Monday, December 5, 2011

Experiment - Collaboration

An audiophone combines with a visioscope in a rolling evolution of sound and animation. Testing ideas for 2012.

For stress relief, right click on the video and leave it looping. Then set it to full screen (ahead).


Sunday, November 20, 2011

White Rabbit - Animated Music by Luke Brohman

Luke Brohman is a Brisbane animator with a special interest in combining animation and music.

Visit his ePortfolio:

Monday, October 17, 2011

lily and jim - Don Hertzfeldt

A student film by a 20 year old animator.

Around 8.52 - if you're running out of time, animate the eyes.

Hope this doesn't put any animators off their coffee.

Create an m2v file to put a video clip on to DVD

This video tutorial shows how to use the Adobe Media Encoder program in the Adobe Creative Suite to format an animation video project file for DVD.

The MPEG2 video file created along with the WAV audio file can be used in DVD authoring software, such as Adobe Encore, to create a DVD that plays in a DVD player (as compared to a DVD backup disc that just stores data).

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cecelia & Her Selfhood - animated by Adrien Merigeau

3D that looks 2D - the magic of textures and effects

Doodling in Class

I have always been interested to observe animators doodling in class while a presentation is being made. In fact I encourage it. One reason is that the doodlebrain is disconnected from the chatterbox and that makes it easier, as an instructor, to present information. Doodling helps students to remember. So please doodle!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Animation Scout

At the beginning of second semester the second year animators were introduced to more detail about facial animation. As time hurries on to the final few weeks they will be working their way back up to their character(s) eyes. Here is an interesting resource:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Animated Film Preview/ Trailer Design

The second years are powering forward with their major projects. Most surveyed in class plan to complete a whole animated narrative film. Some are realising that animation takes a lot of time and that learning animation while doing animation sometimes means doing things over and over again to get them working. The option for some animators will be to create a film trailer/preview that features at least 5 Essential Animation Principles Scenes (EAPS)

Beleow is a trailer for a completed film from a student (3rd year) at the Academy of Arts University (AAU) in San Francisco. How many EAPS can you see?

Let me know if you can find the complete film to view.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Planning Animation

It is so good to hear other animators say similar things. Just add "Act it Out" and collect video reference to the research and you will be enjoying your animation production. It is all about knowing what you want to do before you start in the animating software (or on the page).

Monday, September 5, 2011

Drakezilla - I Look Down. Animated by Elle Newton-Reid

Animation by Elle in 2nd Year. Nice work in AfterEffects.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sheeped Away - Junaid Chundrigar

There are some excellent animation principles at play in this short film. Appealing spacing and arcs and sheep.

The link was emailed in by Michelle Boland (animation culture writer) via the Spungella blog.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Music Clip - animated by Ari Gibson

While many animators are spending time worrying, some are animating.

Animation is a compulsion in a rare few creative people rather than a career choice.

They take it into their grasp and hold it like a maleable hot chocolate hug mug. Either the animation forms around the animator, or the animator forms around the animation. In some cases they blend so that the creator is indistiguishable from the creativity. Animation is no longer the illusion of life, it becomes the creativist's life.

I have spoken to a few recent graduates of the animation course recently. They have tried other things. Now, with real-life jobs and tasks pressing sticky fingers on them, find themselves back to exploring the magic of animation.

Here is the music clip by Gotye:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Music Video: Nemasco - Julien Regnard

Second Year Animators are embarking on their animated music clip. This clip may provide some inspiration. To which famous animator does it pay homage?

Nemasco from Julien Regnard on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Gobelins Graduate Films for 2011

Gobelins is a visual communication school in Paris that offers a 3 year animation course.

This is the YouTube channel to see more of the student animation:

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Clear Animatic - Get ready for Semester 2

In semester 2 second year animators will be collaborating with music composers and sound designers on their major project. The animatic for the project is the main form of visual communication. Is it clear? Some of you have some story clearing up to do.

This animatic is by an animation student (Henry Zhang, again)

Be Quiet - Henry Zhang

This is a first year animation from UCLA Animation Workshop. Look for the arcs and spacing. If you smile, that's because of the timing.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Animation Type - Straight Ahead Animation for FX

Michel Gagné is an animator who creates wonderful animated FX. Using a 2D style, Gagné has worked with Brad Bird on "Iron Giant" and "Ratatouille". It is worth researching his 2D effects channel on YouTube and then having a go at animating some of the FX.

Animated effects are often organically formed in the animator's imagination with a bit of planning but 'feeling' the animation by working straight ahead. Jason Lynch, our special guest stop motion feature film animator, spoke about this animation type and the animation principles in his recent workshop with SBIT animation students.

The other recently featured FX animator on this blog is Ryan Woodward.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dripped - Léo Verrier

If you like or study fine art painting, this film will hold some appeal.

If you like animation being pushed and experimented with, this film may have something for you.

Brisbane Animation - Gus - Andrew Martin - Honeydew Studios

As Sarah Murray (All Farts are Humorous blog) will tell you, I am distinctly unenamoured by fart jokes. I am counting on "Gus" having a twist. Anyway, Andrew Martin is a Brisbane animator working hard on a project and I seek for you all to lend some support.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Amnesty International Animation

We all appreciate Zade our animated conscience crusader. I was thinking of his good heart and energy to get us involved in humanity.

To have a great passion and not express it in your art is a crime against your self. Think on that on days when it feels inspiration has run dry.

Amnesty International celebrates a 50th anniversary. That deserves a few thoughts, lively discourse, some pickled squid and a flickering candle.

A great collaborative combination of animation tools and techniques:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Matter Fisher - Student Film from the UK

This film about a fisherman is an apt way to celebrate the completion of the 2nd years' community project for 2011. Also it links in with their After Effects classes as this film shows great combination of effects, motion graphics and animation.

The 2010 film is directed by David Prosser a graduate from the Royal College of Art in London. It is produced by Passion Pictures who worked with Shaun Tan on The Lost Thing.

Adobe Premiere Pro - Set Up and Export Projects

Premiere Pro is an excellent animation tool for putting together animation projects. The following video tutorials explain how to set up the project with widescreen settings and how to export a video clip with widescreen settings.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thought of You - Ryan Woodward

Some new work by Ryan Woodward and any excuse to bring this animation to the top of the post pile. There also is a final version of the documentary "Making of ...Thought of You" to explore.

Google - Martha Graham from Ryan J Woodward on Vimeo.

I posted about Ryan Woodward's work in May 2010 (below)

Once through for entertainment. Oh, OK, twice through for entertainment because the first viewing is quite stunning. Then study this animated music clip. Note the animation principles. Do you think he used video reference? Note the hand drawn appeal. Ryan Woodward is making a making of documentary. Find out more here.

Monday, May 2, 2011


--- earlier on in February...
I was just over at 2nd Year Harvey's blog being wonderfully challenged by some of his ideas and concepts.

It reminded me of Don Hertzfeldt and how an animated story can be well told with well planned, seemingly 'simple' design.

The telegraph poles and wires in the opening sequence made me think of Johnny H's 3D letter design.

There are quite a few lateral thinking and parallel idea cosmic atomic rays currently basting my thoughts.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Storm - Tim Minchin

In a recent interview Tim Minchin is described, in part, by Melbourne Comedy Festival Director Susan Provan, "... His art is his activism, and he uses it to surprise people into fresh perspectives."

That quote probably applies more to Tim's views on belief, beliefs and the imposition of beliefs in people's lives. But what we have above is the philosophy and words of this artist communicated through animation. Creative, visually engaging, animation.

Animation carrying a provocative undercurrent of meaning rather than solely (soullessly?)designed for the enterprise of commercial entertainment and profit. Animation and entertainment don't need to be dichotomised into mutually exclusive concepts in these cases. They can be both and more.

It shows that animation can be a unique medium to actively tackle controversial issues in a creative way using the Sean Leahy (cartoonist) ethos, "Make them laugh and make them think."

Pocoyo - Dance Off!

I love the animation appeal in Pocoyo. It is pose-to-pose animation at its best. Worth studying for timing and learning how long to hold a key pose. When Pocoyo is mixed with dance the benefit for animation students is doubled. Dance is another great visual teacher on music tempo and animation timing. Have you ever seen a dancer as good as Pato? Pocoyo's surfers' stomp (twist) is gold.

How much animation can be produced in 90 minutes?

Dailymation is a blog by Yoni Goodman who was director of animation on the film "Waltz with Bashir".

Found this blog via Cassie V's Sketchbook Thoughts blog.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's only chocolate. It's not a rabbit

a film by Lernert Engelberts & Sander Plug

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Animator's Hands and The Moment of Contact

The second years have been riding along with my explorations on the theme of the "Moment of Contact".

We watched the meeting sequence in How To Train Your Dragon, where Hiccup makes contact with Toothless - the anticipation was about 7 minutes.

We watched Summer Wars and a different type of contact, this time between two human characters. An initial little finger touch building through at least two more powerful hand holds as the emotion in the story intensified.

Something to realise as an animator is that the sense of touch in humans, a life-form the viewer strongly empathises with, is expressed most strongly through the hands. When people describe something as "touching", they describe the idea that contact was made with their emotions.

Hands are important in communication and animation. In many cases they can be regarded as 'best supporting actors' or 'betrayers of emotion'. The secondary action (an animation principle) portrayed in the hands can be at counterpoint to how the character is acting, but at the same time a revelation of how the character is truly thinking or feeling.

Studying people's hands, the shapes, the gestures, the tension, the floppiness during any communication exchange can reveal so much about the true feeling of a moment and the energy and emotion of the speaker.

Milt Kahl's hand drawings are often referenced as examples (especially search out the ruff versions).

Milt Kahl Hands

Below is a show reel by Mike Stern who animated on How To Train Your Dragon. Watch, in particular, the hand acting at about 00:36 onward. The acting, the contact, may communicate more in that sequence than the dialogue?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

(notes on) biology - ornana films

Lydia posted this film on her student animation blog. Thanks Lydia! Very creative work. Does anyone know any further information about the film makers?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Olives & Pub Dog - Sketchy

Sketchy Showcase. Timing and Spacing. Well crafted storytelling that understands the audience.

Misery Bear - Roughcut

Animation. The Illusion of Life. Misery Bear. From the UK.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Animated Music Clip made with Coloured Dice

From a few years ago but still relevant in terms of creativity and inspiring creativity.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Animated Marine Plastic Music Clip

The second years are working on a community project based on the local fishing industry in Moreton Bay. The Brisbane River empties all the scrapings of sadness and grime of Brisbane's mouldy underbelly into the bay. There is the opportunity to craft some visual ideas on wider topics into a community project. Topics that would effect the decline of the local fishing industry.

Second years will possibly create an animated music clip later this year, so the first clip has double value. Sourced from a post by Ian Lacey.

An ocean environmental campaign that caught my attention when I was an animation student was "Rise above plastics":

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Love and Theft by Andreas Hykade

First year animator Jac and I were having a discussion in class the other day about animated video clips we had seen at festivals. I thought we were initially talking about the same film. We weren't.

The one Jac meant is posted on her blog; Ausschnitt by Maurice Hubner.

The clip below is the one I meant.

Interestingly they are both European based animation, and both by German animators.

Australian animators can be influenced quite strongly by mainstream United States style animation. But it is equally apparent that Japanese animation has a strong influence. If an animator has grown up watching the ABC, their influences, may be from the United Kingdom through imported BBC programs.

The excitement of being an animation student is to research and experience the wealth of the global animation experience. Sometimes finding the best animated film ever made (KJFG No.5).

Thanks to Trent Ellis from the Animators Alliance Australia, who hosted International Animation Day in 2010, for introducing me to this, I think, amazing film. It highlights what poets, playwrights and songstresses teach animators about finding a rhythm in our storytelling.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Shaun the Sheep Animatic

2nd years are working through their storyboarding sessions toward producing an animatic for their major project narrative (and community project as a group). The animatic (above) was created for an episode of Shaun the Sheep.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Margarita by HAMPA Studio

A 'making of' a traditional 2D animated film. It shows the planning including character designs, animatic, storyboard...

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Lost Thing based on a book by Shaun Tan

This post originally went up in September 2010 and was re-posted in January 2011. In January the news was that "The Lost Thing" has been nominated for an Academy Award.

Well it won.

The achievement deserves a re-posting of this article among the other things like a gold statuette.

Artworks is a good place to point one's ears. Today they talked about Shaun Tan. He is an illustrator and story teller.

Shaun Tan, like Tim Minchin (who voices the film) and author Tim Winton, are from Perth, Western Australia. So am I. So my ears get particularly crinkled when the limestone dust and salt is stirred in my soul. Shaun now lives in Melbourne.

The Artworks program reminded me of an email that I had from Michelle earlier in the year with reports of Australian animation success at the 2010 Annecy Festival. Animators will note that Michelle talks about Passion Pictures in the UK on her blog. They develop the Gorrilaz music video clips. They also co-produced "The Lost Thing" with Screen Australia.

There is an interesting post and link to a video interview on the Ozanimate site about Shaun and the success at Annecy.

Which brings us back to Shaun Tan and the film "The Lost Thing" animated by Leo Baker

I'll hand it over to you to research some more. Second years may find it interesting how Shaun presents himself online with the design of his web site. How many EAPS did you count in that animation trailer?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pixar - Animated Logo - Animato

Second year animators are working on the "Animato" project in their Create 3D Digital Animation subject.

The "Animato" project is where the animators form the word 'Animation' from letters modelled by 7 different studio teams for the Create 3D Digital Environments subject.

It will be a 5 to 15 second animated clip that can be used as a base design for an animated logo to attach to their animated work.

Some animators are struggling to find their animated logo. The minimum requirement is a bouncing ball and being able to clearly see the word "Animation".

The Pixar Studios animated logo lasts 13 seconds, has a bouncing character, displaying the animation principles, interacting with the letters in the environment. It should serve well as inspiration.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lady and the Tramp pencil test - Frank Thomas

The pencil test is attributed to Frank Thomas. He did animate this sequence in the film. First years in particular should note that name.

Today we had a collaborative class where 1st and 2nd year animators worked together on the concept of ideas. We also looked at animation examples from the Lady and the Tramp (1955).

The first years looking at the film from a historical perspective, in particular taking notes on how the ideas for the story may have developed.

The second years, who will be developing storyboards, looked at how the story was pitched in the 1950's using storyboard panels pinned up on a wall. Taking note of the loose but communicative drawing style of the boards.

Wheren (a new word) animation students get their ideas:
  • In the shower
  • At the edge of sleep
  • Sugar rush
  • Mushroom risotto
  • After eating
  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Camping
  • When ill with a fever (apparently if you catch swine flu you may think you are a planet)
  • On public transport
  • Music: listening or playing
  • Dreams (if you remember)
  • Being out in nature alone
  • Inspiration from other artists
  • Staring at something
  • Eavesdropping/ hearing something said
  • Brainstorming in a group

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Superman Classic - Robb Pratt

Watch Robb's "how to" clip at the end of the film. The second years will learn some storyboarding techniques taught to me by Robb. Robb is a Disney traditional 2D animator who moved into a career as a storyboard artist. It is a pathway that can be considered by animators who love drawing, or love film making and storytelling (via storyboards).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Brisbane Animator Wins 11sC - Damian Pin

Heads up (student) animators. The winner of the December 11 Second Club animation competition is Damian Pin from Brisbane.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Local Characters - Ben Redlich

Ben Redlich

Second years are developing their concepts for their major projects. Part of that is character design. Check out Ben Redlich's blog.

Ben Redlich

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sand Stop Motion - team of 4 animators

Would it be crazy to do two things that you like at the same time? How about planning a day of stop motion animation at the beach.

The 2nd years are working with a client this year designing animation with a marine and coastal theme. Keep checking here for a 'making of' video.

This clip is “Lose This Child” by Yuval & Merav Nathan. Their other work should be recognisable straight away.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cours Toujours (made for fun!)

By Elise Garcette and Olivier Barré. The key thing is that they made it for fun! In a world where people strive to make art for money, sometimes they forget to make art for themselves and for fun. One of the awesome powers of an animation student is being able to make animation for fun rather than clients. (and I like the music)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Deep - PES

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Animation Drawing - Try a soft-B pencil


When we sat down around the studio table for our first animation class, our first ruff draw, I asked what do the new animators like to draw with?

As we draw I continue to talk. Animators go into the zone while drawing. That's an 'altered state of awareness', usually an alpha state. A place with no time, a place where cats spend most of their 9 lives.

I talk hoping that the animators are engrossed in their altered state and not consciously listening. So I can implant an idea in their brain - "Use a soft B pencil. 4B or 6B is good. Like Glen Keane." Work ruff and loose, tease your drawing out of the lines, the arcs of marks.


Animation drawing is a new way of "drawing" for many animation students. The best draftspeople, the people who 'can draw', seem to suffer the most. It's because animation is about observation and thinking, and then expression. Expressing movement and motion, energy and emotion through lines and paths. Animation drawing is about observing. Eventually the drawing gains energy and reality starts to look different the more you study animation.

6B or not 6B... or maybe 2B? That is the question.

The Art of Glen Keane Blog.

"Draw Clear Not Clean," Ollie Johnston