15 December, 2007

"Defective" by Rani Naamani

Great job on this piece Rani. Great storytelling, posing, staging and timing. Another great piece from the crew at Vancouver Film School (VFS). Keep up the great work guys.

09 December, 2007

A Motivational Equation

Remember this:
Motivation times ability equals performance.

M + A = P

So, if your motivation is high and your ability is high, then your performance will be high as well. If you are performing at a low level, be sure to check your motivation and your ability.

If you are lacking in either and had to choose between motivation and ability, I would choose motivation. With motivation, you can increase ability.

In essence, you should concentrate on improving ability and sustaining motivation.

30 November, 2007

Noah Bordner : Excellent Illustrator and Animator

Hi All,

I wanted to show you Noah's work. This guy is not only at illustrating (anime style too), but he can also animate. For those of you who like this type of styling, you may find his work inspirational. Click the image to view his site.

Go to Portfolio > 3D Animation > Click the 10th piece down.

25 November, 2007

BBC Motion Gallery

I colleague of mine forwarded a nice resource to me. It features showcases footage that animators can use as reference for their animations. One of the things I like the most, is that you can download the clips on to your desktop as quicktime movies, where you can step the frames for viewing. Check it by clicking the picture below!

13 November, 2007

Daniel Huertas Animation Demo Reel

This demo reel is great. Watch it as a good demonstration of timing and character emotion. In the demoreel, he's also demostrating excellent presentation and good design sese. Very professional.

12 October, 2007

Gatchaman : Coming Soon

I had heard about the development of a CG version of Gatchaman for a while and it looks like its finally in the works. Its being produced by Imagi, the same group who brought us TMNT. Check out Imagi's site for the latest info as well as conceptual art by clicking here.

Also below (thanks to Youtube), are two updated samples of the Gatchaman done in 94, and once again in 2000. All I can say, is that its about time! Thanks guys! Enjoy!

11 October, 2007

New Year's Eve : Matte Painting

This week, I had the pleasure of subbing for Dave's class. They covered the art of matte painting, where an artist is hired to create a background image that would be too costly or physically impossible to create. As a guide for the class, we studied the techniques of Christian Scheurer.

02 October, 2007

WETA on Maya

WETA used Maya exclusively for Lord of the Rings. For those of you just learning Maya, hopefully it adds more fuel to your fire. More specifically, the video gives an overview of the Maya pipeline used for the movie, its benefits, comments on its UI, digital doubles, Gollum, Shelob and some great news overall, definitely worth checking if you are a Maya newbie.

26 September, 2007

"Pocoyo" Animation

This animation is really cute. It features great design and characters, and clever animation. I love the minimalistic approach to the look of the animation. When watching this, look at how well the action and poses are staged, they add a lot, especially when they are on a white background.

I personally am fond of Elly.

Thanks Ruel for the link!

22 September, 2007

Genndy Tartakovsky : Demo Reel

In my Intro to 2D Animation class this quarter, we studied the animations of animation director Genndy Tartakovsky. He is famous for directing "Samurai Jack", "Dexter's Laboratory" and "Star Wars : Clone Wars". A link to his directorial demo reel is below. I hope to send him a quick thank you and encouragement, he's got a nice following at our school. Enjoy.

The link to his reel is below:

Animation Mentor

Animationmentor is an online animation school taught by industry professionals from around the world. The demoreel featured on their site of student work from 2007 is exceptional. It shows what can be done through the animation of simple shapes and the implementation of basic animation principles. Click the link above to check it out.

You can tell that when these assignments were completed, that the students had a lot of fun, which is what animation is about. The fact that its fun for you, will get you through a lot of tough times such as late nights, harsh criticsm and will eventually come through in your work. When it does, you have the ability to touch and affect people in a positive way.

Click the link below to view the site. The student reel will appear on the homepage.

19 September, 2007

Sebastian Wojda : Animation Demo Reel

Came across French animator Sebastion Wojda's demo reel on the aniboom site. His demo reel shows a lot of great shots both 3D and 2D. I also like the fact that he is able to animate camera angles in 2D, these shots are pretty dynamic. Let's also see how the video from Aniboom looks.

16 September, 2007

Mastering A Skill

Mastering A Skill:

Learning a skill and mastering it is very hard to do. In animation and painting, there are endless things to watch out for. You will need the following on this journey, as the process requires:

  • humility,
  • self analysis,
  • attention to detail,
  • feedback from others,
  • introspection,
  • concentration
  • honesty
  • and perseverance

You also need to be brutally honest about your skills and your shortcomings. You musn't let advice and or comments from others bother you, instead take it as a different point of view. It doesn't matter what discipline you are interested in.

The more you do this, the stronger you become.

11 September, 2007

Robots Everywhere!

Okay, we're all on this robot kick, thank you Transformers. If any cool robot sequences happen to come my way, I'm post them here. Here's the first one.

04 September, 2007

Give Props to Your Instructors

In class, hopefully you discuss other topics that may or may not be related to the class subject. In my classes, I make it a point to ask questions...about anything. You'll learn everything required to pass the class, but you should be asking other questions, questions about your careers. What do you think of and what are you uncertain of? The more questions you ask of this sort, the more interesting the class will be for each of us. This includes any questions you have about freelance, or navigating through the corporate jungle. There is no specific class on this, but all classes could touch on the subject. If you don't ask, then you'll never know.

As an instructor, we are always giving advice and counseling. I call mine the sawed off shotgun approach. I fire a lot of information at you whether you like it or not, hoping that something I've said sticks. As instructors, we have no way of knowing this unless you come back to tell us. By telling us you continue the cycle of sharing good information.

The other day. One of my life drawing instructors Glenn Vilppu was touring our school. I recognized him immediately, I said hello and shared with him how much he's made an impact on the way I draw and how I teach lifedrawing. He did not know who I was, as I had a weekend drawing workshop with him in 96. I had more hair back then and I was a quiet guy, well sort of. I would be surprised if he remembered me. Regardless, that workshop changed my work for the better.

So thanks a lot Glenn for being my teacher and for the picture too! You're welcome to draw at Las Vegas any time.

02 September, 2007

Templar Quote No. 2

Knowledge without discipline is wasted, and talent without knowledge is merely unrealized potential.

- Lou Krieger
"Hold "Em Excellence, A Winner for Life"

31 August, 2007

Blur Animation Demo Reel 2007

Click the link below to watch a better, clearer, better sounding version.
Or you can watch the Youtube piece below.

28 August, 2007

Templar Quote No.1

Templar Quote No.1

I am available for your bidding anytime my emperor. Just give the word and I will unleash hell!

...Strength and Honor!

- Thanks for the quote Master Chai!

"Batman" Fanfilm :: Arkham Asylum

Created by Miguel Mesas, this is perhaps one of the best fan films I've seen in a long time. Great work Miguel. To see a version with better sound, visit Miguel's website.

26 August, 2007

SIGGRAPH 2007 :: Animation Demo Reel

SIGGRAPH is THE single most important gathering place for cg vfx artists and animators. Next year, it will be in Los Angeles. Do what you must to attend as part of your education training. Below is the demo reel showcasing the best of the best. Enjoy!

If you are experiencing slow playback, click the video once it has started and you can watch it on youtube. The playback should be faster.

10 August, 2007

"Fallen Art" Movie

"Fallen Art" was created by Tomek Baginski. It features great lighting, modeling, character design and camera work. The story is the most interesting part, after I saw it, I didn't know if I wanted to laugh or stay stunned. Regardless, its a great piece.

As an animation student, don't settle for the assignments given in your CG classes. Push yourself and strive to create something on your own. The work will be much better because you will have fun working on it, most importantly this will show through to your work, which will make a standout piece for your. Go for it. You have nothing to lose and all to gain. Perhaps you'll lose sleep, but that's what weekends and vacations are for.

Enjoy "Fallen Art".

03 August, 2007

The Importance of Life Drawing by: Glen Vilppu

You can learn a lot about a person's level of visual development by how well they draw. Below is an article by one of my former instructors Glen Vilppu and lifedrawing and its connection to animation. Keep those sketchbooks close, those pencils sharp and enjoy the ride.

Fire it up!


29 July, 2007

Peter Sanitra Demo Reel

Below is Peter Sanitra's 3D demo reel. Check it out, I'm sure you'll find it impressive. Pay attention to how his reel flows. Its a good example of how lighting and texture can take simple models to the next level.

Thanks Erin for the link.

20 July, 2007

Transformers Conceptual Art

For the conceptual designers, ya'll are going to like this. Below is a link to the conceptual art behind the Transformers movie. You'll also find animation and modeling tests too. Enjoy - click the link below.


17 July, 2007

Ratatouille Quicktime Virtual Tours

These quicktime virtual tours of the sets are amazing and worth exploring especially if you are interested in 3D background layout design.

Ratatouille Virtual Quicktime Tours

24 June, 2007


Created in Corel Painter IX


Created in Corel Painter IX

30 May, 2007

Sigg Jones Animation : by Supinfocom

This animated short is inspiring. It was created by a French animation company called Supinfocom watch this animation for its character design, art direction and timing. Very nice!

06 May, 2007

"Ka" by Cirque Du Soleil

As a creative, I find many of the Cirque Du Soleil productions absolutely inspiring. A feast for our senses, they combine story, drama, acrobatics, music, sound, costume, makeup, and stage technology to create a one of a kind experience. I have not seen Ka yet, however, I hope for things to slow down a bit before I can do so. In addition to the above, the show also showcases a array of martial arts...what more could you ask. Remember that a production like this is the product of many talented people working together who are excellent at what they do. I hope you find inspiration in this.

Let me know if you check it out.

"Overlook II" Red Rock Canyon: Las Vegas, NV

05 May, 2007

"Overlook I" Red Rock Canyon: Las Vegas, NV

"Overlook I"
Created using Painter IX
Brushes used: Artist Oils > Oily Bristle & Smudge Blender
Lighting Effects

26 April, 2007


22 April, 2007

Van Gogh Skull

"Van Gogh Skull"
Created in Corel Painter iX
Brushes used: Artists Oils > Oil Bristle & Dry Palette Knife

"David's Eye"

"David's Eye"
Created in Corel Painter iX
Brushes used : Oil Pastels & Dry Palette Knife

The hardest thing to adjust for in this painting was the power the bottle had over everything else in the composition. It was the darkest and the tallest. To tame it, I increased the transparency of the bottle and made the piece darker in tone so that the bottle seems to be pushed into the background. I increased the difference in value in the foreground items so that they would jump forward.

14 April, 2007

Painter iX : 8 Minute Sketches.

12 April, 2007

Dragon Horizon

A demonstration on atmospheric perspective, using layers in Painter IX and using the eraser to get organic detail in the mountains and foreground subject matter.

07 April, 2007

Davey Jones :: Pirates of the Caribbean

I just needed to post this picture because it inspired me. The animation and visual effects work on this character is the best I have ever seen. Definitely something to aspire to. Well done and thanks for taking us up another level.

An interview with the visual effects supervisor John Knoll from ILM can be seen here.

The trailer for the third Pirates installment "At World's End" can be found here:

Altamira and Lascaux Cave Paintings

This was a great topic of study for me. After learning about these cave paintings found in Lascaux, France, and Altamira, Spain, I now want to make it a goal during my lifetime to visit these works of art. As a painter, I'm inspired by their ingenuity and honesty. These artists had no materials, but made the best with what they had. They learned how to create their own pigments, binders and containers to hold the paint. More amazingly, are that many of these were created in a dark cave where there was little or no light and some were painted 14 feet from the cave's floor. Makes you wonder?

Many of these showed enough detail that scientists could identify the type of animal species present during that time. They payed close attention to anatomy and gesture. These images are testament for we as humans wanting to create, learn, discover and share.

Learn more here:

03 April, 2007

Oil Painting Highlights

28 March, 2007

iPup Project v.1.21

The "iPup Project" is now ready for viewing. Please post comments and questions here. Thanks to everyone who made this project possible. You may view the animation by clicking the image or link below. http://www.randolfdimalanta.com/gallery/animation/ipup/index.html

The animation was created for my Animation Production II Class for Miami International University over a nine month period. My instructors were Dori-Littel Heck, Patricio Fernandez, Thom Jouele and Diana Arambide. A special thank you goes out to Ruel Pascual for helping me make iPup come alive.

Tools Used: Pencil, Paper, Erasers, Flash, Maya, After Effects, Combustion, Final Cut, Soundtrack Pro and Photoshop.

Feel free to post comments and questions about the project here.

Thanks Enjoy!

14 March, 2007

On Keeping Sketchbooks

This is inline with the Samurai Lecture posted earlier - your sketchbook should be your main sword. Keep a sketchbook wherever you go. Keeping one is the single most important tool that will improve your work. However, like anything, nothing will happen if you don't use it.

Draw in it everyday. This activity develops discipline, discipline you need to succeed in your field. Draw in it for five minutes everyday. If you are studying animation, practice drawing people by using a pen. Date your drawings too, as this is the only way you can see your improvement.

The sketchbook is a safe place to explore, to take risks and to record thoughts and ideas. I always jot ideas down because 1) I have a poor memory, 2) I may want to develop it further and 3) it may be worth a million dollars one day...maybe, and nobody has to see it.

Be sure your sketchbook is hardbound. I prefer this because it will last a long time and will weather the elements...10 years from now, you'll have it and if you date the pictures, you'll have a nice record of your progress.

The DESIGN Sketchbook:
Here's how you use it to jumpstart your design career. One of the hardest things we have to do as art and design students is to develop our own visual language. How do we communicate visually? This is what we are developing while in school, and sometimes this comes out when you begin working professionally in the field. Why wait that long? Work on your visual language now.

The sketchbook gives you this all important insight into your visual style. I sometimes cut out examples of designs I like and paste them into my book - one image per page. When the sketchbook is filled, you can look back and you'll learn about yourself. You see what things attract you like colors, subject matter and maybe even certain layouts and designs. Its a nice thing to see.

This gives you a competitive edge... but here's how you can make money at it. Sometimes, I'm asked to do work requiring a quick turnaround (meaning it was due yesterday - those of you already in the trenches already know about it), and its during those times that my sketchbooks help me the most. They help me by showing me solutions that I already like. It also helps with speed, because a majority of the research is already complete, I simply look through my sketchbooks at designs that I think would fit the design problem and I would emulate it the piece. Not copy it, but use it as reference and inspiration, make it my own in order to fit the solution. So, when a client asks me for one mockup, I am able to provide 3 or 5 for approval (clients like options). It makes things go smoother, and yes....it makes you look really gooood and really fast. :-)

The ANIMATOR Sketchbook:
There is no shortcut to good solid drawing and to get better at it, you just have to do it. The investment will pay off and you will be glad you did, and it only takes 5 minutes a day...here's how.

Keep a hardbound sketchbook wherever you go and promise yourself that you will draw in it daily. If you are just starting, get a timer, set it for five minutes and just draw. You can do it while waiting for lunch, before you go to bed, during a commercial, at the movie, anywhere. One of my lifedrawing instructors carried one with him wherever he went and even sketched at a funeral.

You are training yourself to see as an artist and at the same time, you are building the discipline needed in which you can grow. Drawing is a form of communication. Like reading and writing, it takes practice to be really good at it. Just keep going and persist.

If there's an earthquake, be sure you get your five minutes of drawing time in, if there's a volcanic eruption, get your five minutes in no matter what. Heck, draw the lava! There is something to be said about filling up volumes upon volumes of sketchbooks and is definitely the sure fire way to reach your deserved success. You have nothing to lose.

As an animator, practice how to draw people quickly by focusing on the three step process of gesture, form and anatomy. Try drawing in a public place and capture someone who is standing placing an order at the counter. You have less than a minute to capture this pose....now draw. If the person moves away, rely then on your visual memory, your knowledge of form and anatomy to complete the drawing, then move on to the next one.

If you keep this in mind and draw in a sketchbook that is always by your side, you will feel like an artist. You record everything and most importantly, you see things that only an artist can see. This is how you learn how to draw. The class will help, but doing a little of this daily will pay off immensely.

Its not unusual too for an employer to ask to see a sketchbook. It shows your thought process and that you choose to keep it in order to stay sharp. You really can't lose in keeping one - don't be lazy about it. A lazy samurai usually will get cut - ouch!

Keep those sketchbooks close by - Fire it up!

03 March, 2007

The Samurai's Sword

To the students who have crossed paths with me on this great journey. Hope this adds fuel to your fire. Fire it up! - Randolf

Imagine that you are a trained and loyal samurai. You are the best in the clan, your sword is extremely sharp and you are ready at a moment's notice to do what is asked of you by your Master. This "sword" that you carry, .... is symbolic of your "skill" as an artist. It is with you at all times.

When you are called for an assignment, you run to your master, kneel and eagerly wait for instructions. You gently grip the hilt of your sword, you listen attentively and you are ready. When you know what to do, you fulfill the request with an open heart and you make sure the job is done completely and fully. Once done, you return and you are commended on a job well done. "Great job samurai .

Now, when you return to your chamber, you do not put your sword away.

You take the sword out, and you quietly go to the corner of your room. You sit down with your sword, you take out a sharpening stone and you slowly and carefully sharpen it to retain its deadly edge. The other samurai in your clan do not do this, just you.

You do this on your own.....by yourself.....with no master....no peer..... no instructor....no family member....or fellow samurai next to you. You sharpen it on your own and you do it because it is the right thing to do and it is your duty.

When you are called upon again, you sword is sharp, precise and always ready to serve you.

Keep your sword sharp.

28 February, 2007

Lightsaber Kid

My son Aisa was 5 at the time I filmed him twirling a toy lightsaber in our backyard. Daddy of course, added music and the glow. Enjoy!

A link to clip can be viewed by clicking here: http://www.randolfdimalanta.com/aisa/aisa_lightsaber.html

26 February, 2007

Nelson Mandela / Coach Carter

Last year, I saw the movie "Coach Carter". In it was a quote that I thought was profound and motivating. I conducted some research and found that It was said by Nelson Mandela at a presidential inaugural speech.

Something deep down inside said that I should look at the quote again.. When I read it... I get angry. I get angry because I question if I did the best in all that I have done in life...time to wake up and to not be afraid.

After reading it, I feel bold, I am compelled to do my best and to disregard the opinions of others. Doing your best is infectious and is how we get better as a people. I hope it does something for you...do not be afraid.

~ Randolf

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.


24 February, 2007

Salt Man

Created in Painter iX
Watercolor Brush w/ Salt

23 February, 2007

The Caged Tiger :: A Lecture on Creative Ferocity

Intro: When I first started teaching Art & Design, I came across many talented students, but I noticed something was missing. For many of them, a spark was needed or a little gasoline was needed to be added to the fire. Assignments seemed to be executed halfway. An "It's good enough", type of attitude. People were just going through the motions. Whatever it was, it was a concern and its my duty as an instructor to address this. Below is the lecture I developed to get people to try harder, but first, a quick recap of my background so you know where I'm coming from.

Many of the students within the college of Art and Design at SJSU come from the surrounding neighborhoods. We're in the middle. We don't have lots of money, but what we do have is desire, determination and we were hard workers. When we put our pieces up for critique, I had the mindset that it was my duty to blow everybody out of the water...period. I had to beat you, and mine had to be the best. Every week, I'm going to get better and you may win at times, but you are going to get the best work from me every time.

I had to do this because I had no choice. I didn't want to go backwards and I had to prove to the doubters (sometimes these were people I loved) and to prove to them that they were wrong...you know what I'm talking about. There's always someone to bring you down. Some doubter, I heard comments like, "Why do you want to be an artist for, they don't make any money. You should be an engineer, lawyer or doctor."

First of all...
"Don't tell me I can't do something, if I know what I have chosen to do has always been a part of who I am." I would never say this to their face, but its what I was thinking. Yes, it hurt, but if these people didn't say those words, I probably wouldn't be where I'm at in life. Comments like that are placed in your path to motivate you because you remember them. The funny thing, is that those doubters will never know that they affected me in that way.

The lecture below was created to motivate students in the hopes that they too could think about the attitude necessary for success in school and in the real world. So far...I think it works. For many, its an eye opener. The world is tough and there are many talented and experienced individuals...my hope for you is that it makes you bold and that it gives you courage.


The "Caged Tiger"
A Lecture on Creative Ferocity
Copyright ©2007 Randolf Dimalanta

Imagine, you are in art school and you've just labored over a design that took many days and weeks to complete. You've worked hard and you keep copies of master works on your wall to serve as inspiration and reference. You hold your piece up to the master artist's work on your wall, there is no comparison and you realize that ... you're NOT that good and you've got a looooong way to go.

On top of that, when you take your piece in for critique, your instructor tells you everything that is wrong with it..."change this, change that, this is off, what are you doing in this area over here, these colors are off?"

It keeps going and going... and on top of that....you compare your work to others in the class and everyone's piece is better than yours.

You then feel frustrated and angry, because nothing that you do is ever good enough. You know in your heart where you need to be, but you can't get there. You are anxious, impatient and uneasy. Life is too slow...


Now...take all that aggression, all that anger, frustration, impatience...and relax. Very quietly, contain those feelings in a slow deep breath.

This strong emotion that you feel is the heart of the "Caged Tiger".

Imagine a large angry tiger locked up in a small cage, relentlessly pacing back and forth, silently watching. The tiger at this point, is pure energy that is restrained, and it waits and waits. You can tell by looking at it in the eye, that the tiger is dangerous and if given the opportunity, when that cage door is opened, that many people around the cage will know about it, almost like a ticking time bomb.

In art school, the times that an instructor gives you an assignment, are the times when that cage door is opened!

With every assignment that is given to you, you are fierce, you don't give up, you make this your best work and you out do yourself. You take that assignment and you run as hard as fast as you can towards the touchdown. Blow everybody out of the water when it comes time for critique and let them deal with the fact that you have just provided some good old fashioned reckoning.

This was the attitude I had going in going to school and I remember that in many of my classes, there were many caged tigers. I keep in touch with them still. Having a class full of these types was intimidating, but it actually motivated you to do better in class. It was awesome and to this day, those classes stand as one my best life experiences.

Now that you know what a Caged Tiger is, you will be able to identify them in your class. The interesting thing is that they appear humble and quiet at times, but don't let the quiet demeanor fool you. They are watchful, ready at all times and cannot wait for that cage to be opened. They let their work speak for itself and they usually help others in class who are struggling too.

After this lecture, I tell students that when they graduate, they might have to compete against someone like me for a job. "What are you gonna do", I ask. "When you go up against a guy like me, who is more experienced and maybe even more talented than you?" A serious question, but its a fact that designers right out of college have to deal with.

I'm experienced, I got talent, I know it, I know how to use it, and I got an armed samurai and a caged tiger behind me who are willing to do whatever it takes to beat you (The samurai lecture is another story and will be posted shortly). They will help me stay up many nights in a row and they will help me prepare for the task at hand. Next thing you know, without you knowing, I would have snagged your job from under your feet. What are you going to do then?

But I'm not going to do that to you...you're lucky I'm on your team. "I got your back" as they say in my neighborhood, and as long as I'm here, I will be one of your biggest supporters.

One day you will compete with someone of exceptional caliber. Its a scary thought but, there are people like that everywhere. They have more skill and experience than you coming out of school and they're hungry. You're going to need an edge. This story I shared with you is your edge and I hope it levels the playing field when you compete.

I hope great things come your way and that you continue to do the great work. You have absolutely nothing to lose except maybe sleep, but even that's overrated. That's what weekends are for. As I write this, the soundtrack to "Conan the Barbarian" is playing (thanks Cindy) and I'm looking at the clock and its 4:40 am. I'm not worried about sleep because I know that many have requested this and that it be posted online. So here you are.

- Randolf

22 February, 2007

Digital Landscape Sketch

"Peace Stream"
Created in Painter IX
Medium: Sargent Brush

21 February, 2007

"Then, these pirates crashed the party!"

"Pirates Everywhere"

Images created in Corel Painter IX
Copyright©2007 Randolf Dimalanta. All Rights Reserved.


This blog was created so that I could post current sketches, thoughts and lectures easily from any computer. Enjoy!

All images and content copyright ©2007 Randolf Dimalanta.
All rights reserved.