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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
“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

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.

The Art of Disney Animation
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

Upcoming Pixar

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.

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

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

The Art Center

Posted on March 21, 2010 
Filed Under Character design, Drawings | Leave a Comment

Rhino crit

If you like the Radhowto blog you will love the Art Center. A blog sharing ideas and tips from Artists to Artists. The contributors are no less than some of the best artists in the industry: Florian Satzinger, Rad Sechrist, David Colman, Louie Del Carmen….

Thanks Annes for the link!

Read more
Drawing reverse engineering
“Paperwalker” Florian Satzinger

abAutorig overview, how to create a rig in 5 minutes

Posted on March 17, 2010 
Filed Under Animation, Character design, Education | 15 Comments

[update] if you found that video through Google and missed the Pyro abAutorig tutorial make sure you check the following series of posts for a full tutorial with audio explanations and skinning tips. Original post after the link]

abAutorig Pyro tutorial Part I

The following video is a quick 5 minutes intro to the excellent abAutorig mel script.

Double Click on the Vimeo logo to get the full screen video in full HD res.

Related post:
abAutorig Pyro tutorial
Autorig tutorial preparation work part 04
Autorig tutorial prep work 03
Autorig tutorial prep work 02
Autorig tutorial prep work 01
Low polygon modeling tools

Gaston the TV series

Posted on January 13, 2010 
Filed Under Animation, Character design | Leave a Comment



Gaston, my all time favourite comic by Franquin is finally airing on french TV. I wasn’t too excited when I heard they would be using After Effect rigs to give life to the useless intern but Normaal did a really nice job I must admit.

I would also like to mention an other one of my favourite comics, Leonard. That one has been given the 3d treatment by Ellipsanime and is looking very cool!

via Castuka and Henk

Related post:
Gaston Lagaffe by Franquin

“There is no such thing as a Gruffalo”

Posted on December 20, 2009 
Filed Under Animation, Character design | Leave a Comment



Some of the best European Animation Mentor graduates worked on that great looking Christmas short film done for the BBC by Studio Soi in Germany. The Gruffalo is a very charming child story books created by Julia Donaldson.

[…] Read more

“Lost and found” Amandine Pecharman

Posted on December 3, 2009 
Filed Under Animation, Character design | 5 Comments

Amandine Pecharman

Amandine Pecharman

Amandine Pecharman, production designer on Studio AKA “lost and found” posted some really cool concept designs on her blog. Check it out it is really really nice.

[…] Read more

Double Duck, Topolino

Posted on November 20, 2009 
Filed Under Animation, Character design | 1 Comment

Double Duck

Double Duck

During my summer in Angouleme, I met a lot of very cool people and one of them was an italian artist that kept talking about his time at Disney which I found really intriguing as Disney doesn’t have an animation studio in Italy but the Disney he was referring to was … a very different one.

[…] Read more

“Paperwalker” Florian Satzinger

Posted on November 20, 2009 
Filed Under Character design | 2 Comments


Thanks to Jean Denis Haas at Spungella, I rediscovered the work of incredible Austrian character designer Florian Satzinger. I got acquainted with his work through an interview on Character design blogspot few years ago.

[…] Read more

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