Category: Uncategorized

Missing Videos?

In case you were wondering what happened to some of our videos… we are currently re-uploading them as we had some server hardware issues that needed to be resolved. We thank you for your patience!

Happy Birthday Miyazaki San!

I can’t believe the date on my last post. Has it really been almost a year? Wow. Anyway, it’s Hayao Miyazaki’s birthday today. Happy animating!

TreePad

If you are an iPad user, here is a fun and useful L-System tree building app I discovered yesterday: TreePad. It has a nice user interface, you can add branches and leaves to the tree using a brush or you can make it grow on it’s own. It has a lot of parameters you can control and it exports as a fbx file! Not bad for free!

Ping!

Still here! Sorry for the lack of posts, there is so much to do, but so little time. Same old story and blogging takes the back seat again. Anyway, feel free to contact me if you are looking to satisfy any digital art requirements!

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sylvain Chomet Profile

Here is a cool video of Sylvain Chomet drawing at his drawing table. It is taken from a 2005 BBC documentary called ‘The Secret of drawing’. Sylvain Chomet has done some amazing 2d animation work like The Triplets of Belleville and the recent The Illusionist.

“The draftsman who wants to tell a story, with a simple pen or pencil, has also created some of the most moving and enduring works of art. In this field as in so many others I think drawing has played a central part in enriching our everyday lives.” BBC Documentary, ‘The Secret of Drawing’, 2005

Composing Pictures

 
 

I’m not finished reading it yet – only about 1/3 of the way, but this is one incredible book. It really is a graphic design and art course all wrapped up in one binding. A treasure trove of information. Whether you are an animator (2d or 3d), independent film maker, fine artist, concept artist, etc. etc…. anything to do with the graphic arts, then this is a gem. Check out the reviews at Amazon. They are spot on. It is not often that I would give 6 out of 5 stars for a book. Yes, I meant to say 6 out of 5. :)

 
 
 
 

Hayao Miyazaki

The first movie by Miyazaki that I saw was more than a few years ago… It was Princess Mononoke. To be honest, I wasn’t that impressed. It turns out a lot of people really like this movie, but I didn’t and so I set aside this Miyazaki fellow as one who catered to “those who have a different kind of taste than I do”. In fact, I probably judged the entire Japanese anime crowd with this one single brush stroke. Mea culpa.

Anyway, along comes this film called Ponyo. So I thought that since it had been a few years since Mononoke… maybe I would give this Miyazaki-san another chance. Well, I have to say I was blown away. I just love that film. Ok, so maybe it has something to do with the age group that it was sort of targeted for… 5 year olds… and maybe that’s how old I can act oftentimes, but it was a fun film. Sure some of the character designs were kind of strange (like the old ladies faces), but overall I had fun.

So I thought… maybe some of these other Miyazaki films are just as good as Ponyo. Maybe, just maybe I wrote him off a bit too soon… So off I went and as it turns out, I ended up on a Miyazaki film spree. I have now watched the following:

NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind
Castle in the Sky
My Neighbor Totoro
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Porco Rosso
Princess Mononoke
Spirited Away
Howl’s Moving Castle
Ponyo

What a ride! I must say that I actually enjoyed each film, with the exception of Mononoke (I watched it again to see if maybe my tastes had changed, but alas, it still didn’t do much for me).

If I had to give you the top three Miyazaki films to see I would say:

1) Totoro
2) Ponyo
3) Castle in the Sky

Oh, just forget it, go see them all. You just can’t fit the best films in the top three.

Blackwing Pencil

For those of you into analog pencils you probably know about the legendary Blackwing pencil. Well, I just got an email from the folks at California Cedar Products and they have bought the rights to it and will be releasing the Blackwing in the coming months! Woot! I know, it’s the artist, not the tool… but the tool sure helps!

Work on!

I’m not a reductionist kind of guy. But, I have my moments. And this article really sits well with me, because frankly, it fits in with my experiences and world view. If you want to pursue something and do well in that ’something’, you have to work at it. End of story. No excuses. By the way, I’m preaching to myself here… if you feel it applies to you, then great! If not, then feel free to move along… nothing to see here.

Do you want to be a good animator, draftsman, painter, graphic designer, concept artist, character designer, etc… then set your mind to improving in your chosen field and work hard at it. Don’t expect overnight miracles. That’s why Chuck Jones was told that in order to draw anything worthwhile you have to get the 100,000 bad drawings out. 100,000 drawings? That’s a lot of work. Get to it.