Sunday, January 30, 2011

YouAnimator: Show Your Animations - Sweatbox

I have just begun catching up with uploading all of my various little slivers of animation all over the internet, and I have found that above all others, the best way to get useful, immediate, usable feedback on your work has to be Sweatbox. It is a section of devoted to work in progress pieces. I uploaded a play blast I was working on and within 5 minutes got a very long, detailed comment of ways to approach the shot and add flare to it. If you guys don't have anyone to critique your work, I would most definitely say throw it up on Sweatbox and see what happens -  and don't worry it's all very friendly!

Check it out here!

Evolve CG Contest: First doodle worth posting (actually that's debatable)

Well I am tired, been working tirelessly on the "Class 2: Body Mechanics" portion of my demo reel development, I haven't been able to devote as much time to this challange as I would like to, but here is a doodle I was doing the other day. It begins exploring where I am taking my Faun character (David to the Centaur's Goliath).

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Oscars: Toy Story 3 nominated for best picture!

...As well as Best animated feature, achievement in music written for motion pictures (original song), best motion picture of the year, achievement in sound editing and adapted screenplay.

The Pixar team certainly deserve it, Toy Story 3 ranks way in the upper echelons of my Pixar favorites list. It sits proudly in the pantheon of greatness also occupied by Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Wall-E. This movie was an achievement visually, on a story level, and just as an exercise in great sequel making.

I think it's high time the stigma surrounding animation as legitimate cinema was broken down, and Toy Story 3 should (though probably won't) be the one to do it.

The competition is stiff this year, Toy Story 3 would have to beat out; 

- “Black Swan”
- “Inception”
- “The Kids Are alright”
- “127 Hours”
- “The Social Network”
- “Winter’s Bone”
- “The King’s Speech”
- “The Fighter”

Can they do it? Sound off in the comments section!

*update* Ok so as suspected The King's Speech took home best picture, but Toy Story 3 did pick up best animated feature, which again, was not much of a surprise.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Animation Mentor Animals and Creatures: Master Class

Animation Mentor, already the leader in online character animation education are upping their game once again, with the new Animals and Creatures Master classes. In this course you get to work with 3 new rigs, designed by geniuses from ILM, Tippet and Sony Imageworks. The Cat, The Dragon and The Ogre. The course also provides matchmoved scenes so that you can have your creatures interact with live action characters without needing to worry about tracking and building up geometry.

This seems like a great idea but I wish it was something that was integrated into the program rather than creating a whole offshoot. Now when I finally get the money in my hands I have to decide which type of education I want, acting with bipedal characters, or creature feature. But that means trying to predict which kinds of jobs will be available in the industry a year and a half from now, which is hard to say. I suppose the focus is good in that it will give students a really concentrated learning experience and allow people who don't want to do dialogue and weight lifting etc to just do what they want.

For all the info head over to the overview page here.

I'm a little on the fence about it, what do you think? sound off in the comments section!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Carlton Dance ftw!

Second bit of animation for the body mechanics portion of my Animation Foundations Course, The Carlton Dance. Does what it says on the tin.

I am still working on it, I'm going to do some other stuff and come back to it with fresh eyes, but for right now, marvel at Carlton, doing what he does best. being an idiot.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Evolve CG 2011 Challenge: Heroes and Legends!

So the excellent Evolve CG conference is doing another CG challenge this year, and the theme is Heroes and Legends. So you can expect a lot of God of War style entries, much like the call for submission image you see above.

This year I finally have some spare time on my hands and will be tossing my name in the hat. I decided to take the story of David and Goliath, and put an ancient Greek spin on it.

In my story there is a tribe of fauns (half goat half human) who have provided the weapon making services to the King of Crete for centuries, owing to their unique talents as blacksmiths, crafting the finest weapons of the age.

When the Centaurs from the neighboring valley become jealous of the Faun's wealth and success they decide they want to muscle in on their action, so they send the biggest, meanest behemoth of their clan to wipe out the fauns and destroy their village.

The faun people are alerted to the danger in time and quickly select a champion from their village to face the intruder. Though diminutive in stature the little creature has speed, cunning and the superlative weapons of his people on his side.

My piece will focus on the two facing off right as their showdown is about to begin, and will depict both warriors ready for battle, and draw on their different emotions for dramatic posing.

Head over to to check out the competition and enter your own take on this epic subject! I will be posting my progress on here as well as in the forum, so keep an eye out!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Maya 2010 Student Edition - Full licence!

Thanks to my brilliant and boundlessly talented (not to mention fabulously beautiful) wife Yaoyao - her blog - I have been dragged from the stone age that was 2009, into the somewhat more iron aged 2010.

She won a competition that granted us a lifetime licence to use Autodesk Education Suite 2010! This amazing package includes Maya, 3D Studio Max, SoftImage, Mudbox, MotionBuilder and Sketchbook Pro. In short, thanks to my wife's incredible artistic skills we are set for life software-wise.

So now all my animations will be done using Maya 2010, and I am comfortable because it is still one year behind (I always hated using the most up-to-date thing)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Semester 1 is done, bring on the next one...

So here it is, the progress reel for "semester 1" of my self-taught animation course "Animation MEntor" if you will.

Maya 2009, Photoshop and After Effects CS3 were used to make this, as usual.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Body Language Character Poses (Featuring Stu!)

So I'm having fun posing up the new Animation Mentor(style) Stu(style) rig I made. The point of this assignment is body language, and if anyone wants to hazard a guess as to what emotion each pose represents, you know where the comments section is.

Character modeled in Maya 2009, rendered with Mental Ray, and composed with Photoshop Cs3

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Look for 2011!

I was looking at my blog the other day, and thinking that since I am streamlining my efforts these days into becoming a successful animator and not so much just messing about with random little projects, that my blog should outwardly reflect that single-minded determination. So I did a little revamp. That old banner was stinking up the place. Enjoy the new site!

Oh and just a quick note - all of the rigs that I have been using of late bare only a superficial aesthetic resemblance to the ones used by Animation Mentor students, but I can assure you, I made them all from scratch, and with only the betterment of my animation skills in mind, I intend no copyright infringement or any such thing.

Overlapping action - featuring the platform and the ball!

Here we have another one of my little snippets. I am thinking that I will edit all of the "class 1" exercises into one reel pretty soon, so check back for that I guess.

Anyway this one is designed to demonstrate overlapping action, with the tail. I thought I would spice it up and have him balancing a ball too. Anyway please let me hear your thoughts etc, as feedback is always welcome!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Belated Turbosquid Christmas present

After several tireless weeks of waiting for my sales to creep up, I have finally made it to being a Gold level SquidGuild member. That means I am half way up the Turbosquid ladder of success. With a measly $1,500 in sales and another $1,500 to go till I reach the next level (and higher royalty rates) I still have a long way to go, but man, Gold sure is a nice level to hang at for a while.

Be sure to check out my profile for all of your modeling needs right here!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year Everyone! The Animation Mentor piggybacking continues!

So it's 2011 now, and I really am looking to become an animator this year, so I thought I would kick off this, our penultimate year on earth (if you believe the ancient Mayans and Roland Emmerich) with a little bit of animation I did today. It's the next exercise in my series of Animation Mentor style snippets, designed to strengthen my animation foundation (so that I can get a job in animation, so that I can afford to take Animation Mentor, so that I can get a BETTER job - trust me it all makes sense).

Enjoy, and may 2011 bring nothing but happiness for you my avid readers!