Monday, August 31, 2009


So here's a little tease of my animatic so far. Its the beginning of my story thus far. However, my teacher and I were discussing my storyboard and he said that it may be more interesting and twice as funny to tell the story in reverse. Now, I hadn't thought of that...obviously. I thought it was hilarious! Once I'm finished with the first pass of the story board and scan it all in I will post two animatics. One the original story concept and then my teacher's suggestion(which I love!) But I want everyone to compare and contrast the two ideas.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Kihachiro Kawamoto.

So this is why I love the internet...I can find amazing information about people from all over the world. Take these two links for example. Both about the same person and their work. BOTH REALLY AMAZING AND SO IS THE ANIMATOR! I must admit I've never heard of him before, but Kihachiro Kawamoto is someone I plan on spending tons of time exploring! From what I can tell Kawamoto went from using 3-D puppets in his stop motion work to using cut outs. He explains that 3-D puppets are a story or have a story, but cut outs are a little more free. The animator creates their story through movement. ( I'm paraphrasing FYI). If you love cut out animation this is your man! Please take the time to read both links and explore more!

Here are some links to his animation on youtube. I'm assuming he wouldn't mind giving the home page claims to only bring his works ( and that of others) to the web so we can view it. And thankful so!

This is rather surreal and I can't get enough of it....I really can't.

Here's some of his 3-D work as well.

Paper Puppet Palooza

Well there's the link anyway...this book claims to share 'great' techniques of the paper puppet craft. It's fairly inexpensive and seems interesting enough, and since I plan to use cut outs as my craft for my animation it seems well worth it. It promises puppet design tips and construction tips and tricks. However, I'm not sure about it. The book also highlights how to make novelty items such as pop-up gift cards and what not.

I want to buy this book in hopes that I will learn something new about puppet making, and at the same time I feel I still have a lot of research to do before I indulge in a 12.39 plus shipping and handling mistake(or prize).

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sketches! Compsognathus a.k.a. Compy

So the above photo is my study of the Compy.
I'm trying to figure out the right features for the little bugger but I haven't reached the right combination. Studying the various mouth 'beak' shapes, the eyes, the arms, and the head in general. A lot of studies are still to come.

The one on the right here is the latest one I've come up with. Yes, I know its only a side view but why bother trying to draw from some crazy perspective when I'm in the middle of experimenting with body parts. There are parts I like and parts I hate in this image. The idea of the feet is exciting...chicken feet, but logically I don't know if that will support the weight of the entire body. Not everyone will know that the Compy has a hollow bone structure. I do like the face. I love the bird like features, not to sure about the eye yet. The arm is working in a way. Its like a chicken wing but still needs some thought. The tail is okay for now. The overall shape of the body is confusing. Should he be fat or skinny since he's starving...? I dont know yet. I want to show that he is in a desperate situation and really wants to eat the babies on the cliff but at the same time I don't want to over exaggerate the figure. So I'm divided, which is a sad place to be. I have all intentions of reworking this little guy over and over until it fully represents a desperately hungry chicken looking dino. He's getting there but needs a makeover.

This was my first attempt at really digging into the character design. I don't like it much at all, BUT it did inspire me to think more about the personality of the character and tie that into the features. So its not a failure either I suppose.

This was my first concept EVER for the Compy, which wasn't a Compy but a close cousin of his. He's kind of hard to look at....

Dali gone Disney!!!!!!

So I recently watched this on youtube thanks to stumble and was blown away...I get chills and break out in cold sweats when I watch this, BUT its amazing! The animation is mind blowing, in my opinion. I've always loved Dali's work, but seeing it move across the screen leaves me speechless. Its a shame that Disney had to put this animation on hold due to finiancial restraints. But I'm glad to see that they've finished it.

My only question is "Who is this for?" Who is the audience? Disney is so famous for animating feature lenght films and short films for children...this clearly is not what they had in mind. It almost has a Fantasia feel to it.

How does this relate to my senior thesis? Well, I really love the use of color in the movie to set moods! Sure that can be said for any film, and it is Dali who is a professional painter...BUT I've been looking for films that have these atributes and really well. This film in particular really shows it.

(I dont know if I can legally show this is on Youtube, but if not someone please tell me and I will remove it.)

Film: Destino
Animation Studio: Disney
Inspired by: Dali

Monday, August 10, 2009

Disney's Merlin Jones.

I figured if anyone really had awesome paper puppets out there, it had to be Disney. The craftsmanship is amazing. I'm doing a bit of research into there methods but I have a good idea of how they accomplished this feat. I just want to make sure and possibly learn something new before I sit down and make a giant paper mess when school starts. Never-the-less this is amazing.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Still Brendan.

Just take a few minutes to take it all's really gorgeous. I love the approach of their simple color washes and splashes of texture. They melt into one another creating something entirely different.

 Here's the official site. There are a lot of clips on Youtube, well worth the watch. It's coming to American! BUT nowhere near Kansas City. We're just not big enough, but I have high hopes that someone will snatch it so I can watch it. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Brendan and the Secret of Kells

This has to be the most amazing animated film that I've never seen. Well, not yet anyways. I've watched the trailer and clips over a dozen times now and it still gives me goosebumps. I love the look of it so much I can feel it. I know that doesn't make much sense but the backgrounds are everything I've ever wanted to see in an animated film.

Breath taking. Oh the textures in the background!! I just love it. This makes animation art, it really does.

Well blogger wont let me add any images right now for some reason but I will add them on this post later. Just a couple of still images so you can fully grasp the beauty of this film. This has been a huge influence on me and has made me rethink and rethink my backgrounds. I can see what they've been lacking and then some.

Sense out of nonsense.

Now that my rough board has been reviewed I had some pretty good questions about my story and its content. There are some concerns that it might not be...well let's politically correct. There are a few areas that tend to be fuzzy and that I hope to clear up quickly.

First of all, let me introduce the dinosaur I picked. The Compsognathus is a small chicken sized meat eater discovered in Germany and France. The fact that it was discovered in Europe is an added bonus to my take on how people reacted to the skeleton, since I'm going with the whole Medieval time period. BUT the most important fact (and no I don't expect most people if anyone to know this) is that the Compsognathus is a relative to the Archaeopteryx which is considered the first bird. The physical appearance of the dinosaur will leave subtle hints to this fact, or at least thats the plan.

Second question that came up. "Why would they consider the skeleton/fossil to be a dragon?" Upon researching the myth behind the dragon the origin stories are vague. Dragons are a myth after all. But several sources lean towards dinosaur fossils being the catalyst for these myths.

Tying up a few other loose ends...the lava. I understand the according to the laws of physics in no way could those leaves or vines (which the dinosaur used as wings) would survive the intense heat and would probably burn up leaving only the skeleton. There's no doubting this fact! However, I could say for the sake of entertainment that they survive just because I wanted them too...but that's kind of lame. So, I was thinking instead of using ash from the volcano instead, which would cover the creature and preserve it. I am of course thinking of Pompeii. Pompeii was completely covered in volcanic ash preserving people and their surroundings. But I'm not too entirely sure whether this aids or hinders story. The only other question is, is what were the humans doing. There were no backgrounds so I could see how this would be a problem to understand what was going on. The man that found the skeleton was digging in a field. I do plan on having the ordinary Medieval background with a castle somewhere in the distance and tons of peasants digging on the dirt. I hope that would clear things up a bit.

At the moment I am recreating my storyboard and hope do have that done before school starts, and have some character design out of the way also.