Friday, 21 December 2012

A Visit to Disney's Animation Department

A Visit to Disney's Animation Department Like most movie studios, the Walt Disney Company has several films in production for the final quarter of the year, particularly the holiday season; as part of the PR campaign to promote these projects, they invited a large group of online writers to visit the studio, screen several films, take part in behind-the-scenes interviews and activities and take a tour of the studio’s animation department.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Top 10 Composition Tips

Top 10 Composition Tips: #design One of the first qualities of a photo that catches and captures a viewer’s eye is the composition. Great composition is something that immediately separates the amateurs from the pros and enthusiasts. How you place various objects in the photographic frame determines the composition and works tremendously toward creating a feeling greater than what the object would convey in the real world. Composition is one of the most important elements of the craft of photography, and it is a skill that can be taught and honed through extensive exercise and persistent practice.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Never-Seen-Before Concept Art From 'The Dark Knight'

Never-Seen-Before Concept Art From 'The Dark Knight': Four years on, The Dark Knight it’s still arguably the greatest installment of the Batman franchise and certainly one of the best crime / thrillers in the past decade. But one common thread that is consistent in all of Christopher Nolan’s adaptations is the strong and stirring visuals he’s able to project on-screen.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Bodies-in-motion reference gallery

Bodies-in-motion reference gallery: The goal of the shoots, and the library, is to capture high-quality dynamic reference of the figure in motion, inspired by Eadweard Muybridge. Each action was captured at 10 frames-per-second from multiple camera angles - giving an artist multiple high-resolution points of reference for resolving the figure's pose and balance

Friday, 7 December 2012

How to Use Color in Photographic Composition (With 9 Gorgeous Examples)

How to Use Color in Photographic Composition (With 9 Gorgeous Examples): There are many rules to photographic composition, the rule of thirds, balancing elements, symmetry and balance etc. None of these rules are defined in stone, all can be broken or modified. Perhaps one of the most overlooked aids to composition is that of using color. By using color creatively, we can lead the viewer’s eye to the subject, create a response in the viewer or even frame an image. As with most tutorials on composition, perhaps the best way to understand what we are talking about is through the use of images.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Animating A Basic Acting Shot" video tutorial (10 min clip #1)

Animating A Basic Acting Shot" video tutorial (10 min clip #1): In this lecture portion, I start to plan the overall idea - from brainstorming scenarios, to planning the staging and posing. All of this I do before even beginning to capture video reference. Then, after I've done some takes in front of the camera, I begin to analyze my performance and choose how to pose out my acting beats.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Abstract Photographs of Human Bodies in Motion

Abstract Photographs of Human Bodies in Motion: Japanese photographer Shinichi Maruyama has an interesting series of photos simply titled, “Nude.” Each image shows an abstract flesh-colored shape that’s created by a nude subject dancing in front of the camera.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Perspective + Composition Pt.2

Perspective + Composition Pt.2: Part 2 is PURELY about the aspects and theories of composition in art and how YOU can make better work with them. Due to this fact, this tutorial has a LOT of writing in it, and a lot of reading, and less "step-by-step" technical examples. You can think of this as more of a free lecture on the subject.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Art, Trash and Mainstream

Art, Trash and Mainstream: Have you ever analyzed what your approach and intention towards film making is? Do you want to make serious art? Chaotic trash? Entertaining mainstream? Political satire? Is your film meant to make audiences laugh or cry? Are they supposed to learn something for life or just be in awe for the duration of the film? Or is your work something personal – just for you? There are some fundamentally different attitudes that can determine the nature of your projects and the work of your life. Do you already know which one(s) are the one for you?

Monday, 26 November 2012

Away From Human Memory: Editing And Composition In Frank Miller's 'The Dark Knight Returns'

Away From Human Memory: Editing And Composition In Frank Miller's 'The Dark Knight Returns': Recently I read Miguel Corti's experimental comic Watchmen #13. A cut-up pdf created by numbering and randomizing the panels in Alan Moore and David Gibbon's Watchmen, the book is laid out along variations of the original's consistent nine-panel grid. It is a compelling read, one that made me think about the other major superhero comic of the same era. Another book that pursues it's narrative through a strict system of grids.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Notes from Improve Your Demo Reel Webinar

Notes from Improve Your Demo Reel Webinar: Okay so Animation does a great job at putting professionals together to talk to their students and those interested in a variety of topics. I have gone to a couple as a non-student, but this one was my first as an actual student. Improve Your Reel was hosted by an ILM employees, including Shawn Kelly.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Perspective + Composition Pt.1

Perspective + Composition Pt.1: In part one we look at all three types of linear perspective with dedicated step-by-step examples and LOTS of advice to read. I hope you guys really get something out of it! The information covered in this is equivalent to what they actually teach you in just about any art college/institute. 'Cept this is free.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Cup o' Doodles

Cup o' Doodles: I'm a character designer at Pixar who doodles on the cups of coffee I have every morning! All artwork © Zaruhi Galstyan.

Friday, 2 November 2012

if you want to draw cartoons you should study life drawing and landscapes…

if you want to draw cartoons you should study life drawing and landscapes…: Keep it simple. A lot of animation is problem solving, whether it’s a complicated drawing, a difficult movement or a challenging camera angle. Rather than losing oneself in minute details, more often than not, asking oneself how can I communicate the story as simply & effectively as possible, leads to a painless solution. At those times when I struggle with a sequence of drawings, rather than staying late and obsessing over them, I simply stop, forget about them overnight and on reflection and with a clear mind the next morning, the solution is often obvious.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Hominid: Impressive animated creatures

From Vimeo: "Hominid is an animated teaser based on the Hominid series of photo composites by Brian Andrews. The series has been exhibited internationally, including at SIGGRAPH, in the Hong Kong Exhibition Center, and at numerous galleries. This animated teaser was produced at Ex’pression College for Digital Arts. Be on the lookout for future Hominid animations."

Hominid from Brian Andrews on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Stop-motion Magic!

Stop-motion Magic! “Proteigon” is an entertaining film directed by Steven Briand and starring Luca Fiore. The music is well synchronized; it was composed by Nodey and Omar and sound design by Moritz Reich.

The Greatest Show on Earth: a thinking mind...: Wreck-it-Ralph and tips for Crunch Time at a Studio

The Greatest Show on Earth: a thinking mind...: Wreck-it-Ralph and tips for Crunch Time at a Studio: Crunch time is over! I've been gone working at Walt Disney Animation Studios helping animate their next upcoming film, Wreck-it-Ralph. I can't say anything new about it other than whats already out there on the inter-webs but I can say that you've never seen a movie like this before. It's going to be a fun one to watch the world react to it. Already I'm starting to see a lot of Ralph around LA.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Alex Alvarado's Art Blog: Don Quixote

Alex Alvarado's Art Blog: Don Quixote: Here's some stuff from a visual development test I took at work. We had to take a classic tale and turn the human characters into animals and vice versa.

Monday, 22 October 2012

The Greatest Show on Earth: a thinking mind...: Cars 2 Drawings

The Greatest Show on Earth: a thinking mind...: Cars 2 Drawings: So the Film is done, the press is out and about, Festive air in the studio, it's a wild time to be at Pixar right now! It probably being the last time John Lasseter ever directs a film, it was a real treat to see him in action this past year.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Paperman Breakdown - Animation

Paperman Breakdown - Animation: Discover how the Disney team has bring to life Paperman characters in their new animated short that will be played in front of Wreck-it-Ralph.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The Secret to Composition

The Secret to Composition: This should be applicable to both painters and photographers — and all other visual artists — with occasional tips for one or the other in particular.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The Making of Paperman - Movie Art

The Making of Paperman - Movie Art: If you want to know more about the making-of the new Disney/Pixar short movie, Paperman, have a look at these interesting behind-the-scenes clips presented by the director of the short John Kahrs

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Body Mechanics: Upper body movement in gameplay

Body Mechanics: Upper body movement in gameplay: In this reprinted #altdevblogaday in-depth piece, IO Interactive lead animator Simon Unger demonstrates how developers can sometimes forget to take realistic head movements into account when animating characters.

Monday, 8 October 2012

How Mexican Culture, and Dead Pets, Inspire 'Frankenweenie' Director Tim Burton

How Mexican Culture, and Dead Pets, Inspire '#Frankenweenie' Director Tim Burton: In Mexico, the obsession with death is evident everywhere — the capital’s popular newspaper El Grafico splashes large photos of bloodied corpses on its covers and inside pages. Fans of Mr. Burton said his work resonates with them because of the way it portrays the death as something that can be transcended or undone.

...Animation & Life... : Interview while working at Disney Animation

...Animation & Life... : Interview while working at Disney Animation: A beautiful interview which opens a window into an animator's mind.

...Animation & Life... : Interview while working at Disney Animation from Jamaal Bradley on Vimeo.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Ed Hooks take on "The 22 Rules of Storytelling, According to Pixar"

Ed Hooks take on "The 22 Rules of Storytelling, According to Pixar" Seasoned Animation Acting coach and guru Ed Hooks reviews Emma Coats' "The 22 Rules of Storytelling, According to Pixar" with some interesting thoughts in it. Check it out!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Tutorial: Walk Cycle

Tutorial: Walk Cycle: Most sane people have a fear of animating walk cycles. Many events are happening at the same time, and it can seem overwhelming. A single mistake on your first drawing can wreck the rest of the scene. However, the process can be broken down into a series of steps which can go some distance in simplifying the process.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Disney Digital Princesses

#Disney Digital Princesses, a review on the evolution of Disney princesses over the years. #brave #tangled

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Story, not formula, breathes life into animated tale ‘#ParaNorman’

#Story, not formula, breathes life into animated tale ‘ParaNorman’: A zombie uprising and a 300-year-old witch’s curse might be too much for most 11 year olds to overcome. That’s not the case for Norman Babcock, the unusual hero in the new stop-motion film, “ParaNorman.”

Monday, 13 August 2012

Sunday, 12 August 2012

DreamWorks to make 'Kung Fu Panda 3' in China

DreamWorks to make 'Kung Fu Panda 3' in China: #DreamWorks #Animation and Chinese partners announced plans Tuesday to co-produce the next "Kung Fu Panda" movie and develop an entertainment district in Shanghai, expanding Hollywood's fast-growing ties to China.

Slim Pickings Fat Chances

"Old School" graduation animated short film by David de Rooij & Jelle Brunt
Slim Pickings Fat Chances from David de Rooij on Vimeo.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

The Colors of Evil: Insanely cute and devilish evil

The Colors of Evil: Insanely cute and devilish evil: Talking about accentuated contrasts.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Brad Bird isn’t ruling out “The Incredibles 2″

Brad Bird isn’t ruling out “The #Incredibles 2″: #BradBird #pixar #disney might be planning to continue making live action films for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean that he’s done with animated movies for good. Even though he wowed audiences with his live action debut, “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol,” the director is best known for his projects “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille” and “The Iron Giant,” and is one of the most established animation directors in the business.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Pixar story rules

Pixar story rules: Pixar story artist Emma Coats has tweeted a series of “story basics” over the past month and a half — guidelines that she learned from her more senior colleagues on how to create appealing stories:

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Tim Burton: The Early Disney Years

#Tim #Burton: The Early Disney Years : #DISNEY #D23 For many young people, being hired to work as an animator at Disney Feature Animation is a dream come true, but for recently graduated Timothy Burton of Burbank, Calif., it was a living nightmare.

He felt out of place with his fellow animators. His unique, quirky approach to subject matter and drawing was eventually considered unmarketable and a drain on the Disney Company’s resources and he was finally let go. However, like most Disney stories, this one also has a “happily ever after” ending where a Burton project became a Disney film classic.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Animator Travis Knight on the Spooky Stop-Motion Saga of 'ParaNorman' + Exclusive Photos!

Animator Travis Knight on the Spooky Stop-Motion Saga of '#ParaNorman' + Exclusive Photos!: #STOPMOTION #CORALINE #LAIKA As the president and CEO of Laika, the animation studio who wowed audiences with its adaptation (directed by Henry Selick) of Neil Gaiman's Coraline, one might expect to find Travis Knight sitting behind a desk or in power lunch meetings with business partners. While Knight may do some of that, a good chuck of his day is spent alone on a studio set moving and photographing plastic puppets, one grueling frame at a time. For Knight served as lead animator on Coraline, and is doing so again with Laika's follow-up macabre stop-motion epic, ParaNorman. I recently joined a group of journalists in meeting Knight at Laika's Portland headquarters, where he was in the midst of animating one of the film's many labor-intensive scenes. Find out what he had to say about ParaNorman, and check out some exclusive behind-the-scenes images, after the jump.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The Awesome Storytelling of Disney California Adventure’s New Buena Vista Street

The Awesome Storytelling of #Disney California Adventure’s New Buena Vista Street: #D23 As many of you know, I’m a big theme park fanatic. I’m not a huge fan of Pixar’s Cars, but yet I’ve been eagerly awaiting (for the last few years) the addition of Cars Land to Disneyland’s offerings. And while Cars Land is gearing up to open on June 15th, I’m equally as excited to see the launch of Buena Vista Street, Disney’s new opening to California Adventure. Many people are looking at this combination as a complete relaunch of the theme park, California Adventure 2.0. There were a lot of problems with the initial offering, and Disney has spent $1.1 billion re-construction to right almost all the wrongs, and actually make the park feel like a Disney experience.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Watch: Euro history recreated in Lego

Watch: Euro history recreated in #Lego: A tip of the hat goes to Scottish animator Graham Love for his video documenting great moments in European Championship history using Lego.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The Art of Motion Capture

The Art of Motion Capture: #mocap Our new show where we look at the well known, and not so well known jobs in the video game and film industry.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Working on a shot is like climbing a Mountain (FREE map in the post!)

Working on a shot is like climbing a Mountain (FREE map in the post!): #cgi #3d It was literally like climbing up the face of Everest, but when he got to the top, all was forgotten. The shot was the thing you remembered…. Not the pain, the deadline, it was the moment. We all make the same mistakes, but its important to know that we have to stay students and keep climbing!

Monday, 21 May 2012

How Toy Story 2 Got Deleted Twice, Once on Accident, Again on purpose

How Toy Story 2 Got Deleted Twice, Once on Accident, Again on purpose: #pixar #cgi #3d most people don’t know is that the whole movie was actually tossed out again, not by the computers, but by the filmmakers themselves. It was then completely remade with mere months to go before a release date that was set in stone, cementing Pixar’s legacy as a crucible of commitment to quality.

The Relevance of Mime in Animation: Character Movement

The Relevance of Mime in Animation: Character Movement #mime #cgi #computer

Monday, 23 April 2012

The Making of Levi Roots' new TV ad

The Making of Levi Roots' new TV ad: #Aardman studios creates another cool stop motion commercial for a BBQ sauce


Thursday, 12 April 2012

Skullgirls: Peacock Trailer

Skullgirls: Peacock Trailer, Beautifully animated game characters. #konami #videogames

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Lost Planet 3 delivers an incredibly animated sequence

Lost Planet 3 delivers an incredibly animated sequence #Capcom #videogames

Thursday, 29 March 2012

How to draw animated character Po by James Baxter

How to draw animated character Po by James Baxter #Animation #draw #kungfupanda

Muybridge: Shooting a Moving Target

Muybridge: Shooting a Moving Target : #animation This was quite a feat, given the cumbersome process of photography in those days. (Think glass negatives and chemical baths.) Muybridge had to trick out cameras that could take a number of photos in succession and create a device that could flash them in front of the viewer’s eye. For this, he invented the zoopraxiscope, which you can see in all its steampunk splendor at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington. The exhibit “Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change” runs through Sunday.

Congratulations! You made a film!!

Congratulations! You made a film!!: #animation #film #production You spent many long sleepless nights, didn't eat, sleep, shower and finally get to the big day: The presentation night.
The lights are off, all your family and friends are sitting there waiting to see that film you’ve been working on (which was also your excuse for ignoring them for the past year or so) and then, your film is finally up. And a few minutes later: That’s it. it’s over, and you will probably never see it on the big screen ever again.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Brenda Chapman on Insights For Getting Started In The Animation Industry

Brenda Chapman on Insights For Getting Started In The Animation Industry: #animation start in any industry is difficult, and getting started in the animation industry is no exception. I’ve received great questions from Kendall, Megan, Liz and Jay, all of whom are curious about the journey of getting into animation. Their questions, like those of others aspiring to work in the animation industry, include what you need in a portfolio; what to expect as an artist and a woman; and whether it’s a feasible career path or whether animation coincides with the “starving artist” scenario.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Animation Hotline

Animation Hotline: #Animation #phone #inspiration Hotline is a series of daily animations where I use messages left on my voicemail for content. When you get a chance please leave me a message, and honestly it̢۪s best if you leave more than one because sometimes what you think is the perfect message might simply be impossible for me to animate in one day. This project is only as good as the messages that you leave me, so if you feel so inspired, call!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Why you should make mistakes

Apple and Pixar's success didn't come out of nowhere, and Jobs philosophy on failure explains it.

Rango: Character Animation inside ILM

Rango: Character Animation inside ILM: #rango #ilm #animation Maia Kayser is a Lead Character Animator at ILM. In this, our first video studio profile, we travel to the Presidio in San Francisco to Industrial Light & Magic to see what it is like to be a woman doing digital character animation in films such as Rango.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Animated Film Feature Production 101

#animation Impressive documentary of what happens around the production of an animated film.

Framestore: Deathly Hallows Animation

Framestore: Deathly Hallows Animation : #animation #harrypotter The crucial origin of the ‘Deathly Hallows’ is told inside the latest Harry Potter film via a three minute animated sequence directed by Ben Hibon and created by Framestore. In it, we learn of the story of the Three Brothers and their encounter with Death. Sequence supervisor Dale Newton tells us how it came together.
Watch for more HP7 stories, podcasts and interviews coming up here at fxguide.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Transformers VFX Breakdown

Transformers VFX Breakdown

Returning to the Transformers franchise for a third time, Digital Domain developed, created and animated new characters including ‘Laserbeak,’ ‘Brains’ and an army of Decepticon soldiers called ‘protoforms,’ as well as the returning character, ‘Wheels.’ VFX supervisor Matthew Butler oversaw the global digital production of 350 shots created in Digital Domain’s Venice and Vancouver studios and a facility in Mumbai, India.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Animation Education, Worse than I thought

Animation Education, Worse than I thought!: I've been shocked and dismayed at the feedback I've received since my recent workshop presentation at the CTN Expo, entitled "I don't want to see your degree - I want to see what you can do!" It appears that so many students, past and current, are entirely dissatisfied with the education they are receiving... especially in terms of the huge fees they are paying to their schools to give them that education! The main criticism seems to be the fact that some animation teachers do not do, or even know, what they are teaching - and therefore students are being turned out totally unprepared for the industry of today.

Friday, 3 February 2012


Cool stuff you can do with stuff you have laying around your house!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Promising animators wanted: Skills, a dream, hard work required

Promising animators wanted: Skills, a dream, hard work required: The boom in the animation industry boosted the demand for talented people, which in turn led to a boom in training options. Increased enrollment at animation institutes and training centers propelled academic institutes and private centers to speed the establishment of related disciplines or courses.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Strong poses Tutorials

Strong poses Tutorials: #animation Ok so like everything there are key elements on how to give emotion to a character and therefore create an appeal to the audience.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

10 Tips from Terry Gilliam

10 Tips from Terry Gilliam: I think the best filmmakers are animators.

Disney's Bolt and Clay Kaytis animation

During the summer of 2009 I had the pleasure of meeting Clay Kaytis, Animation Supervisor at Disney Animation Studios.

During my meeting with Mr. Kaytis, he showed me the break down of this shot he made while working as a Supervising Animator for the movie Bolt. Please take your time to watch this clip a couple of times:

Time, Spacing, Slow in and Slow Out in the "Bouncing Ball"

Through good space and timing this shot gives you the following information:

  • The hamster ball is rigid as it doesn't show any deformation while is being pushed or during the impact stages.
  • Most of the weight of the "hamster in ball" system lies on the hamster as he "pushes" the ball during the fall.
  • Rhino bounces back after the impact with the bench which gives you an idea of how rigid the Rhino is.
Lets break down Rhino's fall from the edge of the table to the top of the bench:

Appeal and Anticipation

Through great poses and great facial expressions we empathize with Rhino. (Who haven't met somebody they admired?)

At this point of the story we don't know who Rhino is but we learn he is a very enthusiastic fellow, bursting of joy when he realizes he is meeting his idol, Bolt.

Let's break the shot after he runs from left to right and then back to left, Notice the anticipation before the big cheer and slow out into a good extreme.:

Did you notice the look Rhino gives to Mittens? look through the shot again. I understood that Clay wanted to enhance Rhino's acting by making him react to the presence of a cat, not just as his natural enemy but as Bolt's arch-nemesis Doctor Calico's minion.

Thanks again Clay Kaytis for all the tips. you can find him on Twitter or sign up for his podcast at

If you haven't seen Bolt, you can buy it now on DVD and Blu-Ray, it's a great family movie:

Hope you liked this post!