Monday, November 24, 2008

The Biggest Hurdle

Time is animation's greatest adversary. We animate in a week what animators a generation ago had several weeks to produce. We battle in an era where clients and even those who should know better utter those famous words, "Well everything is done by computer, right?" We all know that computers are equipped with an "animation key" that with one press will automatically activate a wonderful sequence of perpetual motion and beauty. We all know that key, it's right next to the "Are you fucking kidding me?" button. Buzzer sounds! Wrong, so wrong. There is no disclaimer on any modern commercial or animated project that states, "this masterpiece was produced in two weeks, imagine what it could have been if we would have had time". We live in the Fed Ex, text your friend, hurry up, era and there is no turning back. Do it as best you can, as fast as you can and GOOD LUCK, right? I know there are some people out there who can dictate schedule to a client and they are truly lucky and blessed. Most of us are tied to the yoke of "we only have a week and half can you do it?" Perhaps if animation itself wasn't such a desperate pursuit, we could unite as animation professionals and stand up for quality and the time it takes to produce it. Unfortunately, that possibility only exists next to the "Not a chance in hell" key.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Painted Today


Took a break from the animation grind and did some painting. Here is a quick study of a monster with a human nose. Just a part of trying to finish up some canvases for the website.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Great Hugh Valentine

On my first film, Lazar, I had the pleasure to work with Hugh Valentine, a Chicago cameraman who had been in the animation business a long time. He was a meticulous down shooter and provided me with the guidance to be a better prepared animator, showing me camera tricks, and guiding me with my X sheets. He was a great cameraman and a generous teacher. However, the greatest wisdom he imparted to me concerning animation was, "You never remember how long it takes, you only remember how good a job you did". Simple words, but so damn true. I have used this wisdom, over and over again in my career. It forced me to analyze, to work as hard as I could, and to be my own worst enemy, but I never have any regrets. I am in the process of building my website and noticed my Hula girl had some animation issues, not huge, but issues nonetheless. I am going backwards today, fixing the minor problems, and doing the best job I can. So I miss a day or two. It would be worse to notice that tiny little "hitch" over and over again. Thanks Hugh, you make me a better artist every day.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Recession Animation

Here we are in the wonderful financial hell called a "recession". I personally believe we have been in one for quite a while but are only coming to grips with it now. This is good news really, hopefully we can all hit bottom and then start building up once more. Why am I optimistic? We are getting rid of the Bush Administration for one, thank the heavens above. The other reason is that traditionally animation has done well in a down economy. It is cheaper to produce than live action both in the commercial field as well as the feature market. My only question is "will anyone remember?" This aspect of economy and animation used to be second nature. I remember back in early eighties getting boards for a commercial that was originally slated to be live action and asked to make it an animated commercial. I haven't been asked to to that since. It has been a long time since the recession of the seventies, and I really don't want to go back to being a "disco" bartender. So let's hope for a resurrected animation revival. Anytime now, actually, "NOW" would be just fine.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Home and Hula


I am now finally in the process of putting some animated elements into the website. Design for the site is pretty much "wrapped" (tweaking is still a task ahead). I now am in the process of collecting all the materials, building buttons, and finalizing this bad boy.

Poster Design

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sketchbook love




I open each day just sketching the first thing that comes out of the page. This was my warm-up to animating the Dashboard Hula yesterday. Today's warm-up is in recycling.

Hula Update

8 frame cycle should do it for this Hula Girl. There are still a few tweaks to make but will probably deal with it in finish. video

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dashboard Hula

Here is an extreme test for my little dashboard Hula character. I am animating this in a technique we developed at our studio years ago. It is no where near a traditional approach to animation (using construction, animating rough in order to feel out the motion) but it was much faster and eliminated the need for a larger animation team. We called it, "animating cleanly". Starting with a good pose of the developed character we began animating, cleaning up as best we could. It eliminated the need for a clean-up artist, and it took out much of the guess work for the inbetweeners, therefore making the process faster. With production schedules getting shorter and shorter, we felt the need to approach our animation in this way. It is imperative to have a good knowledge of anatomy to animate this way and it took a consistent hand by the inbetweeners to work in this production model. Did the animation suffer, probably. But it was fast and we did get better at it. video

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hula girl


Dashboard Hula that will be another animated part of the site. Don't know where yet, I just think it will be fun.

Load Splash Animation

Load page Flashed up, simple yet elegant. video

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Load Splash


Here is the final piece to the 1st phase puzzle. Now I have to Flash it up.

A Prayer for Obama

It is my hope that this man can reach the lofty goals that he seeks. It is my prayer for his safety and our security in a volatile world. It is our burden that he has many challenges ahead. It is my concern that expectations cannot be matched. It is my dream that all goes well for this man, his family, and this great country. It is my faith in our American Dream that has been renewed. It is a wonderful beginning, let it be carried to a great end.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Prelim Gallery Page


Horrendous Fiasco's Website is almost complete. Should be finished with the design and animation of the first phase by late next week. Still have to tweak this page, but thought I would post my progress. Wish the maestro of this style (L Todd Myers) had helped, but unfortunately it had to be handled by his ex boss.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Da Vinci

I produced this open for Geomedia, out of San Antonio. Obviously, emulating the great Leonardo, (not Clyde Crashcup's assistant). It was a pretty interesting project for one major reason, doing Da Vinci was much easier in this digital age. Being able to layer, color, and affect the drawings made the project easy to animate compared to the old world animation ways of my not so distant past. The paper was able to remain consistent and did not add to the jitter of the drawings, something that would have been difficult to maintain using old animation techniques. video