Videos

Thursday, 18 August 2016

How to use an animated / video texture in Maya 2016 | Animation Tutorial

How to use an animated / video texture in Maya 2016 | Animation Tutorial, a cool way to add life to animation props and ambients within Maya.


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

An Analysis of the Character Animation in Disney’s Tangled

An Analysis of the Character Animation in #Disney’s Tangled: Learn what makes #Tangled the great animation film it is by reading this great article from Senses of Cinema

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

7 Hand Gestures You Should Be Using (in your shots :) )

7 Hand Gestures You Should Be Using (in your shots :) ): Use those hands to convey your message without using words.




Friday, 10 June 2016

5 challenges to awaken your creativity

5 challenges to awaken your creativity by creativebloq.com "If you feel stuck in a rut and it seems like ideas took a vacation away from your brain, THIS is the post for you.5

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Pointers for jobs in animation

Pointers for jobs in animation, The animation guild put up a nice article of what to have in mind when looking and landing jobs in the animation Industry.

It basically explains how some efficient networking can keep you busy as long as you want.

Check them up HERE

Finding work in the most unusual places

Finding work in the most unusual places by Creativebloq.com "Sometimes the chance to get your big break in design can come from a surprising direction; learn how some top designers found work in an unexpected way."

Personally I have to say that the best jobs that I had weren't the ones I applied for. So get out and meet people. you never know what door will open for you.

Quick Tip - Render Faster using the Windows Command Line with Maya

Quick Tip - Render Faster using the Windows Command Line with Maya by cgtuts.com "In this Quick Tip tutorial, you will learn how to batch render Maya scenes faster using the Windows command line, and in this way, maximize the amount of processing power you can get from your computer."

All the goodies HERE

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Seven Habits Of Memorable People

Seven Habits Of Memorable People by Fastcompany.com"Improving your memory is a hot topic, but what if you want to influence someone else’s memory—especially when it comes to how (or if) they will remember you? It's an important thing to consider since being forgettable can be toxic when it comes to success, says cognitive scientist Carmen Simon, author of Impossible to Ignore: Creating Memorable Content to Influence Decisions."

Most of what you find on THIS article is applicable to life. So why not giving it a try for a change?

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Maya for Beginners - Learn Maya fast in 1 hour

Maya for Beginners - Learn Maya fast in 1 hour "Today I will teach you Maya basics in one hour. No nonsense, just simple point to point teaching of all the generic tools common in many 3d applications."



Goodies, insights and comments HERE

Lip Sync for animation in 3D games

Lip Sync for animation in 3D games, a quick rundown of how to do Lip Sync that looks good and gets the point across. It is also a great intro for doing a rough lip sync pass.

 

From Maya To Blender: The Road Less Traveled

From Maya To Blender: The Road Less Traveled By Nick Adams "Since I was about 13 years old, I’ve used Autodesk products. Among these was Maya, before it was a product of Autodesk. If ever there was someone you would ask whether or not they liked Blender, it was most certainly not me. I remember once giving Blender a go maybe 5 or 6 years ago, and immediately didn’t like it, as the perspective camera didn’t look right. Everything was super wide, as if looking through a fish eye lens. To be fair, I never really gave Blender much of a chance. I looked at it once, then wrote it off in favor of 3D Studio Max. Much like O’Neill, I always thought, “Well, we’ll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it.” Well, I’m finally at that bridge, and I have to say, I was quite surprised." Lots of insights on making the jump to Blender ENJOY!

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Basic Character Animation from start to end

Basic Character Animation from start to end "In this tutorial I'll go through the basics of character animation. We will be using our rig to create readable and appealing animation for the audience. A great starter video for those wanting to do some virtual acting. Be patient, animation is a subtle art. 20 seconds will take you approximately 20 hours."



Check for rigs, info and tons of goodies on the Youtube's page HERE

Your Last Two Weeks: How to Leave Your Job Gracefully

Your Last Two Weeks: How to Leave Your Job Gracefully by Lifehacker.com "It’s the final stretch: You’ve quit your job, and now all that stands between you and a different life are those two weeks of notice. Use this time to tie up loose ends and take care of the little details that will make it easier to leave your old job behind and focus on your new one." So get it done right and move on! (CLICK HERE!) P.S. My only notes on this are: if they ask you to stay after completing all what you have to do in your two weeks notice, just politely decline and walk away :D (Trust me!), also everything collapsed under its own weight, so you don't have to "push" for anything to happen by leaving any thoughts on your exit interview (Trust me again, seen it way too many times).

Misconceptions of animation "writers"

Misconceptions of animation "writers" bt JohnK "The responsible way to write for animation is to keep the average amount of characters down to 2 per scene. Especially in TV animation. More characters per scene equals less time to animate each character. This results in cheaper faster crappier animation and no personality animation at all." One of the masters of modern animation gives you a ton of useful advice in a handful of paragraphs HERE

Creating Strong Character Poses

Creating Strong Character Poses: Solid and appealing character poses don't come easy. Enjoy some great advice from Mark Pullybank and get to it.

 

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

20 Best Acting Performances of The Last 5 Years

20 Best Acting Performances of The Last 5 Years By screenrant.com "Many people would have you believe that movies aren’t as good as they used to be. In addition to dismissing all the great films that have come out in the past few decades, that attitude discounts some of the most intense, bizarre and captivating performances audiences have ever been privileged enough to watch. No method has been untried by both older actors really discovering themselves and newer talents capable of shaking up everything we expect from a performance." All the goodies right HERE

The importance of imagination by the creator of the Twilight Zone

The importance of imagination by the creator of the Twilight Zone, Rod Serling not only delivered some quality TV back in the days, but he was responsible for dropping the killing twist on Planet of the Apes (The one from the 70's , It was Earth all along!).

On the following video he provides some great insights on the wonders of imagination and how it has helped humanity to progress and to move forward.



This content was graciously created by the guys from PBS, don't forget to do some of your shopping @ shop.pbs.org to support such a great channel, which produces tons of quality content to inspire and educate the young minds out there.

Don’t Send in the Clowns: Mime Isn’t Dead, It’s Just Quiet

Don’t Send in the Clowns: Mime Isn’t Dead, It’s Just Quiet by hyperallergic.com "Perhaps mime’s biggest challenge to being widely appreciated is convincing producers to put it in theaters. “It’s not that we don’t have the public,” Goldston said. “It’s just harder to get the theater people to take the chance.”With their experience of running companies and producing shows, Baumwoll and Barbour understand the difficulties of marketing mime. “We’ve had company members who think we should take ‘mime’ out of our title,” Baumwoll said. “When we advertise, we balance the imagery with language that gives off an idea that we’re accessible.” The poster for their most recent show, Above Below, is a company member in a white t-shirt underwater, swimming toward an angelically lit surface. “I want mime to gain back some of its respect,” Baumwoll said. “It needs to be on a stage and it needs to be live.”" Set some time aside to learn more about this amazing form of acting HERE

Monday, 30 May 2016

Break free from the animator's hunch: Better Posture in 4 minutes

Break free from the animator's hunch: Better Posture in 4 minutes, "This video WILL help you get better posture. In this video Dr. Eric Goodman walks you through simple Foundation Training exercises, that can help improve posture, alleviate back pain, and enhance athletic performance, by engaging the major muscle chains in your body and helping you identify and utilize proper movement patterns. Enjoy!"

   

 Just remember to include these exercises in your daily routine.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Creating breakpoints to deal with stress

Create breakpoints to deal with stress. "As productivity writer Seth Godin explains, breakpoints allow you to predict and handle your stress in ways that don’t ruin your entire life for you."

Break free from crippling stress and the temporary problems that could lead to long term consequences by reading and practicing THESE useful tips from lifehacker.com

Monday, 16 May 2016

How to better judge to acting choices

How to better judge to acting choices (It's a Word document JIC) This is a helpful guide to breakdown an animation performance and which you can apply to your shots.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Start Your Animation Studio In 6 Easy Steps!

Start Your Animation Studio In 6 Easy Steps! a funny deconstruct of the eHow approach to make it big in animation. The journey to building your animation studio starts HERE

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Shut up and Take my Money Now! A Hayao Miyazaki inspired Platformer in the Works

Shut up and Take my Money! A Hayao Miyazaki inspired Platformer in the Works by Nerdist "The films of Hayao Miyazaki give us worlds in which we would love to live. Who wouldn’t want to fly around and fight air pirates with Porco Rosso, save a forest full of spirits with Princess Monokoke, or meet a world of beasts and monsters like in Spirited Away? A French game developer called Bloomylight Studios definitely has and they’ve turned their love for the look and feel of Studio Ghibli films into a 2D platformer game called Lynn and the Spirits of Inao, which is currently being Kickstarted
."
 All the goodies and details HERE after the jump!

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Animation Workflow with Nick Cross

Animation Workflow with Nick Cross, a VERY detailed process of how to plan and execute an animated 2D shot.

All you'll learn over Nick's PAGE is applicable to any animation media or software application,

Remember, only with an organized mindset you can achieve excellent shots. So stop leaving stuff to chance and get the most you can from this amazing colleague.

Monday, 9 May 2016

DIY Not So Poor Man's Motion Capture setup with Unity and Kinect

DIY Not So Poor Man's Motion Capture setup with Unity and Kinect from Microsoft's Channel 9  "Have  you always wanted your characters to walk around like you do? Then look no further :) Using Kinect v2 in conjunction with Unity you can record your own animation data, even without having a marker suit for example. In my video I show you how you can use the tool Cinema Mo Cap in order to record and import your animations to a 3D Model of your choice - Have fun!"



All the goodies, links and details mentioned on the video, right HERE

Viewport 2.0, all you wanted to know and never had the time to find out

Viewport 2.0, all you wanted to know and never had the time to find out, Jeffrey Hoover and Tim Kallok tell you all about Maya's Viewport 2.0. and how to get the best out it instead of letting it to get the best out you!



And great write up, right HERE 

Should you know something about the Viewport 2.0 that want to share with the world, please put it in the comments right below. :D

Friday, 6 May 2016

5 ways to deal with creative burnout

5 ways to deal with creative burnout by Creativebloq "As an independent creative professional, and because of the number of hours per day I work, I face the very real potential for burning out. The secret isn't luck; it's a deliberate decision to keep the fire burning."

The details of how to enjoy life while working are HERE

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Feliz CInco de Mayo!

Feliz CInco de Mayo! Compadres! #cincodemayo


Animation Comedy and Gag Writing

Animation Comedy and Gag Writing by AWN.com "Animation comedy is above all, visual with plenty of sight gags. It uses motion and misuses the laws of physics. The comedy is exaggerated and often illogical. Dialogue may be smart with comebacks, put-downs, puns, rhymes or alliteration. Titles are funny."

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Watch Jamaal Bradley thought process while working with Breakdowns

Watch Jamaal Bradley thought process while working with Breakdowns, Jamaal Bradley, the accomplished Dreamworks supervising animator shares his wisdom for breakdown on a very interesting and educational session.

All the goodness right HERE 

The Science of Developing Mental Toughness in Your Health, Work, and Life (and How That Will Make You a Better Artist)

The Science of Developing Mental Toughness in Your Health, Work, and Life (and How That Will Make You a Better Artist), is an insight on the mental trades you need to kick ass as an artist and do great in life, no matter background, grades or heritage,

I have to say that only with perseverance and grit I've accomplished some major goals in life, despite of having to work full time/part time while being punched left and right with all the unexpected things only life can deliver (without mentioning politics at every level, which its an article of its own).

It's a lonely road to the top though, a road filled with tons traps, detours and sad moments,

However, when you reach your destination you'll realize that everything worked out for the better and any battle scar you have gotten is part of your reward and your character.

So read THIS great article from James Clear and build some mental muscle to become tough enough to break through any vermin ridden jungle with both arms swinging in victory!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Ten steps to a great game animation demo reel

Ten steps to a great game animation demo reel by Game Anim "Greater length, quality and variety is expected from someone with industry experience behind them, whereas a student need mostly show potential, passion and imagination that can be nurtured. Admittedly, these are only my opinions so I’d be interested to hear what other developers think, and please also add your reel or others you know of to the group – it’s open to everyone."

More information HERE

Looney Tunes CG Smears and Multiples Breakdown

Looney Tunes CG Smears and Multiples Breakdown, Look at this awesome collection of breakdowns from the Looney Tunes shorts made by ReelFX rigged by the talented Josh Carey.

All the goodies are HERE after the jump!

Enjoy!

Monday, 2 May 2016

Three tips on achieving an awesome animation performance

Three tips on achieving an awesome animation performance by The Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics "Animation is nothing more than a few drawings or models moving on screen. Then how do these lifeless objects give brilliant performances? From Timon & Pumbaa singing hakuna matata in The Lion King to Carl & Ellie in Up, what or, rather, who is it that makes them give their best performance? Of course, the simplest answer is the director of the film. But the director cannot play all the parts. This is where animators come in. They are not only responsible for bringing the characters alive, but also for their performance. In short, animators are the real actors behind the scene."

Check for the complete article HERE

Thursday, 28 April 2016

How To : Make an 8-Bit Retro VG Animation Episode 1 - The Sprite Animation

How To : Make an 8-Bit Retro VG Animation Episode 1 - The Sprite Animation: In this Episode, we will teach you how to animate and render a clean sprite in Adobe Photoshop and Import it into After FX. In After FX we teach you how to sequence the animation correctly, and position them in time with each keyframe.

We go over some simple tips for staying organized, cleaning up your animation, and what you should and should not do when animating a sprite in After FX. We go over basic positions, and show you what keyframing is, how effective it is in animating sprites, and when you should keyframe.


Wednesday, 27 April 2016

How Two Decades in Animation led to publishing "Red Planet"

How Two Decades in Animation led to publishing "Red Planet" While many have considered the possibility of alien abduction, one aspect often gets overlooked. If we're not alone, and if one of those alien races is abducting people from Earth, it's not a stretch to imagine they're also stealing from other planets.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Too funny for words: Editorial cartoons

Too funny for words: Editorial cartoons Only artists can pinpoint the real source of a problem with nothing but some clever cartoons

Monday, 25 April 2016

Paul Wyatt on the secrets of great filmmaking, how to tell a story and why silence is golden

Paul Wyatt on the secrets of great filmmaking, how to tell a story and why silence is golden: Paul Wyatt is a talented London-based filmmaker who loves to delight audiences, empower people to action and enlighten a new way of thinking. His films sell products, educate, inform and entertain. During...

Friday, 22 April 2016

Animation Explores the Beautiful Circles of Our World

Animation Explores the Beautiful Circles of Our World: Travel from underwater to outer space in this incredible animation from production company Chromosphere and sound designer David Kamp. Watch forms found in the natural and scientific world emerge f…

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Professional Japanese animator teaches you how to be better at drawing

Professional Japanese animator teaches you how to be better at drawing, a cool way to learn the ropes of 2d figure drawing and animation with the gracious help of a fellow from the other side of the pond. 

Follow this link for some 2D animation goodies.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Animating data with Python

Animating data with Python, want to go from boring graphics to animated data sets? Jump to the following link and learn how to do it!

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

50 facts about the Incredibles

50 facts about the Incredibles by Beyond the Cartoons. Take a look at this interesting compilation of facts and gauge how much you know about this Pixar classic LINK

Monday, 18 April 2016

The Johnny Castaway's Story

The Johnny Castaway's Story, Back in the day of old CRT monitors and during the dawning era of computer audio cards, a funny castaway came along to keep those pixels from burning onto your screen, providing some funny antics when you were away from you computer, weird, ain't it?

Ironically you would hang around to see what was coming into this castaway life, on what seemed to be an endless story of jokes and comedy.

Well, somebody with some time in his/her hands and some storytelling skills put everything together for your enjoyment.

However, it seems to be missing some pieces, as many video commentators point out, but the final product is a quite entertaining piece of 90's nostalgia, not to be missed.

Have fun!



Friday, 15 April 2016

Projection Mapping Galore!

Projection Mapping Galore, your jaw will drop with this massive compilation of projection mapping pieces executed all over the world. When the term living buildings was introduced some years ago, it definitely missed projection mapping as a possibility of living buildings.

Follow this link for some projection mapping awesomeness.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

The road less traveled can lead you to an animation job... in Korea?

The road less traveled can lead you to an animation job... in Korea? A very interesting story of an american artist that ended up working at a studio in the other side of the world. Follow this link for some insightful teaching in career incidentals.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

The Game Animation Gig Test

Gaming studios are well known to include a test into their hiring process. Check out this link for some useful and healthy info that will work to your advantage.

The only thing this post misses is that most of the times the rig they give you is broken! so get your hands dirty with some rigging/constraint techniques to keep you out of trouble.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

More maya animation tricks and tips

Adding more tools to your bag of tricks never hurts, check this link for some tips that will come handy.

Monday, 11 April 2016

15 ways to supercharge your Maya workflow

15 ways to supercharge your Maya workflow by 3DArtist, a very useful set of tips to speed up you work while animating or modeling. All goodies at this present link

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Bootlegging 1920's style

Bootlegging 1920's style! #disney



I was having a particular bad day, and right after seeing this picture, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Thanks John, you da bomb!

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Animation and live action for TV blast - Drew meets Daffy Duck

Animation and live action for TV blast - Drew meets Daffy Duck, an exquisitely animated sequence used to start a Drew Carey show episode. Voiced by the late Joe Alaskey 1953-2016 and animated by Jeff Siergey and  Daryl Graham

.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Using a Wacom Pen for Animation in Maya

Using a Wacom Pen for Animation in Maya: Derek "Oz" Osborne, discusses and demonstrates using a Wacom pen for animation in Maya.



Friday, 1 April 2016

Improving Maya's viewport playback

Having performance issues with the Maya viewport playback? Check out this quick and useful checklist to get you out of the rut.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

MARZA Revolutionizes CG Animation Rendering with Unity

MARZA Revolutionizes CG Animation Rendering with Unity "A breakthrough in advanced technology for CG production, “THE GIFT” integrates MARZA’s forte — Hollywood style CG film production – made possible by Unity’s rendering engine. The new pipeline uses full, feature-quality character motions and shaders, and requires no “pre-rendering” via other programs. Moreover, contrary to the existing use of CPU for pre-rendering, Unity’s use of GPU has led to increased rendering speeds allowing directors and artists to simplify and optimize their interactions."

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Working with instances in Maya

This video explains how to use instancing in Maya to speed up your workflow. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Digging for Disney Gems: Audience Reception and the Problem with Plot

Michael Cooper provides some great points on plot and story at the following link

Iron Giant Ultimate Collector's edition available on Pre-Order

Brad Bird promised an Iron Giant blu-ray release worth of a classic. and he is on his way to deliver.

The beloved animation cult classic is available for pre-order on Amazon and will be released on September the 6th.

Let me tell you, this release is loaded with tons of goodies, with the art of the Iron Giant book included! WOW!



Also you'll get a mini figure, 4 Mondo Iron Giant postcards and the blu-ray (of course, with tons of extras like art, commentaries and the documentary about the making of the Iron giant).

Do yourself a favor, and take advantage of the free shipping your are getting with this release, and get some boxes of tissues. You know you are going to need them, don't deny it! :D

Thanks @WBHomeEnt and @BradBirdA113


Monday, 14 March 2016

Forget about 3D printed stop motion and think about solid porcelain stop motion

Forget about 3D printed stop motion and think about solid porcelain stop motion by the Creators Project "Estonian artist Anu-Laura Tuttelberg just dropped an enchanting experiment in animation that envisions rainforest plants and creatures coming to life within the confines of her workshop. Each puppet is made from porcelain, giving her subjects the magical look of living ceramics. The music is by Estonian composer Maarja Nuut, who will also be composing Tuttelberg's upcoming film, Winter in the Rainforest. For an idea of how long it takes to animate with this process, watch from 0:27 as three full candles burn down to the nub in the space of a few seconds."


More information can be found here

Friday, 11 March 2016

Hayao Miyazaki has a bone to pick with consumerism and computers (but mostly consumerism)

Hayao Miyazaki #ghibli has a bone to pick with consumerism and computers (but mostly consumerism) by Rocketnews24. You have to grant that Hayao Miyazaki is one of the few top rank artists out there that doesn't compromise and stands by his opinion no matter what. Check the following link for some insight of this amazing aniamtion master

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Want to learn more about body mechanics in animation?

Body mechanics is the fundamental you need to help you make your character animation believable. The more you know how the human or creature body works, the better off you'll be setting up poses and defining the arcs you need to take your animation to the next level.

So come on down to the following link and learn a lot from it.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Need maya rigs?

Need a maya rig? The animation buffet guys have a treasure trove of free rigs that you can you for your animating needs and to expand your knowledge on what can be done with rigs and how to work with them. So drop by the following link and get to it!

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Fixing Common Mistakes When Animating Walk Cycles

Lester Banks helps you fix those recurrent problems many animators have with walk cycles. Walk cycles are the starting point to a character's traits and getting it done right quickly will let you spend more time giving your character more personality and pizzazz than fixing some odd problems.

Follow this link for more Lester Banks goodies

Monday, 7 March 2016

Python in Maya

Learn about how to use Python in Maya for some technical animation goodness. It includes a convenient PDF you can have handy for future reference and it covers all you need to know to get you going.

Follow the following link and get coding!

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Dreamworks and Linux

Check how Dreamworks developed its animation pipeline using Linux, the best operating system on earth

Follow this link from linuxjoournal.com to learn some interesting facts about DreamWorks Feature Linux and Animation

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

The Animated history of London

Check out this video of the animated history of  London made with paper, amazing!


Tuesday, 23 February 2016

If Disney made Suicide Squad

Imagine the Suicide Squad universe brought to life by Disney characters, click the link and get ready!

From the cool guys at BMoneyrulz


Monday, 22 February 2016

The most profitable habit all artists should master

If you are goin to master just one skill as an artists, this one should be at the top of your list.

Learn the habit that every master in music, writing have animation have applied since the begining of their careers by jumping to The most profitable habit all artists should master by entrepeneur.com and start fulfilling that dream of yours.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Strategies to manage stress

Want to know how to manage stress better?, check the following link and learn how to cope with those nuances that keep us from reaching greatness.

Right from business insider comes this useful infographic that you should print and keep handy:
15 ways to manage stress according to scientists

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Harley Quinn, the evolution from animated goofball to supreme villain

Harley Quinn has to be one of the most popular villains of the Batman Animated Universe. If not , one has to wonder why the appaling number of cos-players wearing every possible permutation of Harley's costumes at any comic convention you go.

Now there are more layers of complexity and conflict that make Harley a true hard core villain over any other sexy bimbo in disguise, and to learn more about it you should follow this article from melty.com about Suicide Squad, the harrowing Harley Quinn, from animation to the big screen

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

You got all the skills to succeed in Animation or anything you do!

You got all the skills to succeed in Animation or anything you do! by thesimpledollar.com "Here are seven skills and traits that you already have that you may not be applying as well as you could. If you can execute these things, you’ll have a massive leg up on the people in your field and find it easy to get your foot in the door if you want to make a career change."

Thursday, 11 February 2016

A Toolkit for Unhooking from Criticism

 A Toolkit for Unhooking from Criticism by 99u.com "Over the past several years, I’ve had the privilege of working with creatives, entrepreneurs, and leaders to help them unhook from criticism, so they can have more impact and feel a greater sense of freedom in their work."

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Animated Storytelling Book review

Animated Storytelling Book review  Just recently I got a copy of the Animated Storytelling book written by Liz Blaze and published by Peachit Publishing, and here you'll find my impressions of this book that I hope you'll find useful, if you are considering in acquiring books that help you with storytelling in animation.

Animation is not just a matter of moving characters or objects in a believable way. There are certain components that need to be taken care of, so you can develop a story. Furthermore, animation is not something that you should do in an isolated way, most times than not, is directed to an audience that can be as little as one person watching TV, or as big as a music concert hall full of people whom are investing their time in watching what you want to convey,

By balancing all your ingredients correctly you get to make a great meal, right? Well, the same goes for animation. If you don't balance all the elements correctly, your story will suffer despite of having top notch resources like fancy rendering software, top gun animators helping you out and high level world artist directors with content to inspire you.

So this is where Animated Storytelling comes into play. This small book, big in content, teaches you an approach on how to take all the basic elements you need to know about telling a story, and learn how to make them work in such a way they serve the story as a whole unit.

This book encourages you to create your own animated content with some basic materials and procedures, using your own capabilities and nothing more. It won't help you to create an award winning short or whatnot right off the bat, but it will give you the foundations to build up your career as a storyteller, which is a skill you can take with you anywhere you go.

For instance, on the Weird Science chapter, which I liked a lot, you'll learn that animation is experimentation. Your characters are not affected by nothing that affects us as humans and your screen is strong enough to hold whatever thing you throw at it. For me that has to be the best chapter right after Pre-Production and Storytelling, which also have troves of useful information to learn from.

Maybe Weird Science doesn't tell you how to cope with failure while you are experimenting, but I can tell you that you should expect frustration, delays, conflicts and obstacles, even if you work on your own. And my advice would be to acknowledge those challenges you must overcome, and try to incorporate them In such a way they work for you, and not the other way around. Think of making an villain character explode and being left in an undignified state as a way to vent your frustration with your producers, clients or suppliers, it's not only pure catharsis for you, but is plain basic fun!

There seems to be a popular false perception, maybe fuelled by the truckloads of happy people portrait on every behind the scenes of every animated movie documentary out there, that animation is a one shot thing. That if you follow the rules, sign off on each step, color by the numbers and stay within the lines you should be gold more sooner than later, and there is nothing farthest from the truth than that.

Here is where I liked what I call "the pocket survival guide" format and style of this book. This won't only save you from having to go through tons and tons of content to help you out at any given moment., but feels great in your hands should you need a refresher on concepts, or need a quick shot of inspiration.

However, I'd like to point some elements which seem to be missing in the Color Sense chapter. A quick introduction to color theory and how a color wheel works to help with some of the terms like complementary colors,.or the the swatches used on page 61. Likewise, a bit more explaining on symbolism to break from the western perception of colors and their interpretation would be nice, in order to make the book more appealing and emphatic to audiences from other cultures that have been brought together by the Internet, which is the de facto distribution of digital content nowadays. And to take it an extra mile, warn about the use of colors on objects, for instance, I know a red or green hat mean different things to different cultures, which would be nice to know beforehand.

Also I would like to see some examples for the the Directional Movement concept the same way other examples were given in previous chapters. Directional Movement is a very cool concept to grasp, mostly when you are doing motion graphics. Being able to cue the audience by showing them how subjects move in and around the frame helps them digest the story in a much effective way through subtext than by any other means (although music helps a lot). Animation is a visual medium, and you should always present facts through visual leads.

Terri Gilliam's work could be used for examples as he conveys many of the trades necessary to make good storytelling through animation. His cut out stop motion shorts would make a good fit for the Technique chapter, and a good source of inspiration for the Weird Science chapter.

Some extra content should be dedicated to pauses in timing. Sometimes changing the duration of a shot or changing the timing of the actions of a subject is not enough. You should recur to pauses or holds to allow the audience have a very quick break, so you can give them the time necessary to absorb an idea or concept, enjoy a beautiful moment you put some good effort to create or get them ready for the rest of the roller coaster ride you got them into. 

Pauses are the commas of a sentence that give your content texture and should be used with flow in mind.  If you have heard a computer voice reading a piece of text, you have noticed that the pauses are sudden stops caused by the commas, hence phrases come out stiff and without life, so you should mind the pauses and make the proper arrangements to prevent sudden stops that could kill your shots.

To conclude this review, I have to say that Animated Storytelling is the book you'll need by your side while bringing that great idea of yours into fruition. It's not only a "pocket book" to help you solve a particular problem that you want to solve, or add that bit of spice that your short is missing. It's a resource you will be able to refer back again and again as you grow as an storyteller.

Thanks to Liz Blaze for all the teachings and thanks to Peachpit Press for creating this great book that is direly needed by those of us who want to create better animated stories.

God bless.

For more details on this book, please check the following links:

http://www.peachpit.com/store/animated-storytelling-simple-steps-for-creating-animation-9780134133652

http://www.amazon.com/Animated-Storytelling-Creating-Animation-Graphics/dp/013413365X

Last Joy, A funny animated short

Last Joy, A funny animated short Enjoy!



"Last Joy" Animated Short from Joe Reta on Vimeo.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Your Most Creative Ideas Are the Hardest to Sell—But They Don’t Have to Be

Your Most Creative Ideas Are the Hardest to Sell—But They Don’t Have to Be by Adam Grant at Linkedin "..The Lion King, which was the highest-grossing film of 1994, winning two Oscars and a Golden Globe. Katzenberg had said he would get down on his knees in appreciation if it brought in $50 million."

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Build a 3D zoetrope with Arduino

Build a 3D zoetrope with Arduino if you want to build a 3D zoetropre like the one in Disneyland's California adventure or the one at Ghibli museum in Japan, look no further and follow this useful tutorial that will get you spinning in no time.

For reference, this is what the zoetrope at Ghibli looks like:

and this is what the zoetrope at California adventure looks like:

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The top 12 animated shorts of 2015

The top 12 animated shorts of 2015 By 3D world Magazine "...Showcasing a blinding array of talent, they'll make you laugh, cry and, in some cases, shudder. But, trust us, you won't want to miss any. Enjoy!"

Monday, 1 February 2016

Mind blowing Fan Made X-Men Intro

Mind blowing Fan Made X-Men Intro, whoa! this kid really took it to town!


Friday, 29 January 2016

Motion Capture with Kinect-v2 Mocap Animator

Motion Capture with Kinect-v2 Mocap Animator by Microsoft's Channel 9 "Kinect v2 Mocap Animator is a simple to use motion-capture to fbx-animation tool. You can run it as a scene in the Unity editor, or use it as component in your own tools. The Mocap animator uses Kinect-v2 or v1 as input device, stores the captured movements as animation in a fbx-file of your choice, and allows displaying of the animation, right after you capture it. This package can be used in both Unity Pro and Unity Personal editors."

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Masters of puppets: Charlie Kaufman and the subversive allure of #stopmotion

#anomalisa Masters of puppets: Charlie Kaufman and the subversive allure of #stopmotion by The Guardian "...The fact that Anomalisa features stop-motion puppets rather than real actors doesn’t prevent it from being a sincere, profound, ultimately moving study of human relations. At the same time, it’s a strong contender for this year’s best animation Oscar, jostling incongruously with family movies like Inside Out and Minions"

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

How to create an animated GIF in Photoshop

How to create an animated GIF in Photoshop by MacWorld "Make an animated GIF that cycles through several images to create a slideshow that plays automatically on the web"

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Giving feedback on animated shots with nothing but YouTube

Giving feedback on animated shots with nothing but YouTube by The Digital Inspiration Blog Want to help your fellow animators but don't have any desktop capture tool? Find out how you can help your network to get out of a rut, or help them achieve awesomeness with this amazing how to.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Sony Pictures Animation Brings In T.J. Fixman To Write ‘Popeye’

Sony Pictures Animation Brings In T.J. Fixman To Write ‘Popeye’ by Deadline.com "Looks like somebody has been eating his spinach. Sony Pictures Animation is bringing in T.J. Fixman to write Popeye, the latest adaptation of the beloved sailor man. First appearing some 87 years ago  in a comic strip by the cartoonist Elzie Segar, Popeye has appeared in numerous comics, cartoons, ads and, in one instance, a live-action feature film."

Thursday, 21 January 2016

10 years of Butch Hartman's Fairly OddParents

10 years of Butch Hartman's Fairly OddParents by The Washington Post "The show’s 10th season premiered last weekend, but its creator, Butch Hartman, is already looking past the milestone and ahead to something monstrous: a new show called “Bunsen Is a Beast,” about a monster who becomes the first “beast” to go to a human elementary school."

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Storytelling through animated GIFs

Storytelling through animated GIFs by adweek.com "Medieval armored knights riding ancient Egyptian sphinxes might be the perfect visual metaphor for New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art. And that is among the highlights from this fun project by one London animator, who transformed the Big Apple—and some of its most famous landmarks—into clever GIFs."

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The ugly truth: Do recruiters really hang on to CVs when they promise to?

The ugly truth: Do recruiters really hang on to CVs when they promise to? by BBC News "...recruiters often use the phrase because they aren't honest enough to say, “I'm sorry, but your skill set doesn't match what we're looking for.” Or they are too kind to say, "I'm sorry but you've changed jobs every six months for the past three years and that makes us not want to interview.” "

 My take is stay in touch and be patient. Whatever opportunity comes your way, it's the one that will work for the best.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Star Wars Characters Reimagined As Winnie The Pooh And Friends

Star Wars Characters Reimagined As Winnie The Pooh And Friends by Boredpanda.com Prepare for some serious cuteness overload!!!! "Florida based illustrator and artist James Hance just combined Star Wars with Winnie the Pooh. Titled “Wookie the Chew,” Hance’s illustrations reimagine Chewbacca as Pooh Bear and Eeyore as an Imperial Walker, along other crossovers."

Thursday, 14 January 2016

How the side hustle could help your career in Animation

How the side hustle could help your career in Animation By Dumb Little Man "According to a 2015 survey by CareerBuilder, 16 percent of employees ages 25-34 still live with their parents, and 26 percent were unable to save any money last year. This is causing many young professionals to have to make the difficult choice between their dream job and a job that pays the bills. Enter the side Hustle!"

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

When You Should Worry About Failure, and When You Shouldn’t

When You Should Worry About Failure, and When You Shouldn’t  from Hardvard Business Review "The next time you run into trouble, assess whether it’s an unsystematic failure – just the result of balancing the tradeoffs of life (or even unforeseen circumstances that won’t happen again) – or a systematic one. Ultimately, the systematic failures in your life are the canary in the coal mine that signals when you need to make a significant change in your actions."

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Work for yourself an hour a day

Work for yourself an hour a day by mymoneyblog.com "...if you aren’t satisfied with your current situation, why not work for yourself an hour each day? Instead of just idle dreaming, set aside specific time for action. Perhaps the key is small chunks of time, but at regular interval"

Monday, 11 January 2016

15 Lessons You Can Learn From Jedi Master Yoda

15 Lessons You Can Learn From Jedi Master Yoda by Dumb Little Man "Here are some lessons you can learn from one of the greatest Jedi Masters of all time" Applicable to anything you do!

Thursday, 7 January 2016

10 Disney Movie Moments That Changed Animation

10 Disney Movie Moments That Changed Animation From The Disney Blog "Walt Disney Animation Studios has always been a leader in technological breakthroughs and inventive approaches to pre-existing methodologies. There’s a reason that animation is synonymous with Disney (and vice versa), with each of these new innovations, the entire medium is pushed forward. These following moments changed animation as an art form; they aren’t needle moving blips, they’re evolutionary leaps."

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Focus on what matters to you to succeed

Focus on what matters to you to succeed By Entrepeneur.com "Here are three common reasons that I strongly feel are some of the biggest reasons as to why most people fall short in achieving their loftiest goals when Dec. 31 rolls around each year."

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

A look at the minds behind Pixar Animation Studios

A look at the minds behind Pixar Animation Studios by CBS News "It's been nearly 30 years since Pixar introduced us to their signature desk lamps and bouncing balls in their first animated movie, "Luxo Junior." November marked 20 years since Pixar Animation Studios released its first feature film, "Toy Story," which critics hailed for its advance in computer-generated animation. John Blackstone visited Pixar's Bay Area campus to meet the minds behind the studio's biggest films."

 

Monday, 4 January 2016

Exhibition fetes works by late Ghibli animator Kondo

Exhibition fetes works by late Ghibli animator Kondo By The Japan News "An exhibition of artworks and materials related to animator Yoshifumi Kondo (1950-98), who directed the Studio Ghibli anime film “Mimi o Sumaseba” (Whisper of the Heart), is now under way at the Ishinomori Mangattan Museum in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture."

Don't miss it while in town!