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Sebastien Lasserre Defidefous 18 entry

Posted on January 28, 2013  | Leave a Comment
Filed under Friends

My friends Sebastien Lasserre and Sylvain Aubert just posted a funny video on the Vampire theme. It is mainly French play-on-words kind of humour but the facial expressions and fun acting backed by a catchy sound track and quirky sound design should make you laugh.

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Jonathan Paine Pixar modeling demo reel

Posted on January 27, 2013  | 2 Comments
Filed under Education, Modeling

Have you ever seen wireframes of a Pixar character model or even a Pixar modeler’s demo reel ? Me neither, but that was until today!

Thanks to the recent adoption of Pinterest by animation enthusiasts, I just found the modeling showreel of Jonathan Paine, a fine modeler/sculptor who has worked on some of our beloved Pixar animated short films and features like Boundin’, One man band, Ratatouille, Cars, Up and also Blue Sky’s greatest IP : Ice Age.

If like me you have an obsession for polygon wireframes and naked meshes, head over to Vimeo to enjoy a great display of skills.

Related Posts:
Lord Macintosh update
Pixar Brave Wireframes
Madagascar Gloria WIP

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Schoolism Light and colours week 01

Posted on January 24, 2013  | 2 Comments
Filed under Education, Painting

For this first week, our teacher Nathan Fowkes asked us to do 12 under one hour studies of photographs, paintings or any reference that we found interesting.

I have been collecting color scripts and movies screenshots for quite a while so finding references wasn’t difficult. Painting was an other story… I have a whole set of clean-up brushes for character designs but when it comes to painting, I realised all my brushes were of no use and had to find some new ones more appropriate for that kind of exercise. I also had no clue how to go about painting in Photoshop but my knowledge in oil painting and lighting came pretty handy.

Here is what I submitted for this week. The first one took me a very long time to do and I didn’t have time to adjust the colours but luckily I became much faster after having done several and the last ones were more enjoyable. You should try, it is a fun exercise. For each study I tried to work on something different, SSS, backlighting, color scheme…

Credits: Aurélien Prédal (1/2/5), Joaquin Sorolla , Roger Deakins (3/4)), Robert Richardson (7/9/10/11)

Related posts:
Schoolism – Designing with colours and light
Aurelien Predal Monstre à Paris
Light and colours

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Frank and Ollie Documentary

Posted on January 12, 2013  | 1 Comment
Filed under Animation, Education

If you still haven’t bought “the Illusion of Life” or the “Frank and Ollie” DVD I don’t think you can really call yourself an animator!

Frank and Ollie DVD

There is nothing I can do for you regarding the Bible of Animation but if you were put off by the “Frank and Ollie” DVD’s NTSC only format you are in luck, Youtube user Paul Stanton posted a more or less legal copy of that fantastic and hearwarming documentary on Disney’s legendary animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston.

If you are too cheap to buy the DVD, I highly recommend you to watch it before Disney’s legal department finds out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m7z1XUgdQ4

I will take this opportunity to mention the AWN hosted Frank and Ollie website, a website whose content was created by Frank and Ollie themselves in (cough) glorious Comic sans. The website contains a great amount of animation notes you need to keep reminding yourselves.

Frank and Ollie on AWN

And to finish, here is a quick introduction to the work of Frank and Ollie by Disney’s animator extraordinaire Glen Keane

via Pencil Tests Tumblr

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Zbrush sketch

Posted on January 8, 2013  | Leave a Comment
Filed under Modeling, Portfolio

Zbrush 4.4 and dynamesh are awesome. Mudbox’s interface makes way more sense but for some reason I prefer sculpting in Zbrush.

Here is a quick straight-ahead sketch I did yesterday as a way of procrastinating using mainly the clay tube brush.

If I was always that productive when procrastinating…..

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Bend Bows

Posted on January 3, 2013  | Leave a Comment
Filed under Animation, Education

Sorry for not posting much those days. I have just started working on a feature here in Angouleme and I am also using the opportunity of finally having a stable job, or at least to live in a town with plenty of animation work to finally test for my Black Belt in Taekwondo after 15 years doing other forms of martial arts. Ah, the feature is called Minuscule, Valley of the Lost Ants by the way, it is a fun movie which was started on the back of a very successful TV Series of the same name and several TV specials. You can find some episodes on Youtube and a pretty nice teaser on the blog.

Enough rantings, let’s start this new year with some education material.

Pixar just released some really cool Monsters University screenshots on the Disneypixar tumblr page and I couldn’t help noticing a great example of Bend Bows.

Bend Bows are the controls you can normally find in a rig between the shoulders, elbow and wrist for the arms, or hips, knee and ankle for the legs. Here you can see how the artist made the most of those to soften Mike’s otherwise stiff looking arms by creating a nice rounded curvature of the arms that nicely echoes his head’s rounded features and also creates a very pleasing line of action.

Here is a draw over so you can clearly see those.


When animating, I wouldn’t recommend you to block those before the final pass of polish. These are just the icing on the cake or the extra paper cuts as Mike Makarewicz would say. You don’t want to exaggerate the bend bows too much either or you might end up going off model.

Monsters Inc is one of my favourite Pixar movies, I can’t wait to see the prequel and finally be able to buy the “Art of Book”. The original is now a collector you know !

By the way! I never got around to posting that Bobby Chiu’s interview of Mike. Clearly Bobby didn’t really know what animation specific question he could ask Mike but I am sure you will still get something out of it.

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Jerry Seinfield: How to write a joke

Posted on December 22, 2012  | Leave a Comment
Filed under Acting, Story

We hardly ever hear how stand up comedians and comedy writers work out their jokes so this is a short but pretty interesting video I think where Jerry Seinfield explains his thought process.

The video is pretty short but offers a starck contrast with an other New York Times interview where Seinfield’s co-creator Larry David explains his work practices. Skip to 7mins20 to hear his explanation ;-)

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Annie Awards nominations 2012

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

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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L.A. Times Roundtable Discussion: Animation

Posted on December 2, 2012  | Leave a Comment
Filed under Education

After the Storyboard class I took with Steve McLeod and CGMA (they just made some changes to the website), I have become more and more interested in Story and screenwriting.

During the introduction class, Steve told us about the classic Robert Mc Kee and Syd Fields books, and this other book I had never heard of before, “Save the cat” by Blake Snyder.

“Save the cat” was on my to-read list for a while and I was finally able to go trough it during my recent trip to L.A. Man this book is awesome. It is so awesome that after reading a dodgy Pdf version on my Kindle, I had to run to the nearest Barnes&Nobles to buy the paper version as soon as I landed.

Agreed it seems very formulaic with the various page count, but make abstraction of this and you will definitely learn a lot. The book was an eye opener for me and thanks to Blake Snyder, I am now able to clearly understand the structure of movies and even understand some screenwriting insiders joke like the “Save the cat” sequence on Pixar’s “Incredible”. If you ever wanted to write a script and didn’t know how to start, “Save the cat” will certainly be of a great help.

Talking about “Save the cat” I have been told the book is actually being trashed on the following video! ;-)

Who are those guys anyway! Well it is non other than Brave’s, Paranorman’s, Guardians’s, Hotel T’s and my 2012 favorite Wreck it Ralph’s directors talking shop! Sounds like a great roundtable even if I already disagree with whatever they will say about “Save the cat” ;-)

Thanks Richie

via Cartoon Brew

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Fini Candies – great rig

Posted on November 29, 2012  | 2 Comments
Filed under Education

I just found a video of a very cool rig demo featuring some new features I have never had the change to play with.

– No twist arms and hands
– Deform point system

The creator tells us he made the full rig with facial in a week with his own autorig.


I am using this opportunity to plug an old article about World orient head and shoulders. I am amazed how many professional rigs don’t have such a simple constraint switch that makes animators life much easier and allows us to reach higher quotas and quality.

Related posts:
World orient head and shoulders
So you want to be a rigger (TD) huh?
Looney Tunes shorts online
Rigging trends
Josh Carey VES Rigging submission

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