a8W8EYd_700bI’ve been building up a huge backlog of things to post, the guys at work shares some amazing stuff!

Here is an image comparing backgrounds from anime and the real life locales that inspired them. Might have followed the reference a little too closely for my taste but still there’s something to be said for technical excellence!


My childhood brought to life

And the songs for those so inclined

Incredible work. This was Rhythm and Hues at the top of their game.

Posing for Archery II

March 16, 2012


And here we have Pixar showing how it’s done.

One of the cool things about this clip (aside from just the fact that Pixar has come up with a girl who kicks serious heinie) is that all of the guys who are doing it wrong are doing it wrong the right way; that is, they are making the actual mistakes that beginners and self-taught archers make. I see every one of these things on the range every single week.

Posing for Archery

March 16, 2012


io9 has a great article on the new avengers movie – specifically how Hawkeye is holding his bow wrong. This is great reference stuff if you ever have to animate someone handling a bow.

Now compare the grip; Hawkeye is gripping the bow mostly from the side; his fingers wrapped solidly around the handle, with his wrist off to the side in an attempt to get it out of the way, hence the first arm guard. By contrast, Brady’s hand is holding the bow very lightly, just a couple of fingertips resting on it. The bow is pressed against the base of his thumb, his palm is at a 45-degree angle, and his wrist bones point directly into the center of the bow. This makes for a lot less bow movement and a much more accurate shot.

Golden Ratio in composition

December 23, 2010


They might not look it, but Lifehacker has plenty of articles that animators will find very useful if you know where to look.

Like this article on making the most out of your point and shoot camera, it’s full of tips and tricks on the rule of thirds in compositions.

Or this one using fibonaccis’s sequence to get appealing composition, which in turn lead me to find the Digital Photography School – also full of articles like ones above. Check out this video.

I’ve really been getting into cinematography and composition lately, it’s endlessly fascinating! Expect more posts like these soon 😀



Over at Mark Kennedy’s blog, there’s a great post on his experience doing boards for Tangled, also in the same post are some valuable thoughts on the difference between storyboarding for 3D vs 2D.

I would say the other difference between storyboarding for 2D or 3D is that there’s more subtle acting that can be done in CG – it’s much easier to do a scene where a character just lifts an eyebrow slightly, or just raises their lower eyelids for a moment as an acting beat. In 2D when the characters have to be drawn, we tend not to board such subtle acting, because it can be too difficult to do in drawings, but when the characters are built and rigged in the computer, the animators have a much easier time creating subtle shifts on the face and body to indicate small acting beats.

It’s a most enlightening read, from a really experienced artist. Also check out his other posts while you’re there, I rarely see a blog that’s as chocked full of knowledge as his.


This show has been around for a while, but I’ve only got around to watching it recently, it’s call Time Warp. It captures everyday events in slow-motion, fascinating watch even for non-animators, and doubly so for animators. It’s a fantastic way to do motion analysis. The stretch and squash is amazing, even rigid objects like a golf ball squashes a lot on impact.

Polishing animation

July 17, 2010

Polishing has always been a bit of a bug bear for me, veering between “good enough” and “too much”. Polish is when you smooth out all the motions, add fine subtle movements, making sure all the arcs are working and the timing is solid, so basically giving it the last 10% and pushing it to the next level. I’m never really satisfied with the level of polish I’m able to hit, so I’ve decided to do some research and I’m sharing them here.

Dana Boadway – Animation Tips and Tricks

Keith Lango – KeithLango.com

Malcon Pierce

I’m still animating the dance I’ve mentioned a while back, work has kept me really busy and I didn’t have time to finish it. This would be a really good chance to try out the polishing tips.

Wired has a nice write up on the behind-the-scenes process that went into Toy Story 3, of particular interest to me is the outline of the schedule they had for each department.


/ Day / 533
The pictures are moving. Each character is defined by up to 1,000 avars—points of possible movement—that the animators can manipulate like strings on a puppet. Each morning, the team gathers to review the second or two of film from the day before. The frames are ripped apart as the team searches for ways to make the sequences more expressive.

/ Day / 806
The technical challenges start to pile up. (Simulating a wet bear is especially complex.) Good thing Steve Jobs insisted that the building’s essential facilities be centrally located. “Walking to the bathroom or getting a cup of coffee is often the most productive part of my day,” says producer Darla Anderson. “You bump into somebody by accident and then have a conversation that leads to a fix.”

/ Day / 898
The animators are working flat out. They stay late into the night in their highly personalized offices, which have been decorated in a variety of themes, from Polynesian tiki to ’70s-era love lounge. (“We let them do whatever they want,” Catmull says.) The animators even have their own working bars, complete with beer on tap and a collection of single-malt whiskeys.

My colleague sent this link around the studio a couple days back, (Thanks Ellen!) it’s a blog for photographers but the topics covered are surprisingly relevant to animation. Check out these pictures!

The classic S and C curves in a pose.

Animation Progression Reels updates every week with a new clip showing the progression of animation from Storyboard to final animation, awesome stuff!

About a year ago, I stumble on to a post at conceptart.org, it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, just another guy starting a “learning” thread on the forum. I scrolled down a little and I saw this –

Hm. It’s a rookie alright. But what’s this? 40 pages in this thread?!

A couple pages later I see this-

Definitely a an improvement, but still, a long way to go. I decided to skip to the later pages and now he’s doing this-

Holy shit! I went back and read through all 40+ pages of the thread, then I realized, this guy has been drawing every single day in his quest to be an artist. Every single day without fail for two years before he got halfway decent. And now he’s running his own atelier for artists. That’s amazing! and inspiring! I can’t draw, and I know how it is to spend hours on a drawing and still have it look like crap. I’m posting this up to inspire myself and others, because dammit, if he can do it, anyone can.

Acting Reference

March 10, 2010

I chanced upon this fantastic site recently, it’s a blog belonging to animator Kyle Kenworthy and it’s chocked full of acting references!

Action Sequences

March 3, 2010

Gizmodo recently had this fantastic shooting challenge that got it’s readers to submit pictures of action sequences. It’s an animator’s gold mine!

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