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Angry Birds the movie

Posted on December 18, 2016 
Filed Under Animation, Character design | Leave a Comment

A movie based on a game, yeah I know. Has anyone seen Sony’s “Angry birds” movie though? I eventually did!

I wasn’t too excited about it originally but being directed by Clay Kaytis I knew I HAD to see it even with a 46% at the Tomatometer. I was sure the animation would be top notch, served by great visuals (I love the character designs) and a story that would still have some fun gags and it did.

The movie has become a great inspiration for me lately I have to say, it is a lot of fun and unlike most CG movies those days, they don’t try to cater for a maximum audience.

Great job guys!

Angry_birds_rigs

angry_birds_shot_breakdown

angry_birds_shot_breakdown_02

Angry_bird_brows

Angry_birds_expression

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Overwatch – Animated Shorts Explained

Posted on December 14, 2016 
Filed Under Animation, Character design, Education, Modeling, Painting, Rigging | Leave a Comment

I don’t play games much those days but it is the second time I am posting about Overwatch as they are doing all the right things to me at the moment!

Great animation, great behind the scenes, sharing knowledge and upping the game! Thanks Blizzard!

Today is an exceptional free 1 hour behind the scenes about Overwatch’s animated shorts. Look at those rigs, definitely on par with the ones from animated features or even the Kayla rig since I am studying that one at the moment.

And few stills from the talk followed by one of the animated shorts “the Last Bastion” (gorgeous):

overwatch_facial_rig

Concepts

overwatch_storyboard

overwatch_video_reference

overwatch_animation_pose_library

Related posts
So you want to be a rigger huh v02
Make it organic
Impressive fan made Elsa rig

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“Messy goes to Okido”. Lolly’s Ice Cream van (environment rigging)

Posted on November 21, 2015 
Filed Under Animation, Character design, Comics, Education, Portfolio | Leave a Comment

At the begining of Messy goes to Okido”‘s production, our TD needed some help to rig various props and environment so I gave him a hand for few weeks and mostly for the “Taste buddies” episode. I never got credits for this but I don’t care much since I don’t really want to advertise those skills too much. I am an animator and don’t want to land rigging jobs.

Among those props was the rigging of Lolly’s Ice cream van which was a lot of fun.

It was a bit of challenge as I hadn’t done that kind of stuff in Max for a very long time but at the end of the day it didn’t take too long since I was able to use the exact same techniques I would have used in Maya. I could have spend a bit more time on some areas but TV series require a really fast turnaround unfortunately so the entire rig had to be done and tested in less than two weeks I think I remember.

If you live in UK, you can see the rig in action on the BBC Iplayer right here:
bbc.co.uk/iplayer/cbeebies/episode/b069r3gk/messy-goes-to-okido-4-tastebuddies

Enjoy!

Lolly's van

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Annie Awards nominations 2012

Posted on December 4, 2012 
Filed Under Animation, Character design | Leave a Comment

The ASIFA just released the list of nominations for the 2012 Annie Awards.

I will only mention the categories I am interested in, you can find the full list on Cartoon Brew

It is really bizarre Pixar’s Brave didn’t get a nomination for Character Design. To me it was the movie that, by far, featured the strongest Character Designs in 2012. I would really like to be enlightened about that decision.

Honoring excellence in the field of animation, Annie Awards will be presented in 30 categories including best animated feature, television production(s), television commercial, short subject, video game and student film, as well as the achievement and honorary awards. The 40th Annual Annie Awards will take place on February 2, 2013 at UCLA’s Royce Hall, in Los Angeles, California.

Entries submitted for consideration must be from productions that were released in the United States between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012. An exception will be made for animated short subjects, student films and television commercials that were not released in the United States. These may be considered for an Annie Award providing they were originally released during the award eligibility period.

Best Animated Feature

Brave — Disney
Frankenweenie – Disney
Hotel Transylvania — Sony Animation
ParaNorman — Laika
The Pirates: Band of Misfits — Aardman Animation/Sony Animation
The Rabbi’s Cat — Autochenille Production/GKids
Rise of The Guardians — DreamWorks Animation
Wreck-It Ralph — Disney

Best Animated Short Subject

Brad and Gary (Illumination/Universal)
Bydlo (NFB)
Eyes On The Stars (StoryCorps)
Goodnight Mr Foot (Sony Animation)
Kali The Little Vampire (NFB)
Paperman (Disney)
Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare (20th Century-Fox)
The Simpsons – Bill Plympton Couch Gag (20th Century-Fox)

Best Animated Television Production For Children

Adventure Time ‘Princess Cookie’ – Cartoon Network Studios
Dragons: Riders of Berk ‘How to Pick Your Dragon’ – DreamWorks Animation
LEGO Star Wars ‘The Empire Strikes Out’ – Threshold Animation Studios
Penguins of Madagascar ‘Action Reaction’ – Nickelodeon Animation Studios
SpongeBob SquarePants ‘It’s a SpongeBob Christmas!’ – Nickelodeon Animation Studios
The Amazing World of Gumball ‘The Job’ – Turner Broadcasting System Europe, Ltd.
The Fairly OddParents ‘Farm Pit’ – Nickelodeon Animation Studios
The Legend of Korra ‘Welcome to Republic City’/’A Leaf in the Wind’ – Nickelodeon Animation Studios

Animated Video Game

Borderlands 2 – Gearbox Software
Family Guy – Back to the Mutiverse – Heavy Iron Studios
Journey – Sony Computer Entertainment America
Skullgirls – Lab Zero Games

Best Student Film

Can We Be Happy Now – Tahnee Gehm
Defective Detective – Avner Geller & Steve Lewis
Head Over Heels – Timothy Reckart
I Am Tom Moody – Ainslie Henderson
Ladies Knight – Joseph Rothenberg
Origin – Jessica Poon
The Ballad of Poisonberry Pete – Karen Sullivan
Tule Lake – Michelle Ikemoto

Character Animation in a Feature Production

Dan Nguyen ‘Brave’ – Pixar Animation Studios
David Pate ‘Rise of the Guardians’ – DreamWorks Animation
Jaime Landes ‘Brave’ – Pixar Animation Studios Congrat Jaime and good luck!
Phillppe LeBrun ‘Rise of the Guardians’ – DreamWorks Animation
Pierre Perifel ‘Rise of the Guardians’ – DreamWorks Animation
Travis Hathaway ‘Brave’ – Pixar Animation Studios
Travis Knight “ParaNorman’ – Focus Features
Will Becher ‘The Pirates! Band of Misfits’ – Aardman Animations

Character Design in an Animated Feature Production

Bill Schwab, Lorelay Bove, Cory Loftis, Minkyu Lee ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ – Walt Disney Animation Studios
Carlos Grangel ‘Hotel Transylvania’ – Sony Pictures Animation
Carter Goodrich ‘Hotel Transylvania’ – Sony Pictures Animation
Craig Kellman ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’ – DreamWorks Animation
Heidi Smith ‘ParaNorman’ – Focus Features
Yarrow Cheney, Eric Guillon, Colin Stimpson ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax’ – Illumination Entertainment

Directing in an Animated Feature Production

Genndy Tartakovsky ‘Hotel Transylvania’ – Sony Pictures Animation
Joann Sfar, Antoine Delesvaux ‘The Rabbi’s Cat – GKIDS
Remi Bezancon, Jean-Christophe Lie ‘Zarafa’ – GKIDS
Rich Moore ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ – Walt Disney Animation Studios
Sam Fell, Chris Butler ‘ParaNorman’ – Focus Features

Production Design in an Animated Feature Production

Kendal Cronkhite-Shaindlin, Shannon Jeffries, Lindsey Olivares, Kenard Pak ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’ – DreamWorks Animation
Marcello Vignali ‘Hotel Transylvania’ – Sony Pictures Animation
Nash Dunnigan, Arden Chen, Jon Townley, Kyle McNaughton ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift’ – Blue Sky Studios
Nelson Lowry, Ross Stewart, Pete Oswald, Ean McNamara, Trevor Dalmer ‘ParaNorman’ – Focus Features
Norman Garwood, Matt Berry ‘The Pirates! Band of Misfits’ – Aardman Animation
Patrick Hanenberger, Max Boas, Jayee Borcar, Woonyoung Jung, Perry Maple, Peter Maynez, Stan Seo, Felix Yoon ‘Rise of the Guardians’ – DreamWorks Animation
Rick Heintzich ‘Frankenweenie’ – The Walt Disney Studios
Steve Pilcher ‘Brave’ – Pixar Animation Studios

Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production

Emmanuela Cozzi ‘ParaNorman’ – Focus Features
Johanne Matte ‘Rise of the Guardians’ – DreamWorks Animation
Leo Matsuda ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ – Walt Disney Animation Studios
Lissa Treiman ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ – Walt Disney Animation Studios
Rob Koo ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’ – DreamWorks Animation

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CGMA Character design week 04

Posted on May 22, 2012 
Filed Under Character design, Drawings, Portfolio | 1 Comment

This week we had to design the head of three librairians. I finally got around to create a Photoshop brush I am happy with. Not too clean and not too rough. I did a quick colour pass just for the sake of it. Nate showed us his painting technique this week so that is what I will be using in the future.

Till the very end of the week I wasn’t happy about the roughs I came up with. Only few days later I finally saw how I could make those designs more appealing and more cartoony. They still lack some acting Nate will probably say, let’s see.

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CGMA Character design week 03

Posted on May 18, 2012 
Filed Under Character design, Drawings, Portfolio, Tablet PC | 1 Comment

Here is this week’s assignment. Nate asked us to create a line up with three pirates with contrasting shapes and proportions.

As usual I had a lot of fun exploring different shapes and silhouettes. Clean up was the most difficult part as usual. I had started with the Wacom tablet and fancy line work like Nate but I ended up reverting to pen and paper as I wasn’t getting anywhere.

If Photoshop wasn’t the industry standard for portfolios, I think I would stick to pen and paper. Mind you, I just saw some of Carter Goodrich’s sketches from Brave and he doesn’t seem to be bothered with modern design pipelines.

Anyway, here is what I did this week. Here is the final line up, a rough personality sketch and my research. The final cleanup was eventually done on the poor man’s Cintiq and Photoshop. Great progress compared to last week but still a long way to go before I can reach Nate’s great line work.

Related posts:
CGMA Character design week 01

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CGMA Character design week 01

Posted on May 11, 2012 
Filed Under Character design, Drawings, Education, Painting, Portfolio | 4 Comments

This is my assignment for the CGMA Character Design workshop. We were to design a monster based on a basic circle, triangle or square shape. It is a similar exercise to what we did at the Animation Collaborative. Those three shapes are the basic foundations, the building blocks of strong character design.

Here is what I came up with. The line work and painting job are a bit poor for the moment. Nate will help us with those in the next few weeks so expect a new version soon. The bottom picture are explorations that I first did with pen and paper then cleaned up in Sketchbook pro.

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Aardman’s “Pirates” behind the scenes

Posted on December 5, 2011 
Filed Under Animation, Character design | 1 Comment

I think we need to thank Sony for backing up Aardman on their next stop motion feature and allowing them to come up with such a great looking movie! The environment, the props, the character design, THE BOAT!!! Man this must have cost a fortune!!! I hope the quirky British humour gets a good response from the broader audience and not only animation fans. “Napoleon Blownapart” ;-)

Pirates movies, who doesn’t like them anyway??

Related post:
Aardman “The Pirates” trailers

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Scarecrow model packet

Posted on November 29, 2011 
Filed Under Character design, Drawings, Education, Painting, Portfolio | 4 Comments

Today we had one more amazing Animation Collaborative Character Design class.

This time, Albert and Chris brought Jason Deamer to give us a talk on Model Packeting. According to Al and Chris, Jason is the best artist for that kind of work at Pixar. Jason shared with us some of his Model sheets from Finding Nemo and we also saw some more from Up and the character Muntz in particular.

Here was the assignment I turned.

This is a rough “model packet” for one of the characters from my take on the “Wizard of Oz”. A “Wizard of Oz” that would take place in Siberia.

A model packet is a document that gets handed to the 3d modelers so they can take a design and turn it into a full 3d model. It can range from 5 to 18 pages depending on the complexity of the character or how much direction the modelers need.

There is nothing too complicated for that one but that was still pretty challenging. It is still very rough for the time being, I will post a cleaned up version very soon. Right now the arms and nose are not detailed enough for the modelers to do their job. The eyes also need to be worked out as they wouldn’t communicate eye direction. I will probably go for cartoony eyes like the last drawing.

I hope you like it!

Related posts:
Snowman walk

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Pixar “Brave” new pictures before trailer release

Posted on November 14, 2011 
Filed Under Animation, Character design | 1 Comment

A new “Brave” trailer should be hitting the theatres and our computer screens tomorrow. In the meantime, here is a series of shots from the movie.

Hit the following links for higher resolution pictures:

via Empire online
Via Bleeding cool

On a side note, I wasn’t too far off with my modeling and the hair on Lord Macintosh is looking really fun.

Related posts:
Low polygon modeling
Pixar “Brave” D23 concept art part 2
Pixar “Brave” D23 concept art part 1
“Brave” Concept art and teaser

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Bobby Chiu new free painting tutorial

Posted on November 2, 2011 
Filed Under Character design, Drawings, Education, Painting | 2 Comments

Bobby Chiu is a very good artist, a very good businessman and still a very generous guy.

I hadn’t followed him for a year or two and while looking for Photoshop painting tutorials for a friend I found that “new” video he posted well … last year.

Unlike his old painting videos, in that 190 minutes long tutorial (9 parts video) he explains his whole painting process from the original scanned sketch to fully rendered. This is probably similar to the paid videos you can get when attending his online art school Schoolism.com.

Since this is a free video, I am also posting my notes, feel free to add comments to these.

Water creature fishing

1. Bring the scanned sketch onto a layer in multiply mode, Bobby work at 33% of the final res
2. Open a second window not the navigator in a corner at about 12% to get an overview
3. Create a backgrond layer in dark grey
4. Add a new layer inbetween sketch and background and work on the tonal values of the character, we establish the base tone.
5. We create a new layer for the cast shadows
6. We create a new layer for the Colors in Color mode

Part 4 Lets bring the lights in:
1. We have been roughing out until now but it is time to zoom in, to add more detail in normal mode
2. Upmost layer in Normal mode we add the light so the sketch disappears

Part 7 Adding a secondary rim light

Part 8 Make an overal Levels change to make the painting much lighter. I would actually do the exact opposite so the dark area would have more details rather than creating flat dark areas… strange workflow

Ah and while I was getting ready to post this….. I just received a notification that Bobby Chiu posted an other AWESOME video interview with Pixar story artist Alex Woo. Alex was Tom Gately’s substitute teacher at AnimC last week and the class had a really fun time with him. Alex is a gesture drawing teacher in San Francisco and his class is usually sold out month in advance, he also holds a very popular class at Bobby Chiu’s Schoolism

As a side note, using the 75qs0 promo code when registering on the Schoolism website, you should get a nice discount and it will also help to fund my Philz coffee addiction ;-)

Related posts:
Dice Tsutsumi interview
Bobby Chiu interview

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Aardman “Pythagasaurus”

Posted on October 26, 2011 
Filed Under Animation, Character design | Leave a Comment

Check out that great and probably new Aardman CG shortfilm, it is so funny! Great visuals, funny quirky dialogues and sounds (cavemen with zippers, who would have thought!). I hope they do more like that one.

“Outside a volcano has happened!”

This reminds me a bit of an old but great shorfilm by an other British studio “Studio AKA”, for the Natwest campaign.

I can’t stand Flash websites…. how am I supposed to embed anything?

Here is a link then… very sexy…:

Marc Craste’s “Mr Lucky”

Related posts:
Studio AKA keyword search

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Spare parts cute designs

Posted on October 15, 2011 
Filed Under Animation, Character design, EA | Leave a Comment

My ex-coworker Ross Burt posted some of the character designs he created for Spare Parts.

The cute robots weren’t selected for the final game but I really loved them. We did model one of them and I got lucky to animate the green one with spray can nozzle head on the far right. Those who know me will rightaway understand why I fell in love with that little fellow ;-)

Spare Parts Heroes and Villains

Related posts:
BAFTA Young game designers
EA (category)

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Pixar Brave, more concept art

Posted on August 30, 2011 
Filed Under Animation, Character design | 3 Comments

Some more concept and visual development work for next year’s Pixar Brave has been shown to the public at Disney D23 last week.

I would have liked to see some Lord Macintosh designs just to finish the model I started a while back :-( The Wise woman is looking really cool.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ky52jv5b-mY

Related post:
Brave concept art and teaser

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Brave concept art and teaser

Posted on June 29, 2011 
Filed Under Animation, Character design, Modeling | 9 Comments

Pixar just released a teaser for next years feature Brave (previously titled The Bear and the Bow) along with some character designs.

Those designs have definitely a Pixar feel to them as they immediately remind us of The Incredibles or Up. Some commentators compared Lord Macintosh to Muntz and the Wise Woman to a Carl Fredericksen in drag :-)

My favourite are actually Lord Macintosh and the Wise Woman as they are much more graphic than the other character. As a matter of fact I have decided to model those two in order to better understand the Pixar style and improve my modeling skills.

Updated version after the release of the movie

I modelled Lord Macintosh in Maya starting from a plane and using the edge extrusion technique in order to quickly create some edge loops then refined the base shape by cutting faces, merging and moving vertices around. Nothing too fancy. I have some experience with that type of modelling but I think I will try the Zbrush approach for the Wise Woman. My friend Richie just showed me the work of Tom Parker, an incredible Zbrush modeler that can knock out a piece in less than two hours.

Here is the timelapse, I only recorded the first few hours as the final “vertex cleaning/edge rerouting” pass is too tedious to watch. I hope you will find this interesting, the video is a sequence of automated screenshots hence the choppiness.

via http://www.cartoonbrew.com/pixar/brave-characters.html

Related posts:
Lord Macintosh update
Modeling blog category

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Smallriders is finally online

Posted on May 11, 2011 
Filed Under Animation, Character design, Friends | 5 Comments

Few month ago I was telling you about a short film made by two of my Chico Chica Boumba uber talented coworkers.

Smallriders, Chloe Blocktaels and Joan Delmont’s short film is finally online and I am loving the final product.

The short was finished in Octobre and we have had to wait a loooong time but this was really well worth it. Joan is not interested in 3d anymore but I would love to see this as an animated feature or a TV series. The animation is really good and the character designs are very appealing. Ah I should also congratulate Benjamin Meyer who was in charge of the rendering or he will kick my butt ;-)

Really nice work guys, you can be really proud of it!

Related posts:
Smallriders, first teaser
Chico Chica Boumba pilot
Back from Angouleme

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Kung Fu Panda 2, trailer 2

Posted on March 5, 2011 
Filed Under Animation, Character design, Modeling | 3 Comments

I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opJDglqiQ6k

and something I just found. A top french modeler took one of Nico Marlet undone designs and modeled a nasty croco. Actually, judging by the colour scheme, it could be a good guy.

I have a fascination for cartoony crocos I have to say. We have a pretty cool one in the show I am working on (sorry can’t show) but his facial rig doesn’t allow for broad expressions. I will have to investigate how to rig cartoony beaks and long jaw one of those days. Ah for the story, Michel Guillemain is now at Dreamworks LA on … Kung Fu Panda 2 ;-)

ah some interesting links. Yes I have the bad feeling they only took the first story and put a 2 at the end, in the line of the Die Hard series, hopefully it is not just the overcoming of a new enemy.
on writing for Kung Fu Panda
Nicolas Marlet interview

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Sketching with Jason Seiler

Posted on September 25, 2010 
Filed Under Animation, Character design, Drawings, Painting | Leave a Comment

The jury is still out there on the importance of being good at drawing for CG animation but to me, being able to quickly convey my ideas through rough sketches or a series of thumbnails is one more tool to a CG animator toolset therefore acquiring drawing skills should be one of our goals. It is also a great party trick! ;-)

I lived in West Africa for a while and there were many circumstances where I couldn’t pull out my camera but no one minded when I fired up my pens and pencils. My skills weren’t that amazing at that time but once I have a bit more experience with watercolours or maybe gouache, I am hoping to travel again for a month and fill up an entire sketchbook.

This brings me to great video I just found on Schoolism.com:
“Sketching with Jason Seiler”.

There are thousands of free sketching videos on Youtube but they are always too short or not exactly what I am looking for so $25 for looking over Jason’s shoulder and listening to his process is a bargain. It is also a great introduction to the great training Schoolism is offering.

The video is a bit less that 2 hours long and you see him sketching in the street and at his desk, demonstrating the importance of breaking down the subject into simpler forms and shapes, thumbnailling, crosshatching, digitally painting on a TabletPC, ballpoint sketching and applying watercolours.

On a minor note, each artist has their own style and I prefer cleaner lines to the more fiddly Jason uses when sketching, in the watercolours section he didn’t really explain his thought process and how he selected his colours however, I would still highly recommend watching those videos if you are trying to develop your sketching abilities.

You will probably need to register to access the website but don’t worry it is really quick.

Related posts:
My drawing category

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great Disney links

Posted on August 22, 2010 
Filed Under Animation, Character design | Leave a Comment

I was busy collecting some references for my shortfilm today and found some really good Disney links.

Animation Background. As the name implies, you will find a large collection of old classic Disney shorts/features and also more recent backgrounds. It is so cool to finally be able to take a close look at those beautiful watercolours.
http://animationbackgrounds.blogspot.com

The Art of Disney Animation
http://artofdisney.canalblog.com
That one is mainly in french but you will find a lot of artwork from the house of the mouse, among them a larger collection of colour scripts from Toy Story 3 than was had been available in the past.

and 2 more links that have been around for a while but a lot of people don’t know about.

The Pixar blog
http://pixarblog.blogspot.com/

Upcoming Pixar
http://pixarplanet.com/blog/

oops I was about to forget a great resources if you intend to do some research on old Disney short films
The encyclopedia of Disney Animation shorts. A great website if you want to track a Disney director or artist.
http://www.disneyshorts.org/sitemap.html

By the way, does anyone know who was the main character designer on Jungle Book, Sword in the stone, 101 dalmatians, Robin Hood and other features sharing the same angular look? With my colleague Karim we are not able to agree on this. I am aware Milt Kahl reluctantly became character designer but I am pretty sure he was only drawing in that very characteristicstyle. For some reason Ken Anderson keeps coming back to me but I can’t find any information about it. Any idea?

Related post:
Dice Tsutsumi on the Chiustream

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Nicolas Marlet workshop!!!

Posted on August 3, 2010 
Filed Under Character design | 2 Comments

Character Design blogpost just announced a new training and workshop with Dreamworks Character Designer Nicolas Marlet, check this out

http://characterdesign.blogspot.com/2010/08/who-wants-to-watch-nicolas-marlet.html

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