Archive for the “Animation” Category

Tonight was the final class of mine at Animation Mentor, which means I’ve completed 18 months of schooling at Animation Mentor. 18 Months, holy cow that’s a long time. It’s both very long and short. So much time has gone into this and a lot has been put on hold while I work on learning.

Around class 3, I had to really start devoting the necessary amount of time to AM and making my work better. So I had to stop things like Painting, Printmaking, and Video Games. Evenings were lost working diligently on homework(Between 2-10 hours in a single evening).

Well, now that it’s all done, there’s so much more possibilities. Painting is hard because I can only do it when I go home, but you bet your ass I am going to…and I already did :D . I whipped up a little gift for my Girlfriend. She has a thing for those Paintings that look like an Image with the Threshold cranked up in Photoshop. This was a good one to start with because it required only one color and very little decision making. Below is what I came up with after 2 hours of work. It’s based off of a photo at Conejo Valley Days, Worked in Photoshop, Smoothed a bit in Illustrator, Printed on a transparency,  projected, traced, then painted in(cheating I know, but deal with it).


It’s kind of funny. Since I’ve turned in my homework last weekend, I’ve had a few days with no homework or anything and I find myself not knowing what to do. So I hope to do some more drawing, sketching etc. I will take a little breather for a week or so. Work on things for The Ottoman, and a personal rig for a character I have thanks to Patrick Goski. I also will be purchasing Red Dead Revolver. Then this weekend, I will venture to Vegas for the Midnight 7′s Tournament with the Outlaws, and then immediately after I will cruise up to R-Ranch for a nice little vacation with my family. It will be the first time my Niece and Nephew will go.

So, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank the following people: My Mentors-Joe Mandia, Shaun Freeman, Morgan Kelly, Ray Chase, Randy Haycock, and Kenny Roy. You all helped shape me, and get me started in this path. You all were helpful in many ways. Dimos for being like a mentor to me and offering tips if I asked for them. MAXON, namely Paul and Kai, for helping either financially or just allowing me to work on my homework in my free time and off days and just being a solid place to work. Libby for being understanding when I you wanted to cuddle and I had to work on homework and just for being super supportive and awesome.

Now that I’m done it’s time to relax, catch my breath, and get back to doing some more animations.

…But I think I will spoil myself with Red Dead Redemption tomorrow to occupy my time during this break. :)

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Here is the final I turned in for my first shot of the AnimJam. I am very pleased with it. It went well, I got it done, I did not feel rushed, kept getting good feedback and making those suggested changes.

Now we are into blocking the next shot. Looking forward to it. It’s coming a long. I think I’m about 60% done with it right now. Tonight I managed get my constraint system working properly thanks to some suggestions by Morgan in the Q&A tonight, and talking to Kai today. I should work on it some more, but I really am not feeling it right now, so I am going to just relax.

On a lighter note, I’m currently dominating air hockey at work. We’ve changed our scoring system to just be a single number(Getting a Win gives you 1 point, a loss -1 point). Currently, I am the only person in the positive. I’m at 15. Andy is second with like -1 or 0 and Kai is back a bit. We have this running gag where if you get skunked you gotta wear panties on the outside of your clothes. Since we think that will probably violate some HR policy, if you get skunked, you get your picture taken, panties photoshopped in and it gets up on the wall…needless to say, concern of getting Pantied is high. My personal goal is to just score 1 point every game. I love air hockey at work.

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Looky Looky what arrived in the Mail today!

Drawn to Life I & II

Drawn to life Volume 1 and 2. I am stoked. I’m taking them with me to work tomorrow, and I will be reading up on it in my spare time. I have a while to go as each book is over 360 Pages! Oy Vey!

Also, after riding Romero Canyon in Santa Barbara(on my bike) on Saturday(and getting my ass thoroughly kicked by that trail) it made me get up and get back to riding a bit more regularly. So today, I rode my bike after work, from work to CLU and Back which is about 30 miles. I don’t really know how long it took me as I don’t recall what time I left at, but it took me 30 minutes to get back from CLU. It took anywhere from 1 Hour 45 Minutes(doubtful) to 1 Hour 15 Minutes. Cool Cool Cool.

Have a good one everywhere!

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Legendary Animator Don Bluth’s Youtube Channel
Don’s website where you can buy some DVDs of his
This was posted on the AM forums and has some interesting videos[it's how I found the Don Bluth videos]. Glen Keane Video, and Kung Fu Panda Opening Dream Sequence animator James Baxtor


On a separate note air hockey at work has grown. Blood has been drawn, and much fun has been had. The puck can barely stay on the table for 10 seconds before flying off and normally hitting someone. Excellent!

I just recently purchased Volumes 1 and 2 of Drawn to Life, they arrive Monday. Apparently they are like 400 pages, each filled with Animation goodness, much like how Twix are filled with deliciousness. Give em a gander at the links below.

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Today’s Post Title Comes from the song I’m currently listening to, which is Your Rules by Andrew W.K. and it is from his Album, The Wolf, which is a good album. I don’t think he has a bad album, every album is just different, and The Wolf is an interesting Segway from I Get Wet to Close Calls with Brick Walls.

Anyway, new business. Work has been crazy. Thankfully, last week was slightly less busy. We’ve been working a lot of Top Secret Really Hush Hush stuff. If I mentioned anything it would compromise our agents in the fields. :P .

No but seriously, it’s been very busy for like the last…month or so. I haven’t been able to do any Cineversity Videos since all of my projects for work have been with this secret project. We’ve also had an intern who was doing a lot of re-recording of old R9.5 videos to get them updated to R11. So I couldn’t do anything during that time. I think I recorded 1 video, and quite frankly, I don’t much care for it. I may scrap the idea and just do it here on my website as a tip instead. I have a lot of other ideas for tutorials. I have a lot of tutorials on particular subjects, like IK/FK Arm setups and more. But I’m also working on trying to get a enormous project series going with the help of Patrick Goski who is a MAXON trainer and a fine drawer. The idea is to take a character sketch then model, texture, rig, and possibly animate him as well. If he’s interested, I might have him help me out with some development for a couple of Animated Shorts I have. I have 2 ideas that I have been sitting on for 3-4 years now. I want to eventually see them come to fruition.

Now that school has started up, My paintings(and overall creativity) has stopped. Ahhh to dream that some day, I will be able to paint much more frequently and with some greater passion, but unfortunately for me, it’s remaining just a hobby. I hate how much the world fascinates me sometimes. There’s so much I want to learn but I’m not finding enough time to master them :D .

Speaking of School, Class three has begun. I NEEEEEEEED to get more involved. I am just sliding through and I gotta focus on #1. Getting My Animation Chops built up. and #2. Communicating more with my Peers as these are the people that will also help me get jobs by being the foot in the door(and conversely I will be doing the same for them). So It’s kind of good that I am putting painting on hold a bit. It will always be there when I need a break from animating and to just relax. So Class three, my mentor is Morgan Kelly. He is an animator for Dreamworks and so far he’s been pretty cool. He’s been at AM for a while and also at Dreamworks for a while.

So the class has 2 paths to choose from. You can choose to do 3 separate topics(very much like Class 2) where each assignment goes for about 4 weeks, OR you could do what is called an AnimJam. It’s basically 3 Assignments but they are all tied together with a theme. Morgan showed us this awesome example of an Animjam where it was Stewie escaping from Jail. The first shot was him moving the bed and crawling through a hole. The second shot was him swinging across some pipes and into a window. The 3rd shot was him coming in the window and then trying to run away because he was spotted, but he got tazed.

I have decided to do the AnimJam. My idea is to have a construction site. Shot 1 will be Stewie Lifting his bucket of Tools and then grabbing a Saw and cutting through a plank like a 2″x8″.

Shot two will be him trying to lift up the board to put it to use. The board will be heavy and cumbersome so it should show some good body mechanics. When lifting the board. He will accidentally knock over his tools off the building.

The final shot will show another Stewie hammering something, then some tools will rain down on him. The last shot isn’t totally hammered out yet(nice pun!). I’m debating having him dodge them all, but get hit by the bucket so it lands on his head, or maybe him see a tool hit, look at it, then get hit in the head(but with a hardhat on). He takes off the hat and looks like he is lucky to be wearing it, and then get hit with another tool going unconscious.

Still trying to hammer it all out, but I have quite a bit of time before I begin the 3rd shot(almost 2 months). Anyway, here is the rough blocking for my first shot.

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Sorry for lack of updates here. Truth is, I don’t live a particularly exciting life that warrants many updates here :) . Anyway, let’s see whats up. I recently bought The Wolf by Andrew W.K. It’s pretty good. It’s nice to complete the collection(albeit out of order). I think my favorite song on the Album is I Love Music.

Work has been pretty busy. I had a review which went well. Nice to hear they think I’m doing a good job. It has been pretty slow which is actually very good for us as we have a lot of projects that need to be finished up very soon which has lead to me doing a lot of Modeling. Whatever makes me a more well rounded individual I suppose, right?

I’ve been doing some bike riding which is nice. Actually, this week is the first week I have yet to go riding which is a damn shame. Perhaps I will tomorrow after church. I’ve mostly been riding in Carpinteria at a place called Thunderbowl I believe. It’s been fun. The last time was a lot of fun because we found a nice little run that lets me go down some hills and get some air which is fun(until I eat shit I’m sure).

Last weekend I picked up an interesting book at Michael’s Art store. I don’t know why I go there as It usually never has any painting things I want. But I was perusing the book section which allowed me to stumble upon “Keys to drawing with Imagination” by Bert Dodson. I have read his other book “Keys to Drawing” back in High School. This book is a very cool book. It has a lot of interesting ideas to making things more interesting. The very beginning of this book is pretty kickass. It lead me to create this:


It’s lead to a lot of nifty doodles with these patterns that I will probably try to incorporate into some paintings in the near future I think. Speaking of Paintings, I have been slowly chugging away at the painting of Kelly. Adding a Door, some Moulding on the Walls(which will probably get redone, and the foundation for some carpet. The carpet will be intereting and probably pretty difficult to get done. Not sure yet how I’m going to do it. But here’s where I’m at with it.


Tomorrow is the due date for my final AM assignment for Class 2. I’m not sure how satisfied I am with it. To be quite honest, I picked a dull idea and tried to make it look good. All that comes to mind is the old saying “You can’t polish a turd”. I think it’s ok, but I’m not into it at all because it just seems so…boring. Next week I’ll try to post the whole class’ assignments as I’m supposed to do that next week.

I saw Up in 3D today. You know what? It was pretty damn good. Very touching and sad at some parts, the gags were good. The 3D was BITCHIN. I haven’t been to a 3D Movie before(not to my recollection) and I thought that Pixar did a good job of not overdoing the 3D effects which yeah can be cool, but like…a lot of movies are made to be 3D, so they do stupid gimmicky things you know? Up was subtle and doing it that way I think it actually enhanced the look of the movie. So good job.

That’s about all I can think of. It’s past midnight and I feels like it was just 8PM. The night is gone. Crap. Oh well. Just gotta try to seize tomorrow.

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Man alive, have I been keeping busy. So this weekend, I was thinking I would get to travel down to San Diego to watch the CLU Rugby Team at playoffs since they went 7-0. However, I found out on Tuesday due to some reason’s I’m not sure of, something about a form being turned in late, that they technically had to forfeit some matches. Personally, I think it’s pretty much bullshit, especially since I heard that because they rescheduled for Occidental that if they hadn’t and just forced them to forfeit, they would get to go. I think fair is fair and if you don’t turn in forms, penalties can be handed down, but I dunno…I hope CLU still gets the League title this year, since as they beat every team fair and square, and of all the games I saw, CLU played a clean game whereas most teams do shit like hands in the ruck. Whatever, Knights can hang their heads high because you beat every team out there and whatever the league says doesn’t mean much since you settled everything on the field with legit players and everything. So congrats to you all, and Seniors, way to go out on top.

So, with not going to San Diego I suddenly had a wide open week/weekend. Animation Mentor Class 2 started. My mentor is named Shaun Freeman. He’s an Australian and a pretty cool guy it seems. Our first Q&A was pretty rough due to connection problems that he swears will be fixed next time. Our assignment this week is to film some video reference for a shot from a list. I have it narrowed down to either jumping and spinning 180, or taking a large side step. I’m about to finish it up now that I think about it. I will put it on here when I’m done.

It was a rather slow week at work which was kind of nice as it helped me finish up some work on a project I don’t think I’ve mentioned on here. I’ve been asked to help out on a Short Film called The Ottoman( It has been a very cool project as it has helped me meet some new people, make some good contacts and such. I’ve been working with 2 smart Cinema Riggers in Orestis Konstantinidis and Charles Wardlaw. It is nice to be able to bounce ideas off of them like I am able to with Kai at work. Those three are probably three of the top 5 riggers in Cinema 4D I would imagine(with the Wipix guys probably filling the final 2 slots). Anyway, I have been working on some Previs Rigs for 4 characters and the slow week helped me finish them(or so I thought). They are about 90% done. There’s a feature that has been giving me a shit ton of grief in that of Dynamic Parenting. I have 1 working solution for it(at least I believe it works.) but it’s not very useable as it involves animating on multiple controllers for a single arm which makes tweaking F-Curves next to impossible, but currently I’m just not able to make it work. I think once I have those done I’m finished with the previs rigs and can move onto other things(challenges).

Ontop of that, I have begun another painting of my peer student Kelly. I had primed 2 panels and was itching to get something on one of them. After battling some printer problems, I managed to get it started. It was of an image of her to really just test out the lighting. And the lighting is good so I went for it. I’m still working on the grisailles layer. I’m pretty pleased with most of it, except for the neck up(as is usual). I want to get it like perfect before I begin my glazing. Here is a slightly dated picture.


I’ve gone ahead and added a layer of burnt sienna on it…I think it was that color. I get it mixed up a lot. I just needed something to do besides wait. I’ve been trying to just work on stuff instead of being a lazy ass, you know? Which is good because it’s gotten me back into working on my F&@*ing woodcut. The 4′x2′ woodcut monstrocity I have been working on since May…the one I thought I would have done by June…yeah, that one. All my tools are dull and I can’t really afford new ones, so it’s a slow, painful, process, but I must keep moving forward.

So in an effort to not be lazy, today I helped my oldest brother move some heavy stuff to his new place, bought some Damar Varnish Spray, Finished that orangish layer on the new painting, slapped on a layer of Gesso on 2 panels(will sand then add another layer; do that 2 more times), and then worked on my woodcut as well as troubleshoot the previs rigs with Kai to try and solve some problems. We got one solved, but the Dynamic Parenting Problem still persists, grr. I also managed to chat with some people, and then take a trip to CVS for some bare necessities….ie a Coke Zero, A Miller High Life, and Some Drumstick ice cream treats ;D.

Tomorrow is Wrestlemania! Which means hanging out with some of my buddies and watching the PPV and just relaxing which is good because I literally worked almost non-stop for 2 days on those rigs and just worked on many things today, so I look forward to a lazy day with friends. Maybe I will break in my crappy 89 dollar wal mart bike tomorrow. I need to fix something with the rear brake as it is constantly rubbing against the tire…you get what you pay for I guess, but I’m going to give it a good shot before I give up on it haha. Maybe I will just take it down the hill and then ride along foothill, and probably just have to walk it back up the hill. Oh well. It’s good for you right?

Ok, that’s it…Take it easy!

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Here is my Animation Mentor Class 1 Progress Reel. Commencing from Week 11 Backwards.

Many Thanks to Joe for being a good mentor and an all around cool guy. I hope we cross paths again. Same to all my classmates. BRING ON CLASS 2 WHOO!

I’m using the free time to get a jump on some painting. We will see how it goes.

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Hey everyone, sorry I haven’t been posting too much, but hey, shit happens right? Anyway, what’s new…what’s new…uhhh Well, I have been back to working out again. I don’t know if I ever made it public, but I was planning on losing 30-40 pounds by April. I started back in late December(like a week before Christmas.) I think in 1 month I lost about 8 pounds which is decent, but I can do better. It’s just been tough because…I am a lazy man. So I had been slacking on my gym time. I hope to change that. I’ve started to crash Rugby Practices at CLU to get some extra cardio on my off days from the Gym. Today was my first time and it went all right. It makes me miss playing.

Speaking of things I miss, wrestling. See, I was once a Professional Wrestler. I believe it was 2005 when my friends and I began training at the School of Hard Knocks with Jesse Hernandez in San Bernadino. I loved it. Jesse is a great guy and I have a lot of respect from him. I learned a lot as well. I trained with him for about 2 years straight. It was quite a committment. I would have to get up at 6:45 AM on Saturdays to meet my friends at the mall to drive 2 hours to San Bernadino. Then we would train for 4 hours and then drive back. Training was a toll which left me not wanting to do anything the rest of the day. And needing to get up early meant not doing much on Friday. So I could say it killed my social life, but in reality I didn’t have one…but it sort of, maybe prevented one, who knows. Anyway, I had a lot of fun and then in the Summer of 07 I studied in London for 6 weeks. It was a break from Wrestling. When I got back, I wrestled in…I believe 1, maybe 2 matches before I stopped. I don’t know how good of terms I left off with. Red, who is like the…Well I don’t know what I’d call him…He was in charge of booking I think and was like an overseer I suppose, he got mad at me for something I hadn’t done, but like a man, he talked to me about it and we hammered it out, and I told him I was burnt out and that he should leave me off shows and the website. I respected him for wanting the truth and coming to me to hear it. So we left it at that, and I haven’t spoken to him since. I’d like it to be clear I have no beef with Red. That’s not the tone I want to convey here. It’s just that was it. It was August 2008 when I wrestled last. Since then I’ve kept in contact with Jesse via Mysapce a little bit, wishing him Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, etc. I respect both him and Red, and I miss working for them. I just don’t know if I am ready to commit again. I don’t think I have the time with work and school. Perhaps in the future. However, I bequeath to you all, the one piece of video evidence of my Professional Wrestling Career on the Internet.  This is a clip on Youtube you can find by typing in Red Bull Bash. This was for the Red Bull Grand Prix and Party in June or July of 06. We traveled up to Monterey and got paid 100 bucks to do a match in front of about 500 people which was a good crowd. They were hammered and they cheered and booed when necessary.

Now, what else… Let’s see. School is going good. We’re on Week 4 which means class one is 1/3rd of the way done. This weeks assignment is to animate 2 bouncing balls of different weights. This week has been interesting because there has been a lot of talk about timing and a lot of physics principles. And Me and Physics are pals. I love Kinetics and Motion with Physics. So we have been talking about Inertia and stuff, but it’s interesting to see their take on it. I think they arn’t explaining it right but whatever. If I see these problems on peoples work I talk about it. Like for example, two objects falling should hit simultaneously regardless of their mass/weight. Unless its something like a Beach ball which the wind resistance would cause different landings. Anyway, I’ll take off my nerd hat for now.  Below is my current take on this weeks assignment.

Lastly…I haven’t done ANY painting in a while. I would like to change that. I also would like to do more drawing. Maybe I will try to do like a sketch a day or something…That could be fun. It’ll keep my skills in check and maybe boost some creativity. Anyway, this weekend, I want to try to get some painting done on Saturday. Anyway, it is late, so adios!

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The website has a new look, and it’s being done through WordPress now instead of Greymatter. So it should be a bit better. It’s been a while since I have posted, but I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a good New Year. 2009 is brimming with possibilities, and I hope it is an amazing year for everyone.

Let’s see what is new…I have been painting just a wee bit, and I will try to upload some images later. I still have more work to do on the website to get it back working(mainly the gallery). I still have to finish my woodcut, GRRR!

However, this blog should be getting more and more Animation stuff on here which should be pretty cool. I start my online school, Animation Mentor, on Monday and I’m stoked. Kai, my manager at work, is doing it too and he has a blog on it as well. That’ll be on the blogroll when I get it set up again. But, yeah I plan on posting a lot of my progress on here, but I also hope to not be neglecting my other art…outlets I guess would be a good word.

Anywho, it’s late and I have to work tomorrow. So take care, and Happy New Year!

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