Sunday, October 30, 2005

Spacing: Tricks of the Trade

Good evening class! This one goes out to all you animation students out there... hopefully EVERYONE from the CalArts guys up to working professional still consider themselves students. anyhow, today we talk about the technique behind spacing. This, i feel, is something few animators truly understand. There is always a balance between your concentration between technical stuff, and performance but i feel that without proper execution of technique your performance will not be as powerful as it could. Different animators value it differently ie: Glen Keane vs. James Baxter. I personally take the view that if your technical stuff is off it could potentially ruin the performance because when that ear slides all over your characters head, or he just doesn't have the weight he needs it could pull you out of the moment.
Here is a very simple trick that can really help you on your slow in's and slow out's in a shot. Looking at the pic above you'll see that all the inbetweens are halfs EXCEPT number 3. It is on a 3rd favoring 1. The reason for not putting it on an even is because the space between 1, 3, and 5 is even. Even spacing will KILL weight and give you a watery look. What's funny is that not many guys use this method. Even skilled experienced guys! but you, now you can have to upper hand on your spacing!
Now, this IS NOT a 100 percent "always use this chart" kind of a thing. Sometimes you want a watery look, in which case this would not be useful. Or, if your slow in is about 36 frms long you may not need to put your last inbetween on a 3rd because the spacing would be so tight that you wouldn't feel it.There are lotsa different scenarios about why it could not work but if you want something to be progressing or degressing in speed, this is the way to go!
anyhow, Matt Williames signing off for now. Next post will cover some more tricks of the trade on spacing! later!

Friday, October 28, 2005

The Late Late Post

Hey everybody, well, at least Steven M. Not sure too many other people look at this site! It's late and i am actually tired for a change, which is nice. So i think i will be headed to my chambers of slumber with my bride very shortly. but wanted to post SOMETHING for the day. I've been animating the last few days, so no new drawings to show. I've just been animating a test with my monkey character shown below in previous posts. Just a short, very physical test making sure i have everything i want and need in the design to perform. It's been going very smoothly and am pretty happy with the design and how i can push it. Now I just need to think through how i want to take it to color. there's SO many options in this arena! not quite sure what i want yet. but, suppose there's time to figure it out. I have been playing with some ideas of texture... i was up stairs at my neighbors apartment, and he jokingly gave me a napkin from a package entitles "Silky Smooth" that looked like a Rhino's patoot. and i started to think about scanning in that texture and seeing if or how i could wrap that texture around my Rhino drawing. Just an idea, but i think one worth investigating. I'd love to see more experimentation like that in this field.
Oh yeah, that picture is me, my wife, and her (and my) cousins. They got surprised with a trip to Disneyland and we were able to meet with them and their parents (K's Aunt and Uncle) and go to Medievil Times together. it was flippin sweet man! take it easy and have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Today i thought i'd write a little bit about the upcoming Curious George. I've been hearing a lot of bad mouthing about the film, and I think, frankly, a lot of it's unfounded opinions by people who just like to have an opinion or feel like that it's the 'popular' opinion to have. I worked on the film, and i have to be honest and say that i think the first screening was pretty weak. I walked out of the screening room shaking my head like everybody else thinking "this is gonna suck." But as the film progressed and animation started getting approved, i really liked how the performances started to add a dimension that wasn't percievable while watching the story reel. Plus, i have to say that i think Matt O'Callaghan (the director) really did a great job in reeling everything together. Once he replaced the last director he started over from scratch, and from what i heard the film needed it. Plus he was overseeing animation from probably at least 12 different studios. He was always cool and collected when i would have my approval sessions with him, and some people would flip out with that kind of pressure and treat others around them poorly. Is the film going to be an Incredibles? No. Is it gonna be better than the last few Disney features? Heck ya! My point is that it is what it is... it's a fun film and i think people are gonna enjoy it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


This picture has nothing to do with what i am about to write, but i thought it was a really pretty one.
I just came back from lunch with Tony DeRosa, most of you animators out there know him. He was a lead animator on a whole slew of characters while at Disney like Bernard, Nala, Molier, the Sprite in Fantasia, and now most recently the lead for George in Curious George. I met Tony back on Looney Tunes: Back in Action. He was a good person for me to work with, taught me a lot about simplifying and making things clear.
Just came back from his house where he's working on animating some stuff for Eric Goldberg. Hopefully i'll be able to pick somestuff up from him too. But we just had a great time talking about art, animation, life, faith. Not like we were sharing cleanex or anything, there's just an unspoken bond between people in animation. We relate differently... he's an inspiring guy who just is doing what he loves. That's really appealing to me, simple passion and not being affraid to follow it. He doesn't toot his own horn, and i think he's under-valued personally.
Other than that i'm just sorta chillin out today, doodling away! maybe, if i feel like there's something worth showing i'll post it later tonight. later!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Some fun stuff!

Here's some realllllllllly old quick sketches i did back when i was at CalArts (2000-2001). I feel like quick sketching is a lost art now with computers and all. I used to LOVE it, but i just got out of the rutine of it. It was fun going thru that old sketchbook, anyway, check'em out!

UGhhhh, total frustration

Have you ever longed to get off of a project to spend sometime animating your own stuff. Just you, your paper, your pencil, and imagination gone amuck? Well, i had that opportunaty and i kinda blew it. Tony Bancroft had ever so graciously allowed me to use some of his space and paper at his studio, Toonacious, while i worked on my own stuff. I was animating a Robin Hood test... it started out great, really clear and i thought it was gonna be the best thing i've ever done! then i started getting nit picky, and then way too many weeks rolled by. before i knew it, i was out of steam and had totally forgotten what my original intention was! urghh! this happens evertime. Maybe i'll be able to focus on it now that i'm home and salavage it. If i ever figure out how to put up AVI files on this blog i'm gonna post it. Oh, i'll post some drawings later tonight! cheers!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Remember to Be an Artist!

Just got off the phone with my good friend Steven Macleod... we talked for an hour, just geekin out about animation and hand drawn especially. Talked about our favorite animators like James Baxter and Sergio Pablos. It just made me think about being an artist and having artistic integrity with your work. cause a lot of people don't do either in animation (although there are plenty who do as well). I know a lot of people who have either forgotten or never loved this artform. It makes me sad cuz i know a lot of guys who DO love it but can't find an opportunaty do use their skills (in hand drawn). I'm posting this drawing because i drew it at a point in my life (about 3 years ago) when all i had to worry about was being an artist. Now that i am, i guess, a professional almost everything i work on is a lame idea with a short schedule and very low budget. That can kinda sucks it out of ya after a while and your personal sense of artistry dwindles. So here's to remembering the passion God gave us that we might use it to Honor Him with.

Another Doodle

Ya know when you just discover something and your real excited about it so you totally over do it on the first day and then back off after that. well, that's probably what's happening today with all of these posts i'm doing. once real life hits tomorrow i'll probably back off a bit. but until reality here's another character design i sketched out today while watching Napolian Dynamite... "luckyyyy!"

My very first post, no way!

I never thought it'd happen, but it has. I'm finally online. I've contemplated for years doing a web-site, and have had the desire but never the time or knowledge. So anyhow, i am starting my own blog now cuz i was having so much fun keeping updated on all of my CalArts friends' blogs like Steven MaCleods and Elizabeth Ito's (i don't have her link handy yet). so anyway, no ones knows about this yet so i'm gonna take a shower and then come back and start uploading a few drawings and pics to keep everyone updated! cheers!