Monday, February 19, 2007

The obligatory atrium photo...

I've been getting a lot of people asking where I'm located exactly- now you know! That is all...

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Taking a break from work for a moment (yeah, I'm here on a Sunday...). Thought I'd talk about something that I think is interesting and I'm starting to notice:
For a long time I didn't have even a marginally decent grasp of line, but it is something that's finally starting to (sort of) make sense to me- that is, the mechanics of a line and how they work to carve out space and describe interrelations among forms that exist only in your mind. Now, my first point that I'm going to try and communicate with this is that a line cannot be judged solely on its angle, or thickness, or tangency, but in the manner with which these things change. When being viewed, a line is transformed into a temporal space, and becomes animated in its own right. Granted it is a still drawing, but it takes time for your eye to traverse the stroke, and it is over that time that there occurs a change of shape.
I've noticed this has been overlooked by many new students of animation and design... we're often told that our keys make or break a scene. Time spent getting those poses right is essential to communicating your idea. Yes, but. As many of you know its the manner in which you change those shapes IN A TEMPORAL CONTEXT that tells that idea in a nuanced/interesting/worthwhile/(believable?) manner. It isn't enough to have only the beginning and end of a line planned. WHEN does its angle/thickness/tangency change along your intended path? HOW LONG does that change take? Do all the elements change AT EQUAL RATES, or are you offsetting them? These are all things that are shared in both animation and design, and invariably give you a much much better chance of getting your drawings off the page. Thoughts?

Friday, February 09, 2007

1 out of 3 is... terrible.

Sorry I didn't live up to my promise... all I've got for you tonight is the audio I'll be animating to:

Edit: I changed the clip- this one has much more energy. When I have the means to do so I'll use a signal generator to beep out the swearing, but until then... DEAL.

During sculpture class I broke my armature. I'm going to have to start over, so no pics tonight... and I'm too bushed to have done any thumbs, but I'm going to have some extra time at work tomorrow- look for an update in the evening.

Oh yes, and we released this little gem today to promote Rat. Awesome. Notice how long ago it was done- this doesn't even hold a candle to the way the final film looks, I believe it was rendered with just plain white shader lights and before Emile was even being put through all of his paint passes. Just so you're aware... you have no idea. =)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Onward and Upward!

Welp, I've finished my Ratatouille test (all 24 frames of looping goodness haha). Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, I cannot share it with anyone outside the studio, so it will have to wait until after the movie is released. However! I took that as an opportunity to show it to some animators here, and get some extremely valuable feedback (very subtle spacing tweaks for the most part). They've agreed to look at all my future tests and help me move forward.

Speaking of which- I believe I'm ready to begin planning my next two self-assigned animation tests. Both will use characters from The Incredibles: an action shot (most likely using Bob) that will be something OTHER than a loop, I promise! and an acting piece with Helen. I already have some audio picked out for that from Holly Hunter's role in Broadcast News (I'll post tomorrow), but I want to take my time to fully explore my options before just diving in, so keep an eye out for thumbs and such as I log my thought processes.

By the way, these animation tests are being done outside of my time at Pixar- that is to say they aren't paying me to do them. What I'm actually doing there 12 hours a day I cannot say, but I like to get in a little extracurricular time here and there (sick, I know). Tomorrow I start an Animal Maquette Sculpture class through Pixar University, 8 weeks of sculpting an Amur Tiger- watch out!

Lets see, what else... Yesterday I had lunch with Andrew Jimenez and Mark Andrews, both super-talented artists who worked together on The Iron Giant as well as The Incredibles and co-directed One Man Band. That was a real treat and brought back some memories of Andrew's visit to NYU last spring.

Anyway, tomorrow evening I'll upload the audio for Helen and some preliminary thumbs, as well as something worth showing (if any) of the maquette. But for now, sleep!