July 30, 2015

Animator's Guide to Health and Wellness - Part 1: Hands & Arms

Here are some tips on how to prevent soreness, pain and injury that can be caused from long days of sitting at your desk and animating for many, many hours. All tried, tested and true. Feel free to share for educational purposes. PDF version here.

I can't stress enough the importance of stretching your hands, and forearms every morning and every evening, spend 5-10 minutes going through a stretching routine. These are very easy to do, and takes little time to do them.

It's VERY common in all animation studios for soreness or mild injuries to gradually develop over time. The most typical one is Repetitive Strain Injury, it's a prevalent condition resulting from overusing the hands to perform a repetitive task, such as typing, clicking a mouse, writing, and of course drawing. In simple medical terms, repetitive strain injury (RSI) stems from prolonged repetitive, forceful, or awkward hand movements. The result is minor damage to muscles, tendons, and nerves of the neck, shoulder, forearm, and most commonly hand and wrist, which can cause pain, weakness, or numbness.

If you're feeling some pains, tingles, weakness, or numbness in the wrist/forearm; one of the best ways to heal quickly are 'Contrasting Baths'.

What crazy voodoo am I speaking of?
A couple different physiotherapists and massage therapists had recommended this technique to me several years ago, and for anyone I knew that tried it, they all say the results are fast and effective.

Commonly used by carpal tunnel suffers, it's a method of treating muscle soreness, swelling and inflammation, it's also known as 'Hot/Cold Immersion Therapy'.

You can use the double sink in your kitchen at home, if you don't have one, then get your hands on two very large identical bowls, it needs to be big enough to submerge your entire forearms from wrist to elbow.

Fill one up with ice cold water, with a few dozen ice cubes floating in there (something to prepare in your freezer the night before). The other with very warm water, not tea-kettle boiling hot water, just hot tap water, or as warm as you can handle, no sense in burning yourself of course.

Have a stop watch or clock ready, and submerge your arms for 30 seconds in the hot, then switch to doing 30 sec. in the cold, and repeat a few times back and forth, 30 seconds a piece. After only a few times you'll notice the hot water getting cooler and the cold water getting warmer, so then the technique grows to be less effective, but by then, the job is done.

The idea is that the extreme heat and cold contracts and expands your blood vessels, promoting greater blood flow to circulate and flush through your arms, and increased blood flow is what aids in healing the soreness much faster.


Lynne Ramsay - The Poetry of Details

July 28, 2015

Tourist - "Illuminate" by Nicolas Ménard

"In 1992, a man receives love letters in Korean. Since Google Translate doesn't exist yet, he's left confused. What could this mean?

Graphic aesthetic influenced by video games X (Gameboy) and Super World Runner (NES)."

July 24, 2015

Film Fanatic Friday - Better Call Saul: A Conversation with Peter Gould

Film Fanatic Friday - Greaser’s Palace: A Conversation with Jonathan Demme and Paul Thomas Anderson

Filmmaking legends Paul Thomas Anderson and Jonathan Demme pay tribute to Robert Downey Sr.’s cult classic Greaser’s Palace. Next, Andrew Napier’s short film, Grandma’s Not a Toaster, where a whiskey-guzzling mother-to-be aims to enlist her neurotic brother in attempt to thieve from their ailing grandmother’s fortune.

In this clip, the duo look back on the vision, style, influences, and creative passion for Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs, Stop Making Sense, Rachel Getting Married and Something Wild.

July 22, 2015

How to Recover From an All-Nighter

The 4th Planet

The 4th Planet is a trans-media project of science-fiction, a large retro-futuristic adventure infused with political and social topics.

To follow the project: https://www.facebook.com/4planete
ART DIRECTOR: Jean Bouthors & Titouan Bordeau

July 17, 2015

Film Fanatic Friday: Deconstructing Dog Day Afternoon

Frank Pierson’s Academy Award® winning Dog Day Afternoon elevates the classic crime genre through its exploration of textured characters and rationale. Screenwriters Robin Swicord (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Peter Craig (The Town) examine the story’s masterful reveal of information and its surprising, but inevitable and honest conclusion.

From Script to Screen: A Condensed Presentation of The TV Animation Production Process

Find out why “The Hiatus” is responsible for the insane amount of time you need to wait for new Wander Over Yonder.

'Hola Llamigo' by Charlie Parisi and Christina Chang

July 10, 2015

An Animated Short about how Iommi lost his fingers

The folks over at VH1 have turned the story of Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi’s missing fingers into what is probably the world’s most uplifting digital short about an industrial accident. The short is the first instalment in the network’s series The Complete History Of Heavy Metal, was brought to life by animator Paul Blow, and is voiced by Iommi himself.

Pickle & Peanut - Teaser & Clip

Wander Over Yonder - Season 2 Trailer

Chat with Hayao Miyazaki

John Lasseter interviews famed animation director, Hayao Miyazaki.

July 07, 2015

Sketch Wallet

Buy it here.


'Bococo' by Gwenn Germain


Copyright law is about to change...
For more than a year Congress has been holding hearings for the drafting of a brand new US Copyright Act. At its heart is the return of Orphan Works.

What does this mean for artists? it means it will make it easier for infringers to steal artists works and harder for people who are making or trying to make a living out of art more difficult. This will effect every artist and all the artwork they have created, are creating, and will be created. Corporates, Big businesses, and publishers want this to pass to make money out off artists works without paying us artists for past, current, and future artwork.

The Canadian Government has already expressed interest in following suit and adapting their laws to match this proposal if this bill passes.

- Basic Facts About The Law Being Proposed -
“The Next Great Copyright Act” would replace all existing copyright law.

- It would void our Constitutional right to the exclusive control of our work.

-It would “privilege” the public’s right to use our work.

- It would “pressure” you to register your work with commercial registries. - It would “orphan” unregistered work.

- It would make orphaned work available for commercial infringement by “good faith” infringers. - It would allow others to alter your work and copyright these “derivative works” in their own names.

- It would affect all visual art: drawings, paintings, sketches, photos, etc.; past, present and future; published and unpublished; domestic and foreign.

Ways to stop this or preventing these changes from happening....

Share, reblog this post, spread it for other artists to take notice and action. - You can submit a letter on how this law can be an issue for you as an artist in the U.S.

> > > DEADLINE IS THIS THURSDAY: JULY 23, 2015 < < <

Non-U.S. artists can email their letters to the attention of:
Catherine Rowland
Senior Advisor to the Register of Copyrights
U.S. Copyright Office

July 06, 2015

Jen Strickland Animation Reel

How Small Is An Atom? Spoiler: Very Small

Roger Rabbit

Let’s go through everything that’s going on here.

1. With Roger’s voice actor standing off camera, Bob Hoskins acts into empty air and frantically sawing at his handcuff, continually looking up and down at different visual marks of various depths. Look at the slow pan up of his eyes in gif 4, and then the quick shift to his side. Think about how, on set, he was looking at nothing.

2. Starting in gif 2, The box must be made to stop shaking, either by concealed crew member, mechanism, or Hoskins own dextrousness, as he is doing all of the things mentioned in point 1.

3. In all gifs, Roger’s handcuff has to be made to move appropriately through a hidden mechanism. (If you watch the 4th gif closely you can see the split second where it is replaced by an animated facsimile of the actual handcuff, but just for barely a second.)

4. The crew voluntarily (we know this because it is now a common internal phrase at Disney for putting in extra work for small but significant reward) decided to make Roger bump the lamp and give the entire scene a constantly moving light source that had to be matched between the on set footage and Roger. This was for two reasons, A) Robert Zemeckis thought it would be funnier, and B) one of the key techniques the crew employed to make the audience instinctually accept that Toons coexisted with the live action environment was constant interaction with it. This is why, other than comedy, Roger is so dang clumsy. Instead of isolating Toons from real objects to make it easier for themselves, the production went out of its way to make Toons interact more with the live action set than even real actors necessarily would, in order to subtly, constantly remind the audience that they have real palpable presence. You can watch the whole scene here, just to see how few shots there are of Roger where he doesn’t interact with a real object.

The crew and animators did all of this with hand drawn cell animation without computerized special effects. 1988, we were still five years out from Jurassic Park, the first movie to make the leap from fully physical creature effects to seamlessly integrating realistic computer generated images with live action footage. Roger’s shadows weren’t done with CGI. Hoskin’s sightlines were not digitally altered. Wires controlling the handcuff were not removed in post.

Who fucking Framed Roger fucking Rabbit, folks. The greatest trick is when people don’t realize you’re tricking them at all.

July 03, 2015

Film Fanatic Friday - Neo Noir: The Modern Day Film Noir

Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) and Brian Helgeland (LA Confidential) discuss the modern day Neo Noir - a genre-bending response to the Film Noirs of the 1940s and 50s – and dissect the basic styles, impulses, themes, and tones that embrace this form of storytelling.

Some of the Best Neo-Noir films out thee: