December 29, 2014

Football Kids

The Power of Empathy

What is the best way to ease someone's pain and suffering? In this beautifully animated RSA Short, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities.

December 27, 2014

A Lie Agreed Upon: David Milch's "Deadwood"

Consider this an extended trailer and preview for one of my all time favorite series.
The spoilers are minimal through out this entire video essay, except maybe the last 3 minutes, showing some character death scenes that could be harmful to anyone who plans on watching this show for the first time.

December 19, 2014

The Moped Diaries

When a new bridge is built connecting his island to the mainland a boy has to come to grips with the change and opportunities that come along with it. Love of home, love of a partner, and love of family all seem to be falling apart and slowly pushing him towards the inevitable, crossing that bridge himself to see what lies beyond the horizon.
Directed by: Tyler Nilson & Nick Vitale
Produced & Written by: Tyler Nilson & Michael Schwartz
Music by: Jake Sincalir
Edited by: Michael Schwartz


Two college kids. First apartment. Shit gets real. Fast.
See the 3 min behind the scenes at

December 09, 2014

David Myles - "Santa Never Brings Me A Banjo" by Copernicus Studios

Produced by: Scott Simpson
Directed by: Murray Bain
Animation Supervisor: Andrew Holland
Backgrounds: Tony Mitchell
Designs & Keys: Andrew Holland, Stefanie Achtnig
Animators: Joe Achorn, Tim Larade, Daniel Luke, Rebecca MacInnes, Ron Doucet
Compositing: James Dalziel, Chris Stroh

I sat down with the director to have a quick chat about this project...

How did you come across this project? Did you get approached by David Myles to make this music video?

Scott Simpson the producer is a good friend who regularly makes short films and music videos. I believe he was approached by David's manager Sherri, David wrote this song from a child's perspective, they thought it made sense to animate it.

Did you have a specific process in deciding how to develop the character designs and art direction?

Well I wanted it to be nostalgic, so I was aping Charlie Brown-Shultz, Searle, Sendak, and that quick-drawing cartoonist style with organic India ink lines that are actually easier to do using digital tools. I looked at photos of David when he was a kid but he looked different, so I went with a caricature of him as an adult. Tony did a stellar job with the backgrounds - I mentioned 101 Dalmatians as a jumping off point, but he made them more organic and painterly to match the characters.

When planning and storyboarding this 2 minute music video, did you easily and quickly envision the locations and shots?

Yes, the lyrics were very implicit, christmas morning, dreaming about what you are getting- writing letters to Santa, of course it instantly brought to mind the Canadian holiday classic "A Christmas Story" and Ralphie's quest for his red Ryder BB gun. I really relate to that movie, I can remember the Santa parade and the competing holiday window displays at Simpsons and Eatons growing up in Toronto. The station wagon is a tip of the hat to National Lampoon's "Christmas Vacation". The underlying theme of the song is his promise/threat to play "so loud." Which is why his parents are reluctant to allow Santa to bring the banjo, so I never actually showed the parents faces, it's the Chuck Jones trick Scott and I discussed from the outset.

Did you have any animators on the project that knew how to play the musical instruments, to ensure the animated characters played authentically?

Ha yes, I gave all the fantasy performance scenes to Daniel Luke, whom is very talented at several instruments, so I knew he would make the playing convincing - I think he even figured out the chords to the chorus!

From concept to completion - how long did it take to make this short?

Not long - I spent a week on the animatic, and the animation was about two and a half weeks. Then a couple days of composite- less than a month for sure, sleep was lost, haha.

What tools and software did you use to make the video?

Flash CS3 for the animatic and animation, Photoshop for the backgrounds, and then composited in After Effects.

Any pitfalls or obstacles during production?

Pretty smooth overall, other than the studio was somewhat busy already, so I was stealing animators from you, haha. All kidding aside, the amazing talent we have made it a real joy.

What's next for Copernicus Studios?

A big move! We are moving to a bigger swank studio down the street, as we have a big Hollywood service gig, a very exciting and hilarious hush hush show, and we are jumping both feet into ToonBoom, which we've only dabbled in so far. We also have two very exciting development deals -expanding the already talented pool of artists, and the industry is definitely on an upswing. It's a great time to be an animator!

National Food Insurance Commercial

December 08, 2014

Freak of the Week - Pencil tests

Freak Kitchen “Freak of the Week" linetests (music video directed by Juanjo Guarnido and produced by french Fortiche studio).


Opening of “Sidera" produced by the French/Japanese teams of Catfish Deluxe & Yapiko Animation for “Lou” live action feature film directed by Julien Neel.

Le Petit Prince

Film directed by Mark Osborne.


The stop-motion sequences for 'The Little Prince' are produced by TouTenKartoon studio with Jamie Caliri and Alex Juhasz as the creative & art directing team In addition to the crew re great animators like Anthony Scott who previously worked for Laika.

"The Forest" - Trailer

November 25, 2014

The Art of Richard Thompson

Les Grandes Grandes Vacances

This is an interesting trailer for the upcoming French animated TV series "Les Grandes Grandes Vacances". Directed by Paul Leluc at Les Armateurs & Blue Spirit Studios. It's all CG Animation with the classic "Toon-Shader" rendering technique, but I like the classic European comic strip style to the line work and art direction.

November 14, 2014

"Improving Your Animation" by Daniel Gonzales

If you are an aspiring animator (or artist) and you find yourself spending more time reading than actually DOING anything then I'm writing this for you. No baseball player ever read a lot about baseball and then was an amazing baseball player. If you think that since animation isn't a sport you do not have to practice? Wrong. Articles and tips can get you motivated and inspired to work but thy wont make you great.

The nine old men of animation (9 men who invented the guidelines of HOW TO ANIMATE) they didn't have anyone give them tips or tricks. They had to do Good ol' hands-on-training. I've searched the internet and asked around and I have put together a list of exercises for an aspiring animator to do! Even if you consider yourself advanced I would suggest you still start from level one. never hurts to make sure you have your fundamentals locked down.

- Bouncing ball (loop) (squash and stretch/spacing)
- Bouncing ball across the screen (2 bounces) (squash and stretch/spacing)
- Cinder Block sliding off a shelf, hitting the floor. (spacing, form)
- Flour Sac Jump (mass)
- A blink (spacing/squash and stretch)
- A head turn (transitions/ arcs)

Breaking a Sweat
- Walk cycle (technical)
- Run cycle (technical)
- Character jumping (physical/spacing)
- Suicide backwards fall off a ledge (subtle delays and overlap)
- A character getting up from a chair (physical/ anticipation)
- A smile (face muscles, appeal)
- A sneeze (exaggeration and timing)
- Do an action that requires a 'smear' (technical)
- Laughing (reference studying)

Marathon Training
- Animate a hand doing something-close up (anatomy)
- Character lifting a heavy object (weight)
- Animate a dog shaking after a bath (overlap/follow through)
- Hammering a nail (timing/spacing)
- Character blowing up a balloon (physicality)
- Piano falling on a character (timing/weight/debris)
- Character brushing their teeth (personality)
- Character eating a sandwich (personality)
- Getting up out of bed (physical personality)
- Waiting for the bus stop (entertainment/appeal)

Quitters Quit, Winners Win
- Character throwing a bucket of water on another (physical acting)
- Tug of war b/w two characters (tension)
- Character drinking wine (research)
- Character making an egg - full process from fridge to mouth (rhythm and timing)
- A feather falling and being blown by the wind (reference)
- Character reacting to "your parents are dead" (acting)
- Putting on a pair of pants (physical)
- Sleeping character being startled, then going back to sleep (rhythm and texture)

KEEP IN MIND - These will make you better, not get you a job. Studios want to see dialogue and acting. what these exercises above do is help you become a better animator!

You are not animating lines, you are animating a personality, an emotion, the feelings. You are animating something deeper than just what you see.

Keep it simple.

You don't have to show anyone, these tests are for you!!!


November 13, 2014

Realistic Cosplay of Futurama's Farnsworth is Awesome & Terrifying!

The good folks over at Tested (who you may remember from their Zoidberg cosplay) created a hyper-realistic mask of Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth from Futurama, with all his ghastly proportions intact. The video above shows the exact process they went through to achieve such a phenomenal recreation.

"What should we think about death?" Narrated by Stephen Fry

November 10, 2014

"Song of the Sea" Official US Release Trailer

The Big Picture - Teaser & Featurette

Animator & Model Maker Chris Wilder:
“The film is a life-size wall painting/stopmotion animation in which full scale painted characters interact with a 3D environment. The film was directed by Daisy Jacobs and tells the story of two brothers struggling with the care of their elderly mother.”

Via OnAnimation

November 06, 2014

Flix - Storyboarding Tool

- Designed specifically for the story process, FLIX is full of features that allow artists to find better and faster ways to draw and share storyboard panels.

- Save time and money on production and make the creative process more open by bringing editorial, pre-viz and even lighting into the creative process much earlier on.

- Posting panels to editorial is automatic and instantaneous. Easily play back panels in the correct order with the latest timing information and audio track and pitch the story reel immediately, to anyone anywhere with web browser access.

- Remove arduous non-creative tasks like naming and file management from the list of things a story artist needs to think about.

- Editing panels is easy. Simply double click on the panel and it’s opened in Adobe® Photoshop®, Maya®, TVPaint, FCP 7, Premiere16, MODO or a host of other 2D and 3D creative applications. Then save back to FLIX and instantly see your new version in context.
Take the technical complexities of trying to remain organised. Never lose a version of a project. Everything is stored and can found whenever you want to go back over the project history.

- Share ideas, collaborate and iterate together with everyone on the project, remotely from anywhere in the world.
Innovative time saving features help artists get a headstart. Panels can also contain 3D camera and other metadata that will always be stored and travel with the panel.

Trench 14 – Letters from the Front by Cirque Obscure

An old man opens a box with letters from World War One and is haunted by his nightmarish memories from the "Great War".

"Jamon" by Iria Lopez

November 02, 2014


Mister Modo & Ugly Mac Beer
Judgment Day remix by Ugly Mac Beer
Written & Directed by Hugo Ramirez & Olivier Patté
Produced by Moustache
AnimationAssistance by Wang Chuan-Chin
Mixed & Mastered by Mercer


Last chance to contribute and help to make this great pilot happen. Donate here.

October 31, 2014

ABCs of Death 2 - Title Sequence

"ABCs of Death 2" is the continuing anthology featuring 26 short short tales of death, each one made by various directors from all around the globe.

Paper cut-out animation was shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Dragonframe. Typography and assistance by Moana Rom. Music by André Rössler and Isabel Greiwe

Fever The Ghost - Source by Felix Colgrave

Baman Piderman Season 3 Opener

October 29, 2014

Freak Kitchen “Freak of the Week” animated music video

Last March the Kickstarter Campaign for this music video was successfully financed, and here's the beautiful results of this great crowd-funded project. Directed by former Disney animator (and comic book artist) Juanjo Guarnido and french studio Fortiche Productions.

Avengers: Age of Ultron - Extended Trailer

"Amor a Vida" by Ryan Woodward

October 28, 2014

Over The Garden Wall - Trailer


Yellow Sticky Notes | Canadian Anijam

Purchase the signed Yellow Sticky Notes Collection 2007-2013 DVD for only $10 which includes Yellow Sticky Notes | Canadian Anijam and 35 min. of films. All proceeds support the Yellow Sticky Note Foundation which teaches animation workshops to kids.

Cartoon Network Ident

A collaboration between these awesome artists & studios:
Alex Grigg (England)
Eamonn O'Neill (England)
CRCR (France)
Rubber House (Australia)
Awesome Inc. (US)
Music by Impactist (US)

October 27, 2014

October 16, 2014

Great Characters

A study in creating great characters, by Aaron Ehasz (head writer of Avatar the Last Airbender). A lot of animation lead characters are forced to fit the far right criteria, but think of the many classic characters that are better described by the left: Tony Soprano, Frank Underwood, Jamie Lannister, Walter White, etc.
(via shadowlil)

Empire: UNCUT - An Amazing Shot-For-Shot Remake Of 'The Empire Strikes Back' In 480 Different Styles

"Goodness Newness Oldness Badness" by Mikey Please

Crowd-funding Campaign - LoopDeLoop bi-monthly animation challenge!

October 14, 2014

"Earthworm Heart" by Trunk Animaion

Directed by Alasdair Brotherston
Art Direction by Jock Mooney
Produced by Richard Barnett @ Trunk
Animation - Layla Atkinson, Alasdair Brotherston, Sam Cundall, Sasha Dale, Fran Puerto Esteban, Andy Hague, Aaron Lampert, Martin Oliver
Compositing - Alasdair Brotherston
Music - Tom Fun Orchestra
Record Company - Company House Records
Sound Editor - Chris Swaine @ Fonic
Audio Post Production - Barnaby Templer & Jake Roberts @ Fonic

'Robot King' by Jake Portman

"Goodbye Ghibli" tribute animation by Fox's ADHD + Toshio Suzuki - Declaring that Hideaki Anno is next the Miyazaki

From Aoi Honoo (Blue Blaze) a Japanese TV series based on the manga by Kazuhiko Shimamoto and featuring Hideaki Anno himself:

October 08, 2014

Gigant - trailer

Gigant is a color saturated, action packed adventure comic book by Danish Comic artist Rune Ryberg. The hero with the nickname Giant is thrown on a bizarre journey into another dimension full of dangers right after his girlfriend was swallowed by a bastard with a thousand eyes.

"The Grate" Life In The Analog Age (ep 60)

Fire Escape | A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

October 05, 2014

It's Payback Time

A spot directed by Smith & Foulkes at Nexus studio for the "Stand Up To Cancer" campaign by Channel 4 and Cancer Research UK.

"The First Murder" by Philip Brooks & Alec Smith

October 03, 2014

Interview with Felix Colgrave

Felix Colgrave is an animator from Australia. He is responsible for incredibly intricate and vibrant creations such as The Elephant's Garden, Man Spaghetti, The Simpsons, and much more. He's also an animator for Comedy Central's Trip Tank. In this interview, Felix and DSC talk about the nature of fear, his creation process and inspiration, and the importance of pushing your boundaries creatively.

The Elephant's Garden was the winner of Best Australian Film at the Melbourne International Animation Festival in 2014. It was also one of the official selection for the Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2014 in France. You can watch it here:

Watch Man Spaghetti here:

Felix's site:

Felix's YouTube here.

What Doesn't David Fincher Do?

For sheer directorial craft, there are few people working today who can match David Fincher. And yet he describes his own process as “not what I do, but what I don’t do.”