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CGTarian Animation Half circle

Posted on February 26, 2014  | Leave a Comment
Filed under Animation, Education

someone just pointed at a great series of videos posted by online school CGTarian. The videos feature a bunch of top Dreamworks animators (is Joe Bower at Disney or Dreamworks now?) discussing animation.

It has been a long time since I last heard a group of animators talk shop and it is really refreshing. Too bad they are not invited to comment on DVDs and Blurays anymore.

The series starts with the crucial “thumbs or no thumbs” and having Ted Ty comment makes it even more interesting.

CGTarian online school Youtube channel.

Related posts:
Tangled Joe Bowers thought process

“Krampus” by Screen Novelties

Posted on January 12, 2014  | Leave a Comment
Filed under Animation

Fun stop motion animated greeting card by L.A. based Studio Novelties, the people behind the Stop motion Sponge Bob Xmas special.

I love the design of Krampus. Check out the following links to see some behind the scenes and their blog to see past work

“Krampus” behind the scenes

Screen Novelties blog

Well…. I have to post that video about their past Spongebob special in case you missed the link. That would be sad. I also love 2d but there is something about seeing those characters in volume….

via: Cartoon Brew

Paul Lasaine Schoolism interview

Posted on December 31, 2013  | Leave a Comment
Filed under Education, Painting

Since Facebook has decided to widen the use of their awful Ranking system to Newsfeed, I have decided to refocus my efforts on updating this blog more often than I have done in the past few month.

I would also encourage other “content makers” to do the same as you don’t want a third party to interfere in your communication with your audience and in a way, “censor” your posts by applying a silly celebrity ranking system. Getting statistics of your website’s usage is also much easier with a blog than on Facebook and I am not even talking about the immense improvement on searching your blog.

I would also suggest smart readers to use a RSS reader like Feedly and its mobile equivalent (Phonly for Windows Mobile users) just so they can get all their favorite content from an organised central location (GTD) on their phone/tablet or desktop.

I might post a screenshot of my reader one day. Actually here are the different categories. John Nevarez’s blog should probably be a category by himself ;-)

My RSS Feed

And to start those new year’s resolutions, here is a rare interview with one of the top Matte Painters and Vis dev guy in the industry, Paul Lasaine. Thanks Schoolism and Bobby Chiu for a great interview again.

By the way, I just logged onto the Schoolism website and realised I still have access to all the courses with Video Feedback I took.. Really cool!!! I look forward to watching Nathan Fowkes lectures again next year.

CTNX 2013 Live

Posted on November 17, 2013  | Leave a Comment
Filed under Animation, Business of animation, Education

CTN on demand

If like me you couldn’t make it to CTNX this year, don’t despair. Tina Price and her crew are offering a free broadcast with demos and live interviews of several participants. Click on the following picture to access it. I think you can also ask questions in realtime….. too bad I only realized that late yesterday.

CTNX 2013 Live

There is also a paying option to access some of the conferences Live and On Demand for $55 but I can’t find much informations about it. I think it is only the main conferences held in the Marriott’s ballroom. It is a pretty cool option as it is like being at CTN and avoiding the schedules reshuffles, long queues and accompanying queue jumpers without paying for the unattainable VIP pass ;-)

It would be awesome if the conferences held in the tents and secondary venues were also broadcast as those were just as much interesting and sometimes even better last year.

Here is where you would order the paying option and I have been told the content will still be available 15 days after the show ends.

Here are some of my favourite artists being interviewed: Bobby Chiu and Jesse Aclin. There was a quick demo with the awesomely nice John Nevarez which I will post when I find it.

Thanks Tina, your crew and all the volunteers. With the addition of the live broadcast and recording, CTN is definitely a one of a kind event.

Related posts:
Back from CTN 2012

“Rob ‘n’ Ron” by Tumblehead

Posted on September 20, 2013  | 1 Comment
Filed under Animation, Education

Very fun short by Tumblehead, a bunch of graduates from Viborg’s finest “Animation Workshop“. You might remember those chaps from “Elk Hair Caddis“.

They were so nice they even shared some behind the scenes videos showing their process, the rendering (using Arnold) and a rig demo.

Monoprice drawing tablet

Posted on September 7, 2013  | Leave a Comment
Filed under Education, Life hack

[Update after 3 years] Like I mentioned in my original review, the Monoprice is far better for clean drawing than the Wacom offering so I still use the Monoprice but only on my laptop. Having upgraded my desktop to Windows 10, I didn’t manage to test or make the Monoprice  work on it so currently using a Wacom Intuos 5 pro on the desktop and the Monoprice on my Windows 7 laptop. The following pictures were drawn or sculpted on the Monoprice. Ah and the battery is a non issue as I haven’t changed it in…… 3 freaking years!!!!







[Update after 6 month of use and upgrading to Windows 8] I gave up on Monoprice. There is absolutely no support whatsoever from Monoprice and the current drivers are way to flacky for me to recommend the tablet to anyone. I loved the light weight, small size and larger usable surface than similar Wacom but the drivers are unusable and like I said, Monoprice doesn’t care about customer support. Good bye Monoprice and cheap tablets, I am back to the Wacom monopoly and just bought an Intuos (5) Pro medium. (can’t stand the touch thing and disabled it but at least the drivers are stable). [/update]

[update after three month of use] The issues I was having in Photoshop CS6 and CC were caused by old buggy ATI/AMD graphic card driver which hasn’t been updated for 2 years…. Battery is a non issue as I haven’t changed it in 3 month. Pressure sensitivity is definitely better than the Intuos 3 but there is a bit of jitter if you don’t draw fast. Do I still recommend it? well…. it is only $50 right. Digitizer is larger than the Medium Wacom, tablet is lighter and smaller than Wacom so it fits nicely in my backpack even in the Medium version. I would really like the line to have no jitter but for the ease of use, that’s a keeper. Oh! I was about to forget. It appears that the Middle Mouse button doesn’t work on Macs which really suck for OSX fans. [/update]

After reading a very positive review by an artist called Frenden, I wanted to see if that $50 tablet was really so much better than the much beloved Wacom branded tablets that cost three to four times more.

I have been using Wacom tablets since 1998, the Ultrapad A5 being my first model. I have also owned several Windows TabletPCs equipped with Wacom digitizers. To put it bluntly, I used to be a Wacom fanboy and would regularly make fun of people buying other brands.

One day, a post on the now defunct attracted my attention. Frenden was claiming that he had switched from his $2.500 Cintiq to a mere $55 Monoprice tablet and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I witnessed how clean his lines are (see for yourself). The Monoprice tablet is not available in France so I made the most of my recent London Life Drawing boot camp to order the 10×6 model and give it a try.

I have only been using the tablet for a week so hopefully I will be able to iron out some little issues I am having in the following weeks. So far it works amazingly well in Manga Studio Pro, Paint Tool SAI and Zbrush. The quality of the line and the pressure sensitivity is way better than my Intuos 3.

I do have an issue with the line quality in Photoshop CS6 64bit on Windows 7 but I will be testing it on Windows 8 next week.

So far, I am really liking it and the Intuos 3 has been gathering dust for the past 7 days. It is very likely that I will sell the Intuos 3, UNLESS, I can’t fix the Photoshop issue.

Let’s see how it goes, more to follow.

Just as a reminder, the Monoprice is equipped with an UC Logic digitizer which is the digitizer used in the Yiynova MSP 19U, an impressive piece of hardware usually refered as the Cintiq killer

Run cycle video reference

Posted on August 20, 2013  | 4 Comments
Filed under Animation, Education

Run and walks are the bread and butter of video game animators and unfortunately I hadn’t found a good source of references on that topic in the past.

Until today, I wasn’t bothered and used treadmill references since that’s mainly what they have been doing at Pixar from Monsters Inc to Up so if it is good for them, it should be good for me, but it is said that treadmill runs are actually different from the real thing.

My understanding of physics is so basic that I can’t see why it would be any different (does anyone actually understands inertia or references frames?) so I decided to do some research and was lucky to find two great references of World record marathon runner Haile Gebrselassie. One of him on a treadmill and a second one shot during a marathon. I didn’t spend too much time on walks since everybody’s walk is unique and I am pretty sure the difference would be too subtle.

Before you watch the videos and make up your mind, one thing I should mentioned is that the treadmill run was only a 4 minutes run and he was wiping his face with the towel in front of him few frames before the beginning of the footage. You can find the link to the original footage below. The video on the right is a real marathon race.

Here is a Vimeo version if you prefer

What can we notice?

The upper body is possibly slightly bent forward on the road race but I don’t think there is a real difference for the back leg to be honest, at least not at 30fps.

For runs, I would suggest people to pay attention to the running style instead and get to learn about the Pose Method.

The Pose method is dramatically different than a regular run since you hit the road with the ball of your foot rather than the heel so your calf muscle plays the role of a shock absorber rather than the sole of your expensive trainers and your knee joint, leading to less joint stress/pain. Hum it looks like I should do an other video showing regular runs compared to Pose ones ;-)

As animators we are having a tough time to understand runs but don’t worry…. so do runners!

This guy found out that depending on the brand of shoes he is wearing, or not wearing, he would hit the ground in a different manner, check out those great references:

Original references:
Haile Gebrselassie Treadmill Run
Haile running slow motion

Ringling “Spyfox” and some painting

Posted on August 18, 2013  | Leave a Comment
Filed under Animation, Drawings, Education, Painting, Portfolio

What, wait! Three Ringling students made this?!?!! How the hell is this possible !

I just love it, especially the character design. Really good work guys! I want to see a sequel to this!

and here is a link to the artist’s blogs where you will find a great making of video:

Yoav Shtibelman
Taylor Clutter
Kendra Phillips

While I am posting, here are some news for you. I am currently attending Nate Wragg’s “character design for production” class and it is awesome. I always manage to screw up and not respect the deadlines but the character I am working on is developing really nicely. I will be posting all my work when the class finishes but here is a little work in progress for you. We are not supposed to do any rendering but I felt I needed to shade this guy for this week’s turnaround.

I learnt that painting technique at Schoolism. This is the technique used by Nathan Fowkes, Bobby Chiu and Andrew Hou.

I will probably share my Photoshop brushes at the end of the class. Here is that work in progress, the mouth is completely out of whack but I think it is a fun painting.

Related post:
Francesco Giroldini, lighting tutorials

CGMA 2d academy

Posted on July 16, 2013  | 1 Comment
Filed under Education

Hurry up!!! Only few seats left for the best online Storyboarding and Character design classes. I attended both last year and will highly recommend them! Nate and Steve not only have packed some great informations in their lectures, they also do great weekly demos.

One thing I want to mention about Steve’s class. It is not only a class on Storyboarding but also a class in Story. If you ever wanted to make short films or just get involved in the story process, this is the class for you.

Nate Wragg’s first class was so good that I have enrolled for the follow up class: Character Design for production

I can’t believe there are still any seats left. Both Nate and Steve went to Calart, got jobs or Internships at Dreamworks and Pixar. You are basically paying for a proven CalArt class at a fraction of the cost….

Despicable Me 2 Behind the scene

Posted on June 14, 2013  | 6 Comments
Filed under Animation

Despite the whole industry having embraced the Bluray format for several years, they still don’t seem to be able to fit any “Behind the scene” videos or director’s comments on the enormous space that offer bluray discs. This is why we’d better celebrate the release of videos like that one, especially since it is a studio that is well known for being very secretive.

Steve Carell shows you how 3d is done at Mac Guff. It is great to see that Zébé is actually a real person. I thought he was just a myth, a machine that could crank up great drawings after great drawings ;-) Interesting he doesn’t work on a Cintiq. Make me feel better for not coughing up for one myself.

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