have been very expensive to do using the traditional way with paper and camera.  I had some difficulties technically but the flexibility really payed off when I thought I was done and noticed Weasel was misspelled!  Going back into the file and rearranging the letters fixed the whole title card without re-shooting.

Just found out 'weasle' is an Old English spelling and would have been okay. Geez... 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Stereoscopic Paintings

Now for some more shameless self promotion!

Clicking the title will take you to an inexpensive paperback collection of  of my stereoscopic paintings that I'm self publishing on Lulu.

These are striking colorful stereoscopic nudes done in free-view style paintings that can be seen in 3D without glasses or special equipment.
Or paste link into browser:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Metaphor

It’s been awhile since I’ve mentioned my personal film.  Part of the trouble with a personal film is finding the time to do them, but some people knit or play golf, and I make stupid things like paint or do a short film.  It’s a ‘short’ short film with the title running almost half the screen time but it’s still taking quite some time to do, partly because it’s already done in my head, (and looks so much better in there too).

The film came fully realized as I was listening to royalty free music.  Even then I knew it was a metaphor and would be familiar to almost everyone.  My inner-eye vision of the style and action for the film were dated clichés and the ending a natural conclusion to this line of thought.  It seemed as though this cartoon had been made already, so why do it?  Because it’s the kind of thing I don’t get to do in my day-to-day work as an animator.  I don’t get to draw and I don’t get to do pantomime. That’s enough reason for me and it keeps me from getting into trouble elsewhere.

I’ve got five or six more shots till the startling profound ending.  To Be Continued!...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Laying Pipeline

I am thrilled and challenged by the reality of having essentially a virtual animation studio in my home.  It’s been a cyclical journey for me trying to reach the look of ‘Golden Age’ animation. 

Having worked in traditional animation during the late 70s the amount of resources needed was considerable starting with reams and reams of punched paper.   Factor in the acetate cells, paints, camera, and an area to house all this including workspace and I can’t even imagine the expense.   

Now after 30 some years I have all the tools at my fingertips and no trees were harmed or houses mortgaged.

I'm in the process of making a pipeline for a short personal film and have decided to use an 8GB thumb drive to transfer project files between platforms; a PC with Wacom Tablet, and a Tablet PC with Wacom technology for cleanup animation.   I’m using Flash for quick and dirty animatics and color studies, ArtRage to do final backgrounds and Toon Boom Animate for principal animation.

I did a combination storyboard\animatic that was broken out into scenes using QuickTime Pro so I know my shot lengths and the sound tracks were extracted from each scene.  I made folders for each scene that contains the scene animatic QT, audio file, ArtRage BG file, and ToonBoom work files so everything needed is in it’s own folder.

Here’s a low resolution scene showing the steps from storyboard, to layout and pencil test, to finished color.

What is so great about this is I can go in and make changes even after the fact without having to re-shoot or use more materials!

If you want to do animation, there really isn't any excuse not to now that it's all in the box.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Poor Mans Cintiq

I've been looking for a way of doing paperless animation and have settled on a software.  Now, the difficulty has been drawing with a Wacom Tablet which is okay for a lot of things but not precises enough to do good in-betweens and clean-up.  Everyone uses the 21" Cintiq for this which allows you to draw directly on the screen.  They also make a 12" but the expense has been too much to justify.  After checking into tablet PCs I found the LE1600 by Motion Computing but the cost was still pretty high.  Now after a few years I found a used one on Amazon and  got it for almost nothing!  It has Wacom technology like the Cintiq and is also another computer as opposed to just being a drawing screen!  I've got just the project to run through it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hunting Weasels...

Doing some design work for a personal project.

Click on images to enlarge

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Animators, Bookmark This Site!

Péter Nagy's new website the Living Lines Library has compiled pencil tests, model sheets, and other things hand drawn related and placed them on an organized site for your enjoyment. The way things are laid out you can easily find what you are looking for.

Click on the title or past this link to find it:

Retouching Family #2

A friend of the family saw my restoration of our kids done with Photoshop, (it's an earlier posting on this site somewhere), and asked if I could lighten a picture of their grandmother? All they had was a copy of an old newspaper clipping. It was pretty streaky with a herringbone caused by the Benday dot patterns newspapers use to get halftones. There was something that looked like a feather in her hair but it maybe part of that herringbone effect so I downplayed it and left it out. The whole thing should have been repainted but I didn't have the time and the end result is a little ghostly. It's not my best work and I haven't heard back from them yet but it was free so they can't complain too much.

Click on image to enlarge

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Balaam and His Donkey

I wanted to do a contemporary retelling of Bible stories to make them relevant today. Something layered that could be enjoyed by a wide range of ages like "Bullwinkle" which worked as satire for the adults and entertainment for youngsters. The style could be easy to replicate using Flash and driven by dialogue allowing the reuse of artwork. I thought it was something I could do alone without help

I can't say this was successful, and I think the poor production qualities like sound and music, plus the recycling of artwork, and the length of the story worked against me.

Anyway here it is for better or worse. And yes, I did all the voices too.