Comedy For Animators

There is a great blog called Comedy For Animators... check it out! The goal is to teach animators about the art of physical comedy as practiced by the masters.

About Comedy for Animators

Intended for animators, story artists, writers and development executives, Comedy for Animators is a book written to introduce you to the remarkable art of physical comedy.   If you want to make  funny cartoons, it’s critical to understand this unique history of characters and stories.   Animation teachers have long told students to “study the great silent comedians.”  You could watch hundreds of hours of silent films, and read a hundred books on theater and film history, then spend time analyzing what you saw and read.  Or you could simply buy this book.  I have done all that for you.  From the ancient Greeks to Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.  From vaudeville to recent film stars like Rowan Atkinson and Jackie Chan.  I also include tips from Walt Disney, Chuck Jones, Tex Avery, Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston and other animators.  I have sifted through vast amounts of material, searching for the most useful concepts to share.  All of it presented to help animators create unforgettable characters and films.


Top Ten Posts On Comedy For Animators


Script Swell

My friend Jay has a great blog where he 
posts scripting and other goodies that are very helpful!
He has gotten me out of a bind with his scripts many times.

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 ETSY

stix and jones blog too!


How to Draw Mickey Mouse



Micheal Sporn has posted a How to Draw Mickey Mouse Series here.



John K - Power of Inbetweens and Accents

One of the biggest problems I see in newbie animator's work is never savoring the moment. It's all moving all of the time, never resting on any particular idea. You have to stay in the moment of the scene and never reveal what is coming next. The character doesn't know, so your audience should not know either. Give the viewer a moment to relish in that idea and the accents you bring to the poses.

John K addresses this on his blog. Check it out.


Babies in Color




Micheal Sporn posted on his blog a reconstructed board for the sequence eliminated from Fantasia. Baby Ballet was to be set to Chopin’s Berceuse. Sylvia Moberly-Holland was the principal designer of this piece and Mary Blair worked with her in many of the pastel images on the board.


Dude-A-Day



Andy Helms draws a dude a day.
Pretty awesome.


ASIFA Animation Archives

If you do not know about this blog/website - you should. The ASIFA Animation Archives has one of the largest online archives of hand draw animation I have seen. They just posted a bunch of amazing scans of drawings from MGM productions. I love Tom and jerry, but this is just a tiny peek into what they have there.


Improving Your Staging

Temple of the Seven Golden Camels is one of my favorite blogs out there.
Mark Kennedy posts about improving your picture there.
Check out the post!
Good stuff!

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?

Client
GE

Agency
BBDO New York

Agency Creative Director
Don Schneider, Greg Hahn

Agency Producer
Peter Feldman

Agency Copywriter
Greg Hahn

Director
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

Animation
Three Legged Legs

Design
Chuck BB

CG Artists
Jeremy Collins, Christina Lee

Music
Nick Faber


New Neighbor










Alan Cook has just moved in next door to me in Venice Beach and he sent me a link to his blog. He is a student at Sheridan who is taking the summer off to kicking it in Venice.

I placed a some of his work here to maybe bring a little balance after the posting about Industry Day at Sheridan. I really like his angular line quality and different styles to his work. I didn't personally attend Sheridan's Industry Day, but since Nick's post created such a hub bub...I thought it might be good to showcase a student whose work looks good to me. Just always trying to put a positive spin on things. Although there isn't much actual animation there to judge, I love his mouse designs too for his short film that he and his fellow students are developing.

 


Sheridan Animation's Hugely Disappointing

Well this is great news for AnimationMentor.com

Thoughts on Sheridan Animation's Hugely Disappointing Industry Day
By Nick

As an animation supervisor, I was asked to be one of the representatives of my studio at Sheridan College's Animation Program 'Industry Day'. It was to be a landmark event, since it was also to include final-project screenings of some 68 graduates of Sheridan's new "Bachelors of Animation Arts" degree program. A four-year animation program that - surprise - comes with a bachelor's degree; a rarity in Canada.

Prior to the Bachelor's screening, we sat through roughly 40 other student shorts from graduates of various one-year computer animation, and character animation programs from Sheridan. The results of the one-year programs were mixed, more on that later. However, I expected the outcomes of the four-year program to quantifiably exceed the output of the one-year classes. After all, these students had invested four years of their life and countless thousands of dollars in order to get that elusive BAA. Besides, four years in an average production environment is enough to get most any animator with a hint of talent ready to start entering the big-leagues of the industry. So at the very least, four years of intensive education would be expected to produce passable entry-level talent. Right?

Wrong.

Very, very wrong.

I sat in a daze as the program's administrators ran short after short in an agonizing, head-splitting, intermission-less three hours, as nearly 70 student films unspooled one after another. What I saw upset me, then confused me. I had been sent to keep an eye out for potential talent for the tv series I was working on. I was looking for animation basics. Acting basics. Any basics. And I kept looking in vain for them as short after short played out. Rather than the basics, what we got were orgies of runaway production design, the odd cubist abstraction, a whole lot of half-finished shorts filled with unintelligibly scrawled pencil tests, the occasional bit of incomprehensible 'something or other', and a lot of stuff that was just plain sloppy.

Four years. Tens of thousands of dollars per student. Sixty-eight students and shorts, and three hours of footage.

Full Article...


Always Sketching


This guy's sketches are fun...
I feel like I know these people and they could be animated.

Holy Cow Is All I Can Say!

This posting is from Ben Mattes Blog (Producer at Ubisoft Montreal). I had to post it here for posterity because this has got to be the most ingenious ploy to recruit that I have heard in years. Enjoy! ~Angie

An Offer You Can't Refuse

Update: This post is in no way meant to imply that Red5 contacted me with the recruitment campaign described below. I read about this, thought it was amazing, and am blogging about it -- nothing more.

So imagine you are sitting at your desk one day and a FedEx parcel arrives for you. Depending on what you do, just this fact might already have you excited, but regardless of your position, if you aren't expecting any deliveries the scene from The Matrix when Neo recieves the cell phone from Morpheus has to spring to mind. "What life-altering adventure awaits me when I open this up?"


So you open the box and find inside a series of 'Russian Doll' type nested boxes, each more beautiful then the last. Written on each box a section of what appears to be a riddle.

Of course, as you open each subsequent box the attention to detail in this package is sure to start to attract attention. Some of your coworkers would certainly be drawn to the affair and hover around to know more. So finally you reach the fifth and last box, open it up, and find an iPod shuffle. But not just any iPod - this one is custom engraved with your name! There is also a small note informing you that a message is waiting for you on the iPod. Red Pill or Blue Pill? So, turning the iPod on reveals a single track -- a personalized message that starts out: "(insert your name here), this is Mark Kern, President of Red 5 Studios and former team lead for World of Warcraft.."

Mark Kern is talking to you personally telling you why he thinks you would be the perfect fit for his new company, Red 5, and asking you to get in touch to discuss a potential job offer. And he is doing so in a way that has made you feel like the most valuable developer on the planet, worthy of significant investment in terms of time and energy to do nothing more then get your attention. Finally he has done it in such a way that makes no attempt at hiding his interest to your colleagues and bosses at your current place of employment.

So, what would you do? Would you contact him back to discuss further, even if you were extremely happy at your current job?

If you answered yes, you aren't alone. A recruitment campaign like this is undeniably flattering and powerful and is likely to have a near 100% response rate (at least in as far as getting in touch, if not necessarily accepting the position). The people at Red 5 who developed this campaign took everything they knew about developers in the game industry (likely to get and appreciate matrix reference. Check. Likely to be impressed by WoW credentials. Check. Likely to be intrigued by the enigma of the whole package and try to unravel the meaning of the riddle thus getting more absorbed in the total package. Check) and wrapped it all into a package that would be impossible to ignore. I am floored by the ingenuity and creativity of it all.

Read here for an account of one recipient who, interestingly, seems not to have taken the bait.

Original Post


Todd Harris

I know I already posted this guy's blog,
but I just love his touch! ~Angie


Hamster Love

Hamster Love is the BEST!
This little stop mo film is just too cute for words.

Emily & le hamsterosaurus-Rex

He has the whole production process
broken down in his blog.


Aurélie Blard-Quintard's Blog


Jenesis Blog



I guess its Sketch Blog Tuesday...
Jennifer is my new favorite...
I know, I know -I am just a fickle woman.
But this young talent caught my eye...
Jen, I really dig the haunting victorian lady...do more of that!~Angie

Jennifer Bricking Blog


Couli Couli


I wish I spoke French...
Couli Couli Blog

Hog Heaven Blog

I love this guy's work...the Pigasus is my favorite.
He just started his blog, and I can't wait for more.
It's not often a concept artist can do organic character
AND architectural work.
This guy can... ~Angie

Hog Heaven Blog


John Fountain

John Fountain Blog.
Fun art and the best rants ever!
Rant on John!






Eddie Kline - Super Genius

I can't help it. Eddie Kline makes me laugh!
Happy Birthday Eddie!

Klineburgers Blog


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,
Ang


Drawing Conclusions


Hiya - Angie here again...Jamie says hello too, but is drowning in the murk of storyboards at the moment.

Richard Bazley is an artist I met briefly on an interview years ago and he sent me a link to his blog. I wanted to feature him here because he is one of those animators who successfully made the transition from 2D to CG. He has been animating for years and has an amazing body of work. Above is Drix from Osmosis Jones which Richard designed. He designed him with a rigid looking pill shape with a cross on the chest that he says would have been a nightmare to draw. Having seen what had been done with the Giant in CG it was decided they should try CG for the pill. He did a test scene and was soon chosen to be the Supervising Animator on the character. On his blog he has many of his sketches and thumbnails from his scenes.

He also animated and supervised 3 sequences on Iron Giant.


Richard was also lead animator on Hercules. I love the part on his blog where he talks about how we - as artists- draw from what we know, our experiences, which are all unique. On visiting the studio he says his parents saw the drawings up on his wall and his Dad exclaimed "my goodness it'’s me!" He hadn't ’realizeded it but he had done a caricature of his Dad. Jamie and I talk about this in the book often, how you are always gathering information and observing as an animator little bits about people to use later in your work.

He also worked on Pocahontus with someone I have always wanted to meet - John Pomeroy.

Finally, Richard has a film he completed on his wacom called The Journal of Edwin Carp. You can view it below. He also has some great wacom tutorials where he shows how he used the wacom to create this film. Links provided below as well.


David Zweig Art Blog

I REALLY Dig this guy's work~!
He has inspired me to draw more today
he has so many mediums and styles!
David...I am your biggest fan...
~Angie

From his first post on the blog:
"...i work in a variety of mediums and styles, because i've always believed that the more one can do, the more gigs they can get. for the most part, i'll be focusing on character work; but occassionally, i may drop in some of my web, graphic, vis dev, or flash work."








Don Shank Blog

Yet another kewl sketch book blog -
I love his sketches of women...

A sexy Wilma - awesome!


Lou Romano






Lou Romano shows his creative process

Great blog!

I like these kitties cuz they remind me of
my own kitty - Lucky!


Megan Brain and her paper Sculptures



Angie here - OMG i LOVE this girl's work!

here is her personal website...

Megan Brain

and her blog


Shane Prigmore Art

Some beautiful sketches from Shane Prigmore


Temple of the Seven Golden Camels

Mark Kennedey is a story guy at Disney. He has an amazing blog full of observations, hand outs and an insane amount of information on how to make stronger storyboards, filmmaking and art.

His blog is best explained in his own words...

"I have been working as an animator and storyboard artist for 15 years. I have known a lot of people in my career who were great artists, naturally able to draw beautifully without even thinking about it. However I have never been one of those people! I have always struggled to learn about drawing and filmmaking in order to get better at my job. And that is where this blog comes into the picture. I wanted to share some of the cool stuff I have found! So those are my two main goals for this blog: to talk about drawing and to talk about filmmaking from my perspective as a storyboard artist. I will also blather about stuff that interests me and post some of my own work from the movies I've worked on and probably violate copyright law in the process. "

Good stuff!


Klineburgers

Follow a goodie good Haggis and a transvestite pork sandwich
on a wild road trip ride from the cops.

I tell ya - this guy will make you giggle, even if you feel a little guilty about it after. I have to give this guy props, he is fearless. Check out Eddie Kline's Blog for more fun! ~ Angie


Pitching Ideas in LA-LA Town with Darin McGowan

Gorilla Girl

Contributor to the book - Darin McGowan (see previous posting) knows a thing or two about pitching stories around Los Angeles. At one point, he had sold 5 shows that were various forms of being "optioned", "purchased" or "greenlit." In other words, he was HOT!

But alas, the first death of those shows has come to pass called Gorilla Girl and Darin decided to create a blog about it. The blog focuses on the death of that project. With Warner's closing their doors to new projects, Darin thought he'd show how his show was quickly optioned, tested, PURCHASED - and then killed. This is great read!

Darin says..."tell 'em to keep coming back for line ups, exec stories, focus groups and other details that'll make you tear up!"

Go to Darin's blog to find out more!


Wireheads Comic Strip

Wireheads is a webcomic for people who work in CG - funny stuff.
All in a day's work!


Darin McGowan

Angie here!

What can I say...I love this guy. Darin is one of our contributors for the book and I will bring up each of the contributors once in a while, so you can get a sense of the folks that helped us make the book great! He has a brain like a magic box and you never what characters or stories will come out of there.

He is also one of the few people out there that loves the muppets as much
- if not more than I do!


I will let his work speak for itself...
below are links to his website and his blog...have fun!

Darin's Website

Sweater Vest Technologies - Darin's Blog