High Rotation and the Pixar Masterclass

•July 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

First up, this song has been on high rotation as of late. Thought I’d share:

Secondly, yesterday I registered to attend the VANARTS Pixar Masterclass in Toronto at the end of the month.

Geared toward experienced animators, students and animation enthusiasts alike, the skill sets covered are not software-specific. Lectures are organized with visuals, including live-action and animated clips, supplemented by a printed workbook. This masterclass provides you with the tools needed to help create your own stories and feature-quality animation, plus offers a great opportunity to meet and network with others in the industry.

The first day is taught by Matthew Luhn who is Head of Story at Pixar Animation studios. The day primarily covers storytelling and should be a blast. If it’s anything like when Ed Hooks came and spoke to us at Sheridan it should be good fun. Emma Coats (Storyboard Artist) will also be in attendance as a special guest speaker.

The second day is taught by Andrew Gordon who is an Animator at Pixar. This is a bit more about the principles of animation. I’m really interested in hearing what he has to say. I hope I can use his talk to identify and get rid of my own bad habits in regards to animation. I’m very interested to hear about how he blocks out animation. I know I’ll be getting some serious inspiration out of this!

I’ve had an animation almost fully blocked out for a few weeks now but haven’t been able to finish it up. I’ll post what I have when I get home today.


Jack of All Trades

•July 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I have a new generalist reel up on Vimeo. I tried to demonstrate my capabilities outside of just animation. Please take a look!

New Reel!

•April 8, 2012 • Leave a Comment

“If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.”

•April 8, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Here are two run cycles. The first one is the run cycle I used for my directed film Vanguard, the latter is the most recent run cycle I did for a recent job application.

I remember wacking my brain against a wall trying to get the first run cycle correct. I remember spending several days trying to tweak it more and more to make it look right and ended up with that. The other one I spent a couple hours on. I think the latter looks much better than the former and I think it serves as a testament to how I’ve developed in a short amount of time!


Back in the Library

•April 8, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I was back on the Library of Alexander. I was with my buddy Joey Listro talking about our trip to Coachella coming up in the very near future! Check it out!

“#@!$ It, We’ll Do It Live”

•March 25, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I changed my mind.

I was talking about the 7 animations I did in 6 days¬† with some friends a little while ago and they urged me to throw the videos up for people to see. I was a really reluctant because I didn’t want them to serve as a representation of my finished, polished work. And here I stand. This was a crazy task to complete and it really put to test my education and experience.

When I was first given the test, I was already in the middle of the day at my normal job. This meant I was going to have to have 7 “shipping” quality animations done in 6 days. I set off to work on it the next day. I had to make a miniature production schedule and force myself to come to terms with the fact that whatever is done at the end of the day is going to be sent to them. Not only that – but I realized that one day was going to require I finish two animations within 24 hours. This was a little hard to swallow¬† but I didn’t have time to dwell on it. I just had to put my head down and animate the shit out this character for 6 days straight.

With my work cut out for me I started to prioritize the animations in order of hardest to easiest and I would work in that order. The easiest animations were going to be the cycles. Specifically the run and idle cycles. I’ve done run cycles before and knowing what complications arose previously, I knew what to expect.

The attack animations were going to be a bit trickier. There were specific frame restrictions placed on each animation so I had to animate within those confinements. One confinement was that the character had to return to its idle pose. These animations were going to be very quick. A problem I experienced immediately was accurately portraying weight shifts at the beginning of each action. I immediately started researching video games for both inspiration and reference. God of War and Mortal Kombat 9 were both a serious source of aid for me. They had big, quick animations done within small periods of time.

The evade animation was probably the hardest to do for me. I initially tried to make the character do a jumping roll. I really liked the way the characters in Gears of War rolled and used clips from the game as one source of reference. The problem I encountered after a short amount of keyframing was that the character model I was given didn’t deform well at all. The clavicle control was rotating from where the characters deltoids were. This meant that I couldn’t lift his arms above his head without the model essentially breaking. Bummer. I started scrambling for a replacement and ended up with the slide across the ground.

All in all it was a very interesting experience. I didn’t end up getting the job but I did end up learning a lot from the experience. I’m proud that I was able to stick to it and complete 7 animations within such a short time. Sure, while I wouldn’t put any of these animations in a demo reel as they are now, these are raw animations that have a lot to offer in regards of what they could be if a bit more time were put into them.

This was a great opportunity to see where I was at experience-wise. It also confirmed that I was still able to work within and meet some pretty tight deadlines.

With all that said – here are 7 animations done in 6 days.


feat. Yours Truly

•March 14, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I was on the Library of Alexander podcast last night discussing computer animation among other things. It was a great experience and I’d love to come back on!