Must Sees

Slumdog Millionare

If anyone gets a chance to catch this film playing near you, go see it! Its a wonderful film. It wont be playing in local theaters so make sure to check around. The cinematography was great, there are scenes with kids running through the slums of India and its just very captivating. It reminded me a little of Parkour only little kid style done in the back streets of Mumbai. I also thought the story was fantastic. Audiences will for the first time see a "real" India, I had read a few reviews that mentioned exactly that and I wasn't sure what that meant. But after seeing the film I know exactly what they meant, its almost breathtaking seeing the camera in the heart of those poverty stricken areas. I really have only good things to say about this movie, and only thing I do feel like saying is see it! :) Expect to see this film at the Oscars. Again if you get the chance go see this movie.


I wasn't really expecting too much from this movie but I was really impressed with it. Especially considering the short turn around they had to make this film. The visual look, mostly background I thought was great. I watched Bolt in 3D so I didn't really get time to see all of it as I would have liked. But the lighting and rendering really helped push this film, just the softness of it I think helped make the world of Bolt that much more believable. The characters were great, Rhino and the pigeons were hilarious. I also really liked the voice cast, I wasn't sure about Miley Cyrus but I thought she did great (I guess I was expecting her voice to be really annoying) But I was wrong. This film delivered a lot of big laughs and has heart.

I still would have liked to have seen Chris Sanders vision of this (which was American Dog) But for what it was worth, this is Disney's best animation in a while.


GYM Logo's

Thought I'd share some freelance work I finished early this year. It was created for Armbrust Pro Gym.

Dylan and Heather are the new owners and wanted to revamp the place and have been working hard at improving the gym from top to bottom. Their gym actually became Gym of the Month a few months back for Bodybuilding.com. You can check out their interview HERE.
Congrats on that!!

Here is a sticker on the front door - Photo from Bodybuilding.com.

They are now making banners, labels, T-shirts, shorts you name it and the logo I created for them is turning up everywhere! Here are some of their personal logos I created.




Sigg 08: Day 1 pt. 1

:D All I can do. I can not explain how ecstatic I am for us and what a great time we had on the trip this year. The Big Grin team did fantastic and everyone soaked up all the new knowledge being thrown at us this year! I was so impressed with everyone, my expectations were blown away. The trip was great; we met up with some old friends, I personally got to meet some friends from Animation Mentor, even spoke with some friends I met at Gobelins! And we all made some new friends that we hope to work with in the future!! By far the best Siggraph I have been to in the last 4 years!

Sunday: Day 1

We arrived Sunday Aug. 10th and we all just hung out and went swimming! It was a very needed break from are hectic schedules. I actually felt bad for not being productive while I was letting the sun bake me lol.

Monday: Day 2

Monday was the kick start to an amazing week. Quick highlights:
1. Failed Productions: A very well put together panel of great artists with loads of info. Not only was this first talk great hearing about struggles and budget constraints but it was the proving grounds for what was expected from the team. I wanted to set an example for everyone and we discussed quite a bit on peoples questions and how to reframe questions so they are "good" questions. From then on for the rest of the week I was taken back on how well everyone did!!!

2. Ed Catmull: WHO? Are you kidding me! This was by far worth every penny I paid to go this year. Ed's topic was "Managing the Creative Environment". Everyone in the audience received a nice taste of what its like at Pixar.

The brain trust has all responsibility over creative process, only way to be involved in the brain trust is to be 1. A film maker 2. Have to 100% honest- there success relies on the success of others. 3. Brain trust does not have final say on film- they have no authority over director. Ed always questioned a lot of start up companies and he would watch successful companies fall and would always be making sure Pixar didn't follow. He would ask, "Why are they blind, not seeing what they need to do?" Some keys: When things are right it gives an excuse to overlook whats wrong. And the big key is knowing the people better than you.

3. "Art of Awesomeness-KFP" The panel led by director, John Stevenson, Raymond Zibach - Production Designer, Yong Duk Jhun - Head of Layout, & Markus Manninen - Visual Effects Supervisor. This wasn't as geeky as I was hoping for, it felt more like a DVD special feature that briskly touched on the things I REALLY wanted to know. The panel covered the production for the first two years going over story, layout and character designs. John Stevenson made a great comment about when co-directing you need to find someone who will complement the other.

I loved hearing and seeing the design evolution of the characters for the film, they had to find design solutions with shape languages. Then hearing all the research and seeing the history of Asian art that influenced KFP was brilliantly applied into the composition; it was fantastic. The use of color and exploring personalized character cameras gave me and the team a new outlook on what we are doing and will be applying it to are own work. More research on movies! lol.

4. Autodesk: Hustling over to the registration after KFP we didn't get anytime to snack. The user group meetings are quite interesting or have been over the last few years. This year I was bored to death in the beginning and would have spiked interest here or there. I know for me the lack of food was crippling me. The 3D stereoscopic was the only real highlight for me, seeing what they did with KFP was incredible and made the entire audience jump back! Also seeing a sneak peek of 5 mins worth of Monsters VS. Aliens was cool, I'm not so sure about it yet. After the show and tell was over it was a mad dash to the food and drink lines. It was seriously a mad house, whoever the event coordinator was they should be fired for the round tables! Once things settled down the event was a blast. And we all went home and fell asleep around 4:30-5am.


Siggraph 08

Hello all! I have been so darn busy and I have been wanting to post some updates here! I've decided last minute with my team to go to Siggraph! We are super excited and can't wait to see some familiar faces and meet new people!

Just wanted to say for all of you who have written me and have not heard back I apologize! And rest assured I will be in contact with everyone once I get back. :) (lots of emails and lots of meetings)

If you are going to be at Siggraph shoot me an email and let me know!

In the mean time here is some eye candy on some Color Keys that were created for different episodes in the show.


Small Break

Hey all, well its been forever since I've updated this blog. (I'm not very good at posting stuff)

Life has been so crazy I rarely find my way outside to see the sunlight it feels. Things with the cartoon show have been progressing very nicely and now final negotiations will be taking place for distribution in other countries like France and Canada.

How exciting is that? It feels great to know all this hard work is starting to pay off some, but the adventure is just starting so there will be many more weeks with no sleep.

The past 3 weeks, from May 12-31st have been a test of what is to come. My team and I were working 18-23 plus hour days. Some days not even sleeping, we have been busy to say the least! :)

At the same time my Animation Mentor homework has been slipping. This term has been very hard for me. Not only because of all the work but because of random unforseen events like a bunch of medical/ health issues and my computer just crapping out on me for 3 weeks.

I feel I should of taking the quarter off, because I haven't been able to put in the time that is needed. I can't expect to be doing decent work when I'm only working on my animation one day a week. Usually its on a Sat and I will work 14 hrs straight to do all my work and turn in my h/w and go to bed after.

But I will be taking the summer term off and hopefully get some things cleared and come back ready to kick butt.

I will still be animating, mostly on the teaser for the show. We will be animating a minute and a half under 2 weeks so the pressure will be on.

Here are some sketches that I had posted earlier in the term at AM.


Ollie Johnston has passed away

One of the greatest animators ever has just passed away today. Ollie along with the nine old men paved the way for animators today.

" OLLIE JOHNSTON 1912 - 2008 The last of the "nine old men"--and more importantly a beloved artist, mentor, patriarch and husband--passed into history today. Ollie Johnston was 96 years old."
The Blackwing Diaries
Jim Hill remembers...

heres to you Ollie! :)


Class 2 Sketches

I thought I'd share some of my Class 2 weekly sketches. There are a handful of us that draw and post every week on main page in school.

I joined in the last 4 weeks of term 2.

With all the Kung Fu Panda Movie stuff I have been seeing recently I thought I would dig up a really old sketch of my kung fu panda movie idea...so much for the idea lol

I hadn't slept in a few days so I felt a little rough


Animation Mentor Class 2 progress

So another amazing term at Animation Mentor has come and gone. And I am still finding myself picking my jaw off the ground, from how amazingly talented everyone is at AM.

Here is my class 2 progress reel along with class 1!

At some point I would like to go back and polish the pumpkin kid one, because in terms of being done I would say its at a first polishing pass. And render all the work to make it look purtty :)

Thanks for watching!


The Camera

stumbled across this little video and thought I would share it with everyone! If it weren't so true...


Ian and Maxx is coming...

So everyone has been asking me what I have been up to since graduation, when I mention I'm not working for anyone I get quite a few surprised responses. Well I've been working, and developing a cartoon show. I have been working on this for a while now, and it all originally started from a short film I help create with Ryan Hobbiebrunken and Dan Wise.

We created the characters Ian and Maxx, and since the short film, I have always thought, these characters could have their own show! So I have been working on that idea on the side, and now its become a 24/7 days a week goal.

For anyone who hasn't seen the short film take a peek here:

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

I should note, we did this in about 10 weeks for a contest back in school so we could try and get a free trip out to Siggraph in 06. We only spent about 2 weeks on the animation, so its pretty "rough" in a lot of areas ha.

Thanks for watching :)


AM Poses & Sketches

So it's a new year and I'm looking forward to making this one bigger and better than last year! I am kicking off the year by training for a marathon that is coming up in May. I usually don't like running but so far its been fun and its going towards a great cause!

So I thought I would finally get some of my poses and sketches posted from my Class 1 at Animation Mentor.

I always explored when it came to drawing and posing in 3D, I would always chose a couple of poses and get feedback on the poses then work on one to make it the strongest.





Now this pose is still weak and not working.

Here was another idea I had but I didn't run with it because I thought this scene was more about the situtation.