Friday, October 29, 2010

I Can Haz String

I've been trying to set little goals for myself lately. I spent most of August and September pressed up against two massive deadlines, so figured a change of scale was in order.

These short-term objectives include exercises, mostly illustrating 'character animation' since I feel somewhat lacking in that department, but also tests using different techniques and programs as well.

First up, I hadn't done a whole lot of 'tradition' hand-drawn animation in a while. Doodles of my cat, Behemoth lead to a quick little test digitally drawn with the Wacom and then 'inked' and 'painted' in Flash.

Early Rough Animation

After clean-up, I exported PNGs with an Alpha from Flash and brought them into After Effects. For a background I wanted mixed-media, something like a dollhouse or diorama. I Googled about and found this incredibly talented woman's blog. I grabbed an image off of her blog* and dropped it in AE after separating out the foreground from the back in Photoshop to create some depth.

Finished MOV

Next, an exercise in 3D layers and camera moves in After Effects with digitally created cut-out characters. Will post character designs when finished.

*Call of the Small - I hope this is OK! I promise I'm only putting this on my reel and would be happy to send you a MOV of the animation for your own use as well!)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Liesje Kraai, Animator

And apparently Crazy Cat Lady. At least borderline according to New York Magazine.

I was super surprised (not really - they told me last week) to find my face on a full-page spread this week in NYMag's Look Book. I'm also excited I got to drop Behemoth's name as well as get the tag 'Animator' featured so prominently. Maybe I'll actually start believing it.

Thanks NYMag for (hopefully) directing traffic to my new reel on Youtube, Rachel for the nice interview and Pinkyotto for the adorable, Master & Magarita (at least I like to think so) shirt-dress.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fresh, Juicy Reels!

Headed up to Ottawa for the annual International Animation Festival (more about that later). Before hitting the road, I made sure to squander some of my down time at work on cutting together a new reel.

It was time for an upgrade (new website coming shortly as well) and considering there may actually be folks looking me up now, I figured I should post it online in the meantime.

Enjoy! Suggestions are welcome!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Treguna, Makoidees, Trecorum, Sadis Dee

When I was little, my brothers and I use to drag our parents to the armor room.

Now, apart from some hints of nostalgia and fond memories of Bed-knobs and Broomsticks, it's petty dull.

The same goes for Bed-knobs and Broomsticks if you were wondering.

Actually, one of my favorite areas recently got re-done.

I liked it better before - plus some foliage, minus a 'cafe' - but I will admit this lady looks much nicer in the sun.

I suppose two years living abroad ruined the awe of the Japanese 'garden' for me. Now I'm more interested how the ancients were also taking lessons from 'How to Draw' books.

I seem to have also become an admirer of fashion in the classics.

The expressions in this one are almost as extravagant as the costumes.

While he is looking rather chic in his crimson robes and lace gown, this fellow caught me eye as the inspiration for one of my favorite Bacon paintings.

And in case you were curious, the cats here are far superior to the ones found at the MoMA.

And now you know where Walt Disney got the idea...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Back on the Wagon

While my position at LBi technically makes me a full-time with benefits 'Animator', moving images of the Jonas Brothers around in Flash can be a bit draining on the 'soul'.

One reason I've decided to start giving myself little exercises to complete for a shiny new reel. Here's the rough animation for my first outing:

I've since cleaned it and started coloring it in Flash. Next I'll make a fun little background, possibly as a real, three-dimensional diorama (of the 3rd grade book-report variety).

And, yes, my cat really is that fat.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Directed by Michael Bay

Been editing the footage we shot a little under a month ago for the They Might Be Giants puppet-extravaganza!

Here's a snippet of from the shoot:

I don't know if the explosion was a good sign, but I'll take what I can get.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Frivolous post about some very classy cupcakes I made last night.

In between editing footage in Premiere (ol' school, bitches!), I whipped up these (hopefully) delicious Sour Cream and Fig cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting.

They're filled with fig jam, shhhh!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rosabelle -

Answer —

tell —

pray, answer —

look —

tell —

answer, answer —


Friday, May 14, 2010

Bang bang, shoot shoot...

Last weekend I got to flex my puppet muscles. Literally. I was sore till Tuesday.

(You may think Richard is hiding from the camera, really it's the imminent shards of glass)

Richard O'Connor at Asterisk Animation was kind, gracious and all around just plain awesome enough to lend us some space for most of the day Sunday. He also single-handedly played the role of cameraman and lighting. Like I said, just plain awesome and I don't think I'll ever be able to fully thank him for it.

(Dear me, Dave! That Opossum's as big as your head!)

Dave Cowles flew in from Rochester, NY for the shoot and managed to snag an award or two at the ASIFA Screenings later that evening. A Sunday well spent, I'd say.

(Johnny's most demanding scene)

It's safe to say the whole day wouldn't have been half as fun without the presence of Johnny(A). Playing the role of gopher/puppeteer/comedian, he kept the pace going and the mood up.

And I guess I should also thank Dunkin' Donuts for the copious amounts sugar we consumed throughout the day. You can buy a lot with 30.00.

(Paint-roller and Mogubgub)

Next comes the tedious task of keying... UGH.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Animal House

Shoot this weekend for the long awaited They Might Be Giants video. It's been a long time coming.

Means this week was filled not only by my new full-time position as Flash extraordinaire at LBi, but also with about 4-5 hours each night making last minute mouths...

Painting rods bright green...

Keeping them out of cat's reach...

And wrapping their 'handles' with duct-tape for extra grip.

Look at him, getting into trouble!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hit and Run

I was greeted by this sad sight on my walk home today.

With our music video shoot less than a week away and an overwhelming sensation I'm forgetting something REALLY important, I certainly can sympathize with this poor fellow.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Master & Margarita

Spent most of my free-time this week at work drawing this.

Just in case you didn't know how much I adore my cat, Behemoth.

The first pass was done in Photoshop.

Clean-up in Illustrator, then brought back into Photoshop for color, etc.

I'm happy with it, though I miss clean-up with good ol' fashion pens. Maybe I'll break out the ink well next time.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Those were the days...

Found these last night while playing with my HP Touchscreen.

Here are some folks I use to work with at Asterisk Animation!



Here is my desk, clattered with Christmas cards.

Close-up of said Christmas cards.

Cupcakes for whoever can tell me what the heck Brian is doing there in the first picture.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Needle Pulling Thread

Whenever I come across a dress or top I want but can't have, I tell myself "I could make that." Sometimes, I'll actually go so far as to buy fabric and think about a pattern.

The mantra "I could make that" isn't completely unfounded. I know how to sew, understand how certain fabrics work and can sort of operate a sewing machine. In college, I even made this -

So last night I decided to actually put a little effort into seeing one of these whims to its conclusion.

Here's the sketch with measurements and start of a dress pattern. With some luck, I'll be able to have a dress that looks vaguely like Debbie Harry's in Blondie's Heart of Glass video.

And with cats helping, I'll definitely have it ready in time for my friend's wedding in April.

Unfortunately I was too tired to remember to take a photo of the final cut dress pattern. I'll see what I can do about this in the future.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Screening a Day...

Keeping with March's trend here's another film I had the pleasure of contributing to -

(The one time I'll let Papyrus slide.)

David Grubin's documentary The Buddha had it's New York premier last night. Sold out, I might add. It's a good thing I grabbed a ticket when I first heard about it several weeks ago; There were little old ladies forming a waiting list several benches long by the time I got there.

And the response to the 25 minutes of animation I helped out on couldn't have been better. The instant the following Q & A session ended, the section of 'Animators' was bombarded with a multitude of audience embers with nothing but words of admiration.

Truth by told, I was a little nervous sitting down to watch the two hour documentary. As someone who has spent a good two months staring at every frame of select scenes, it's hard to take a step back and appreciate the film as a whole. All I can see are the flaws.

But whether it was time (my role in the project wrapped about three months ago), Richard Gere's smooth narration or just plain good fortune, the flaws went unnoticed.

My heartfelt congratulations to Brian, Richard, Christina, Marina, Doug, Fran, Elliot, Larry, Carolyn, Kristin, Kelly and of course, the venerable Ed Smith.

Oh, and Johnny A.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mazel Tov!

Last Spring I got pulled on to a web series by Nick Fox-Geig. The goal was to animate a chapter of the Torah a week. The first one I animated was a fun little piece set to music all about which animals are not kosher.

Try getting that song out of your head.

Last night I got an email from the Producer, Sarah Lefton informing me that the film had be selected to compete in the Seattle Jewish Film Festival. Definitely something I never expected to happen. Awesome if surreal.

The only unfortunate thing is that you have vote online and in order to, you have to register. So any of you out there that want to prove how much you care (or if you haven't bought me a birthday present in the last 10 years) go here.

And VOTE!!!