Rotoscoped Horse by Carnegie Mellon University School of Art

Carnegie Mellon University professor Paolo Pedercini asked his animation students to reimagine an 1870s iconic film footage by Eadweard Muybridge of a galloping horse. Using a technique called rotoscoping which involves an animator painstakingly tracing over film footage frame by frame, the students did not disappoint. Their unique interpretations include a rainbow centaur, space aliens, Burger King, and even modern art by Piet Mondrian. Rotoscoping was used in the 1930s in films like Disney's Snow White and more recently in music videos such as Ah-Ha’s 1980s hit Take on Me.

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.

Tutorial: Walk Cycle Through Space

Tutorial: Walk Cycle Through Space - Angie Jones from angie jones on Vimeo.

To get the rig go here -

This tutorial explains how to create a walk cycle through space - NOT IN PLACE! . Learning how to create a walk cycle through space will save you a large amount of time when you have to make a character or create change momentum, climb, walk and run over uneven terrain.It also teaches you about the real weight shift in the body and feet for a walk.Ultimately, no one will care how you created your motion if it looks believable and is entertaining. If nothing else, you just might learn something by trying a new way to move your characters.

In the world of CG/VFX you will rarely be animating your characters over a flat ground plane. When I tell people working in production that I am teaching now, they all ask me to "please teach my students how to locomote a character through space." The "in place" cycle for locomotion using the top node for translating trick is great for video games or getting a quick crowd scene together, but teaches you nothing about real weight shifts and the math involved in creating a clean walk cycle. In addition, I find this method next to impossible to keep from sliding without setting a key on every frame.

When animation through space, you cannot cheat. Every part of the body is moving in relation to the other and pops and breaks in the motion will give you away if they are moving incorrectly.

Free Model Starter Pack

HousesDemoReel from shaunKeenan on Vimeo.

This starter pack is full of 3D models you can use to make an animated short.

There are 90 models in the pack, all free to use for personal projects

FREE Animators Starter Pack created by Shaun Keenan

Packed with handy resources for creating a city scene including cars, buildings, houses, fire hydrants and other miscellaneous items.

There are 90 models in this pack to get you started with your animation shorts and short films.
All Keenan asks is that you link back to him. You can download the pack here.
For more of Kennan's models check out his blog.

Adobe CC Keyboard Shortcut Cheat Sheets – Free!

The complete set of essential keyboard shortcut cheat sheets for every major Adobe CC application!

They are also now available completely free here:

All together, there are 13 individual cheat sheets for the following Creative Cloud desktop tools:

  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • InDesign
  • Acrobat Pro
  • Lightroom
  • Muse
  • Dreamweaver
  • Flash Pro
  • Fireworks
  • Premiere Pro
  • After Effects
  • Audition
  • Bridge

…and the different keyboard shortcuts are clearly distinguished for both Windows and Mac users.

Their creator, Mr. Spencer, writes:

As I use these tools so often I have found learning the various different keyboard shortcuts as an invaluable method for speeding up my work and processes. To help you learn all these different keyboard shortcuts (some of which aren’t published in the software) I have created one mega cheatsheet which you can save for your future reference.

For example, one of Adobe Photoshop’s strengths is that it makes extensive use of keyboard shortcuts; but, there are so many that it’s difficult to remember them all. So now this will make it really easy for you to remember them the next time you are using the software!

adobe-illustrator-keyboard-shortcuts-cheat-sheet\ adobe-photoshop-keyboard-shortcuts-cheat-sheet

Animated Gif of the Week: Girls Don't Fart

I have no idea who made this but it is awesome...

Staggers -- Cartoon Character Animation with Maya By: Keith Osborn

From the guy you gave us the rig for Mr. Buttons… here is how to animate a stagger.

Aaardman Creates Stephen Hawking Short, ‘Inside His Head’

A visual kaleidoscope celebrating Hawking’s journey, short film is brought to life with stylized imagery and scientific diagrams to accompany the renowned scientist’s lecture about the theory of black holes, ‘Hawking Radiation and Thermodynamics.’  Read more here.

Find Out How FX Experts Created Mars in The Martian

"Luckily the folks at MPC know how to science the shit out of VFX." ~ LOL

50 Years in the Mouse House

Fifty Years in The Mouse House

50 Year’s in the Mouse House: The Lost Memoir of One of Disney’s Nine Old Men edited by Didier Ghez and Joe Campana, sheds light on Eric Larson’s career from the perspective of those that knew and loved him. It also includes his animation lectures which are a must for any animator to know and love.

Anilyzer Tool - Frame by Frame Youtube Videos

Impressive tool from Paolo Cogliati a 3D animator at The Mill, previously LAIKA, creator of Serial Taxi short film and AniRef app.

Anilyzer is a new free tool for animators to view Youtube+Vimeo links frame by frame and slow motion.

You can also see what other animators are analyzing and discover new works. 

Boutique23 Character Rigs

Animation Mentor Partnership with Boutique23


Too Body Controls

TRE3Body Controls

Fift Body Controls


Animation Mentor Partnership with Boutique23




Ugly Animated Short Film

Ugly Walkcycle

Ugly Walkcycle from nikita diakur on Vimeo.

UGLY is a short film cur­rently seek­ing fund­ing on Kick Starter.  HERE is the link to their page.

He has 3 more days to go to fund his film.

Ugly Dynamics from nikita diakur on Vimeo.


Ugly Interview from nikita diakur on Vimeo.



How to convert photos to incredible 3D scenes

How to convert photos to incredible 3D scenes - Hit Film

There is a free demo of HitFilm 3 Pro. The demo version is fully functioning and does not have an expiry time limit but it does restrict your export capabilities as follows:

  • 30 seconds per export.
  • YouTube upload only.
  • Standard definition 480P only.
  • A HitFilm demo title card is added to the end of your uploaded movies.

You can activate the demo by purchasing the full version at any time. Projects created while using the demo will still work in the full version.

Download the HitFilm 3 Pro demo.

particles 2

3D models as particle textures

Ever wanted to generate fleets of spaceships or helicopters, procedural cities, swarms of creatures - all with full lighting support, shadow casting and self-shadowing?  Now take any 3D model and plug it into the particle simulator to create visuals that simply were not possible before.  And, of course, it's all rendered in the true unified 3D space, so you can composite your 3D particles in and around your other 3D layers.

3D camera projection

Ever found during an edit that there's that one extra shot you need which was never filmed? Or maybe somebody left camera equipment in view which needs removing? 3D camera projection provides solutions and redefines what you thought was possible.

  • Photoreal virtual shots - Take a photo of your set or location, convert it to a projected 3D scene and create an entirely new, photorealistic shot, complete with 3D camera movement.
  • Easy object removal - Create a clean reference frame, project it onto simple 3D geometry and use a 3D camera track to remove objects from moving camera shots. Perfect for switching from real to digital actors or objects mid-shot.
  • Total effect enhancement - Thanks to camera projection, effects such as pond ripples and the new rain on glass can now be applied realistically to any surface with accurate displacement.

Atomize your 3D models

Atomic particles are used to create incredible motion graphics animation. In HitFilm 3 Pro the effect can be applied directly to 3D models, creating an array of particles arranged according to the model's 3D geometry.  You can still use all of atomic's features, such as audio-driven animation, fractal dispersion and layer maps, progressively exploding your models from one end to the other.

Auto-tracked masks

Nobody likes masking, especially if you have to rotoscope every frame. In HitFilm 3 Pro the entire masking system has been reworked to be faster, with mask tracking courtesy of the expanded mocha HitFilm.

  • The best of mocha - Need to track a moving object through your shot? Do it without any keyframing by exporting planar tracking data from mocha HitFilm and applying it directly to a HitFilm mask, saving hours of work.

Over 20 new effects

It wouldn't be a new version of HitFilm without a phenomenal array of brand new and upgraded effects.

  • Heat distortion:The atmospheric haze of a jet engine or a hot day can now be created using a single effect. The displacement and blurring seen in heat distortion is simulated with full control over appearance and behavior.
  • Audio spectrum & waveform:Visualize any audio layer as dynamic, highly customizable waveforms and spectrums. Switch between point, line and graph modes and tailor the appearance to your liking.
  • Rain on glass:Add droplets of water and wet streaks running down any surface in your shot, complete with realistic water diffraction and behavior.
  • Auto volumetrics:Create realistic volumetric light shafts, rendered in 3D so that you can move your camera through and around them. Combine with a 3D tracked camera move to enhance your on-set lighting.
  • Classic cine style: replicate retro film looks
  • Color cycle: customizable palette shifting
  • Color phase: offset individual color channels to fix balance issues
  • Duo tone: two-tone color washes
  • Environment map transform: easily shift your maps
  • Glow darks: generate glow specifically from dark regions
  • Custom gray: fine control over desaturation
  • Film grain: realistic, procedural grain
  • Lens blur: generate high quality bokeh from a depth map
  • Lens distort/undistort: correct or create lens distortion
  • Light leak: generate your own light leak patterns
  • New light flares: brand new flare designs
  • Split screen masking: super-fast video tiling
  • Two strip color: simulate the two-strip film process
  • Quad warp corner pin: the quad warp has been upgraded to work as a proper corner pin tool

This is but a taste of all the new features HitFilm 3 has to offer.

Learn More | Purchase HitFilm 3

Download Free Trial (under Standalone)

Using the Maya Sequencer

Using the Maya Camera Sequencer

My seniors at USC are deep into workbook and previz on their films.  I highly recommend using the Maya Camera sequencer when you are working on your own short films to figure out your staging, composition, EDL and cuts on action. This tutorial show you how to drop a storyboard into the camera and stage a shot according to the art direction in the board.  Nifty!

Pixar USD

Pixar’s Universal Scene Description (USD) Software

Pixar’s Universal Scene Description (USD) software aims to compile content from multiple animation programs into one view so animators don’t have to jump in and out of various applications to perform different functions. This is done by generalising assets into a common format that is compatible with any digital content creation tool. The open source nature of USD will also allow smaller studios and independent animators to create their animation in a streamlined way that was previously only possible at big studios using proprietary tools.

Pixar is still working to fine-tune USD but it has already been in use for a year for the upcoming movieFinding Dory, the highly-anticipated sequel to Finding Nemo. It is currently being tested by a handful of animation studios as well, including MPC Film.

The software should be available for release by mid-2016. You can find out more about USD here.

Gnomon Talk: 3D Artists Career Paths - Aug 27th, 2015

3D Artist Career Paths: From Video Game Cinematics to Films
3D Artist Career Paths: From Video Game Cinematics to Films, Thursday, August 27th, 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
The next free community event at Gnomon is Thursday, August 27th. Join Concept Artist/Illustrator, Fausto De Martini, and Cinematic Artist, Seth Thompson, for an inspiring evening of career insights and live demos. Discover pro tips on how to secure your dream job in the industry, plus get your fill of priceless information on how to stay competitive in the field. Fausto De Martini will offer a 45-minute 3D design live demo, plus Seth Thompson will showcase some of his prized techniques in 3ds Max, ZBrush, and Photoshop. Whether you’re a student, hobbyist, or professional artist, this evening will prove a valuable resource.
RSVP to join us on campus, or follow Gnomon on Livestream to watch the full event for free from anywhere in the world. Learn more about Gnomon community events.
Learn More Watch on Livestream
Gnomon Gnomon specializes in computer graphics
education for careers in the entertainment industry.
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The Human Torch Drone

The Human Torch Drone

just gonna leave this here...
The Human Torch Drone lights up the night sky in Fantastic Four PR stunt.

This Algorithm Can Separate Reflections from Photographs

This Algorithm Can Separate Reflections from Photographs

This Algorithm Can Separate Reflections from Photographs

Umm, like this is seriously impressive...
They figured out how to automatically remove reflections and obstructions from photographs, and their latest demo of the technology is amazing.

The video accompanying our SIGGRAPH 2015 paper " A Computational Approach for Obstruction-Free Photography". We present a unified computational approach for taking photos through reflecting or occluding elements such as windows and fences. Rather than capturing a single image, we instruct the user to take a short image sequence while slightly moving the camera. Differences that often exist in the relative position of the background and the obstructing elements from the camera allow us to separate them based on their motions, and to recover the desired background scene as if the visual obstructions were not there. We show results on controlled experiments and many real and practical scenarios, including shooting through reflections, fences, and raindrop-covered windows.

Disney's Hyperion Renderer

Disney's Hyperion Renderer

Disney's Hyperion Renderer

Nicely put together webpage explaining Disney's Render - Hyperion.

Just in time for Siggraph 2015

The swipe comparison on the page and the overview video for explaining rendering is really nice!

Siggraph 2015

Siggraph 2015

Siggraph 2015

Siggraph is in Los Angeles this year, are you going?

Lots of kewl stuff going on...

SIGGRAPH 2015 - Computer Animation Festival Trailer

ACM SIGGRAPH/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation 2015

ACM SIGGRAPH/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation 2015

To be held at USC

Fabric Engine 2 at Siggraph 2015 from Fabric Engine on Vimeo.

We're launching Fabric Engine 2 at Siggraph 2015 and we'd love to see you at the show.

We're having a series of user groups all day on Tuesday 11th in room 405. You can see the schedule and register

If you want to meet privately, drop us a line at

If you have no clue what Fabric is, watch this: :)

See you at the show!

(note: we will be recording the user group sessions and will put them online asap after the show)

Inner Space Artifacts - SIGGRAPH 2015 Dailies Presentation from Ben Ridgway on Vimeo.

Here's a breakdown of how I created the look of my film "Inner Space Artifacts"

When creating experimental animations I often use intuition and visualization techniques to come up with ideas. Often times these ideas come to me as a flash of insight. Other times I must plumb the depths of my psyche to find novel approaches to making moving images. The film “Inner Space Artifacts” was a journey of deep excavation into the world of abstract ideas. The moving objects in the animation I regard as “artifacts” that I uncovered and shaped into ephemeral moving digital sculptures.

SPECIAL PRESENTATION: SIGGRAPH 2015 Dailies | Los Angeles Convention Center | August 9-13

And, of course, the Job Fair.

Job Fair Directory

I will be posting shortly my advice on attending the job fair and how to "work the event" to get that dream job.