Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Thomas Edison home, Ft. Myers Florida....

Went with the family to the Thomas Edison summer home in Fort Myers, Florida over Christmas break...haven't been there in 30 years when I was a surly pre-teen with my parents.    Now I can have some appreciation for everything in there.   In addition to his summer home, and amazing Laboratory, there's an impressive collection of early film equipment.   From Zoetropes to Kinetoscopes and Sceniscopes, and a bunch of other Scopes I cant remember, the Edison home collection has everything.     Its worth a drive down there to see some of the earliest Animation and Film tools ever made.   Its about 2 hours south of Ringling campus...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Recent bits of Awesomeness

Just a couple bits of awesomeness that have come in front of my eyes lately...   
Apparently Michel Gagne' is releasing a video game.   

There's a studio in Spain called "Headless Productions" that does amazing 2D animation:    

If any of you have had me as your teacher in 3D, you know how obsessed I am with nice hand poses on your 3D characters...    Why take one of the most expressive parts of the body, and leave it in the default pose???      Toby Shelton, a Story artist at Dreamworks has a blog, along with some really expressive hands...   Drawings...that is.   I've never seen his hands in person, who knows...maybe they are.  Click the image to find out.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Do you have that one with that guy who was in that movie that was out last year?

I just started an animation project today, and I needed to reference some Buster Keaton movies... So I went to Borders, thought for sure they'd have some DVD's..   Nope.    Three Stooges, W.C. Fields....I was impressed....but no Keaton.   Drove across the street to Barnes and Noble...  Only thing I found there was Miss Congeniality and it's sequel.  I walked out.   I thought I'd have to go home and order some on Amazon and wait a few days...    Then I remembered my favorite video store from back in the day when I was a student at Ringling...  Hadn't been there since like 1991....was it still there?   Yep.   Sure was.    Video Renaissance.  2243 Bee Ridge Rd, just a couple blocks off 41....  Unassuming little joint in a strip mall next to a laundromat...   When I tell you this place has everything....I mean they have EV-ER-Y-THING...   F Netflix.    I needed Buster Keaton today, not in a red envelope in 2 days...   Went in, and the same guy from 1991 was still working there...   Behind the counter, like a living breathing Imdb.com full of knowledge...  The man knows just about everything about film....if you've got something you're trying to find, but can't remember exactly what or where or how....he will know it.   I swear he's better than Google.   And when you rent, there's no long process of providing credit cards, passports, DNA samples...  He just writes down your name once on a yellow notepad, then remembers your name forever.  Old school.  So much more satisfying than the sterile point and click of online renting.    He immediately hooked me up with "The General" and a Keaton Compilation as well.  I walked out a happy man.   I love this joint.   Go there.  Give them your money.  You will love this place too.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Jump the Shark...

Somehow in class the other day, we ended up talking about where the phrase "Jump the Shark" originated...  Since I'm old as dirt, I was actually watching TV when the exact moment happened.... But some people weren't aware of its glorious moment of inception.    Here's a little article in the LA Times to capture the magic:  http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/03/entertainment/la-et-jump-the-shark-20100903
To that list of "Jump the Shark" moments I'd probably add any time a show adds a cute kid to the cast in hopes to resuscitate a dying show.    First one I can remember was when Cousin Oliver showed up on the Brady Bunch.   They didn't have enough kids on that show already?   After Cousin Oliver showed up, that show sucked balls.     Do I need to mention Scrappy Doo?   I didn't think so.  Also, any time a show tries to swap out a character with a new actor and get away with it....I'm done.     When they swapped Darren's on Bewitched?   Forget it.   Its the whole "New Coke" problem...kiss of death.   What?   Never heard of "New Coke"?    Maybe I'll talk about that in next week's class....

Friday, July 23, 2010

Rest in Peace my Friend....

It is with great sadness that I write this past Saturday, Pres Romanillos passed away.    He was surrounded by family, friends, and his wife Jeannine at his house....it appears he knew his time was short and he wanted to get out of the hospital and spend time with loved ones.   He was able to attend his art auction, and I know he was touched by the outpour of generosity by all his friends and partners in the animation industry...   Pres was 47 years old.....  Too young to be writing this sort of entry...    You will be missed Pres...    

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Do I love this Video?   Sweet Geezus yes...   Where do I begin?  Haven't heard the Black Sheep since I was in college...  Eating lunch in the student center while watching Yo! MTV Raps....good times.    Love the animation.....really subtle stuff in there.    If I had to guess....it looks like maybe CG Hamster head and hand replacements, over top of actors with oversized clothes...   I think some of the full body Hamsters in the back are all CG, and possibly the Hoochie Hamster girls dancing...  Its really well done how ever they did it.....great integration....at least here on YouTube.   Do yourself a favor, and watch it full size on YouTube in HD.   Enough jibba-jabba...  Onto the show....

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pres Romanillos Charity Art Auction

Animator Pres Romanillos has suffered a relapse of leukemia, and is in the hospital awaiting a repeat bone marrow transplant. His friends are putting together a charity art auction for his benefit.   You can visit the site now and view the art at www.pres-aid.com/  There are pieces from Al Hirschfeld, David Silverman,  Andreas Deja,  Eric Goldberg, Don Bluth, Ward Kimball and countless others...  

Pres is a personal friend of mine, I worked with him at Dreamworks on Shrek2...    Had many beers and spent many hours over heated shuffleboard competitions with Pres...  You wont meet a nicer person in animation than Pres....  Incredibly talented, and incredibly open with what he knows....   He and his wife Jeannine are hugely active in animal rescue and adoption.   Really good folk.

The Talbert Family Foundation has set up a charitable fund for Pres. 100% of these donations will go to Pres and Jeannine, to pay medical and day-to-day expenses. These donations are tax deductible. Thank you!   Spread the word!! 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Apparently you can have 'Good' and 'Fast'... not sure about 'Cheap' though.

You've probably seen this clip before, its from "Three Legged Legs" in Santa Monica and they do great stuff!    Check their site, they just banged out a cool Starbucks commercial in 4 days!   Check 'em out. 
Humans! from three legged legs on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Yoshida Brothers cover Radiohead....

When this first popped up in my Pandora playlist, I was like 'Huh?'   Then I was like 'What?'   Then I said 'Hey...thats Radiohead!'      And then I started to dig it...   Check it out.  

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

World of Imagination.....

Ever see an animation thats so simple and elegant, that you wanna kick yourself in the eye, because you didn't think of it yourself?    Well this spot did it for me.     Love it.     Now only if ATT's reception on my Iphone could be as cool as this commercial..   ;)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Animation is Concentration....Archie Style

I've never been a fan of Archie Comics, still aren't, well...maybe Betty....or Veronica...  I digress.     Anyway....my friend Marty Murphy sent this image out the other day when the topic of "multitasking" came up....    It reminded me of that drawing of Milt Kahl yelling at a young Richard Williams when he asked him if he listened to music when he worked....     It holds a lot of truth...     I had to block out 7 seconds of animation literally overnight recently, and decided to Unplug from Pandora and my other usual distractions....   I'd forgotten what a difference it can make when you give your undivided attention to the blank piece of paper in front of you, or that rig in the default 'T' pose....     Think its nonsense?    Try it.    Just for one day.  

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

One eyebrow up, Open smile on other side......

.....You've probably seen the posts on the internet regarding whats been called "the Dreamworks Face"      "One eyebrow up, open smile on the other Side..."    Yeah, you see it a lot in DW films.....I'm not going to defend it...   In fact, we used to giggle about how many times we got that note in Animation dailies...  Sometimes we'd collect all the Post-it notes from the Directors with that exact drawing on it, and hang them around our Monitors...  buy 'em, trade 'em, collect them all..  lol.   I must have had 30 or more...
This Guy has some interesting things to add to the debate....  And one of my students sent me this link, to tie it into 'Lost', which of course gets my interest...    Enjoy!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

"The Decade's Best!"

One of my students just sent me this photo... "The Decade's Best!" Blockbuster claims with their bold marquee. Look a little closer....whats that you see? Why its Bee Movie... Oh...and whats that? Its all rented out? That's right baby. Suck it! How would over one million viewers be wrong?   lol.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Great Spot for Tostito's by Laika.... Saw this ad on TV not too long ago.... Didn't learn till just recently it was done by Laika....and after reading the article on Motionographer, I found out my friend Fernando Benitez did the Fx work on the spot. Fernando was a classmate of mine at Ringling, and we worked together on a few Pictures in Fx at Dreamworks... Its such a small world out there in animation...for real..
Here's the spot.

“And Then There Was Salsa” from Frito Lay Dips on Vimeo.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hate the Car......Love the Commercials....

Some new spots have been running for the 2010 Honda Crosstour... Forgettable looking car, memorable looking commercials. Love the look of them, almost like the characters are made of crumpled and folded paper. Not sure what company is animating the spots yet....

*Update*... Looks like they're done by a company called "Elastic" In Santa Monica...thanks to Brendan for the link, and the new Squirrel commercial. Love it!
Who needs poly smoothing? Half the charm and appeal to these ads is the simple design and silhouettes, accompanied by the nice fluid animation. Great stuff.