Saturday, December 31, 2011

Should All The Quaint Ants Be Forgot...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from a handful of birds and a fabricated monster!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

We didn't start the fire

fire effect for FX animation class

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pillow Tie 2.0

A few more Pillow Tie illustrations.  We're going with a missionary theme right now that will eventually be used for a calendar.  I'm much more pleased with the way these newer ones are turning out.  My first ones (here) were done in Adobe Illustrator and I didn't really know what I was doing.  These ones were actually drawn and painted in a program called Sketchbook Pro.

Buy a Pillow Tie for Christmas.  Buy several.  They make great gifts.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

from the dust

Hey internet.

I guess it's kind of cliche to apologize when a lot of time goes by between posts. The internet doesn't really care.  And my devoted few don't seem to mind.  So I'm just going to pretend it never happened and forego the apology.

This semester has been extremely busy. I've since joined a traveling circus, invented a sequel to the internet, and defeated evil (it came back the next day). I've also done a handful of art type stuff that I will be posting in parts over the next few weeks.

First up... a micro-cartoon!

Also, you might notice a few advertisements (pronounced the british way, ad-VERT-ismentz) here and there on my blog.  Does that mean I've sold out?  Regardless, I'm now confident my financial future is secure cause I'm earning an average $1.86 every month.  That might be enough to pay for my drinking habit.  My water drinking habit.  One 16 oz. bottle every thirty days.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


This one fell into the archives without much notice.  Thought I'd pull it out and show it just for fun.  Only took a few hours to do. The assignment was to practice asymmetrical movement.  Apparently beginning animators have a tendency to move limbs and such at exactly the same time and direction and it makes things look too robotic and boring. (Sentences have a way of sounding weird when the word 'and' occurs too frequently.)

School starts again this next Monday, which means I'll have a lot more work to post.  Character Design, Storyboarding, Visual FX, and Animation. Yikes.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Injustice of it all (a non-art post)

There are several times in my life when I've been handed something that I clearly didn't deserve.  Let me enlighten you with an example.  In the year 2000, probably a day or two before graduation, it occurred to me that I had not ordered a cap and gown.  "Wait, we're supposed to order those?" I innocently said to myself. Sheepishly, I entered the school office and informed the administration of my pickle.  Sparing you the details, I walked out of the office with the new experimental cap and gown model some salesman was showcasing for next year's graduates.  It was made of a different shiny material that I think they use to make space suits or something.  As a reward for my ignorance, I was the only member of my graduating class that was practically glowing.

Anyone who knows my wife and my daughter would certainly agree that I got more than I deserved. Click this link and prepare to melt.

A couple weeks ago I was minding my own business when I got an invitation by email from a professor at UVU to attend an animation workshop in L.A. and visit DreamWorks, Sony ImageWorks, and Nickelodeon.  "Wait, What?!" I'm still a bit confused on why I got to go.  It was awesome.  

The following is a brief summary and a few highlights.

We drove west Sunday morning in a large van.  Attending were a professor, a coordinator, two seniors, and a lowly freshman (me). Monday we were greeted by the ACME Network, a non-profit organization that provides training and integration into the animation industry.  We then went to the DreamWorks Animation Studio and I was in shock.  

After the tour we had a complimentary lunch where I caught a glimpse of Hans Zimmer and Jeffrey Katzenberg. Hans was wearing gold pants. I happen to have a friend that works there as a story artist, Steven Macleod. After lunch he took me on a private tour and showed me all the studio offices.  He even showed me a secret room that was hidden behind a bookshelf on hinges. It almost felt like hallowed ground. Then Steve introduced me to Nicolas "Nico" Marlet.

This guy has been at DreamWorks since The Prince of Egypt and is highly revered for his character designs on Kung Fu Panda

and How To Train Your Dragon.

He was very kind even though I'm sure we were probably interrupting him.  He showed me some face-melting drawings that he was working on for How To Train Your Dragon 2. I couldn't tell if my eyes were opened wider than my mouth, but I'm sure I looked ridiculous.

Next I went back downstairs to attend a story workshop by industry veteran Frank Gladstone and David Pimentel, who is Head of Story at DreamWorks.

Me and Frank

Then we went out to dinner and I met Mark Walton who worked for Disney and is now with DreamWorks.  If you're familiar with the movie Bolt, he did the voice acting for the hamster character, Rhino. By the end of the day, I wasn't quite sure what hit me.

The next couple days we hit up Sony and Nickelodeon which were equally enjoyable. I'll spare you all the fanboy commentary. We drove back Wednesday and that was that. 

Now there might be two schools of thought on why I was afforded this opportunity.  1- Perhaps there is some super-cosmic force that is lobbing pitches my way despite my inadequacies and ignorances in order to prime me for something beyond my capacity to fully realize. Or 2 - It's just dumb luck. Regardless, I was very grateful for the opportunity.

The main thing I learned from this trip is that I want to break into this industry even more than before AND it's a lot more competitive and difficult than I thought.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"Okay, I'm with you fellas."

This one was pretty fun to do. It was an exercise in mouth shapes and lip synching animation. If you've been hiding in a cave for the last ten years, you may not know that this is from the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?. One of my faves.

(warning to parents:  contains non G-rated language)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Raising the Bar

Thank you all for coming!  I hope this experience is as rewarding for you as it was time-consuming for me.  Rather than ruining this experience for you any further, let's just get right to it.

The following is a project that took me about three months to complete.  It could probably still use a bit more polish and shine, but... you know.  You may recognize the giraffe as the famous Geoffrey the Giraffe from Toys 'R Us.  I'm not sure how trademarks and copyrights work but I figure I should mention that the general design of this character is not my doing.  Maybe if I took off the stars it wouldn't have been a problem.  

For best viewing, click on the 720 HD option on the bottom right if it's not already.  Crank up the sound.  And give it the ol' full screen treatment.  If the high def is too slow you can reduce the resolution or just give it some time to prep.

And now for the moment no one's been waiting for...

If you happened to miss the premiere showing, there will be a series of encore showings from now until the end of the internet.
Thanks again for coming.  Don't forget to sign the guest registry.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sneak Peek

Almost done.  Here are a few clips that may or may not be in my near-completed cartoon. Technically these are scraps anyway, because i accidentally converted the images from 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9 (widescreen).  That's why he looks a little stubby.

If all goes according to plan I should have it done by Monday or Tuesday.
Wish me luck.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Shrub-a-dub dub...

Let me introduce you to Shrub.  You may have seen him lurking around my blog here and there.  Incidentally, he's been posing as my profile pic for quite some time.  I'm not quite sure why he never got a formal introduction.  I created him for a character design class last summer. He's a nomad in search of answers.

Maybe in some distant future he'll get some screen time.  But for now, he's staying with me until the weather gets better.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Let the Games Begin!

A few screenshots of the short cartoon I'm working on.

Friday, March 18, 2011

he needs a name

Character design for an animation class.  He's a music conductor.  He's nimble, passionate, and dashingly husky.

He probably has an accent as well.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

IT'S ALIVE!! (cue lightning)

When I found so astonishing a power placed within my hands, I hesitated a long time concerning the manner in which I should employ it. Although I possessed the capacity of bestowing animation, yet to prepare a frame for the reception of it, with all its intricacies of fibres, muscles, and veins, still remained a work of inconceivable difficulty and labour. I doubted at first whether I should attempt the creation of a being like myself, or one of simpler organisation; but my imagination was too much exalted by my first success to permit me to doubt of my ability to give life to an animal as complex and wonderful as man. The materials at present within my command hardly appeared adequate to so arduous an undertaking; but I doubted not that I should ultimately succeed. I prepared myself for a multitude of reverses; my operations might be incessantly baffled, and at last my work be imperfect: yet, when I considered the improvement which every day takes place in science and mechanics, I was encouraged to hope my present attempts would at least lay the foundations of future success. Nor could I consider the magnitude and complexity of my plan as any argument of its impracticability. It was with these feelings that I began the creation of a human being. As the minuteness of the parts formed a great hinderance to my speed, I resolved, contrary to my first intention, to make the being of a gigantic stature; that is to say, about eight feet in height, and proportionably large. After having formed this determination, and having spent some months in successfully collecting and arranging my materials, I began.

- Dr. Frankenstein

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Little Jack Horner

Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said 'What a good boy am I!'

Can anyone tell me why he puts his thumb in the pie?  I'm sure he has a good reason.  And why does this make him a good boy?  Is it because of his hand-eye coordination?

This was an assignment for school.  I was trying to figure this problem out before I started, but I couldn't understand why he does it.  What is his motivation?  What does he gain from butchering the pie?  Is Jack some sort of sadist?  I should like to think not.  Any input?

Friday, March 4, 2011

more tripping

this happened to me once.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

nice recovery

This was an assignment for my animation class.  It's an exercise in weight.
He was just supposed to step up on the box and then step off to show that we could understand weight distribution and balance.  That sounded too boring, so I spiced it up a bit.

Next, I'll be using this as a template for a 3D animation.  Stay Tuned...

It's on a cycle, so if you can figure out a way to make the video player loop then it works just nicely.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


First, you buy two identical stuffed animals.


Second, you slaughter one of them with a stitch ripper.
(Don't be ashamed if you enjoy this part.  I did.)


Third, open up your computer and put all the pieces inside, thus digitizing your stuffed animal.  (If you're having difficulty during this step, just watch TRON.  I'm pretty sure it's the same process.)


Fourth, assemble the pieces into a 3-d model using your undefiled stuff animal as a reference model.


Fifth, attach the digitized pieces to your model with digital epoxy.

And there you have it.  

Easy, right?!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

monkey thievery

I wasn't going to post this until I'd fixed it the way I wanted to.  But I don't know if that will ever happen.  This was the final project for an intermediate animation class I took in the fall.  I'd say it's a step up from my initial animation stuff, but I still have a long way to becoming an outlier.

This is based off a character I designed for another project.  He's just trying to get some R and R when a pesky monkey swipes his hand made hat.

3 points if you can guess what he says at the end.

And for anyone interested in my current affairs, I have transferred from the Art Institute to Utah Valley University.  So essentially I'm restarting, again, a bachelor's degree... again.  If I was really thinking, I'd just go back to kindergarten.  That's where the real self discovery happens.  But I'm pretty confident I've found my home, again.

I'd also love to find a different job during this whole process.  Anyone...?  Anyone...?  I'll mow your lawn.  I'll draw pictures of people mowing your lawn.  What are my skills, you ask?  I can ride a unicycle!!  Okay, maybe I'll go back to kindergarten.