Cradle by Devon Manney

After winning the 2017 Student Academy Award, one of my USC students - Devon Manney is aiming for Oscar gold with his short following a veteran as he returns home from the Iraq War after losing both of his arms.

From Hollywood Reporter - The 23-year-old made Cradle as his senior-year thesis film at USC's animation program.

Devon Manney - USC Alumnus’s Wins Silver Student Academy Award

I am a little late on this but one of my USC Students won a silver medal in Animation at the Student Academy Awards.


Alumnus’s award-winning animated short explores phantom limb pain

“No one makes a film in a vacuum,” Manney said. “And ‘Cradle’ is indebted to so many beautiful souls and talented artists that it really just makes me dizzy to think about it.”

My Life as a Zucchini - OSCAR NOMINEE TRAILER

My Life as a Zucchini follows a young boy called Zucchini. After his mother’s sudden death, Zucchini is befriended by a police officer, Raymond, who accompanies him to his new foster home, filled with other orphans his age. At first he struggles to find his place in this at times strange and hostile environment. But with Raymond’s help and his newfound friends, Zucchini eventually learns to trust and love, as he searches for a new family of his own. Brought to life through striking character designs and expressive stop-motion animation, the story soars with laughter, sorrow, and joy, and stands as a testament to the resilience of the human heart.

My Life as a Zucchini is directed by Claude Barras and written by Céline Sciamma, adapted from the novel “Autobiographie d’une Courgette” by Gilles Paris. It is produced by RITA Productions (Max Karli and Pauline Gygax), Blue Spirit Productions, Gebeka Films and KNM (Kate and Michel Merkt), in coproduction with the RTS - Radio Télévision Suisse, SRG-SSR, France 3 Cinéma, Rhône Alpes Cinéma and Helium Films, with international sales handled by Indie Sales.

Claude Barras is Swiss-born and based in Geneva. After studying illustration and computer graphics, he went on to direct several short films such as Au Pays des tetes, Stigmates 2D, and The Genie in a Ravioli Can. Barras founded his own animation company, Helium Films along with fellow illustrator Cédric Louis and is represented by U.S. talent agent Jerome Duboz of William Morris Endeavor. Zucchini is Barras’ first feature-length film is realized by the writing of celebrated French director/producer Céline Sciamma, known for her vividly genuine take on growing pains and the journey of adolescence in her films Tomboy, Water Lillies, and Girlhood.

2017 Academy Award Animation Nominees

Here are the animation nominees for the 89th Academy Awards, airing Sunday, February 26, 2017.

Animated Feature Film
Kubo and the Two Strings
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle

Animated Short Film
Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes

27 Animated Features Submitted For the 2016 Oscar's

A record 27 features have been submitted for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category for the 89th Academy Awards.

The submitted features, listed in alphabetical order, are:

“The Angry Birds Movie”
“April and the Extraordinary World”
“Finding Dory”
“Ice Age: Collision Course”
“Kingsglaive Final Fantasy XV”
“Kubo and the Two Strings”
“Kung Fu Panda 3”
“The Little Prince”
“Long Way North”
“Miss Hokusai”
“Monkey King: Hero Is Back”
“Mustafa & the Magician”
“My Life as a Zucchini”
“Phantom Boy”
“The Red Turtle”
“Sausage Party”
“The Secret Life of Pets”
“25 April”
“Your Name.”

First Woman to Win the Oscar for Visual Effects in the 86-Year-History of the Category

Ex Machina won the Academy Award for visual effects. The award was shared by Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington, and Sara Bennett. Bennettt is a co-founder of Milk VFX, which provided the film’s vfx along with Double Negative, Utopia, and Web FX. She is only the third woman ever nominated in the category, and the first woman to win the Oscar for visual effects in the 86-year-history of the category, which was earlier labelled the special effects category.

The last woman who was nominated in the visual effects category was Pamela Easley for her work on the 1993 movie Cliffhanger. ~via Cartoon Brew

As a friend put it so eloquently, "Not only is she the first female for VFX win, but she beat out Star Wars."

VFX Community Planning Protest During Oscars

From Hollywood Reporter:  A small plane with a banner that reads “Box Office + Bankrupt = Visual Effects” is scheduled to fly over the red carpet on Sunday.

The visual-effects community is planning a demonstration during Sunday's Academy Awards to force the film industry to focus on the economic problems threatening Hollywood's visual-effects houses.

Many in that VFX world argue that effects houses are struggling because of a business model that doesn't work, and they point to Rhythm & Hues Studios -- the VFX house behind the CG tiger in Oscar-nominated Life of Pi -- and the fact that it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Feb. 13 as the latest evidence.

A small plane with a banner that reads "Box Office + Bankrupt = Visual Effects" will fly over the red carpet on Sunday, according to the demonstration's organizers.
PHOTOS: Oscars 2013: 16 Icons Come Together for THR's Oscar Issue

The plane will take off from Compton/Woodley Airport, where VFX pros will be gathered. A second group plans to assemble in the Hollywood & Vine area, near where celebrities and filmmakers will be arriving to walk the red carpet, in order to attract media attention.

Dave Rand, an artist at Rhythm & Hues, said the aim of the effort is “awareness. We are not disrespecting Life of Pi or Rhythm & Hues. We are trying to enlighten the studios that they are taking their racehorse and beating it to death.”

Some of the factors that are currently affecting the industry include intense competitive bidding that leads to companies taking on projects at low, fixed bids; globalization as government incentives and cheap labor abroad have created an uneven playing field; and tight profit margins (often 5 percent or less) that can be endangered if a project is canceled or delayed.

Organizers do not know how many artists will participate on Sunday, but according to Rand, the group will not be limited to those affected by the R&H bankruptcy.

Rhythm & Hues filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week and is aiming to quickly complete a sale of its assets. It has identified several parties who are interested in acquiring the company.

more here...

10 Animated Shorts Move Ahead in 2011 Oscar® Race

Beverly Hills, CA (December 1, 2011) – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 10 animated short films will advance in the voting process for the 84th Academy Awards®. Forty-four pictures had originally qualified in the category.
The 10 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production company:


Every Sunday, it's the same old routine! The train clatters through the village and almost shakes the pictures off the wall. In the church, Dad dreams about his toolbox. And of course later Grandma will get a visit and the animals will meet their fate.

William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, directors (Moonbot Studios LA, LLC) - Diseño 3d y Animación
"I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat," Matthew O'Callaghan,
director and Sam Register, executive producer (Warner Bros. Animation Inc.)

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and directed by Matthew O' Callaghan, who also helmed last year's Oscar shortlisted "Coyote Falls", this 3D cartoon short seamlessly blends state-of-the-art CG animation with Blanc's newly remixed, remastered and re-orchestrated soundtrack song.

Warner Bros. Animation presents 'I Tawt I Taw A Putty Tat', featuring the voices of Mel Blanc and June Foray. Directed by Matthew O' Callaghan and executive produced by WBA's Sam Register, the animated theatrical short is produces by Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone (The Looney Tunes Show, Duck Dodgers).

'I Tawt I Taw A Putty Tat' debuted in theathres on November 18, 2011 in conjuntion with Warner Bros. Pictures' release of Happy Feet Two.

More information, you can found in

Tweety, Sylvester and Granny is copyright of Warner Bros. Animation. All rights reserved.

"La Luna," Enrico Casarosa, director (Pixar Animation Studios)
Enrico Casarosa Blog

In a world controlled and timed by the light, a common man has a plan that could change the destiny.
"Magic Piano," Martin Clapp, director and Hugh Welchman, producer (BreakThru Films)
**I can fnd nothing about this short anywhere online.  Please comment on thsi post if you have any information.
"A Morning Stroll," Grant Orchard, director and Sue Goffe, producer (Studio AKA)

'When a New Yorker walks past a chicken on his morning stroll, we're left to wonder which one is the real city slicker...'

STUDIO AKA is pleased to announce completion of a new short from Director GRANT ORCHARD. Based loosely on a real life event recounted in Paul Auster's brilliant book 'True Tales of American Life', 'A MORNING STROLL' tells the story of one New Yorker's early morning encounter with a chicken, an event that plays out over 100 years.

A MORNING STROLL is nowplaying at festivals worldwide.

Nowy film Damiana Nenowa.
New animated short by Damian Nenow.
**I cannot find any trailers for this short either.  Please comment if you have info.

Some bad news has just arrived: Arnaud has to wear glasses. And not any ordinary glasses: they're so thick that his eyes seem no more than two little black spots. Arnaud would much rather live in the imaginary world of his nearsightedness, a world populated with monsters, unicorns and the other fancies which appear according to his fertile imagination.

In 1909, a dapper young remittance man is sent from England to Alberta to attempt ranching. However, his affection for badminton, bird watching and liquor leaves him little time for wrangling cattle. It soon becomes clear that nothing in his refined upbringing has prepared him for the harsh conditions of the New World. This animated short is about the beauty of the prairie, the pang of being homesick and the folly of living dangerously out of context.

The Short Films and Feature Animation Branch Reviewing Committee viewed all the eligible entries for the preliminary round of voting in screenings held in New York and Los Angeles.

Short Films and Feature Animation Branch members will now select three to five nominees from among the 10 titles on the shortlist. Branch screenings will be held in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco in January 2012.

The 84th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented on Sunday, February 26, 2012, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland left®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

GDT and MTh make a Studio Mirada

Wowsie Wow!  
In light of all the studios closing,
this is great news!

Mirada will house all of the tools that filmmakers need to create entertainment that lives partly on the Web, partly in movie theaters, partly in video games – so-called transmedia – under one roof.

“The goal is to create a creative business that fuses together all of those different disciplines,” said Mathew Cullen, a Mirada partner and well-known director of commercials and music videos.  The other two partners are Javier Jimenez, a co-founder with Mr. Cullen of Motion Theory, a video production company, and Guillermo Navarro, a cinematographer whose work includes Mr. del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth” and the coming “Twilight” installments.

Read More at the NYT...

Subaru WRX STI


Zoetrope style animation frame by frame on the side wall of a test track
driving a camera attached to a WRX one foot away from the wall. 


I couldn't decide if I could post this due to the nudity, but decided it has nothing on the tv show Nip/Tuck.  Pretty fun little short completed by the defyAgeny in Culver City.  The composer contacted me to show it and we will probably be working together on my short.

Director: Jimmie Rhee
Composer: Paolo Palazzo
To see it full-rez go here.

George Lucas To Donate More Than Half Of His Wealth To Education

In a letter dated July 16, 2010, Lucas has agreed that he will donate the majority of his wealth (a.k.a. more than 50 percent) to improving our schools through the George Lucas

Educational Foundation. In the letter, he cites the importance of technology in the classroom as well as a fear that the "education system as little better than an assembly line with producing diplomas as its only goal."

Read More at Cinema Blend

Piranha 3D Producer Rips James Cameron: ‘Jim, Are You Kidding or What?’

This is just all kinds of awesome.  As an animator who has 
worked on their share of campy horror flicks 
My favorite quote from this rant is  
"Let’s just keep this in mind Jim….you did not invent 3D."

This afternoon, a Piranha 3D rep dropped Canton’s nearly 1,400-word reply over the transom at Movieline HQ:

“As a producer in the entertainment industry, Jim Cameron’s comments on are very disappointing to me and the team that made Piranha 3D. Mr. Cameron, who singles himself out to be a visionary of movie-making, seems to have a small vision regarding any motion pictures that are not his own. It is amazing that in the movie-making process - which is certainly a team sport - that Cameron consistently celebrates himself out as though he is a team of one. His comments are ridiculous, self-serving and insulting to those of us who are not caught up in serving his ego and his rhetoric.

For more read here...

Scott Ross for President

Everyone should listen to this interview...

This is the most articulate, solution oriented conversation I have heard yet on this subject.  If the VFX shops are awarded the money, respect, education, and deserved appreciation Ross proposes a trade organization would provide... I am confident there would be trickle down to the employees.  Ten years ago, these needs (401k, benefits, fair hiring practices) were being met.  Some shops back in the day even had car washing, dry cleaning services, meals provided, studio sponsored parties, etc.  VFX shops managed to provide these things to artists even on a "next to nothing" profit margin.  Then, times changed.  The movie studios told shops you have half the budget , twice the work, and half the time... even though profits on VFX driven films are higher than ever.  Studios told the shops, if you don't like it, the shop down the street beet your bid by 150k!  So, the VFX shops began to hire cheap labor just to make ends meet.

The VFX companies are not the enemy in this situation and the situation is not personal.  What have we got to lose?  If the shops don't organize and fix the situation now, they are out of business anyways.  Then, no one has a job. If the VFX shops paid dues to a trade organization like artists do to the VES, we might get somewhere.  As long as the new trade organization does the job presented to them and isn't fluff and just talk, like some organizations we know.  I think this is what Scott means by he would be willing to help organize as long as people made a commitment to the mission.  If shops all agreed to pay dues to get the organization started, they might have a fighting chance in this as Ross put it "race to the bottom."

I also agree completely with Ross on a Union.  The biz model for VFX shops is not one that could work with a Union. at this time  The issues that artists have with the shops  (401k, benefits, fair hiring practices) are only symptoms of the bigger problem.  VFX was never working off of fat, it was lean muscle ten years ago... now we are cutting ligaments and bone as far as budgets and any profits.  There is no room for negotiating.  A union could help after we recover from the current circumstances... possibly, but I do not see how a Union would fix the profit margin issue between the Movie Studios and FX shops.  How would a union deal with Runaway Production.  I am curious how are they handling it now?  I am pretty sure 2D ran away to Korea... no?

The one thing that did bother me in their talk was when they said the whole issue since the town hall "died because people are working."  I know more people out of work than ever.  Artists have no power, no money, no leaders, no experience in this stuff and mouths to feed.  We feel helpless.  That is why it died.  If the VFX studios have no cash, you think out of work artists do?  So, artists go overseas to help the lack of local talent for 1/3rd of their salary on even smaller budgeted movies and leave their wife and kids behind to keep a roof over their heads.  It's the unskilled talent pool overseas that needs our artists to make the incentive program work.  Again, worst biz model ever.  And I digress..  Anyways, it's the first real discussion I have seen anywhere so far.

Peter and the Wolf

Pedro y el lobo from silvinacampos on Vimeo.

Best Short Film - Animated 2008

"Motion capture by itself is not an animation technique."

OSCARS: Academy Announces Rule 

Changes For Animated Film & Visual Effects the Animated Feature Film category, a sentence regarding motion capture was added to clarify the definition of an animated film. The language now reads: “An animated feature film is defined as a motion picture with a running time of greater than 40 minutes, in which movement and characters’ performances are created using a frame-by-frame technique. Motion capture by itself is not an animation technique. In addition, a significant number of the major characters must be animated, and animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture’s running time.”

for more read here...

Henry Selick Signs a New Deal to Return to Disney/Pixar

82nd Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Henry Selick, the director of last year’s critical hit "Coraline," has agreed to a new long-standing deal with Disney/Pixar to both write and direct stop-motion films.
The father of stop-motion films is finally making his long-awaited return to Disney. Review St. Louis reports that Henry Selick, the director of last year’s critical hit Coraline, has agreed to a new long-standing deal with Disney/Pixar to both write and direct stop-motion films for the Mouse House. 
Furthermore, the new agreement gives the acclaimed animator the opportunity to work from his own home located in the Bay Area. Whether original or literary, Selick is entitled to work from his home studio. 
Selick’s new deal with Disney/Pixar should come as no surprise as the writer/director went to school with John Lasseter, the current head of Disney animation

Selick set a new precedent for stop-motion films and made them mainstream fare with his directorial debut in the cult classic A Nightmare Before Christmas

. Although many believe Tim Burton helmed the project, Burton served as a producer to Selick’s direction. 

Selick’s latest film, Coraline, was both a critical and box office hit that garnered the director an Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature. In addition, the film lent itself nicely to the ever-so-popular 3-D format. 

The Secret of kells

wowsie wow
If Klimt were an animator, I think this is what his work would look like.
I love that there is an educational angle and the film.
The filmmakers provide worksheets on the website for primary and secondary classes!

KIDS is proud to release the beautiful new animated film from the producers of Triplets of Belleville, now an Academy Award® nominee for Best Animated Feature! The film opens March 5 at the IFC Center in New York, and will expand around the country after that. For more information, visit or for the latest news!

Trailer For Every Oscar-Winning Movie Ever

So damn funny...
gets really good by 1:30
laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh

French Roast

wowsie wow...

French Roast

interview with director Fabrice O. Joubert  
8-miute CG project was produced at the
French studio Pumpkin Factory by a team of 65.
See more at the production blog


Henry Selick's take on Performance Capture

In the LA Times, animation director Henry Selick also weighed in publicly on mocrap:

“The academy has to come to terms with where [performance capture] goes. Is it animation? Is it a new category? I’m like the academy. I don’t know where it fits. I will tell you this, animators have to work very, very hard with the motion-capture data. After the performance is captured, it’s not just plugged into the computer which spits out big blue people. It’s a hybrid.”

La Dama y La Muerte - The Lady and The Reaper

The Lady and The Reaper
Oscar Nominated Animation Short
Holy Cow!
Wowsie Wow!

best animation I have seen long time!
the designs, the motion, the silhouettes, the staging, the characters!

Watch HI-REZ it here!

I think these guys might have done it,
but I do not speaka da spanish!

More Art Shows this weekend!

If you don't already have plans...
I am in a couple art shows this weekend.
Send me email with your name
and I can get you on the list for tonight's show.

I will be live painting Friday night...
this painting
will also be in the show!

Friday 8pm-2am
@Daydream Republic

The DayDream Republic is located at
4500 W. Jefferson Blvd. Los Angeles Ca. 90016
(just off the La Brea exit on the 10 freeway)
suggested donation $5 b4 10/ $10 after /21+ cash bar


I also have two skateboard paintings in this should be a good one!


9:00pm to 1:00am

Cannibal Flower
724 S. Spring Street.
Los Angeles, CA 90014

Across the street from The Hive & Temple of Visions

Admission is $8

Art Show Next Friday!

I have been busy painting during my off time... and I invite you to my next show!
To see all of the artists participating
click here.

Warren Calvo and New Puppy will be hosting an event called “From Within The Shadows” to raise money for projects in Costa Rica that protect and research Endangered Wildlife. 20% of the proceeds will be donated to help further and research the protection of endangered wild life in Costa Rica. Artists for the event have donated to the New Puppy Gallery new work based on the list of endangered species of Costa Rica.

I have a painting in this show and a painted skull replica of a Margay wildcat. Please

New Puppy Gallery
"From Within the Shadows"
2808 Elm St. Los Angeles, CA 90065

Jan 9th, 2010 Sneak Peek

Jan 15th, 2010 Official Fundraiser

Show will be up until Valentines!

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Review

This takes some dedication to watch, but it is VERY funny.
Because he is right.
"A special effect without a story is a pretty boring thing..." ~Lucas
Now, I am curious about the guy who spent all the time making this thing!

Stix and Jones Plug

When I am not animating, I stay pretty busy...

I have a new ETSY store for my paintings and other pretties I make.
If you are trying to decide what to get that special person for christmas?

Check out my new store!


stix and jones blog too!

All Spice Cafe

I have a new artist spotlight!
JD Cowles!

I started the "artist spotlight" to feature artists who have turned their passions and hobbies into cash making machines. Past spotlights have included: Cro Customs, Jamie and Drew's Art Show, Total Escape, and The Visual Amalgam Show

To start 2009 off right we have J.D. Cowles! CG Sup turned hot sauce chemist!
Check out his hot sauces and he is having a tasting at Surfas in Culver City this Saturday!!! Buffalo burgers, venison tenderloin, elk ny strip steak . . . all treated with All Spice Cafe Hot Sauces! Come on by!

Surfas AllSpice Hot Sauce Tasting
Time and Place
Saturday, January 10, 2009
12:00pm - 3:00pm
Surfas - A Chef's Paradise
8777 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA

Geisha Vampire Workshop 12.16.2008 - UPDATE NEW PRICING!!!!

Drop-ins Welcome! 25$
Get The Lead Out

Tuesday night 12.16 features a Geisha Vampires inspired theme thanks our model KJ and to the Gallery Girls. Fun dramatic poses. 5 to 15 minute poses and a long pose if the majority of the class desires.Drop-ins are welcome for 25$ or you can pre-buy classes 4 at a time (80$). You may use the 4 sessions anytime over the next two months. You do not have to have a PayPal account, Credit Cards accepted. If you cannot afford classes right now because of the holidays? We added a gift certificate button that you can send to friends and loved ones and a little hint!

Get The Lead Out Workshop
25 $ per session for walk-ins
20$ if you buy 4 sessions (80$)

7:30pm to 10:30pm
Tuesday Nights
Bring your own supplies.
All media is welcome including laptops.
Please email angie@sticksand
if you are bringing a laptop,
so we are sure we have juice for it.

Place: Kline Academy of Fine Art
3264 Motor Ave.Culver City, CA 90034
(310) 927-2436


Buy 4 classes here! 20$ a class!


Buy one class to reserve a spot...25$


Can't afford the classes right now? Give your loved ones ideas of the gift of drawing classes for this holiday!

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.

Total and Danamite

It's time for this month's Artist Spotlight!

In June, I spotlighted Caleb's Owen's
Cro Customs Chopper Venture. Then July I spotlighted my co-author Jamie Oliff's art show at the Dresden with his animator buddy Drew Edwards.

This month we spotlight my good friend Dana Williams.

I met Dana on my first animation job in California working at a traditional animation studio in San Diego. Dana was the first female animator I had met and we hit it off famously...even though most of the guys at the studio were convinced she was packing heat.

Dana left animation to take her love for camping, hiking and the out doors into a full scale business. Dana has been running her business for 12 years now and I am so proud of her. Check out her website to see the best campgrounds, hiking trails and outdoor fun in California.

Sole creative force of Total Escape, Dana Williams left her 3D animation career to start her living dream. Utilizing artistic talents, computer skills & the simple love of nature to make it all come together for a killer web site called Total Escape. The GOAL: To get more outta life, 'get outside' more often - out of the city, off the computer & away from television.. so far from daily grind of everyday life. Educating the public about respecting the land, responsible use of our resources & how to get more enjoyment out of weekend.

Artist Spotlight - July - Jamie and Drew

Last month, I decided to spotlight one CG artist a month on the blog who has taken something they love to do outside of animation and turned it into additional income - as inspiration for us all. I started it off with Caleb's Cro Customs Chopper venture. This month, I thought none better than to spotlight my co-author Jamie Oliff. He had an art show of his paintings last month at the Dresen with his friend Drew Edwards.

Jamie and his buddy Drew Edwards met in Canada working on Ren and Stimpy. Both, still have one toe in the animation industry mostly doing storyboards. They created a show together that was held at the Dresden. These are the pictures of the debauchery of the night. It was great fun and Jamie sold all of his paintings.

Proud artists...Look at Drew's shoes! Awesome!

Beginning of the evening as people start to come in...

The paintings in black and white are Jamie's
and the monochromatic color ones are Drew's.

This was one of my favorites...look at the character in his face!

Drew was inspired by the movie swingers for quite a few of his.

Guess who this motley crew is supposed to be?
I will give you a hint - see below.

Samir eyes a painting he wants...and decides to buy it for 600$!!!

Jamie places the red dot to show it's sold!

Very happy patron the arts!

Sarah Bockett's smile could light up any room!

I am obviously talking about something VERY important,
since Drew is listening so closely.

Cro Customs

The climate in animation/VFX and CG today changing so quickly...
runaway production,
overseas studios,
shorter schedules,
smaller budgets,
lowering of animators salaries...

In light of these changes in our industry, many artists are starting their own businesses to create additional income. Most artists and animators have to be self starting individuals to last in this industry. CG artists are an unusual breed who believe they can make anything happen - even turn a hobby into their career.

I think it's because working in CG you incorporate so many facets of life and experience like writing, acting, anatomy, cinematography, lighting, storytelling, textures, design, kinetics, math, code, architecture...the list goes on and on. Think about it. How many other jobs use so many parts of your brain and so many skill sets? I have seen many people turn hobbies into careers in the past few years, artists who started their own businesses like: camping guide websites, fine art painting, bass fishing dvd's, clothing design, motorcycle fabrication, and toy production.

So, I will spotlight one CG artist a month on the blog who has taken something they love to do outside of animation and turned it into additional income - as inspiration for us all. Don't get me wrong here...I still support animation as a fruitful, and fun career. But! I also believe change is good and comes from the willingness to allow new ideas, different opinions and maintaining an open mind to the infinite possibilities there are when one is willing to take chances. I believe in the power of creativity and doing what you want to do creates more opportunity and an empowering state of mind.

If you would like your business spotlighted here on the blog, send me an email

The first artist to be spotlighted is:

My good friend Caleb Owens has started
a blog for his bike shop Cro Customs.

Cro Customs Blog

Caleb is another "artist friend" of mine
making way towards doing what he loves.

I love the quote on his website...
"Does Over Time make up for Time Lost?"

I say...Nope.

Go out and turn your love into what you do everyday!
Make something with your hands!

David Smith's Blog

David Smith is one of the contributors to the Thinking Animation Book and is a great animator and story teller. He gave us quite a few stories an antidotes for the book but has many of his own as well. He has started a new blog and just placed a beautiful entry about Mary Blair.

He also has some samples of his own amazing boards!
Go David! ~ Angie

Scott makes me smile

Scott Holmes is a kick ass animator working on a mocap show right now and its quite the soul crusher. So, I wanted to send a little shout out to my homie, 'cuz he makes me smile and helps me through bad days with his sarcastic wit. I asked him to draw me a giraffe on a chopper and he did...he has some other bad ass drawings on his blog So Cal Weirdo.

Scott also was the content editor for our book and didn't get paid what he was worth. He kept Jamie and I honest and I thank him for his guidance and tough love during the editing process. I can't wait til he gets his shirt line out there...I am gonna buy all of them and get my girl platoon to buy them out, as well. This is the home of his shirts Weirdo Apparel. Check it out yo!

luv ya man,

Tom Sito Podcast

Tom is a wealth of animation history and is a contributor for our book. Have a listen to this great podcast with Tom and check out his new book.

Disney Talk mp3

Per your requests, we now have the Disney Talk in an mp3 format!

We hope you can distinguish who is talking and
without the visuals and this provides a much smaller file.

Disney Talk, mp3 format (50 meg)

Original Video of Disney Talk (100 meg)

Here is the text from the handout we gave to the attendees:

Fleas on The Shoulders of Giants
Thinking Animation Panel and Book Signing
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
12-1:00 pm
Disney Feature Animation

This panel seeks to demystify, debunk, and drive the dialogue about the future of 2D and CG character animation. It is motivated by the sea change that is currently affecting our industry. The introduction of the computer has changed an art form that had been, until now, a pen and paper medium for upward of 80 years. Today, traditional animators and artists are giving up their fear of the machine and embracing CG in droves. The art of classical film animation has been ever-evolving since its early days. Artists and the studios have strived to raise the bar visually through storytelling since the first crude attempts at putting moving images on the screen.

We are talking about classical animation and its evolution into computer-generated feature films—think Steamboat Willie and its progression to The Incredibles. It is important to recognize trends in filmmaking, storytelling, and technology for an animator to increase his or her chances of continued employment. Trends and history reveal how evolution of an art form occurs. Paying close attention to the trends and growth of any field helps predict the future of that industry. Three major shifts are responsible for the progression from pencil to mouse in feature animation: aesthetic, audience, and storytelling.

Looking at the interesting turn of events in animation, many questions come to mind. What makes for a smooth transition? What has helped those who have made the jump? How much of the 2D art form is applicable to the digital realm? What have we gained and lost in the rise of CG? What is the impact of more 2D animators entering the CG industry? Without drawing as a craft threshold, is there room for a new set of animation heroes in CG with a signature style like, say, Ward Kimball’s (of Disney’s Nine Old Men fame)? This is a relatively new art in the broader sense of the word, and we are all learning as we go because we are but fleas on the shoulders of giants.

Tenny Chonin

Walt Disney Feature Animation

Hanna Hurme
Book Soup Sales

Angie Jones
Digital Domain

Angie Jones began her animation career at a San Diego studio with more than 150 traditional animators 12 years ago called Lightspan. Although she was trained at Atlanta College of Art in Fine Arts, she readily embraced animating with the computer. She has worked on numerous productions, including Stuart Little 2, Disney’s 50th Anniversary commercials, Oddworld: Abe’s Exodus, Garfield, Dino Crises 3, Pan's Labyrinth, Zoom, Scooby Doo Too, XMen 2, and National Treasure. You can find out more about Angie here - Spicy Cricket Animation.

Jamie Oliff
Reel FX

Jamie Oliff was trained in classical animation at Sheridan College of Art and Design and has worked in the animation industry for more than 20 years. An award-winning director and long time feature film animator, his credits include the first season of The Ren and Stimpy Show, and many feature length animated pictures such as Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan, Hercules, The Emperor’s New Groove, and CG animation on titles ranging from Kangaroo Jack to Scooby Doo Too and National Treasure. He lives in Burbank, CA. with his wife and two children and a biplane project that he never finds enough time to finish.

Richard Taylor

Electronic Arts

Richard Taylor has an extensive background in live-action direction, production design, special effects, and computer-generated images for theatrical films, television commercials, and computer games. He began his career as an artist and holds a BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Utah. In 1971 Richard received The Cole Porter Fellowship to USC graduate school, where he earned his Master’s degree in photography and printmaking. In the past 30 years, Richard has lent his talent to a number of companies, resulting in many award-winning commercial spots and seven Clio awards, along with two Hugo awards and two Mobius awards. Richard was a member of the team at Magi, whose commercial for Atari’s Worm War I was the first to win a Clio for computer animation. His other commercial work includes spots for companies such as Ford, RCA, Kellogg’s, Reebok, McDonald’s, UPS, Honda, Toyota, Bud Light, Intel, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Census 2000, Warner Bros., Disney, Duracell, and 7-Up, for whom he launched the internationally acclaimed “Spot” campaign. Richard’s years in the industry have provided him with a wide array of opportunities in addition to commercial work. He has done everything from directing promotional films for major networks, to designing, supervising, and directing special effects and computer-generated images. Richard has worked in various capacities on features such as Tron, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Looker, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Where the Wild Things Are. Presently Richard is cinematics director at Electronic Arts Los Angeles. Over the last four years he has designed and directed cinematics for such games as Top Spin, Links 2004, Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth 1 and II, and Command and Conquer 3.

Jerry Beck
Cartoon Brew

Jerry Beck has become one of the most knowledgeable and well-rounded animation historians ever known. His dreams of becoming a cartoonist rooted from his early childhood with cartoons such as Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound. Despite the fact that animators were not in demand by the time he graduated from high school, he still found a career in the field that he loved as an animation scholar. Working as an associate alongside Leonard Maltin, an experienced animation researcher, they published Maltin’s book, Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons in 1980. From then on, Beck would take part in various cartoon research projects, both solo and with partners such as Will Friedwald. Many of his findings on the subject are in the form of books such as The 50 Greatest Cartoons and Warner Bros. Animation Art, but he has also created television specials and has even taught several college courses on the history of cartoons, as well. In addition to being an animation historian, he is also an animation producer, and has been, and is working on creating cartoons.

Floyd Norman
Disney Publishing Group

Floyd Norman began his cartooning career while still in high school assisting Bill Woggon on the Katy Keene series for Archie Comics. He attended Art Center College of Design as an Illustrator major. Floyd started working as an animation artist for the Walt Disney studio on Sleeping Beauty and eventually graduated to the story department where he did story sketch on The Jungle Book. This was the last film Walt Disney personally supervised. Floyd wrote and produced animated segments for Sesame Street, Villa Alegre, and dozens of educational films. Also, Floyd supervised animation layout at Hanna-Barbera Productions and storyboarded several shows including The Flintstones, Smurfs, and Scooby Doo. He wrote scripts for The Quicky Koala Show, The Real Ghostbusters, and Monster Tales. Floyd returned to Disney in the early eighties to join the Disney Publishing Group. He wrote the syndicated Mickey Mouse comic strip and contributed stories for Disney Comics. As Project Supervisor in Creative Development Publishing, Floyd created, wrote and designed several children's books. After a ten year absence from film, Floyd returned to his roots doing story work on several feature length Disney animated films, Hunchback, Mulan, Tigger Movie, Dinosaur, and Toy Story 2. Intrigued by the new digital realm and interactive computer media, Floyd helped develop computer software for painting and animation. After a long and varied career, Floyd enters a new millennium more excited than ever about the possibilities of a new media. Now Floyd works with his previous associates adding his special blend of wit and whimsy to the website.

Disney Talk with Thinking Animation

Download quicktime of Disney Talk

Above is a link to a quicktime movie of the talk we gave at Disney on September 26th, thanks to Tenny Chonin - Head of Artistic Development at Disney Features. The file was HUGE since the talk was one hour long, but we were able to compress it down to about 100 meg. If anyone has any better ways of compressing it more, please contact Angie.

Jamie and I owe a great thanks to Floyd Norman and Richard Taylor who both wrote forwards to our book, as well as Jerry Beck who was great help with all of the historical information in the book for taking the time to participate in our panel. Each of them added a different perspective to the talk making it balanced and comprehensive. Thanks guys so much for coming!

In case you would like to read Floyd Norman's forward to the book, click here.

And, we have posted Richard Taylor's forward below.

This book has been lovingly crafted by two talented animators who enjoy their work and recognize the value of knowing the history, the art, and the craft of animation. Jamie and Angie have pooled the knowledge of some truly talented professionals to help them convey to the artist, animator, historian, or fan the combination of technology, art, discipline, and heart that it takes to succeed as a contemporary animator. What a phenomenal time this is in the evolution of animation and film. We are surrounded daily by the most complex visual imagery that mankind has ever created; be it in print, movies, television, games, or on the Internet, our lives are bombarded daily by images of seemingly limitless complexity. Today literally any image that a filmmaker can imagine can be realized. True, some dreams cost more than others, but the fact is the tools now exist that allow the artist, the animator, and the filmmaker to create photo-real illusions, fantasy characters that entertain and amaze us in films such as Titanic, The Incredibles, Shrek, Jurassic Park, King Kong, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Matrix, Alien, Terminator, Blade Runner, Star Wars, and Tron. Films packed with astounding special effects pour out of the studios yearly and on TV weekly. The technological tools to create this imagery are logarithmically improving as they become faster, better, and cheaper annually.

Tron—interesting that I would mention that film. I was co-visual effects supervisor on the picture, which was released in 1982. Tron was the film that introduced the world to computer imaging. So I’ve been involved with computer animation since its first use in the film industry. I’ve watched as art and technology fused to create the most powerful and limitless visual tool in the history of man. Computer-generated imaging (CGI) is now the fundamental tool used in creating visual effects and animated features. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that computers and software don’t create these fantastic images. A computer is analogous to a Steinway piano—it’s an instrument. It’s the artist who plays the instrument who brings it to life. So how does one become an animator who is adept at the latest technological advances, yet still creates with the spirit and freedom of traditional hand-drawn animation? This book deals directly with that query and should give you plenty of answers.

To begin with, production designers, directors, animators, and other artisans who are legendary in the film industry have several things in common. They know how to draw, they study art and the history of their craft, they hang out with their peers, they are objective, and they make an effort to learn something new every day. But, the most essential thing they have in common is self-discipline. Successful artists in painting, photography, music, dance, or animation are joined in an endless dance with their art forms. They put energy into the process daily, and in return it teaches them something new. The more you work at an art process, the more it teaches you. This dance is the mother of happy mistakes and magical revelations.For those who love the art of animation and would like to make animation their life’s work, this book will reveal some basic skills and understandings. Lean to draw 2D animation. The nature of hand-drawn animation allows the animator to exaggerate the elasticity, the personality of a character. Drawing by hand creates a rhythm and flow that’s difficult to achieve in 3D work. It’s the human feeling, the personality, the heart of the animator that can be realized through drawing. Dedicated animators observe the world around them. They constantly watch the way things move; they analyze body language and know that certain gestures convey feelings and emotions. A true animator creates more than anthropomorphic characters; they can bring life, personality, humor, or emotion to anything, be it a teapot, a tree, a lamp, or a chair.

Drawing, I believe, is essential to all the arts, especially the art of animation. The structure, design, and composition of a scene, the gesture of a character, the angle of view, the location, the set, and the props are all created through drawing. Conceptual drawings, storyboard frames, and character studies all seem to start on a napkin or a scrap of paper when an artist quickly sketches an idea before it vanishes. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” In filmmaking and games, thousands of dollars is more like it.

Technology has always affected the arts. Advances in technology spike the creative juices of artists, so it’s inevitable that new ideas, new images, and new animations evolve—images that I like to say “remind you of something you’ve never seen before.” If you really want to be an animator, then begin right now by reading this book. And from this moment on, begin to learn and practice the basic skills of animation and learn to observe and interpret the magic movements of life.

—Richard Taylor (

Dan Fowler

Dan Fowler came by my cube and modeled a Redd the Clown nose for me a couple weeks ago and I am finally getting the pix up here. Dan likes to make funny noises to annoy me and repeat "hurry UPP!" to his computer all day until I lose it. He is a silly man and makes me giggle. He is also a contributor to the book and had some great stuff to say about how his background in music helped him understand rhythm in animation and timing. To learn more about Dan go here. ~Angie

Eric Goldberg

There is a great interview with Eric Goldberg on
by Christian Ziebarth
12/19/2005: "A Conversation with Eric Goldberg" Interview

Eric is one of the contributors to the book and has been a major influence in my - Angie's - growth as an animator. I am ruined now after working for him, but in a good way. I toil over every single blink, finger gesture and frame of my animations. Jamie and I are very grateful for his contributions to the book.