Friday, October 9, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are

October 16th! I haven't been this excited about a movie in months, maybe years!! Actually, I have a feeling that my expectations are becoming preposterous. So I'm going to try forgetting about the film until the 16th hits. Wish me luck!

p.s. Let me know if you want to see a showing of it!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Class 5 is done at AM, and my short film's story has been tied down for the most part. Above are the layouts for it (it isn't animated, just rough poses to define placement during the shots). Also, I think the audio sync may be off. Let me know how you think it's coming and, as always, anything that could be more clear or entertaining!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

short film animatic, 4

Here's the latest animatic of my story. I hope you enjoy! (If you see anything that can be improved, don't hesitate to let me know!!).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

short film animatic, 2

Dear World and all that inhabit it,
Here's a revision of the animatic, based on the feedback I received. Any thoughts?

I recently received notes telling me that the injured character in the beginning gives away the ending, and that the ending is anti-climatic. I agree with both comments and plan to make adjustments as soon as I think of something better!

Your wisdom is always appreciated!

Friday, August 7, 2009

short film animatic, 1

So this is the current animatic for my short film. I would really appreciate any and all feedback! 'Looking good' comments are appreciated, but I would really like to hear ways of cutting out the garbage.
I have a couple of concerns. One is the jester is not introduced in a way that we can feel for him immediately. The other huge issue is that not everyone gets the payoff.
Soooo, hopefully somebody is reading this! =)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gummy Bear Song

I can't help myself! This song is too entertaining. The song gets old quick, but I like the animation, it's very appealing to me.


John Kricfalusi, he exudes creativity from his very pores!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

more stories

Hi hi.
I have a couple more stories for your reading pleasure!

We open with our jester performing for the king in the royal chamber. Our jester is starting to wiggle and tip as he balances on his body several tiers of poles and plates. Once he regains his composure, he notices the impatient king ready for new entertainment. Frantically, the jester throws everything in the air. As everything starts coming back down, he begins juggling them. However he can't account for all the objects falling at once, and a plate shatters on his head. The king suddenly starts laughing at this. The jester reflects on this for a moment, then purposefully lets one fall on his head. The king starts laughing his butt off. The jester is excited by the king's response and slips over a prop on the ground. He lands on his butt and has all the remaining props crash down on his head. The jester picks himself up, wobbling this way and that. He makes a bow and starts to take a clumsy step toward the exit. The king is now thoroughly amused and when he see's the jester starting to walk away, he opens a chest lying next to his throne. He pulls out a sack of coins and and shakes it in front of the jester. The jester is looking the wrong way and still wobbling, but there is no mistaking the sweet sound of coins jingling. His jaw drops as he whips around to the sight of the coins (probably seeing three sacks by this point).
Once the jester perks up, the king motions to someone off screen. In front of the jester rolls a cart stacked with every medieval weapon imaginable. The jester's face goes white as he picks up the first weapon.

moral: know your limits.

We open with a glowing white room and two cast molds. One is in the shape of a male and one in the shape of a female. Huddled around the female mold are two men. The younger one looks like a perfect fit for the male mold. The second man looks much older and experienced.
The old man is checking the ingredients in the mold and notices the young man playing with some dials. He slaps the young hand away and finds that 'Physical Beauty' has been cranked to 100%.
Shaking his head, the old man looks over the rest of the dials, and 'aH Ha.' The 'Intelligence', 'Innocence', and 'Wisdom' knobs are now at 50%. He starts turning the 'Intelligence' and 'Innocence' knobs up. This makes 'Physical Beauty' decrease and 'Wisdom' increase. He adjusts 'Wisdom' ever so slightly, then stands back happy with his results. He looks up, hoping that the young man will have learned something about how these attributes work together. Instead he see's the young man leaning into the hollow mold, mesmerized by what will soon be his mate.
The old man is annoyed by this, and slams his hand on the start button. A lid closes over the mold and we see fantastic lights shining from where the lid seals around. The old man walks away shaking his head. The young man looks back to make sure the old man is still walking away. Then he slyly cranks up the 'physical beauty' to 100% again. He is about to walk away, then pauses. Without looking, he rolls his fingers across all of the dials. Each one hits 100% as his finger passes by, but all change dramatically once the last dial has been moved.
Suddenly the mold starts to shake and- *DING* it's done. The lid rises back up and the young man looks inside to his mate. He jerks back in horror to find a woman with full body hair, as thick as an ape. He looks down to see the only knob at 100% is 'humor'.

moral: nobody's perfect.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

who likes stories?

Boy, I didn't realize how much this blog has been neglected. Class4 of AnimationMentor consumed more time than I expected. It was great because I learned a ton, especially about acting. Actually, I would like to pick up some books on acting. Does anyone have a recommendation? I was initially planning on buying Ed Hook's Acting for Animators and Desemond Morris' Manwatching.
The two character dialogue test still has one more shot to clean up. I took a break from it, but now I am refreshed and plan to wrap it up!! Will definitely post it up for feedback soon!

Class5 of AnimationMentor has already begun and it's a lot of fun. We are currently pitching story ideas. Please feel free to give me your opinions, I want them to be entertaining to as many people as possible. Only thing I want to mention beforehand is that I am trying to keep this story under a 60 seconds (ideally 30 seconds).

It Reeks
We open with the Empire State Building on a hot and restless summer day. Down below we see a line out the door. This is where we meet our good friends, Aye and Bee. They are excited and ready to see the cityscape from atop this historic building. Suddenly Bee smells what reminds him of rotten milk. Aye notices this and doesn't smell a thing. He motions at a filthy sewer drain as the cause. Bee reacts by pulling his shirt to his nose. Then, while in line for the elevator, Bee almost yacks again! 'What is this revolting smell?!,' Bee thinks. Aye is shocked by Bee's response and sniffs the person in front. Aye nods and motions to Bee that it must be the guy in front. And then, FINALLY, they get to the elevator. Bee walks in, slightly queezy but relieved that is just the two of them in the elevator. As the doors close, Aye passes gas again with a sigh of relief and satisfaction. Bee's face goes from gagging to sudden realization about the smell's source.
moral: Occam's razor. All things considered, the simplest answer is often the right one.

We open with an exhausted boy mowing the front lawn and keeping an eye on his dog. The dog is full of energy and eager to play with his boy. He feels ignored and wants to play. As the boy is mowing away, the dog uses his nose to nudge him. The boy wearily smiles and signals the dog to move out of the way. The dog jumps away and into a playful stance. Without so much as a glance, the boy gets back to mowing the lawn. It takes a moment for this to click in the dog's head. Once it does, he jumps in front of the lawn mower and wags his tail earnestly. This time the boy is a little irritated and yells at the dog. The dog scurries off.
As he is emptying the grass out of the lawn mower, he hears a car come to a screeching halt and someone screaming the background. He looks around for the dog and panics when he sees the dog gone! He becomes worried and runs to the house to get his phone. In route, he trips over his sleeping dog. He has a huge welt on his head as he looks back to see his dog. The dog looks up with tired eyes and licks his boy. The boy responds by giving a big hug.
moral: cherish your friends.

Trick or Treat
We open with a boy sleeping in bed. It is the morning after Halloween. Mom barges in and yells at them to come to breakfast. We hear a rustling above and *THUMP*, his younger brother rolls of his bed (bunk beds) and falls to the ground. A pile of wrappers fall on top of him. As the younger brother gets up, both of them see a gobstopper bouncing and rolling on the ground to a stop. The brothers' eyes connect and they have a stare down. They both make a dive for it. There is a small brawl as they tumble, and the older overpowers his younger brother. As The older brother gets up and pretends to swallow it, we see the younger start to sniffle. The older brother laughs and goes to breakfast.
Just as Bee is about to let out his tears, he feel's Aye's hand nooging his head. He sees Aye smiling and offering the gobstopper back.
moral: better to give than receive, but why not have fun too.

We open with a beautifully well kept yard. The camera centers on a well groomed bush in the shape of a perfect sphere.
From behind the bush, a neighbor's head pops over the fence, a look of aggression on his face. As quickly as we see him pop up, his head pops down.
On his side of the fence is an overgrown yard, and we see him hunched over and bush as a bee. He is working on his own... bush like thing.
His face is inches from his plant and snippets of green fly out in all directions as he trims away. A twig here, leaf there, no detail is permitted. He even manages to sand down a branch stump.
Finally satisfied, he stands back and wipes away his sweat. Nothing has felt so good as today's yar-
His eyes suddenly fixate on what he's created.
Instead of a beautiful sphere of leaves, before him stands before a drooping, indescribably green blob.
He becomes outraged. One more look over the fence and steam blows from his ears!
As we focus on his face, the tension builds in his face. A series of small explosions seem to set off in the back of his mind. Suddenly, an explosive jolt runs through his body and he chops his plant in half!
His breathing slows down. He looks back at his plant, sad to have been so brutal. To his surprise, the pineapple shaped plant now looks like an apple. Feeling encouraged he makes a few more snips and wala! The camera zooms out to see a perfect sphere bush the size of a golf ball.
moral: don't get too close to your work.

Grand Canyon
We open with a sign saying 'Grand Canyon 100 miles.' We cut to a family driving through the desert in the blistering afternoon heat. The father is driving, sweating and clearly tired. His wife is absorbed in the map, and is using an extra fan to keep her cool. The son is in the backseat having a blast playing paddle ball with dad (hitting dad in the head with the ball). We cut to the wheels coming to a stop. We see the footsteps of mother and son running down the hill as father slowly gets out of the car. Next we see the father carrying all the food and camping supplies down the hill. As he is walking, his foot lands in a pothole and he loses his balance! He regains his footing, but half the supplies have already tumbled down the hill. Grumpy and tired, he keeps moving without a second thought. He starts walking again and he trips on a tree root. This time he has no chance of catching himself. He lands face first, tumbling down the hill. We see him in back breaking positions, rolling amongst the food and camping gear. He hits is suddenly close lined by an oncoming branch. He lands on his back near his campsite. He see's his wife has already setup the campsite and is with they are rushing toward him. They arrive to him with a smile.
moral: attitude changes how you view the world.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Princess and the Frog!

Yeah, I'm sure everyone has seen this trailer already, but I can't help myself! Come December 11th, I'll be in the theater shrilling and screaming with all the little teenages. =)
Btw, did anyone else notice what I'm guessing is recycled animation at 1:49?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Vancouver, Pixarized!

"This is breaking news: Pixar, it has just been announced, plans to open a 20,000-square-foot satellite studio this fall in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The studio is currently scouting locations in the city for the new facility."

More info about this here.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Donald O'Connor and Gene Kelly

There are probably a bunch of cool things, animation-wise, that could be studied from this video. I just find it SUPER entertaining, their characters are so striking. It's interesting to note the similarities and differences in how they act out the same choreography.
Anywho, I hope someone out there enjoys watching this too!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

404. My 2 character dialogue scene

Hi! So, I am making another revision on my the dialogue test. And I am looking for another audio clip for my next animation. Here are the choices that interest me. I'd love to hear anyone's two cents!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Randy Nelson talk

Here's a video I saw recently and wanted to share.

"Randy Nelson, head of the in-house Pixar University, gives a 10 minute talk that offers insight into character traits the studio looks for when it hires employees. One of the primary factors is to hire people who are interested rather than interesting. Also, collaboration does not simply mean cooperation, but it means amplification—people who bring separate depth to the problem and bring breadth that gives them interest in the entire solution." - cartoon brew

Learning and Working in the Collaborative Age: A New Model for the Workplace

Thursday, April 9, 2009

402 Facial Animation

Hello world,
I started up term 4 at AnimationMentor. My mentor is Greg Kyle. He works at Laika.

This is where my animation is at right now. I still need to work in some body movement at the end, as it sort of dies off. I haven't touched the eyes and eyelids yet, and I'm not really feeling the eyebrows. As always, any and all feedback is welcome and appreciated!

By the way, I came across a couple awesome blogs, and I figure that I should start sharing all the great things I find. Enjoy!
This one is the website of my class 4 mentor, Greg Kyle. He is a wicked cool guy and I'm stoked to have an opportunity to learn from him. He enjoys his brews, which is great to hear (because now I know I can still enjoy that lifestyle =).
I am still learning the way he works, but as far as I understand his workflow is technically quite different than my previous mentors. He uses IK arms/spine and pole vectors. I am really excited to learn more about how he works and what new things I can implement into my own workflow.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Term 3 at AnimationMentor has come to an end!
Here is the dialogue shot as it stands now. There is still some polish I want to do. Unfortunately I was hit with a pretty heavy fever. Still trying to get over it. I'll be back in town on Sunday (family reunion), and cleaning up a lot of spacing/arc issues. There are some areas that need tlc too. As always, your feedback is appreciated.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

311, polishing

Hello again world!!
This pass has all the corrections from my last crit. I know that it sort of cuts on 'trouble,' I need to add a couple more poses =P I still need to work out the hands.
There are tons of areas I need to hit, any and all feedback you can give me is well appreciated!
Any movements that could be offset? Spacing/arc issues? Anything!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

308 second pass

Here's what I've submitted this week. If you have any opinions, I would really like to hear them! Thanks!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

308 fresh start

What's up World!

So here is another pass at the same dialogue. After talking to my mentor (Mike Stern), I changed the scenario. He told me it was a good blocking pass and the acting was nice, but character relationship (person talking vs. person talking to) did not fit. Basically he was saying, which is realistic: to be physically threatened by a person at work or customer at a convenient store?
That said, I'm redoing my blocking and this is what I have so far. I need a couple more poses to hit all the major accents, but hopefully it is reading! It's all still quite rough, so any comments you have would be great!
(I started modeling some of the set. The rest will have to get done at a later point)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

307 blocking

So here's a blocking pass of my first dialogue test! It is really a lot of fun to work on this test, I hope it turns out decent!! The background is still rough. I'm open to any and all suggestions. There is a lot of action I need to add, but I'm trying to get it to read with as little keys, first. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

John Pomeroy Scene

Here's a really awesome shot from Atlantis by John Pomeroy!

John Pomeroy Scene from victor ens on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

306 My first Dialogue

This is going to be AWESOME!
I'm choosing an audio track for my first dialogue test.
Here are the picks I've narrowed down to. If anyone has favorites please let me know!! I'm trying to narrow it down to three of them by Friday.

305 another pass

Here's another pass at the pantomime. Boy oh boy is this test pushing me! Still a lot to adjust. Hopefully I can nail it!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

304 splined

Hi World,

Here's what the test is looking like right now. Still plenty of work to be done. I think I could use a few more breakdowns and I'm still not happy with the timing.
If anyone out there has an opinion, my ears are wide open!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My 303, blocking

So here's what I ended up submitting this week!

From about 110-200, Stewie is doubling over and looking around. I plan to add in a full body tremble, once I take it out of stepped. My plan was to bring it to clamped, get the poa I want first, then add some keys and overlap, then jitter the handles in the graph editor. Does that make any sense? I did it on accident in my last test and I think I figured out how it works...
I adjusted the overall pacing, is it working for you? Any areas that are too slow or too fast for you? It actually worked out where I had to cut on the action. So I left it on a sort of stretch drawing.
I know there are a lot of ugly poses in there. I have been having a SERIOUS time trying to get the shapes I want. Do you have any tips? Sometimes I am fighting between getting the shapes/silhouette and physical mechanics/rig proportions.

Friday, January 23, 2009

My Revision

Hey everyone,

Here's what my test is looking like right now. Starting to breakdown some areas, and the end still hasn't been fixed! Between frames 110-200, I plan to do an escalating body tremble.
I feel like I made some big changes to the test, hopefully they are improvements =P

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My 302, blocking

Here is another pass at my blocking. There is still some actions that I haven't added (more pee dancing to come!!). I have been given some great advice on texturing up the timing, so I plan to add that in soon. If anyone sees something else I should address, I would be in your debt!

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Second Pass

Hello world!
This is a blocking pass of the public restroom test! Still working with just the storytelling poses. I plan to go into the rest of the extremes soon! Let me know if you notice something that could use attention!!
Bye world!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Intro to Acting

This is an exciting time to me. I have a lot to grow in the acting department, and I'm eager to learn. My mentor is Mike Stern, an AnimationMentor alumni. He's worked on Bee Movie, Kung Fu Panda, and Monsters vs. Aliens. It is so AWESOME that I have the chance to learn from him. His blog was one of the reasons I decided to study at AM. He has a fantastic acting ability.
So here is the first assignment, planning for a pantomime with two emotional beats.
I have been getting a lot of people resonating with the public restroom idea. However my reference has to be cut down by half the time (250 frames)! If you have any advice or any comments at all, I'm all ears!

My Omission

It has been a while since I have posted. So much has happened! Hopefully my animator's eye has been steadily improving.

So Class 2 (Body Mechanics with Dimos Vrysellas) at AnimationMentor ended in December. I realize now that I didn't post ANYTHING during my last test in that term. The last one was super fun. It was basically a physicality test on showing weight with the whole body, specifically with the arms. There is what the test looked like when the term ended!

So I didn't get a chance to take the second character out of blocking. =/
I am really tempted to go back to that and finish the other character. I'm not sure if it is a smart decision, or if I should just focus all my attention to the test I am doing in Class 3 now.
Here is my progress reel of all my Class 2 work (revised the previous tests a bit):