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“can you draw the nose without the nostrils?”

Posted on March 31, 2010 
Filed Under Drawings | Leave a Comment


Tonight was my last drawing class for this term and once again my teacher decided to give me a hard time.

I have had two teachers this term. One that would pat us on the back congratulating us on our work: “you are doing fine”, then would disappear for the rest of the hour to probably smoke a whole pack of cigarettes or hang out at the school’s café while, I, would share the teaching of Andrew Loomis and Glen Vilppu.

The second teacher has been trained at a tough russian fine art school and would instead draw with us and try her hardest to teach us life drawing but there is one big problem, she is a very good artist but she completely forgot what it means to begin in life drawing. Very often she would come to our easel making completely useless comments. “The proportions are off, imagine you saw that person in a restaurant, wouldn’t you be scared? can you see why is wrong now?”. Of course not! If I could i would correct it! Man this drove me nuts. Luckily once in a while, the ramblings would be followed by some amazing tips….

This week, she noticed I was really struggling drawing the subtle changes of shadow of the nose and asked me: “can you draw the nose without the nostrils?”…. well of course not and why would I? When you have two big black marks right in the middle of the face, why wouldn’t use them as landmarks?

After nearly 20 minutes of rambling and argument she eventually drew a simplified representation of the nose using shaded planes…. man THAT was useful! I had seen similar drawings in the Loomis books but completely forgot about it. If you can break down the face and probably the body in term of planes, things are so much simpler and you might not even need a model anymore.

Here we go, as Glen Vilppu would say, I have now got one more tool in my life drawing toolset alongside my knowledge of anatomy, proportions, volume and “academic observation”.

I just found a great link to most of the books you need for life drawing. Check out Alberto Ruiz’s amazing blog:

“Shower power” short film

Posted on March 30, 2010 
Filed Under Animation, Animation Mentor, EA, Friends, Video Games | 5 Comments

I just realized that I never featured my friend and (ex)coworker Dan Carrey!!!

Here is his short film. “Shower Power”

You will also find Dan’s showreel on his website

We definitely had a bunch of top animators at Rare. Here is also Peer Lemmers showreel if you didn’t know his work:

My current animation lead, Neil Parkinson, is also a very inspiring animator/modeler/rigger/concept artist. Don’t be surprised about the crazy amount of skills, all my coworkers are Jacks of all trades at EA which can be a bit overwhelming sometimes.

Neil is currently finishing rendering his short film so in the meantime check out his reel:

Well while I am at it. I think I should also feature our local concept artist Burt Ross. Ross is a crazy Scottish guy who can be pretty loud when he plays Fifa at lunch. He also happens to be really talented at what he does, namely Concept art and Storyboards.

Ross is also the creator of the Astrofunk comics. Number 2 just came out by the way!

Check out his blog:

Ok, that’s it for today but I will soon create a new post feature the other crazy artists surrounding me.

“Despicable Me” 4th trailer

Posted on March 25, 2010 
Filed Under Animation | 2 Comments

Here we go, they just released a new “Despicable Me” trailer. The previous three seemed completely disconnected but that new one is finally helping to understand what the movie is about.

Watching that new trailer the first time, I wasn’t too excited at the sight of the three kids but the “Does this count as annoying?” sold me. It is just hilarious!!!!

Yes “Despicable Me” looks exactly like the “Incredibles” or even “Astroboy” in term of rendering but the acting in some of the shots is soooo inspired and inspiring, I just can’t believe it.

“Does this count as annoying?” says the little girl. Where the hell did they get this from??? I have never seen a kid do that but I believe a kid could actually do it.

And that other “Now make them drink the milk” shot. Where is this coming from again!!! Man I am not too fussy and I don’t mind seeing the same kind of gags over and over in animated features but when you get pure gems like those two, you can only stand in awe and wish you came up with them! This is definitely the opposite of cliché.

Too bad we can’t get any behind the scenes. Universal should have a look at how Dreamworks is promoting “How to train your dragon” and learn from it instead of keeping everything secret.

Anyway this movie looks really funny and I can’t wait to see it!

“It is soooo fluffy!”

Related posts:
“Despicable me” third trailer
“Despicable me” first trailer

Tom Fluharty Chiustream

Posted on March 23, 2010 
Filed Under Animation, Drawings | Leave a Comment

man one more amazing Chiustream interview with Oil Painter Tom Fluharty.

I never expected to hear about Rembrandt, cad reds and ultramarine on the Chiustream but yeah, they did!!!

I had never head about Tom Fluharty previously but Tom is once again a crazy inspiring artists.

“You make want to break out the oil paints and start painting right now” says Bobby. I definitely agree!

Interesting is also seem to be suffering from RSI like “Cheeks”.

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

Chiustream Interviews

Posted on March 21, 2010 
Filed Under Animation | Leave a Comment

If like me you are a TV addict and naively switch it on for dinner to find yourself still watching “Commando” at 2am then you need to change your habits.

At the moment, the best remedy I found is to watch Bobby Chiu’s “Chiustreams” interview. The great thing about those is that they are related to the animation industry but more than anything, he has been interviewing some very very inspiring artists from day 1!

The one I was watching this morning is with Kris Pearn, a Sheridan graduates currently working as a story board artist in the Feature animation industry after working for many years in TV. If anyone is interested in Storyboarding, you will find this very interesting. He explains a lot about how you get into the job of story board artist, what it implies to work with outsourcing studios, the difference between TV and Feature, being a Jack of all trades…

Anyway that one is great

and here is his blog

“Salesman Pete”

Posted on March 20, 2010 
Filed Under Animation | Leave a Comment

What happens when 3 talented students decide to show the middle finger to one of the most sought after french animation school?

They kick ass!

Now the short film is not finish and they will have to try finish it outside the school.

Follow their progress on their blog:

The short is done in 3dsmax by the way.

“Megamind” first teaser

Posted on March 18, 2010 
Filed Under Animation | 1 Comment

Luckily “Despicable Me” will come out before “Megamind” so this shouldn’t damage its chances to succeed at least on the european market.

Related posts:

“Despicable Me” new trailer

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

How to train your dragon, new clips

Posted on March 6, 2010 
Filed Under Animation | 3 Comments

If you are not worried to see to much of the movie before it hits the theatre, have a look at that new teaser and “Forbidden friendship” a 2mins long shot of the encounter between Hiccup and Night Fury.

How to train your dragon

How to train your dragon

There is something really striking in those clips and I really wonder how this is gonna work out in the final movie. A lot of the shots are lit by an overcast sky and most of the colours are desaturated except for a tiny amount of shots like “Forbidden friendship”. Since not all the shots are similar, I guess it is a deliberate choice but that’s a really odd one especially from Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois. Is it how they translate watercolours in CG?

The movie is out in few weeks, I can’t wait!

Oops I was about to forget the link to the “How to train your dragon”‘s blog

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