Artella: Funding your Independent Film and VR Projects


Artella video replay below and talking points from Bobby Beck’s fantastic Webinar on the topic of, funding your independent film and VR projects. These concepts apply to both your animation production and live action productions.


Read More Here...

A 24-Minute Documentary on The Unsustainable VFX Industry

Hollywood’s Greatest Trick was produced by Sohail Al-Jamea and Ali Rizvi for McClatchy Video Lab, a division of the McClatchy media organization that owns dozens of newspapers around the United States. The reporting for the piece was’ done by Greg Hadley and Elizabeth Koh.

It was one of the most controversial cinematic moments of 2016.

In the final scene of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” a figure shrouded in a white cloak turns, extends her hand, faces the camera and utters one word: “Hope.” Audiences everywhere gasped, screamed and cheered.

Nearly 40 years after the first “Star Wars” movie debuted, the character of Princess Leia had returned to the screen without aging a day, even as the actress who portrayed her, Carrie Fisher, went from 19 years old to 60.

The masterpiece of movie magic, combining old footage and recordings with digital effects to turn back time, raised ethical questions about profiting in perpetuity off the likeness of an actor. When Fisher died just a few weeks after the “Rogue One” premiere, Disney executives reportedly considered recreating her digitally in order to include her in future installments of the franchise, before ultimately issuing a statement saying they would not.

Top 50 highest grossing films of 2016


Mike Monteiro: F*ck You, Pay Me

I apologize for the lack of posts the past month. I have been working on a previz gig for “China” (said like Trump) and it has been a lot of work. I will do some catch up over July. In the meantime, everyone should watch this video and if you need a good entertainment attorney, email me and I will send you mine.

The most popular CreativeMornings talk of all time, Mike Monteiro gives us some valuable advice on how to get paid for the work that you do.

Mike Monteiro at CreativeMornings San Francisco, March 2011. Free events like this one are hosted every month in dozens of cities. Discover hundreds of talks from the world’s creative community at

10 Top Animation Job Newsletters and Feeds

I get a lot of job offers in my email box.  After working in Los Angeles so long, I don't interview and most people know me, call me up and we strike a deal.  But, I have come to like looking through these ten job newsletters from time to time, especially when I know I have seniors graduating USC or undergrads and MFA students getting ready for internship season.  So... here are my top ten animation job newsletters you should all be subscribed to and why.










Indeed has an email alert you can setup as well and you have to sign in to do so.  Indeed works well if you are really specific about what you are looking for on your alert because it caters to lots of different types of jobs.  The good thing about indeed is many of the studios post internships that are not posted on their websites.



Ani Jobs

This site has an RSS feed you can pipe into your favorite reader.  There is no newsletter because this is a forum like creative planet and so, you are expected to go to the forum.  If I didn;t want extra noise, I would probably just use creative planet since it seems to have the same job postings and more.






AWN Agents

Animation World network calls its alert system, agents. You must login to create an agent alert to come to your email box.  I find this list to be suitable if you are specific to your region because it is a worldwide list. It's not as updated as the other lists, but it can't hurt to get an email every once in a while from AWN , especially if you are looking to work outside of the country.






CG Society Jobs

CG Society Jobs covers mostly game type jobs so only sign up if that is your focus.  They do have a need way to set up an RSS feed if you prefer that to email and you can pipe that into your reader like feedly.






Animation Jobs has a job alerts you can set up once you register. All CG job you might already be getting from the other newsletters, but they seem to be keeping up.  They also have a twitter account.






Greenlight Jobs

This service utilizes the indeed job server and creates a cleaner way to access jobs specific to the movie industry.  The site has a link directly through LinkedIn to apply to a job which I think is handy.  if you want a job in the industry you might find some here that you cannot find elsewhere. You can join their newsletter here, look on the left hand side for signup.







Art Jobs Connection

They have a feed, but no newsletter.  There are A LOT of jobs posted here and cover games, films and commercial work including traditional and CG positions.  Impressive site with an additional way search by a map.







Creative Planet Network

This site has a high ranking not because of its great newsletter, but because it is by far the best and most used job board out there.  It's a free board to the studios that post and the job seekers that seek and has been around for over twenty years posting animation opportunities. Creative Planet does have an RSS feed you can pipe into your favorite reader.  There is no newsletter, other than one you create through a feed though, because this is a forum and you are expected to go to the forum.  You can, however, subscribe to posts in the forum, but they come and go fast with no comments so I am not so sure why anyone would do that.








Linkedin Jobs

Linkedin has been pretty corporate in the past with their job boards, but the "artist type jobs" are getting more traction.  You can set up specific alerts from LinkedIn jobs, to your email box when jobs are posted. The link above takes you to animation jobs and then you can narrow it down by region.  Here is a link as to how to set up LinkedIn job alerts.






Creative Heads

This is one of the most comprehensive and clearly stated job newsletters for animation out there.  Here is last week's Creative Heads newsletter as an example.  If you are looking for a job in animation and only have the patience for one email each week, this is the one.  Sign up here!



VFX in Los Angeles – 100 hour weeks & homeless

Quote from Article:  'After a brief time out of Los Angeles chasing a lead on a job, Victor returned for an interview, “I was hired on the spot for a laughable 13 bucks an hour, but with little to no options I took it.”  This was a short-lived gig, followed by others and at times as much as a month passed between gigs.'

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!

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!

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!

Artists Staying Connected with Digsby!

So, you got facebook, myspace, linkedin, vfxconnection, plaxo, pulse, twitter and then friends on yahoo, jabber, gmail, msn, AIM, skype, ICQ...I mean, what's a girl to do?

You can have everything in one place. If a friend is on on IM for AIM, Facebook and Yahoo - you can merge all 3 into one contact on your list to make for a much cleaner contact list. You can set up your myspace, facebook and even twitter to alert you to new notifications, and status updates. You can even add your IMAP email accoutn or google, hotmail...

Just download it, I say...It's the bomb!

Los Angeles Animation Festival

This is one of the few animation festivals held in Los Angeles. Their animated greeting is a bit weird but this could be great for animation! They have extended the Ghost Animation submission deadline to October 1st, so there is still time to submit. Think Electronic theater without all the scientific and technical animations included. Also, it's being held at the Silent Movie Theater on Fairfax with is a really fun venue.

Here is more about LAAFEST

The Los Angeles Animation Festival aims to:
1. Help create new jobs, promote and invigorate the traditional animation industry in the US.
2. Help individuals to network, get exposure and find work (through workshops, an annual festival, and 2 sponsored competitions every year).
3. Help bridge the gap between amateur and professional, between college and career, for everyone wishing to enter the animation business.

Our first festival is on October 20-21, 2007.
Location: The beautifully restored "Silent Movie Theatre",
611 N. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

Official entry forms are available at:
Current sponsors:

Siggraph 2007 - Sunday

View from East Side of Hotel

Yes, it's time to report on Siggraph 2007 in San Diego. I drove my mini convertible down from Los Angeles and broke in the engine at 110 mph on the 73. That was too much fun but I need to be more careful. Bad Angie!

I arrived in San Diego Sunday afternoon and checked into our hotel - the Marina Mariott. What a beautiful hotel! We were on the 20th floor and the pic above is the view on one side of the hotel of the San Diego Convention Center. Below, is the view of the pool from our room and the view of the Harbor. Just gorgeous! Click on any images here to see the hi-rez view.

After arranging the room and unpacking a bit...the first thing I did was check out the lounge downstairs and see who was around. Javier Solsona of was sitting with Dan Herman and Mark Oftedal from Digital Fish. I joined them for some drinks and eats. I also rang up Mark Elendt and Calin Casian to come downstairs and join us.

Mark Elendt and Calin Casian

Mark Elendt is Senior Mathematician at Side Effects
Software and a Senior Mc-smartie in my book.

Mark has won 2 Scientific/Technical Awards!
He won the Technical Achievement Award (Academy Certificates) in 1997: For the development of the procedural modeling and animation components of the Prisms software package. (w. Greg Hermanovic, Kim Davidson and Paul Breslin) and the Scientific and Engineering Awards (Academy Plaques) in 2002: For their continued development of the procedural modeling and animation components of their Prisms program, as exemplified in the Houdini software package. (w. Greg Hermanovic, Kim Davidson and Paul Breslin).

Calin Casian was my "right-hand man" in my quest to make a character tool set in Houdini usable. He is a Character TD who actually listens to rare! He is also Romanian with a very funny accent!

So, between Mark and Mark, Calin, Dan, Javier...I had a pretty kewl little table to share stories with, before I even went out for the night!

The best thing about having Siggraph in San Diego is the Gas Lamp Quarter. This is the fun part of downtown San Diego where all the action feels alot like New Orleans to me, but not so humid.

So, the first night we went to a restaurant called Chive. The 3D Pro guys were going to the Yard House for cocktails and we figured we would join them after we got some real food in our tummies. Chive was perfect mellow start because everyone knows the evening entertainment at Siggraph requires a long distance attitude - not a must pace yourself!

We had several people join us there...Darin Hofmeyr, Leyla Tirgari (Accounts Rep from SESI), Sarah Counnas (Technology Production Manager at DreamWorks Animation), Mark Elendt and Calin - of course, Ran Sariel (Rigging Supervisor on the new Outlander movie), Graham and Keith Acheson from SESI who helped me with the Happy Birthday SESI Demo we showed this past week at the booth! We were having such a good time at Chive with the amazing food and martinis...I forgot to take pix, but we eventually moved on through Darin's cajoling towards the Yard House. This place had more beer taps than I have ever seen. Even more than the DD favorite - Library Ale House!

Motley Crew - Darin, Leyla, Brian, Graham, Calin and Keith

Brian, Me, Darin

So, I barely got a gulp of my martini down and Sarah again announced we were going to move on to another place to drink and meet up with folks! Sheesh! We all hurried to finish our drinks and moved the whole group to some place that had 3.00$ Margaritas and a bunch of DD peeps. Who'da thought?

On the way - as we all followed Leyla, (which btw was like trying to follow Mr. Magoo because she kept screaming into the phone..."Where is it!?" and leading us all down the wrong streets).

So, there was this girl at one of the many bar patios we passed along the way who kept saying "hola! hola!" and waving her hand like she was the queen of England!

I had to take a snap of her because it was so funny. Evidently her group was Italian and they learned to say Hola! instead of Ciao!

Crazy Italian saying Hola!
So, we finally caught up with the other group at the 3.00 Margarita Bar, here is Sarah chatting up Phillipe (one of the Side Effects presenters) and a few other CG guys.

Check out that 3.00$ Margarita she is holding...Whoa!

Leyla models "Vanna White" style with
the Margarita from Giant Land.

What happens at Siggraph, stays at Siggraph...
that is unless you read this blog!

And the hijinks ensue...
Roy Edwards!

More $3.00 drinks!

Still learning to use my iphone...
People call and I can't figure out how to answer it!
Yeah, I am not the most technical type.

And now we all know what tequila does to South Africans...
They speak Zulu and do little dances...

Judd Simantov speaks Zulu...

Dan Barker says "I want the bread!"

Judd and Dan do a Zulu Dance.

More to come as I get to Monday's festivities...

Siggraph 2007 - Monday

Monday is a day for the exhibitors to unpack the trucks and vans, and get their booths put up. However, there are various panels and papers going on, as well. This installment won't have any floor pix really...just a lot of drinking, socializing and debauchery.

BTW, if you work for a software company...they have 8 am meetings every day. Yeah, you go out and have fun with your buds into the wee hours of the night and then have to roll downstairs for a staff meeting.

My roomie from SESI was Leyla who actually conducted these meetings, so I couldn't escape. I was having a slumber party with mom. Well, with Mom who goes out and drinks with you the night before, but can get up and get her act together a lot faster than I could ever try.

Leyla = Moma Bird

On Monday, I had a panel to participate in talking about
Emerging Production Demands
but that wasn't until 1 pm.
So, I went back to the room and took a nap...of course.

Houdini Expert Panel: Judith Crow, Mike Kalshalk,
Craig Zerouni, Jason Iversen and myself...
I look bored and Jason is sleeping
oh look, Craig's talking :)

Wow they either look bored or serious,
Craig must be the one talking for this picture.

I was actually a bit nervous for this panel. I don't usually get nervous, but this is a room full of hardcore fx peeps who do lots of math and write scripts and I am just a lil character animator who tried to get some new tools built in H9. But, as we went, I found my way through it.

As soon as SESI has uploaded the recording of the panel...
I will post an .mpg here for yall.

After the panel, I caught up with my co-author Jamie Oliff. Jamie is currently working for Reel FX developing original story content for their new feature films. This is his dream come true, finally he is creating original content and having too much fun doing it!

Jamie with his signature drink in front of
his face for every pic I take...

Reel FX recently acquired Radium and they have location in Dallas, San Franciso and Santa Monica. Reel FX/ Radium rented a boat in the harbor to meet and greet prospective client and employees. Jamie and I joined them for some martinis in the sun.

The Reel FX/ Radium Boat

I took this pic with my new iphone and it feels like the cam has a fish eye lens... funny, because that is how I felt on the boat at first. I have never been on a boat in the water. When I told Jamie this he looked at me like I was nuts..."So, you have only been on a boat on land?"

Please let me explain...

I used to live across the street from sea urchin divers when I lived in San Diego and would hang out on the boat while they worked on it and just talk. So, yes, I have only sat on a boat on land in their driveway.

This pic made me laugh so hard I had to post it.

Tim from Reel FX joined Jamie and I for a while.

All of the boat's down there had really fun names...

So after a couple martinis with the Reel FX/Ra peeps, we decided to see what was up at the hotel Tiki Bar. My girlfriend Lori Frietag - Freelance Compositor Extraordinaire joined us. BTW, if my eyes get squint-ier, it usually means either Jamie is making me laugh really hard or the drinks are strong.

Jamie explains his dissatisfaction with the alcohol to mixer ratio in his drink...keep in mind if he were back there mixing we would all be asleep, falling down or sick right now. Last time I drank Jamie's Mai Tais, I fell on a cactus...true story.

The bartender put the run bottle dangerously close to Jamie and he grabbed it and fixed his Mai tai...of course, then, the bartender decided to join us.

Phillip is pondering what to drink and Darin just looks confused...or maybe he has a upset tummy.

So, I had to leave Lori and Jamie to go have dinner with the SESI folks, until the Maya/Autodesk party that night. SESI was having their company dinner at Bella Luna and I had to get moving.

SESI Dinner table...

Peter and Ron, two of SESI's instructors. Ron never smiles, but I am gonna try and get at least one pic of him tonight where he doesn't look like he is gonna mess you up. Ron was my favorite teacher at SESI. He even got me to build a spoon in Houdini. Yes, I modeled something - Holy Cow. My old modeling buddies from Oddworld - Marvin Kim and Jane Mullaney - I know are laughing now...right?

Janet and Erick decide what to eat...

Paul (CTO) and Graham (Calin's slave, Jr. Character TD)

Jeff Wagner always knows what I like to eat and how to order for me. You see, I always have ordering envy...I never order the right thing. Anyways...David Robert, in the might remember from my posting about his SEED project and finally, Mark Tucker who made a great impression on me my first day trying to learn the software...he was very kind and understanding. Thanks Mark.

Told ya I would get at least one snap where he didn't look like he was gonna kill you.

So, it was time for me to leave and get ready for the Maya/Autodesk party. I had a special party dress to change into, so I caught up with Jamie and Lori back at the hotel changed and we caught a cab to the Aircraft Carrier.

We were still early enough for the free bar and there wasn't really a line. We walked up a bunch of stairs to the very top where all the planes were. Drinks were scarce. There had to be 3 thousand people up there and only two bars. It was pretty ridiculous. A friend of mine had figured out the method of coming at the bar from the side to get drinks and did so for us. I understand a venue of this size is hard to manage but two bars with only a couple bartenders each?

We did walk around and look at the planes because as you might remember Jamie is building one in his garage.

Not quite the same as these planes huh?

I was kind of worried about the guy inside this plane and wondered if we should try and get him a cocktail?

I have no idea what this is - but it's kewl...

And that's is a missle I think... :)

Jamie explains something about the plane and now I feel like I am at the museum with my Dad.

Lori poses...

So, we got tired of planes and wanted to try and go downstairs where the dancing was. There were two choices. You could take the very narrow stairs where it seemed like 2 thousand people were waiting in line to go some where you could actually have some fun...or you could take the elevator where only about a thousand people were waiting in line to get downstairs. You think I am exaggerating, but seriously...there was no control over how many people were trying to navigate this venue.

We had maybe 30 people in the elevator. Lori and I were the only females, of course, and I started to panic that the elevator would break or stop on our way down with us crammed in there like sardines. Turns out, we got out fine...on the second floor to meet up with some crazy old man with a flash light telling us to "move along!!"

We tried to get past him, but he was like the caretaker on Scooby Doo and we were the meddling kids on his boat. He sent the entire elevator packing. Who knows how many other folks spent about 10 mins on the roof only to be ushered away afterwards? If the elevator was your path to leave the party for good, there should have been a sign and someone standing there to tell you they do at the standard hotel downtown. Sad, Sad, pathetic party. I will be doing a "Best and Worst of Siggraph" posting soon, but I can tell you this was the Worst party.

We caught a cab and hit downtown San Diego for some real a Tequila Bar.

See the smiles - that's tequila!

So, that was Monday. More to come on Tuesdays fun on the floor and the Houdini party!

Siggraph 2007 - Tuesday

Ah yes, the exhibit floor is open and "the geek-dom begins." I had to work the SESI booth first thing, after the staff meeting. I have a new found respect for people who do this not only at Siggraph, but as a career. This is really tough work. Luckily, I had many a friend stop by and joke with me as I was pixel monkey this year. Including my buddy Scott Holmes, who likes to poke fun...often.

It wasn't easy because we were using pre-beta software; but the interns, Calin and Ron helped me put a demo together quickly for Siggraph. Thanks to Ron for taking over as CG Sup and making sure images were up on the screen when I conducted rounds, thanks to Alvin Yap with all of his work tending to the renders, Ericka Salatiello for her hard work on the confetti, Rachel Campbell for her time with the streamers and especially Calin Casian for his help with digital assets, helping me create a pipeline, the Toon Character Rig and basically making it happen.


Here, I am demo-ing for my buddy Johnathan Gerber from DD. He taught me so much about Houdini in the few minutes he sat with me. I only had 3 months to soak in the entire package of Houdini and the new UI and he was a great help. He's touched with a bit of ADD inside that noggin, but I swear he knows this software inside and out!


Johnny Gibson from DD came by to play with the character tools...Uh...note to self, don't leave the FX Supervisors with your character, Look at what he had done! I wish I had video taped what Marty Ryan did to the toon character! let's just say the cartoon-y head was 5 feet away from the body and he was doing the squats.

I gave Jamie my camera to see what he might cover on the floor on his own. He and Lori went exploring while I stayed at the SESI booth and demo-ed the Auto Rig and Character Tools, Calin and I helped build for H9.


Of course, the first pic Jamie took was of a video this e3 or Siggraph. I have no idea what this is for...anyone who attended is welcome to offer up what this is in the comments of this posting?


My friend Lori designs jewelery. In fact, we will have a booth at the Abbott Kinney Street Fair September 30th in Venice, CA for those of you who live in LA. I make the flower clips you see in my hair in all of these photos and I put them on all the people working the SESI booth. Thanks to everyone at SESI for being a great sport. So, Jewlz and Jonesie Cake are in the house.

So, YOU SAY... WTF does this have to do with Siggraph? Well, Rhino has new software specifically created to design jewelry with. This is what Lori is discussing with the Rhino folks in this picture.


The Rhino booth was really busy. After working at a software company, I see how difficult it is to be everything to everyone as a tool and how the little companies that just focus on one facet of making computer generated images can make some really powerful products. Much like we as artist become specialized in our own skills like animator, lighter, modeler, texture artist...these specialized software companies are able to focus all of their energies on one part of the pie and make a far superior product!

The jewelery design is pretty amazing...
Check out their gallery of users work.

Moving on...Polhemus had some impressive
3d scanning technology.
Congrats Again Sha!

I caught Bobby Beck and Carlos Baena (Book Contributor) at breakfast the next morning. They are doing an amazing job with this school. I also spoke with Rudy Cortes who is starting a TD school called TD College. I wish Rudy all the best because this is so needed in CG, especially a school that teaches advanced scripting for CG film Production!
So, it's 3 pm now and time for the book signing. We are only doing one hour this year, but it was a very productive one hour. I forgot to take pictures of every single person who bought a book and there were no clown noses to pass out, but!!! if you have a picture of yourself with the book you bought at Siggraph...mail it my way and I will be sure to post it!
This couple was so cute discussing finances on whether or not to buy the book, and I could tell he really wanted to buy it. Guys, I totally remember being a student and know how hard it is to come up with the scratch to buy a book. This is why Jamie and I worked hard to make this book what we wish we had had in our backpack when we first started out. We hope its worth the money you slapped down...thanks for the support!

Jamie decided to start drawing on the announcement of our book signing since it wasn't going to do any good now, since we were already there. He passed them out at book marks.

This girl totally reminded me of myself when I first started animating. Her name is Jesse and she is working with many of my former colleagues from my Oddworld days at High Moon Studios in Carlsbad. Her copy of the book was dog eared and highlighted to no end and we were deeply touched.
My good friend and favorite producer Matt Winkel came by to buy a copy for his studio - Motion Theory. Matt was so important to helping me make the Disney 50th Anniversary spots look great while we worked at DD. There was much madness (and pie on "pie day") and he rolled with it all. I hope we get to work together again real soon! Matt, call me before I am booked again!


And, my homegirl Lopsie came by to say hello!
Wowsie Wow!!! I hadn't seen her since my time at R & H in 2003.
She looks fabulous as always!


It was now time to return poolside for a
cocktail and to get off our aching feet!

I have never been so happy to sit down...
notice the "Houdini Orange" Toe Nail polish?
Jamie's friend Ollie joins us and Jamie begins to
offer advice about women.
It definitely made me giggle.
It was time to get ready for din din. We were meeting a bunch of Disney folks at a restaurant called Dakota and then it was off to the Houdini part at Aubergine. I took no pix at dinner, sorry...I guess I was tired. But Leyla did give me some pix to post of the Houdini User Group that happened before the party, enjoy!
The Houdini User Group was packed...
Jamie and I entered the Houdini party before there was even a line, probably around 9 - ish, same time we hit the Autodesk party the night before. There is something to having a small venue with a normal amount of people in it. There were no problems getting a drinks or talking to anyone there.

We sat down with my friend George Meastri for a while and there were these "Hello My Name is..." stickers that were not being used. Well, Jamie put them to good use. He put silly sayings like "I don't take baths," "Ineed to get some color," "I have never been with a woman," "I am up here big boy!" or "I love William Shatner." and passed them out. Soon everyone wanted a personalized name tags from Jamie. I wish I had taken some pictures because one guy had six on his person.

So, the party began...

David Robert Spinning (SF Production Consultant)
...all of the DJ's were Houdini employees!

Ohhhh yes and I brought my buddy Samir -

now dubbed "baby bird" because
we have to keep a watchful eye on him.


Jamie, "Moma Bird" Leyla and "Baby Bird" Samir.


DJ Greg Hermanovic

DJ Monika

Daniel Maskit, another Smartie Mc-smartie...

he saved my butt with many a tool he built while I worked at DD.


I think I scared Daniel with the flash.
Or, maybe it was this guy?
The Boys...and...

Dan Lynch is getting down with his bad self.

Time to go night night...

Siggraph 2007 - Wednesday

Your friendly Houdini Character Team: Yours Truly, Ed Lam - Programmer Extraordinaire and Calin Casian - My Rigger and Resident Punching Bag ready to demo with a pounding headache from last night.

Jeff Wagner was demo-ing with me today. He showed me the FX tool shelf they built. I hadn't even had a chance to see it! OMG! Amazing! I made smoke and contrails and bubbles, with a click of a button! ME! I recommend every ready go to the LA office and see it for yourself - seriously!

Kim Davidson (CEO of Side Effects Software) came by to see me and inquire bout how it was going. If you don't know who this guy is - you should.

It was great to see my friends from Motion Theory to my right, every once and a while I walked over for a visit and they had a simple and effective booth. They had a mail box for Demo Reel drop and I watched a girl almost throw here "hopefully empty" soda in there thinking it was a trashcan!

Lunch time now, and my tummy is not ready for food. I decide to walk the floor a little bit. I see my man Jason Anastas at the Disney booth demo-ing their proprietary tools for Meet The Robinson's.

Jason! WTF did you do to his head?
I thought the FX peeps at the Houdini booth were bad!

Here is video of Jason demo-ing,
but you cannot hear a thing really because the floor is so loud...
so at least Disney knows he was working hard.
The Disney Char GUI

I stopped by the Massive booth, They were showing off how they worked out all the crowd stuff for Evan Almighty and the Noah's ark scenes. He has a microphone, so you can actually hear him, though not nearly as animated as Jason at Disney. He actually is talking about a point we touched upon in our Expert Panel
regarding multiple studios working on separate elements for one shot and how you manage assets and keep all of the files straight.

Ran into Bill Ball at the R & H booth

Took this pic with my iphone cuz battery was really low in my camera... unfortunately if you move even a little bit the camera can't handle but you can still see that dazzling smile!

Sony Pictures has Karl Gnass do his drawing class every year and it never falls short. I remember taking his classes when I was at Sony for SL2, and he really knows his stuff. I plan on taking some of his courses in the Fall at the Animation Institute in Hollywood.

Blue Sky was representing with their Horton Hears a Who. I know the trailer is online for download, but I couldn't resist recording some of it because its just so damn pretty! I also love it when you are filming and people walk right in front of the screen.

Autodesk in da house! Even though their party
was a hot mess, the demos were on!
I tried to record video, but the screen just came out white.

Softimage represents their layering ability in animation. I also tried to record, but my video was just white...maybe next year. The Softimage party is tonight, but for some reason they decided to have you register AND try and get tickets. They handed out too many and even ran out...I have a feeling we won't make it to the party. I also have a feeling we will do just fine on our own.

Pixar's booth was drop dead gorgeous,
but I didn't stay too long for I might be blinded in awe.

I don't know what the heck this is, but it was kewl.

The Gnomon booth was hard to miss with that green glow surrounding it. I had the opportunity to meet with their last Senior class thanks to Pamela Kliebrink Thomson and I must say I was impressed with several of the students reels...especially modeling and animation!

I had to return from lunch to report for duty at the booth again and Cristin came by to visit.

And BTW, this is the "sexiest man in software development." Cristin Barghiel, Director of Product Development at SESI. I was so worried when I walked into that Toronto Office and he said to me "Angie, I thought you and I would sit down first to go over H9" I heard music in my head "Duhh, Doooo, Duuuuaaahhhh!" But, this is has got to be the nicest programmer I have ever met. He made my job so easy. And, notice the Jonesie Cake flower on his lanyard? I love this man!

"Baby Bird" joined me for drinks after a long day on the floor. He and I soon scooted to the Buster Beach House for the Animation Mentor/Reel FX party there, but we were so hungry we just sat downstairs and had drinks and h'orderves with Jason.

When we left the Beach House, I took a few pix of this boat Jamie was eyeing from our room window and some planes were doing aeronautical moves. The pic below is the best I got, I wasn't fast enough to really catch the planes in formation.

We headed back to the hotel and changed to meet Jason and his buddies at some pub called The Fields before attempting to enter the Softimage party. Even though we were registered, they ran out of tix. Here is Jason and Samir harassing a layout artist.

WE had a few drinks and Jason illustrated that his wife Joan dresses him. He has the most beautiful shirt on and the inside of the cuff has this gorgeous silk embroidered fabric. He informed us that...

This is straight...

and this is gay...

We soon decided to walk up to House of Blues. Samir saw a cute girl driving a rickshaw and decided to ride in it. We all walked. Once we got close to HOB, we saw the line and decided against it. Waiting for Samir in the rickshw...yes, we beat them up the street. We ducked into possibly the loudest sushi bar I have ever been to. It was so
ridiculously loud...I truly cannot express that to you. I have video of Jason explaining just how loud it was, but of course cannot show you. Read on and you will understand.

There are only a few pix from this evening I can share and absolutley no video. I had to censor the few I can show because...well, Jason decided to gesture for most all of them. Black box is accordingly placed. View at your own risk.

Samir progressivley got excited and knocked a full beer on the floor. The OCD bouncer freaked and Samir cleaned up his mess.

"Baby Bird" is done cleaning.

As you can see, we had plenty of fun without attending the Softimage party. Michael Kaschalk and others joined in the fun with myself, Samir, Calin and Jeff Wagner.

Whew! One more day to go, but all of this should keep you guys busy!

Siggraph 2007 - Are You ready?

Siggraph is two weeks away!
Are your ready?
Do you have your pass?

Jamie and Angie have provided you
with our ever popular
(updated for this year's 2007 Siggraph event in San Diego)
This document provides all of the information you need regarding
looking for a job,
or just plain what to expect to experience
at the Siggraph convention.

We encourage newbies and old-school-attendees alike,
to check out this informative document
and print it out as a
quick reference as you "work the floor."

Below are important
save the dates,
book signings
and events!

ANGIE AT SESI BOOTH: Angie will be at the SIDE EFFECTS SOFTWARE, INC. booth #127 most of the week demo-ing the new character tools in Houdini 9, please stop by a demo station and say "hello!"

BOOK SIGNINGS: Both Angie and Jamie will be signing books at the Thomson Course Technology Booth #647 - Time and date TBD - please check back and this blog posting will be updated.

SIGGRAPH BOOKSTORE: Breakpoint Books will have the Thinking Animation book at the official Siggraph Bookstore too!

LIVE FROM SIGGRAPH: If you cannot make the show this year has asked us to do our Siggraph Blog again this year! Last year's Siggraph blogging was so popular we will be at it again this year to write notes from Siggraph/San Diego for's "live from Siggraph" campaign, so if you can't make it to the show? We will be your eyes and ears on the convention floor. :)

Online Siggraph 2007 Registration

General Conference Information

Wednesday, 25 July 2007
Advance Late Registration Deadline

Important Save the Dates/Events/Parties

Monday August 6th, 2007 1-2pm
Expert Panel
Angie will be serving on an Expert Panel with Jason Iversen, Judith Crow, Micheal Kaschalk, and Craig Zerouni to discuss emerging production demands in CG.

Side Effects is excited to announce its first ever Houdini Expert Panel, hosted and broadcast by Jason Busby from 3DBuzz. This event will be covering the topic of Emerging Demands of Production, and have several prominent Houdini users as panelists ranging in areas of expertise.


Moderator, Judith Crow

Judith Crow grew up in England and attended Dartington College of Arts to study Art and Design in Social Contexts and Middlesex Polytechnic where she gained her Bachelors degree. In 1987, after working in the community arts field in London for 4 years as a photographer, teacher and curator, Judith enrolled in a Masters program to study Computing in Design.

In 1994 Judith started working in film digital effects at Digital Domain where she worked in a variety of roles on a wide range of projects including “Apollo 13” (Supervising Digital Artist), “T2-3D: Battle Across Time” (3D Digital Effects Supervisor), “Titanic” (Digital Effects Supervisor) and “Fight Club” (Co-Opening Sequence Team Lead).

After some time at DreamQuest Images and The Secret Lab she returned to Digital Domain as Creative Director – Digital Production and Technologies where she remained working on facility-wide production processes until 2002.

Judith is now a Snr. Production Consultant at Side Effects Software Inc. where she helps formulate end-to-end pipeline designs and key production processes for our customers with an eye to reducing the inefficiencies endemic in large-scale film production.

Panelist, Craig Zerouni:

Craig has been a CG artist for 25 years, and using Houdini since its inception.

During his 15 year tenure at CFX, one of Britain's first computer animation companies, Craig worked on over 500 commercials, title sequences and feature films. In that time, he had experiences that ranged from effects programming to animating to technical directing to directing full commercials. Since then, he has worked for Side Effects as the manager of the Prisms software product (1997) and then for Silicon Grail, sellers of Chalice, a compositing package (and Chalice was originally based on a snapshot of Side Effects' first compositing product, Ice). After spending time doing freelance production work (using Houdini), he returned to Side Effects, to serve as a Production Consultant and a resident Houdini expert.

Currently he is at Digital Domain as Technology Production Manager.

Panelist, Michael Kaschalk:

Currently a Visual Effect Supervisor on a special projects team doing concept test for Walt Disney Imagineering, Michael has been working in the CG industry since 1993.

He has been employed at Walt Disney for 10 years, having contributed in FX for the features “Fantasia 2000”, “Tarzan”, “Chicken Little” and has had supervising roles in “Atlantis”, “Home on the Range” and most recently, “Meet the Robinsons”.

Michael will be joining the “Bolt” production as an Effects animator this fall at Walt Disney Animation Studios (formerly Walt Disney Feature Animation”.

Panelist, Angie Jones:

Angie Jones began her animation career at a San Diego studio with more than 150 traditional animators a little over 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 CG animation productions, including Stuart Little 2 (winner of the VES Award - Visual Effects Society in 2003 for Best Character Animation in an Animated Motion Picture), Disney’s 50th Anniversary commercials, the three-time Oscar Winning "Pan's Labyrinth" with Director Guillermo Del Toro, Oddworld: Abe’s Exodus, Garfield, Dino Crises 3, Zoom, Scooby Doo Too, XMen 2, National Treasure and she won a Bronze Clio for her character animation on the Amp Energy Drink Spot released 2007.

Angie has also written 3 books on animation, the most recent being Thinking Animation: Bridging the Gap Between 2D and CG. To find out more about Angie go to

Currently, Angie is at Side Effects Software as the resident Character Specialist.

Panelist, Jason Iverson:

Jason Iverson began his CG career at Digital Directions which later became the Refinery in South Africa in the mid 90s. Discovering PRISMS early on, he took to Houdini quite favorably and continues to work with it at Digital Domain today, where he started back in 2000 as an FX Technical Director.

Jason has since worked on several high profile features as CG Supervisor, recently having completely worked on Transformers, where he was responsible for building and all Houdini/Mantra lighting and rendering pipeline utilizing Mantra 9 in an Alpha state.

Jason is also noted for being co-creator and host of the most popular online Houdini Community, OdForce (

Held in the San Diego Marina Hotel (right next door to the convention center) - Mission Hills meeting Room form 1-2pm.

Hosted by


Monday, August 6th, 2007
Autodesk/Cafe FX Party on Aircraft Carrier!
9 pm – 1 am
Fireworks at 9:50 pm
Open Bar from 9-11:30 pm
Cash Bar from 11:30-1:00 am
US Navy Jets & Flight Simulators
USS Midway,
San Diego Navy Pier,
910 North Harbor Drive
Attendance is limited to invited guests

Presentations from industry visionaries including:

  • CafeFX, Condor, Industrial Light & Magic, Uniform and more· DaimlerChrysler demonstrates innovative automotivedesign visualization using Autodesk software
  • Autodesk® Masters Awards for outstanding Maya and 3ds Max users
  • The launch of The AREA V2 3D community portal
  • The chance to win a Dell PrecisionT M90Mobile Workstation or one of two NVidia Quadro FX 3500 boards
  • This free event is open to all Autodesk customers attending SIGGRAPH 2007.
  • We encourage you to register early - seating is limited.

Autodesk User Group
Monday, August 6, 2007
San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina
333 West Harbor Drive
Marriott Hall 1-6

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

User Group
6:30 pm - 8:45 pm

After Party
9:00 pm - 1:00 am

Register Now!
Learn more about Autodesk at SIGGRAPH 2007

Tickets to come aboard available only at the Autodesk User Group.
Transportation will be available.

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007
SIDEFX get .hip party!
7-2am at the Aubergine night club
which is a short walk from the convention center and hotels.
500 Fourth Ave.
San Diego, California 92101
Register for party here.

This combined event will start at 7:00 PM at the Aubergine night club which is a short walk from the convention center and hotels.

Side Effects Software turns 20 years this year, and this evening is going to be spectacular! The Houdini meeting will include an introduction to Houdini 9 and a 20 year retrospective. And to get things started there will be a Houdini job fair and light refreshments.

Then at the get.hip party the prodigal son will return as Side Effects Software co-founder Greg Hermanovic and his company Derivative dazzle us with live Touch visuals and psychedelic eye candy.

The evening’s agenda will be as follows:

  • 7 PM Job Fair, Registration and Light Reception
  • 8 PM The Houdini Meeting
  • 9 PM get.hip party with Live Touch visuals by Derivative

There will not be tickets for this year’s Houdini meeting and party. Only people who register at will be allowed in. Every effort will be made to make sure everyone who registers gets a spot but given the popularity of this event even people who are registered should plan to show up on time.

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007
9-2 am
Softimage Visual fxtasy party!
At San Diego House of Blues
1055 Fifth Avenue,
San Diego, CA 92101
Register here.

Hosted by Vicon House of Moves, Pendulum Studios & Softimage .

Featuring music from the UK's Hybrid Soundsystem ( and San Diego's DJ Diamond (

Don't forget you can pick up your party tickets in advance at the following locations during SIGGRAPH:

  • Tuesday, August 7th from 11am-3pm - Vicon House of Moves Booth # 902
  • Wednesday, August 8th from 12pm-5pm - Softimage Booth #503

Sponsored by: Mova, 2d3, BOXX, Computer Graphics World, Digital-Tutors, Gnomon, Intel, Lenovo, Syflex

Hope to see you there!
Angie and Jamie

Tuesday Meet-Greet-And-Drink Pix!

Tuesday Night at Siggraph- Boston:

Before we went to our Meet and Greet at McCormick and Schmick's Tuesday night, Jamie and I had not eaten all day and so we headed for the first restaurant that looked like they made stiff drinks and good food! We walked over to Maggiano's Italian restaurant and man it was so good!

The waitress - Rachel was really nice and put up with our criticism of the bartender's skills. She also could not believe that Jamie wanted a bowl of minestrone soup when it was 100 degrees outside!

Our waitress Rachel was a very patience woman.

We even took pix of our food!

Jamie had the spaghetti...

Angie had the crab cakes - OMG!

They were so good Jamie counted Angie saying "oh my god" 7 times!

Then we had to get back to the rooms and freshen up quickly before the Meet and Greet BOF downstairs at McCormicks and Schmick's. We walked into the restaurant at 8 p.m. and were so surprised to see an old friend there. Craig Maras!!!!

Angie and Craig at the Meet and Greet.

Angie worked with Craig on Stuart Little 2 and Jamie with Craig on Mulan. Craig is an amazingly talented artists who left film for video games for a while hoping for some stability. He has since left EA and relocated to Boston and surprised Angie and Jamie by driving down. Angie was so happy to see Craig and cannot say enough good things about him. He is a genuinely funny person and and a real original talent!

Javier Solsona and Angie hanging out.

Javier Solsona rigged our clown character - Redd - for the book. Angie has known Javier for about 10-11 years now and he is another talent that we both have a lot of respect for. He is one of those people who understands fully the technical aspects and the artistry to computer graphics. We love you Javier!

Kevin Harreld, Darin Hofmeyr and J Griffin stopped by to have a drinkie-poo.

Kevin Harreld is Executive Editor at Thomson Publishing and we are so glad he stopped by M & S to have a drink. In fact, he bought our drinks!!! Thanks Kevin!!

Darin Hoffmeyr and J Griffin are both working animators who also came by to share in the fun. Darin was the one who convinced us to spread the word about our little meeting to the CG-CHar list and J Griffith has known Angie for years and is set up at Turner in Atlanta. So glad to meet you two guys - keep on animating and telling great stories!

There were many others at the BOF, but as the drinks flowed the camera was used less and less. So thanks to everyone for stopping by...time to get some rest because we have to do it all over again tomorrow!

~ Jamie and Angie

Party Last Night

Angie here-
So, the party went off incredibly and we would like to thank everyone who came out on a school night to attend. We know how difficult it is to go out after a 10 hour day slaving over a light table or computer screen and we really appreciate the support. The dancers and clowns were a big hit and over 400 people attended. We will have video and pictures up real soon for those of you who couldn't make it. Thanks again for all of your incredible support. Jamie and I are working on a seminar that will start sometime in the Fall and we hope you all will come check it out! Until then keep on animating and telling great stories!

Book Launch Party July 11th at Basque (corner of Hollywood and Vine)

The Thinking Animation Party is tomorrow
Tuesday July 11th at Basque.
This is a private party and you must be on the list.
List will be closed July 10th, Monday night at 8 p.m.
To Pre-register and get on the party list click

Book Soup

Book Signing tonight at Book Soup!

Come get a book and hang out with
Jamie and Angie
at Book Soup on Sunset
in Hollywood tonight 7 - 9 p.m.

Creative Talent Network Party

There is a great celebration going on Wednesday June 21st
at Van Eaton Galleries!

TIME: 7pm-10pm
LOCATION: 13613 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
MORE: (818) 788-2357

Tina Price of CTN invites you to this very special event and first show featuring the original artwork by veteran animation character designer Rik Maki. Rik's new book "Scribblin' on Scrap" will be available at this is free event where you can see the artist scribblin' away at his desk via a live camera feed. Come join us and reconnect with our peers and meet new clients!!!

Click here to RSVP...Jamie and Angie will be there!