Saturday, November 22, 2008

Facial Final Rig and Animation

This is the final rig for my facial class. The fantastic model was made by Sunny Kwon. This is just a playblast showing the control scheme and some canned expressions.

And this is the final animation to test out the rig. The animation isn't great because I really only had two days to work on it. If you can guess what movie the audio is from I'll be your best friend.

Friday, November 14, 2008


This is a project I worked on last year that I completely forgot about. Watching it now, I like it even more than back then. The object was to explore various stereotypes. The ending I don't think worked very well, and we never did tweak the audio or some of the animation. Oh well, it was a fun thing for the three of us to do.

It was inspired by Bruno Bozzetto. Here's one of the pieces that directly influenced us.

And sorry about the distortion and stretching on the video. I'm not sure what happened during uploading.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Coach McGuirk

This is my first animation from my facial rigging class. I didn't make this model, I just rigged it. This method was done entirely with blendshapes for the facial. There's some funky stuff with the elbow towards the end, but since it's a facial class, I took some shortcuts with the rest of the rig. Oh well. And yes, apparently that's supposed to be Teddy Roosevelt.

Also, H. Jon Benjamin is one of the greatest voice actors of all time. I wish I could use him for every dialog animation.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Animation Show of Shows

So Ron Diamond his touring animation show to SCAD this year, and it was pretty amazing. Some of the shorts this year included Presto, Pixar's new short which expectedly got the most favorable reaction, probably because every person there had already seen it at least once. Glago's Guest, from director Chris Williams (who is responsible for Disney's upcoming "Bolt") was a fine example of what is going on in mainstream animation today. I was kind of surprised to see this and Presto there, however, because of Diamond's personal mission to spread independent animation to those that may not be able to see it otherwise. And in his own words, he didn't put this show together to pander to those that may not know or like animation- it's for those in animation who want to see what's new.

There were some gems, and some that I felt were a little flat. The show opened with Keith Reynolds Can't Make it Tonight. This was an uproariously funny narration to stick figures. This was followed with La Maison en Petits Cubes, a story about one old man trying to survive and remember in a completely flooded world. One entitled Kudan featured a blockheaded father in some bizarre world trying to save his son (there's much more, but it would literally be impossible to explain this one without seeing it). It was honestly a bit too weird even for me. There were three rather funny shorts- Hot Seat, a story about bunnies in an office trying not to get stuck with a broken chair (it was basically Dilbert with bunnies), A Mouse Tale, a run-in between a mouse and a lion with an unexpected ending, and KJFG #5, the short that ended the show. This was the simplest, but one of the funniest shorts about a trio of forest critters in a band.

The most interesting came with Franz Kafka's Country Doctor, created by Koji Yamamura. This was a bizarre and rather confusing story, with some outrageous animation. I loved Yamamura's Mt. Head, and I think I could really like this one too, I just need to see it again- and not when I'm really tired and have a terrible headache. During the credits there was considerable chatter about this one, indicating some liked it and some hated it. I haven't made up my mind yet.

By far my favorite was Skheizein. This short was about a man who is hit with a meteorite and is transplanted 91 centimeters from himself. It's ambiguous as to whether it's just his perspective that's changed, or whether other people see him detached from himself as well. I thought it was just about his perspective being off. This was fascinating, both funny and tragic.

On a whole it was a rather enjoyable show. I kinda wish I was feeling better during it. Oh well, I hope to see some of these again.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Naturalistic III

yeah, here's my attempt at actually integrating it in live action. Clearly, I'm not a compositor

Monday, October 6, 2008

Naturalistic Live Action I

So for this assignment we had to shoot something, then animate a character into it. Depending on how well the animation goes, I'll render out some shadows and composite those in as well (definitely at least if I use it for my reel), and mask out the rope I used to pull the chair. But here's a pretty rough version of the animation. Still a long way to go.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Naturalistic Subtle

This is our first assignment for Naturalistic Animation. Basically we just had to do a really subtle animation. This one was a mixture of Gary Sinese in Of Mice and Men, Alan Arkin in Glengarry Glenn Ross, and myself acting it out. Having gotten the grades on it yet, but there are a few things I would tweak more.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cartoon Animation Final

For my final I expanded on my first project- fine tuning it, adding facial, and adding the second character. This is easily the most complicated animation I've done thus far. I'm pretty happy with it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Whew, wish me luck. Tomorrow I have my preliminary review (my first of many reviews). Pretty much says, "yes you can continue on the program" or "no, we don't want you here."

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Spunky Final

I figured I could put up the clip I was trying to emulate. Since I'm only putting this up as a reference, I don't think it'll cause any problems. Like I Said before, it's from the Rocko's Modern Life Pilot episode.

Here's the clip.

And here's my final project. There's still a few things I could tweak- and there's really no facial on there. If I ever decide to use this for a reel (I doubt I will) I'll go back and fix that stuff.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


This is the second 3D cartoon assignment. For those of you that know Rocko's Modern life I took a clip of Spunky eating the green stuff out of the garbage from the pilot episode. Really cute clip. Anyway, this is adapted with some pretty heavy modifications from the source. It was surprisingly difficult to take something with really limited animation into a 3D environment. I haven't done much tweaking in the graph editor yet. This is pretty close to finished, but a couple more days work is needed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

3D Cartoon II

Okay, here's my final render of the first project. Got pretty positive feedback on it in class today. Leave your thoughts.

Friday, July 4, 2008

3D Cartoon Character

This summer I am taking a 3D Cartoon Character Animation class. This is in stark contrast to the naturalism and realism that's pushed in most of the classes. This is challenging, but fun. Below is essentially blocking 2 for our first assignment. We had to take a 2D clip, and transform it into a 3D animation. I chose a few seconds from a Tom and Jerry short. This is one of the most difficult rigs I've had to work with, but once I got the hang of it, it proved to be really powerful. There are just an insane number of controls. It allows us to really push squash and stretch, it's just really tough for it to not deform like crap. And I even had to make some modifications to the tail to make it functional. Sorry, I didn't mean for this to be a bitch session about the rig. Anyway, here's blocking 2. I still need to fix some balance issues when he's crouched down, and I think I can push some of the poses even more exaggerated.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Dialog Final

I forgot to post this when I finished it. It's a piece of dialog from Taylor Mead in the closing scene from Coffee and Cigarettes. I wanted to do something really subtle and introspective. Interestingly, this was perhaps the most difficult thing I've had to animate thus far.


This is a lovely caricature of me by Sammi Dougherty. If you don't know what I look like, this is pretty much the spitting image.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Mel Blanc's 100th

100 years ago today, one of the greatest voice actors of all time, Mel Blanc was born. To celebrate everybody should watch at least one of his cartoons.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Simple Rig

Here's my first basic rig. Basically it features IK/FK spine controls, IK/FK blending on both arms and legs, Foot Roll, Heel and Toe Twist, Side Roll, Stretchy Limbs, Automatic flexing biceps, an extra gimbal helped control on the shoulder, clavicle controls, Various Finger Controls, Combined and independent eye controllers, with pupil dilation, Smooth switch, and face control GUI. It's not much, but I'm learning a ton right now, and over the next few months I'm going to be taking advanced rigging, and facial rigging. Hope to learn a lot more. Also, sorry about the crappy video quality, my first time using a screen capture video.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New Stuff

Okay, I figured I'd put up the final for the box reaction. I'm not terribly happy with it, but it was enough for an A. And I got some really good feedback, so hopefully I can fix it to demo reel quality.

And here is blocking 1 and the start of blocking 2 for the next assignment- a dialog piece. I chose a really subdued serious clip because I wanted to do something poignant and meaningful. Most people are doing some goofy funny quotes, so I'm pretty happy with my decision. It's tough, though, getting such subtle emotions to read. I'll give you undying respect if you know where this line is from.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Blocking 1 Box Reaction

Well, here's blocking 1 for my next acting piece. The assignment is to have a character come in with one emotion, look inside a box (or in my case just see it), and have the emotion change. I'm not going to tell you what the emotions are, because I want to know if the story reads from just the gestures.

I'm not terribly happy with this pass. I think a lot of the poses are stiff and kind of ugly. So I'm revamping a lot of it in blocking 2, which is due Tuesday. So let me know if you think this reads okay.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Ollie Johnston

"No school like the old school"

-Ollie Johnston

Friday, April 18, 2008

Backflip Final

This is the end result of the backflip I was blocking in my previous posts. It's not flawless- meaning not quite demo reel quality- but it's close. I just need to push the weight right and left a tad more, and I may have made his arms a little too loose. One of the comments I got was that they looked like wet noodles, so I may have to dial that back a smidge.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Animusic

I absolutely adore Animusic. If you don't know what it is, just look it up Youtube, or go to their website. It's just some wonderfully imaginative animation set to music. They have some software that takes the music and converts it into keys for their animation. Since music plays a major role in my creative process, I was inspired by them, so I did a little thing myself. I didn't really know how to do this, so I just had to develop my own technique. The water droplets are all particles, so I had to time up when they hit the strings, and trace back how long it takes them to fall and key their generation. It's only 20 seconds, but I'm hoping to go back and do the full piece.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Learning blocking

I'm in my first real character animation class right now, and I'm just starting to really learn about blocking. After only doing it for a few weeks, I think it's the bees knees. I have a couple playblasts of blocking 1 with just the bare minimum of important key poses. Then with blocking 2 I started adding the breakdowns, and anticipation, as well as trying to introduce some drag. Keep in mind I'm only just beginning to grasp this process.

Blocking 1

Blocking 2

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I've had a blog for a while now with movie reviews, but I've decided to start a personal one. I'm an animation graduate student working on my MFA at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and I figured I'd start this to keep a record of my goings on. As the title suggests, animation is nothing but complete madness, and anybody who wants spend their lives doing it is nuts. Of course, I'd never want to do anything else. Hope you enjoy.