September 15, 2019


Directed and Designed by Dave Prosser
Produced by Studio AKA
Producer - Nikki Kefford-White
Animation by Dave Prosser, Marie-Margaux Tsakiri-Scanatovits, Daniel Chester, Adam Avery, Cristobal Infante
Sound Design by Joe Tate
Music by David Kamp
Mixed by Maiken Hansen
Special Thanks to Kyung Hwa Lee

September 12, 2019

For the Refugee - HIAS

Produced, Directed and Designed by Moth
Produced by Sovev Media
Written by Paul Wolfe
2D Animation by Claudio Salas, Daniela Negrin Ochoa, Joe Bichard, Jennifer Zheng
Sound Design and Music by Marian Mentrup
Voice Over by Daniel Ziegler

September 09, 2019

L'HOMME AUX OISEAUX (The Man With Birds) by Quentin Marcault

Animator's Guide to Health and Wellness - Part 4: Food & Sleep

Foods That Boost Productivity
Many foods can help keep your brain healthy and alert.

Some foods, such as the fruits and vegetables in this list, as well as tea and coffee, have antioxidants that help protect your brain from damage.

Others, such as nuts and eggs, contain nutrients that support memory and brain development.

You can help support your brain health and boost your alertness, memory and mood by strategically including these foods in your diet. Certain foods you eat play a role in keeping your brain healthy and can improve specific mental tasks, such as memory and concentration, here’s the list:
Pumpkin Seeds
Green Tea
Whole Grains
For fish, we’re talking non-processed foods, these are the Omega oils, the fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and herring. For whole grains we’re talking brown rice, barley, bulgur wheat, oatmeal, whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta. For specifics on nuts and seeds; almonds, cashews, peanuts, flaxseed and chia seeds. Turmeric improves memory, boosts serotonin and dopamine, which both improve mood, and helps new brain cells grow. To reap the benefits of turmeric, try cooking with curry powder, adding it to potato dishes to turn them a nice golden color or try making turmeric tea. Kale, Dark Chocolate, and Coffee are also known to help brain function.

Try to work in most of these foods into your system every week. Some teas have caffeine in them, so just like coffee, try to have those in the morning to help wake you up, and that way it won’t interfere with your sleep that evening.

Sleep Quality

A good night’s rest is very, very important. 6+ hours of quality (uninterrupted) sleep will help greatly with your daytime productivity. Here's some tips on how to get that good night's rest.

Adopting new habits to help you sleep:
• Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Support your biological clock by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, including weekends.
• Avoid naps. Napping during the day can make it more difficult to sleep at night. If you feel like you have to take a nap, limit it to 30 minutes before 3 p.m. If it's the weekend (or a day off), take all the naps you'd like, knowing you'll be going to be later anyways.
• Limit caffeine. Stop drinking caffeinated beverages at least eight hours before bed. While alcohol can make you feel sleepy, it interferes with the quality of your sleep, nicotine is a stimulant, and caffeine stays in your blood for 8 hrs. 
• Avoid late meals. Try to avoid heavy, rich foods within two hours of bed. Fatty foods can take a lot of work for your stomach to digest and spicy or acidic foods can cause heartburn. It's hard to do this, because most people love a snack just before bed, but it can get your metabolism going and keep you awake. 
• Get regular exercise. Regular exercise can improve the symptoms of insomnia, but it’s not a quick fix. It takes several months to feel the full effects. Aim for 30 minutes of activity 3 to 4 times per week—but not too close to bedtime. Add more exercise time when you can work it in and as your body gets used to it, you energy level will go up and sleep quality will improve.
Develop a better bedtime routine - It’s not just what you do during the day that affects the quality of your sleep, but also those things you do to prepare your mind and body for sleep:
• Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool. Noise, light, and heat can interfere with sleep. Try using a sound machine or earplugs to hide outside noise, an open window or fan to keep the room cool, and blackout curtains or a sleep mask to block out light. 
• Avoid stimulating activity and stressful situations before bedtime. This includes vigorous exercise, big discussions or arguments, or catching up on work. Instead, focus on quiet, soothing activities, such as reading, knitting, or listening to soft music, while keeping lights low. 
• Turn off screens one hour before bedtime. The light emitted from TV, tablets, smartphones, and computers suppresses your body’s production of melatonin and can severely disrupt your sleep. Instead of emailing, texting, watching TV, or playing video games, try listening to a book on tape, a podcast, or reading by a soft light. 

Natural Sleep Aids
In the supplements/vitamins section at your local grocery store you can find these things to take a few an hour before sleep:
• Valerian is an herbal extract. It is one of the leading natural supplements for managing anxiety and insomnia. Some limited findings show that valerian may reduce the time needed to fall asleep and may improve sleep quality. 
• Drink Tart Cherry Juice. A ½ cup to a 1 cup of tart cherry juice is a tasty way to drift off to sleep, and is a natural sleep aid that I personally think really helps. Tart cherry juice is a natural sleep aid because it’s full of tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that coverts to serotonin, which then coverts to melatonin. Melatonin helps maintain our sleep and wake cycle by causing drowsiness and lowers body temperature, working with the central nervous system to sync our biological clock. Its production is inhibited by light, but released in low light/darkness. 
• Get More Melatonin. This chemical is oh-so-important to sleep, but our body needs outside sources to get it. While it can be taken as a natural supplement in pill form, here are some foods that will help boost production: Pineapples, Bananas, Oranges, Oats, Sweet corn, Rice, Tomatoes, and Cherries.
There’s nothing like a nice cup of tea to help you unwind. Particularly, one of these five relaxing blends, you can 'sleepy teas' in any specialty tea shop:
1) Seaberry Spa
White tea, ginger, lemon balm, rosemary, raspberry leaves, sea buckthorn, chamomile, sandy everlasting flower.
2) Mother’s Little Helper
Peppermint, lemongrass, hibiscus, rosehips, chamomile, valerian root, cornflowers.
3) Serenity Now
Currants, rosehips, lavender, spearmint, blueberries, quince, apple, hibiscus, rose petals, strawberries. With natural rose water and strawberry flavouring.
4) The Big Chill
Apple, lemon balm, silver lime flowers, apple mint, mango, lemon myrtle, peppermint, apricot, valerian root, sunflower.
5) Organic Dream On
Lemongrass, chamomile, hibiscus, licorice root, lemon peel, orange peel, lemon myrtle, fennel seeds, rose petals.
....and one last thing is Magnesium.
You can get it in powder from at the Bulk Barn, it comes in a white cylinder jar, it's completely natural, you put a scoop of it in your mug, then slowly pour hot water in the mug, watch it fizz up, stir it, and drink it a half-hour before bedtime.

Here's Jaiden Animations' hilarious take on health and fitness for artists:

Sometimes to meet deadlines a very late night or even an all-nighter is inevitable, here's ways to cope:

August 24, 2019

'The Lake' by Gunner

Illustration: James Noellert, Rachel Reid, Nick Forshee
3D Animation: Rachel Reid
3D Modeling: Ryan Reid, Collin Leix, Nick Forshee
3D Rigging: Chris Nelder
2D Animation: John Hughes, Collin Leix, Marcus Bakke, Nick Forshee
Cel: Guille Comin, James Noellert
Producer: Brandon Delis
Audio: Steve Saputo, Bryan Pope
Music: Marcus Bakke
Lake Monster: Boots

August 22, 2019

'Fender Pedals' by Gunner

Project Lead: John Hughes
Story: Michael Burdick
Animation Direction: John Hughes
Art Direction: Michael Burdick
Illustration: Michael Burdick, Andy Most, Jay Quercia, John Hughes, Collin Leix,
Cel Animation: Matthew Everton, Ryan Boyes, Rachel Reid, Andy Most, Jessica Rowden, Eli Watkins, James Noellert, Collin Leix, Michael Burdick, John Hughes
2D Animation: Marcus Bakke, Collin Leix, John Hughes, Ian Sigmon, Nick Forshee
3D Animation: Collin Leix, John Hughes, Marcus Bakke
Producer: Brandon Delis

Animating on 3s is the best!!

August 21, 2019

‘Allergy Pills’ by Daniel Damm

Direction And Animation: Daniel Damm
Concept and Background: Fernando Peque
Compositing: Drazen Zeljković, Daniel Damm
Additional Animation: Martin Nyberg
Ink and Paint: Daniel Damm, Sidonie Vidal, Rembert Montald
Additional illustrations: Rembert Montald
Music Composer: Pedro Marques
Sound Design: Rita Gradim
Voice Over: Alexandra Sirola

August 19, 2019

The Hand-Drawn Cinematography of 'Adam and Dog'

Here's an analysis of the compositions and colors of Minkyu Lee's 2011 film "Adam and Dog".

See the short film here.

It was nominated for Best Animated Short Film for the 85th Academy Awards and won Best Animated Short Subject at the 39th Annie Awards. It is a retelling of the Adam and Eve story (as found in the first three chapters of the Book of Genesis), but from a Dog's point of view. Dog wanders around, alone. Then one day he meets a strange creature, Adam. Side by side, they spend their days in the flourishing garden, and become inseparable companions - until a new creature arrives: Eve. After meeting this new companion, who is similar to him, Adam neglects Dog. But after the Fall of Man, when the two Humans must leave the Garden, he consorts with them into the realm of hardship.

First off, lets look at samples of rough line tests from the film.
The movement of the characters on screen will always affect the shot's composition. The space they occupy within the frame and how they move inside the frame makes the staging organic and ever-changing.

by Jennifer Hager

by James Baxter

by Jennifer Hager

For the sound design, Vladimir Sivc wanted to leave room for the music and let the sounds themselves lead the story. Much of the sound design was created with his voice and effects like the hippo was simply his voice pitched down with a tremolo (vibrating effect) mixed with the reverb. Dog sounds were also created with him barking into a condenser mic, and kept modifying the tone until it worked, and other vocals were used for many of the birds as well. All other SFX was recorded with a zoom H4n and Rode NTG1 shotgun microphone.

Written and Directed by: Minkyu Lee

Animation by:
Minkyu Lee
Jennifer Hager
James Baxter
Mario Furmanczyk
Austin Madison
Matt Williames

Associate Producer:
Heidi Jo Gilbert

Technical Direction:
Ethan Metzger

Musical Score:
Joey Newman

Glen Keane
Thomas Ethan Harris

Various versions of the 'rule of thirds', centered compositions, diagonal lines/shapes, negative space, leading lines, repeating elements, clear silhouettes, and the use of dynamic symmetry and dynamic rectangles are methods seen in many of the compositions for this film.

Hand-drawn character animation + hand-painted background art. Natural color palettes are used, from the sunny, joyful sequences to the dark, rainy somber ones. Even bright sunny days are treated with a fairly muted earth-tones color design.

Observe the astounding hand-drawn cinematography of Adam & Dog.

Expertly staged and planned out, Point of View shots like these use the classic "shot / reverse-shot" to connect the audiences with these characters, seeing what they see and in doing so helping to experience what the on-screen characters are experiencing, which feeds into every animated filmmaker's ultimate goal: to convince the audience that there's a thought process going on inside the characters' heads, that you can tell what they are thinking and feeling.

Wide shots tell us where they are and uses visual storytelling to inform us of the environment they're in. The closer we frame the characters in the shots, the more intimate it becomes, the more we can tell what they're thinking and feeling the more that it shows us about the character, and what they're doing.