Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Family Guy

So normally I don't find Family Guy all that funny. In recent years it's sort of devolved into an intentional parody of itself- which is a little annoying. Occasionally, however, I'll be surprised. I was watching an episode, and was struck by a downright intelligent reference- and not to sound pompous- one that most people probably would not pick up on. They took a quote almost verbatim from Marshall McLuhan in a cameo in Annie Hall. I grew a little more respect for the writers after seeing this. Below are the two clips. He doesn't appear in the Annie Hall one until the last 20 seconds or so. And the Family Guy scene is around 3:45. I know this is quite a bit of effort to point out a little reference- but it shows that even stupid shows can have moments of brilliance.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Hambushed is done!!!! (ish). This morning after a week of absolutely busting our butts I submitted it for SCADanimate. We're still going to fix some sound issues before sending it off to festivals- but it's pretty much there. YAY!!!!

Suck It Up is also done and in. YAY again!!!!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Here's another animatic I did over the summer. We were given 3 images to construct a story around. Unfortunately I no longer have those images, but they were an old lady, a dog, and a bank. If this story doesn't bring a tear to your eye, you clearly have no soul.

*Amended- I do still have the pictures.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I decided to create a blog dedicated solely to my thesis work. It is

The link can also be found to the right.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


So I just realized that my "home" link off to the right didn't actually link anywhere. It's fixed now, sorry about that.

Monday, July 27, 2009


So I'm in a storyboarding class right now. This has been the first thing I produced in it that I was mildly happy with. So I thought I'd share. Also, disregard the closing music. I was scrambling to find something to put in.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Secret of Kells

A fellow at the SAS conference, Thomas Walsh, was talking about a new movie from Ireland- "The Secret of Kells." The style looks absolutely beautiful, and I am already super excited about this. Any time something like this comes along every so often to completely blow away anything mainstream. Persepolis did it, Waltz with Bashir did it, and I'm guessing Kells will as well.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Auto Rig

I figured I'd post something about my auto rigger I've been working on. This is of course an ongoing long process- but I hope to have a functional prototype maybe by the end of the summer (unrealistically). So far I've got the skeleton generator portion totally functional (at least for a biped). It creates a bunch of locators for you to place in the appropriate parts of the body, then replaces those with properly orienteed joints. It has a nice little feature where you can choose the number of fingers, and also, if it's symmetrical, you only have to place one side and the other aligns automatically. I'm pretty stoked about this one.

I'm currently working on setting up the spine. Again, you can choose you many joints, whether it's FK, IK, or FK/IK, and whether it's stretchy and maintains volume. My big thing about this auto rig is that I want to give the person as many choices as possible- so they can keep it super simple if that's all that's needed, or make it complex and really powerful.

In other news, my FK IK matcher is still about 95% complete. I suppose I should finish that one, too, so I can incorporate it into the auto rig. I'll add all of these to my website for download as they get finished. There's already some nifty scripts up there that you should check out.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

post conference

So yeah, the SAS conference was pretty cool (after the flat tire I got on the way there). It was pretty intimidating presenting in front of the likes of these people, but feedback I got indicated I held my own okay. I mean I was presenting on a panel with Paul Wells- that's pretty awesome.

There were a bunch of really interesting papers, and some that I didn't follow so well. Perhaps my favorite was outlining a new genre of parody nostalgia in animation- using shows like Harvey Birdman and Robot Chicken as examples. It was pretty interesting. Not to mention a fantastic round table about how to form curriculum for teaching animation. All in all it was a good time.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wish me luck

Tomorrow I leave for Atlanta for the SAS conference. I don't present until Saturday, so hopefully I'll get a feel for it tomorrow and be totally prepared. If anyone's curious about what I'm presenting, here's the abstract

Saturday, June 27, 2009

This was something I wanted to try doing. These are four different stages of an animation project. The top left is just my camera layout- the object was to focus on the reactions from the other character to what was being said, not the character speaking. The one next to that is my initial blocking. The bottom left is blocking 2, with breakdowns, anticipations, settles, etc. And the bottom right is the final inbetweened version with facial.

You may notice that there were some pretty major changes made pretty late in the game. I don't normally like working that way, but as I unstepped things and got further along, Moom (the one wiping his nose) had way too broad and fast movements in such a short time. I decided to make him a lot more subtle, and take out most of his movement to allow for more thinking time before he says his last line.

Also, the line is from Christmas Vacation.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Here's my rough first pass at my thesis animatic. I'd really appreciate any feedback at all- especially if you don't know anything about what I'm doing. I need to make sure the story can be read

Thursday, March 19, 2009


longest quarter of my life- but we got both films done!! I'll keep updated as we polish them and try to submit them to festivals and whatnot

in other news, I'm going to be presenting a paper at the Society for Animation Studies conference over the summer. It's on the portrayal of clash mobility in animation- using the simpsons as a case study. It seemed pretty relevant. Now the hard part begins- to seem like I know what I'm talking about.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Another rigging analogy

Someone else I know compared being a rigger to being an ombudsman. Nobody comes to you if everything is going well. People only come to you when something is wrong. There's no such thing as positive feedback to a rigger.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Thankless Job

I think my teacher put it best when he said "Being a rigger is tough. If the rig is good, people are like 'wow, look at that animation' but if the animation is bad, people blame the rig."

Yet I still want to do this? Crazy.