Ana Ramírez - Pixar Concept Artist for Coco

Ana Ramírez
Pixar concept artist and CalArts alum Ana Ramírez detailed her contributions to creating the colorful world of Coco at this year’s Ottawa International Animation Festival.

Her graduate film is above - So Long, Yupi


Ctrl + Paint

Ctrl+Paint is a free learning resource dedicated to the basics of digital painting. Each bite-sized video covers a different concept, allowing you to learn complex subjects in manageable increments.

Layer groups - 2 - overlays from matt kohr on Vimeo.

Easy Curved Selections from matt kohr on Vimeo.

Texture overlays Group from matt kohr on Vimeo.

The Making of Stranger Things with Aaron Sims Creative


With the highly anticipated second series of Netflix cult show Stranger Things set for release this coming Halloween, we caught up with the team at Aaron Sims Creative - the award-winning VFX studio that brought the series’ eerie otherworldly landscapes and terrifying Demogorgon to life.

Mater Takes Tokyo | Cars 2 | Disney Pixar

Get ready to jet set to Tokyo, Japan with Mater and the rest of the crew from Disney•Pixar's Cars 2. Learn about how kawaii design and Japanese culture played an integral role in the set design and story. No detail is too small for this pit crew!

Movie Geometry - Shaping the Way You Think

Have you ever noticed that villains in a story have pointy features and the lovable characters appear to be round-faced?

A new video has revealed why - and how Disney and other filmmakers use the trick to get us to empathize with the hero and hate the villain in movies.

It shows how characters such as Darth Vader and Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty have sharp, angular faces made from triangles, while lovable characters such as Baloo from 'The Jungle Book' are made entirely of circles.

ILM Art Department Challenge

ILM Art Department Challenge


Brought to you by ILM, Wacom and ArtStation.

Hosts: David Nakabayashi, Alex Jaeger, Kilian Plunkett, Doug Chiang, Kevin Jenkins, Yanick Dusseault, Aaron McBride, Stephen Tappin, Christian Alzmann, Amy Beth Christenson, Ryan Church, Thang Le, James Clyne, Jason Horley, Bianca Draghici, Erik Tiemens

The Job—Working as a Concept Artist:  Brief

Key dates
Part 1 Submissions start: 11 July 2016
Part 1 Submissions end: 14 July 2016 (this is not a final deadline. You will have a chance to tweak the submission)


Iain McCaig's Tips for Becoming a Better Concept Artist

Iain McCaig's Tips for Becoming a Better Concept Artist

Tool 1: Exercise

Tool 2: Communication

Tool 3: Contrast

Tool 4: Storytelling

Tool 5: Creating from life



How to Draw Sci-Fi Utopias and Dystopias By Prentis Rollins

For all those clear-eyed artists, ages 12 and up, engaging in and reimagining this world, How to Draw Sci-Fi Utopias and Dystopias (Monacelli Studio; September 2016) gives an in-depth look at the process of completing sci-fi illustrations—from the thought behind them to constructing basic forms and objects on paper, converting roughs into finished pencil drawings, inking them in, and coloring them in Photoshop. The book is organized around the perennial distinction between two ways of representing the future in science fiction: the pessimistic and the hopeful, or dystopian an­d utopian. A long-time contributor to DC Comics, on projects including Green Lantern: Rebirth, Supergirl, and Batman: The Ultimate Evil, Prentis Rollins teaches that the only way to create authenticity in a science fictional world is to root the imagined in the real, becoming the sole authority on its narrative and rationales. He demonstrates the astounding power of storytelling with 32 step-by-step case studies created and imagined just for this book.




Create the Futuristic Humans, Aliens,

Robots, Vehicles, and Cities of Your

Dreams and Nightmares

Prentis Rollins

Monacelli Studio

September 27, 2016 • trade paperback

$25 • 208 pages

8½ x 10 inches • 250 illustrations

ISBN 978-1-58093-446-6



Zootopia Drawings








When you make an animated film, you end up making A TON of drawings.

A lot of those drawings are just to help describe how something is constructed or how it should move.  Those drawings can get boring.  So to keep it fun, the Zootopia drawings got weirder and weirder.  Here’s some mildly weird ones.

Those drawings can get boring.  So to keep it fun, the Zootopia drawings got weirder and weirder.  Here’s some mildly weird ones.

 So to keep it fun, the Zootopia drawings got weirder and weirder.  Here’s some mildly weird ones.

The Café Kickstarter

The Café is an independent short animated film in Production by Dana Boadway Masson (Director) and Terrence Masson (Producer).

Dana has been working with professional animator friends volunteering their considerable skills, while Terrence has been using it as an interdisciplinary teaching project for his students at Northeastern University. A unique and successful collaboration so far!

They have launched a Kickstarter to pay professional lighting/comp TD's and get us wrapped up in time for the 2014 festival circuit.

3D Maya look development - Northeastern Univ. student work

Café sketch by Dana Masson and rough 3D model

Young Woman sketches by Dana Masson and Carlos Arancibia

Small Dog sketches by Carlos Arancibia

Look dev of Young Man's room by Jason Clarke

Gene Kelly inspiration reference

Character Performance Workshop

Tom Bancroft
WORKSHOP #6 is on

Jan 29 at 05:00 PM - Jan 29 at 07:00 PM

(UTC -08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

Location:  Franklin, Tennessee, United States

Event Summary:  A series of character design workshops that Tom Bancroft (Disney Animator - Lion King, Mulan, etc.) is doing. Worth checking out!

Character Performance

CHARACTER PERFORMANCE is job one as an animator/storyteller.  Giving your character a personality that you clearly communicate is the basis of all acting in animation.  With a character that ACTS, animation (movement) is secondary to establishing the personality of the character through its design, poses, expression and clear staging.  This subject will be discussed with many illustrations and reference.  Assignment draw over/ review will happen after the lecture. 

Come be part of the community of artists trying to make their characters the best they can be!
PLUS: a preview of Tom Bancroft’s new Kickstarter comic project coming in FEB!If we have time for Q and A, we will do that. Please email questions to Taylor before the webcast so we can review them. Her email is:

This week’s (optional) assignment:
Create a sketch (no color or inking needed please) using the character design of EMMA here:
Draw a full body pose of Emma looking at something in her hand.  -The goal here is to create a clear pose and expression that tells a clear story.  Is she scared of what she is holding?  Fascinated?  Enamored?  Mad?  Draw it big enough so we can see her face, but remember that her body language should push the attitude.

I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with!
Please make HIGH RESOLUTION scans at 300dpi and save them as jpegs.   Make sure your first and last name is part of the file name.  (Example: JohnSmith.jpg).  I would prefer if your email was somewhere on the artwork also.  The reason is that I am preparing a future book and I may ask to use some of these contributions at a later date.  Email those scans


There and Back Again - John Howe

There and Back Again - John Howe
...a shortened version of the 52 minutes documentary

Anatomy For Sculptors

A wealth of information that all animators could benefit from, especially in creating pleasing poses that stay on model.

Jamie Hewlett

Jamie acting out 2d’s parts from the “Do Ya Thing Making Of” Video

Spider-Man #1 Comic World Record Auction $657,250

Todd McFarlane 1990 Spider-Man #328 Cover Art brings World Record $657,250+ at Heritage Auctions
The highest auction price ever realized for ANY piece of American comic book art; McFarlane’s original cover art for Spider-Man #1 (1990) brings $385,500 as part Shamus Collection of Modern Masterworks
BEVERLY HILLS – Todd McFarlane’s original art for The Amazing Spider-Man #328 (Marvel, 1990) brought a World Record $657,250 on July 26 as part of Heritage Auctions’ Signature® Comics and Comic Art Auction in Beverly Hills. The artwork, showing Spidey demonstrating his awesome new powers on the Hulk, is now the single most valuable piece of American comic ever sold at auction.
“This is an earth-trembling cover illustration and an equally magnificent price,” said Todd Hignite, Vice President of Heritage Auctions. “McFarlane’s art brims with the raw energy that sky-rocketed McFarlane to the top of the industry and, now, the top of the auction world.”
The artwork was sold – along with McFarlane’s original art for Spider-Man #1 (Marvel, 1990), which brought $385,500 – as part of the first tranche of the Shamus Collection of Modern Masterworks, a unprecedented collection of late-1980s and early 1990s original comic book art put together by Martin Shamus, owner of a comics and memorabilia shop on Long Island.
The Heritage auction, which also features the Doug Schmell/Pedigree Collection, most of which earlier in the day realized over $3.7 million, and should come in closer to $4 million once the auction has finished.
“The auction is on track to break $9 million and become the single highest grossing comic and comic art auction in history,” said Hignite. “We’re thrilled with the results and especially thrilled for Martin Shamus, who had the foresight and good taste to acquire these pieces more than two decades ago.”
Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $800 million, and 700,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit
Hi-Res images available:
Noah Fleisher, Public Relations Director

Rhythm in Animation

Learning - Ten Things to Think About - #4 Rhythm

cover of the book Getsure Drawing

by Ryan Woodward

10 Things to Think About - from the book Thinking Animation by Angie Jones and Jamie Oliff.
This is one of the lectures I use at the online school  I created this list for my book Thinking Animation to help animators create a clear and solid message with their work.  I will post the 10 Things to Think About over the course of the next 10 weeks.  ~Enjoy!

#4 Rhythm in Storytelling and Timing:  No matter how short a scene is, there is always a beginning, middle and end.

  • 3 points, ideas or emotions.
  • Rhythm helps build excitement.

Observe the rhythms throughout this first scene when mr. Incredible comes home from work.  Mr. Incredible shows us timing that builds as the scene heightens with his movements.  The bubble pop at the end is like the exclamation point, on the sentence.  If you were listen to this scene like it were a piece of music, what type of music do you think it would be?  Where is the scene quiet and where is it overly active?

  • Caesura: a poignant beat in music, break in flow of a melody making a point of division.  The quiet moments are as important - if not more important - than the active ones.

Another great example of rhythm throughout a story is Mickey's little Whirlwind.  From the innocent beginnings to the onslught of the whirlwind itself making Mickey look bad, this story takes you through highs and lows.  When choosing ideas for acting, remember that every GREAT scene, no matter how short has rhythm moving through it.

There is also Rhythm in Poses:

  • Arc one way and flow to the opposite pose.
  • Physics play a part, but you determine what the driving forces and physics of your scene are to keep the flow of the lines clean.
  • You are not a slave to the physics. You are manipulating the physics to the point where they still work, but everything is contributing to your pose.

There is a new book in town and I think every animator should grab one.  This is a great example of learning how gesture and rhythm work together to create an emotional pose. This book is a great resource for understanding rhythm in a gesture drawing.  You can get Ryan Woodward's 222 page paperback at

The book is available at in both paper and digital format.
And, below is his beautifully animated short film.

Maurice Sendak

Straight Talk with Maurice Sendak. 
“People said, ‘why didn’t you do Wild Things 2? Wild Things 1 was such a success’. Go to hell. Go to hell. I’m not a whore. I don’t do those things.”

Adam Beane

ummm, whoah...
Since ADAM BEANE began sculpting in 2002, he has been asked to work with some of the best companies in the industry on many high-profile projects. He is known for his dynamic compositions, action poses, nuanced drapery work and his ability to capture likenesses with expressions.  He now sculpts exclusively in CX5, a tremendously versatile material he developed which handles like clay when warm but is hard as plastic when cool.


May 21-June 18, 2011  Opening Reception: Saturday, May 21, 8-11pm

 New Spring, 2011, oil on canvas, 48 x 72 in., 122 x183 cm. 

Merry Karnowsky Gallery
170 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
My MFA painting mentor has a show tonight.
If you live in the Los Angeles area, you really should make a point to stop by.
He worked in graphic novels for years and his paintings must be seen in person. 
You can see more here.

Jordu Schell

Jordu creates amazing sculptures of monsters and aliens, mostly for pre-production use in movies. His credits include Hellboy, Aliens vs. PredatorPlanet of the Apes, Men in Black, and Avatar.

Above is a demo he created for Dreamworks.  He is conducting another workshop this July.  For more information click here

Pixar: 25 Years of Animation

The Pixar: 25 Years of Animation exhibition is at the  
Oakland Museum of California  from July 31st to January 9, 2011. 


This game reminds me of my Oddworld days.
The art is so kewl!


"Art of Coraline" panel at the Nucleus gallery

My sister from the other mister!
Coraline Jones

I cannot say enough good things about this movie.
It's the Modern day Alice in Wonderland!

Not only is the story rockin, the animation is to die for and every single stop mo artists on the show deserves MAJOR kudos.

ConceptArt.Org International Art and Design Workshop: DALLAS TEXAS - March 28-31 2009

Massive Black and Concept have put on an amazing
Art Workshop for the past three years.

It all started with

INSOMANIA - 2006 - San Franciso

then came...

REVELATIONS - 2007 - Seattle

And next,


Marama 2008 - Wellington

There is no video from this show yet,
but then again it just happened in November.

My excitement is the new announcement from
Jason Manley about the next workshop on!!!
It's in Dallas! I can afford to make that and am planning and saving already!
I just have to let the folks at Zoic know I will be gone a few days...
But it's my birthday weekend anyways soo Happy Birthday to me!!!

Read ON my friends!!!

The next workshop is coming hard and fast. Are you ready? We are. and Massive Black have put together a stellar list of instructors, great sponsors, and a fresh program covering aspects from the games, toy, film, and fine art industries. The venue is beautiful. We are right next door to a gorgeous museum full of world class art, and have more planned than ever before. When I say we have more planned, I am saying we are pulling out all the stops. Art, jobs, culture, music, performers, training, and even more will be happening. We have a great list of sponsors including Google, SMU, the Guildhall, ReelFX, the prestigious AFI film festival, Corel and many others. This is going to be a big show with more art than ever before.

Time is short. Much to do. The official announcement will come this week and all info will be released then.

Tuition is 600 bucks and we will have an early bird offer which includes free downloads, cheaper tuition, and more. All the info will come this next week. Start getting ready folks...we are going to Dallas and will be shaking the art world from the top to bottom.

We chose Dallas as it is central to everyone here in the US and is a very affordable city to travel to. Of course, the local sponsors are world class too. This is going to be a great show.

The Shanghai show is still in the works but has been moved to late 2009 in order for us to find addtional sponsors. Dallas will be the only workshop we do in North America in 2009.

See you all soon!!

Jason Manley

Visual Amalgam Show October 5th - James Gray Gallery

Charge, diptych
Oil Painting on Canvas
96” x 36”

Angela Jones

Visual Amalgam Show: The Film Industry Artist Gallery Event.
James Gray Gallery at Bergamot Station
Sunday, October 5 2008, 5:00pm - 9:00pm
2525 Michigan Ave Santa Monica, CA

The event will provide the public with a rare opportunity to see some exceptionally talented film industry pros exhibit their personal work. I personally invite anyone reading this who will be in Los Angeles on the 28th, to please come by. This is my first show where I will be displaying my new work, and there are many other talented artists in the show. Consider this the artist spotlight posting for September! Many, many artists here doing something creative on the side!

Click the links below to see more.

Adolie Day

I am so in love this illustrator/designer's work I cannot stand it!

Adolie Day

Revelations - ConceptArt.Org/Massive Black Workshop

I have posted here on the blog before about the big workshop Massive Black and Concept puts on each year. Could it be next year - the show is in Shanghai?

I got so busy as the new year came, I completely forgot about this show and dammit...I really wanted to attend. I am especially bummed since my old boss from Oddworld - Lorne Lanning - was the keynote speaker and it would have been fun to see him again. Note to Concept be good to create an email list for a newsletter for us, busy peeps?

Anyways, it looks like they did it again this year
with an amazing show!!!

The show seems like another Siggraph - BUT! there are NO computer programmers...just computer artists doing what they do. A real artist community using both traditional and new mediums. The show does have a "video game slant" of course since the creators come from that background...but that doesn't take away from the unique culture and talent that seems flocks there.

It sure would be kewl to have something like that for all of the commercial, television and film artists in LA. I know that Siggraph 2008 will be held here in LA, but the Siggrpah shows never seem to be geared towards the artists like the productions Massive Black puts on. I always feel like Siggraph is just there to show off new technology, not to inspire new techniques that artist have

created for themselves outside of the tools. Below, is more about last year's show if you hadn't heard about it.

Last year, the same show sponsored by Massive Black and Concept was held in SF and was called Insomania...check out this video to see what that one was like.

Mark Fearing

I apologize for the lack of postings lately.

Keeping busy creating new content at work, and painting.

I foudn this guy's work totally by accident looking for some reference on google.

Mark Fearing

I dig it...maybe you will too?

Also here is my favorite Alien Trading card of his.

Carlotta Rotta

The Legged Legs - Imagination At Work

Greg Gunn contacted me looking for a few great 2D animators. I checked out his site and this lil studio has some great work! It's rare to find such unique creativity in commercials and I love how they have sketches, artwork and their entire process there for you to see for each project. I have worked on MANY commercial spots and rarely is there this much creativity and research put into a spot. Their tear sheets/style frames/storyboards alone, are visually stunning.

Kudos to The Legged Legs!
This was my favorite spot of theirs on the site,
but there are many others in their repertoire.

GE called upon BBDO and Three Legged Legs to create an animated fable for their Imagination Theater campaign. Our answer: Samurai. It's a tale of a pint-sized samurai faced with a seemingly impossible challenge as proposed by a behemoth Emperor and his wicked minions. Can you spot all the ninjas?


BBDO New York

Agency Creative Director
Don Schneider, Greg Hahn

Agency Producer
Peter Feldman

Agency Copywriter
Greg Hahn

Three Legged Legs

Production Company
Green Dot Films

Post Production
Three Legged Legs

Post Producer
Lisa Houck

Creative Director
Greg Gunn, Casey Hunt, Reza Rasoli

Three Legged Legs

Chuck BB

CG Artists
Jeremy Collins, Christina Lee

Nick Faber

Think Outside the Box - Concept Artists

I have been pushed more and more at work to think outside of the box of what CG can be, how it can look, and how it should move. Below, is a collection of artists who's work would translate so well in CG, and the most fun every to texture, light, animate...check them out!

Norman And Jenkins
8 x 10 acrylic on board

Norman lived in a small cottage outside of London that he shared with his pet Weta, Jenkins,( a large cricket-like insect native to islands in and around New Zealand) Unlike ordinary insects, Jenkins had the ability to control people’s minds. Did he use that ability for good or evil?, . . .no one knew for certain, . . .but Norman lived happily with his “pet”, He did find it curious that the local townspeople often addressed him as “King Norman” or “Your Majesty”, and when the town tax collector arrived at his home to make an assessment, he cried out that his eyes were on fire and leaped into the pond.

I love how he has little stories about his characters added to the paintings specs.

Creative Talent Network Holiday Party

In the spirit of the holiday season, a selection of original miniature canvas created especially for the Holiday Show by CTN members, will be offered for sale with 100% of the proceeds from that purchase going to the Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation ( who's mission is helping seriously ill children and their families cope with their pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, education and family activities.

You can find out more information at


I sit next to this guy, El Bee and he showed me his art...

We talked about this one and their language
we decided sounds like wind...

You should look at his stuff
because it rocks...that is all.


Ole Black N Blue Eyes

I really like the character designs and style
of this music video...cheers!

BIF + Jon Yeo + John Sunter + 10 animators at The Mill =


...the new Fratellis music promo for "Ole Black N Blue Eyes"
starring an all 3D-version of the band
and a beefy villain named Tina.
If this video at all reminds you of a Supinfocom grad film,
you shouldn't be surprised,
BIF is made up of
recent alumni
Jules Janaud, Fransois Roisin and Fabrice Le Nezet.

Massive Black

Okay if you are sitting there on overhead, artist in waiting or just waiting on a playblast? Boy have I got a post to keep you busy and get you inspired!

I have had my eye on these guys for some time. I have got to give some props to Massive Black and Jason Manley. Massive Black is a full production artwork and asset outsourcing studio. This is where studios go - outside of their internal artists - to find talent who raise the artistry level of a project. Massive Black is based in San Francisco, but they also have locations in Shanghai and Bangkok.

Massive Black also runs the non-for-profit website and started a haven/school for artists around the world with their new workshops. I wish the CG community had a community so positive and reinforcing of what makes great imagery with a computer or a pencil. The enthusiasm these folks have reminds me of how people were in the early 90's and CG animation was just coming into itself, like the days when I worked at Oddworld Inhabitants.. There was such wonder and amazement and SHARING among artists.


Massive Black just put on a huge workshop for people from around the world called INSOMANIA with the best artists working in Film, Video Games, etc. today.

Many of the instructors and contributors
are folks who create work I just love:


Andrew Jones

Dan Milligan

Jason Chan

Jason Mueller

Shawn Barber

On this blog, I have been talking about how much of the production side of visual effects is going overseas. If you want longevity in VFX you have two choices. Join those overseas and help raise the level of artistry in those countries...OR, get into the content side of the business. Massive Black and focus entirely on the content side and how to create better, more visually interesting art.


The CG Society posted a clip here that can tell you more...

300 Titles

I do believe I am probably the only person in visual effects who has not see 300 yet, but Yuco seems to have done an amazing job with the titles…check them out here!

In an electrifying color palette of red, white and black, the main-on-end title sequence combines film story battle motifs with the visual style of the graphic novel, complimenting director Zack Snyder’s (Dawn of the Dead) stylized approach of mixing live action footage with virtual backgrounds.

“I look at title sequences as part of the movie, not just as a way to get people’s names up on the screen,” explains Snyder. “I want you to feel that in some way it’s the end of the film but at the same time also the birth of the film, not only where it came from but also where it’s going. yU+co was able to capture that perfectly.”

yU+co’s involvement with 300 began early on in the development stage before any film was even shot. “We were privileged to be part of the process from the very beginning when Zach and producer Mark Canton asked us to help depict the story in a visual presentation for a pitch to Warner Brothers,” Yu said.

Go Yuco! ~Angie