07 December, 2011

Prep & Landing 2: Naughty vs. Nice

If you saw the first one Prep & Landing, you'll like this one too.

Happy Holidays Yo - Ho Ho.

01 December, 2011

John Carter: Trailer 2

"John Carter" coming in March - this kinda looks like a cross between the Star Wars EP2 (Geonosis scenes) and Prince of Persia. Looks great.

John Cox is one of the sculptural concept designers for the aliens. You can view his work below...

22 November, 2011

Mudbox - Wayne Robson - Requiem Time Lapse

These time lapse presentations are great for what would take a long time to learn. If you are new to Mudbox or ZBrush, check it out, you'll have a good idea of workflow. Creating realistic detail is a step by step process, beginning with good anatomy (muscle and bones) and proportions. I usually work up three levels of detail - Beginning w anatomy first.

Skin (Diffuse)

  • Base Color
  • Blemish

Skin Detail

  • Folds
  • Bumps (i.e. pimples, scales)


  • Muscle
  • Bone

21 October, 2011

Diablo III - Black Soulstone Cinematic

Guys, this is looking pretty good. Overall look and feel is pretty tight. The girl moves amazingly well. No release date set yet.

18 October, 2011

Tom Saville: Halo Reach Animation Reel

Thanks for sharing your reel with us Tom. This is inspiring. Great sense of weight throughout the entire reel.

07 September, 2011

Kia Hamsters w LMFAO

Everybody's Shufflin - Including you when you see this. The new Kia Hamsters rock out against a large post apocalyptic group of invading robots. This commercial is totally hitting a certain demographic...you, the video game lovin, destroy and blow up everythin, action movie watchin, spaceship gunnin, giant robot lovin, laser shootin, party music playin, saggin clothes wearin, wish we could dance, type people (and I didn't even say Kia lovin). In short - fun to watch.

Let's check out the website >>
Be sure to check out the 360 degree views of the interiors and the cars.

01 September, 2011

WACOM Inkling Pen

Turn your pencil sketches into vector graphics instantly. Really nice.
Looks like this is going to retail this September for $199.

Check out the Inkling Website here >>

05 August, 2011

MOVE: By Rick Mereki

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

Nice presentation of Rick's journey. 11 countries, 44 days, 18 flights and 38,000 miles. I hope it inspires something in you. Good Job Rick! Don't be surprised if you get hit up for a credit card commercial, this is great.

Fire it up!

30 July, 2011

Avengers - Assembled: What They Would Look Like

At the San Diego 2011 Comic Con, lucky visitors were treated to posters of members of the Avengers. When all the posters are put together, it looks like this >>.

24 July, 2011

"Hereafter" - Opening Tsunami Shot Breakdown

Nice opening to the movie. Watch the scene first, then the breakdown below. The water moving throughout the shots looks good. Here's the scene...


Their website can also be checked out below. These guys are really expert in water, simply the best.

http://www.scanlinevfx.com/muc/de/reels.html >>

20 July, 2011

Rango - End Credits

Once again, another fabulous end credit presentation. Great styling and music. Oh yeah, the movie was also very good...dark, grungy, dirty, cool.

09 July, 2011

Law Abiding Engineer

This trailer is a great piece of work. The artist took the Law Abiding Citizen trailer and composited the character rigs from Team Fortress 2on to it. His lighting, camera movements, edits and film grain are spot on. Funny thing, this trailer got more views than the actual movie trailer. I see a future animation assignment up ahead.

17 June, 2011

Star Wars - Old Republic Cinematics

These movies are really great. I would love to see this as a full length feature or series. The creators have a knack for timing, making things look cool and amazing fight choreography.

Be sure to check out the Badass Asian Girl Jedi - she totally kicks butt. At least, she looks Asian.

13 June, 2011

"They Will Come to Town": Visual FX Clip

If you are up to it, check out the version of this clip on their site. Its way clearer.


What can I say, simply inspiring. These guys, lead by Thilo Ewers, won many awards in 2008 and garnered the attention of many visual effects houses in LA, including James Cameron. Way to go guys! Beautiful!

04 June, 2011

Tubecreative: Showreel

Tubecreative is a visual effects and motion graphics studio responsible for some of the graphics you see in commercials, TNT & The Food Network. Check out the reel and see if you can get any ideas into how to enhance your work. This showreel has lots of variety in a short span, so for that reason, its worth checking. Be sure to check out their website below:


Fire it UP.


02 June, 2011

Premature Perspiration Commercial

Such a simple concept, but it gets the message across. I believe this first aired in Argentina.

Duke Nukem Forever

Some of you have been waiting a long time for this - Gamestop says that they will honor your Duke Nukem pre-orders regardless of how old it is (3 - 4 years), as long as you have your receipt. Duke Nukem Forever comes out this June, and its got everything a M Rated game should have - even strippers. Check out the uncensored trailer here (I tried to find one without any ads, this is the best I could do). Killer!


And some screenshots to get you salivating as well as old clips from the original Duke Nukem Games - "Come Get Some!"

The original Duke Nukem 2:

And Duke Nukem 3D - This is what I remember. How bout you?

30 May, 2011

Heineken: The Date

Asian Peeps...you'll like this one. Great styling - lots of fun.

The guy is very slick indeed. See which elements in this commercial are CG. If someone could control eels in a tank and had a fancy for me, I guess I'd follow him too. The commercial is fun to watch and goes quickly. Next time though, get an Asian guy to lead.

On second thought, maybe not...someone like me would cook the eels in the tank first and mix them with some sauce.

Gears of War 3: Trailer and Concept Art

Hey, don't get mad at me for not finishing Gears of War 2...I'm savoring the flavor. He he he. Here is the GOW3 Trailer coming out end of this year, as well as a some concept art from James Hawkins II (great name dude). Be sure to check out his blog here. Fire it Up!


18 May, 2011

A Day Made of Glass

This presentation by Corning explores the many interactive possibilities for glass in the future. How long do you think we have to wait for many of these things to happen? I'd say we are almost there for a lot of things on this clip.

Notice how almost everyone is looking down in this piece.

14 May, 2011

Ryan Woodward: Martha Graham Google Doodle

This short animation caught the attention of many of us this week. Its a small, beautifully executed animation by animator Ryan Woodward.

28 April, 2011

20 April, 2011

Portal 2: Rollover Ad and MSN Review

A new hover ad unit...hover over the image above to see what happens. At first, I thought this to be invasive, but its not so bad. When the large screen opens up however, I was hoping to see a larger view of the movie, the movie is still quite small. I'm not sure if there is much value in the static text and imagery surrounding the video. Make the video bigger.

And below is the MSNNBC Todd Kendrick review of the game. The game from what I hear is quite unique and fun - if you can figure out the puzzles. The animation and voice acting also looks very sweet. I'll probably check it out, seems like a wild experience.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

19 April, 2011

13 April, 2011

Audi Robots

Ever see a video on Youtube, and you like it so much that you want to watch it again, but you can't because you don't remember the URL, and no matter what search criteria you type in Youtube (in this case, audi and robot), it doesn't appear. This video is the "one" that I couldn't find.

Now that its here, its going to stay permanently in this blog. Not only is it cool to look at, its unique, it shows great animation, camera work, and a seamless composite (putting everything together). I'm also a sucker for slick white shiny robots.

Let's go for a ride!

11 April, 2011

NAILGUN: 2011 Motion Graphics Reel

If you are like me and are amazed with some of the motion graphics openings to shows on HG TV, SyFy Channel, and ESPN, check out NAILGUN. Their work is cutting edge, fun and clever. Many of their animations are short (less than 5 seconds), but really that's all you need to create something way cool.

As an animation instructor, I always push my students to create simple animation, showcasing good solid design and these guys are a great examples of that. Be sure to check their showreel to get ideas for projects.

Nailgun 2011 Showreel >>

04 April, 2011

Nike Flywire

Sometimes, if all you have is a good model, that may be all you need. You don't need fancy backgrounds and keep it simple. Instead, show us more of the product, explore different angles, go up, down, side to side, spin and rotate, and wow us with speed variety. Once in awhile, use the beat of the music to change the rhythm of the piece.

This piece goes further by showing us it was created (factory shots), and how it will inevitably be used (by badass atheletes).

03 April, 2011

Kung Fu Panda 2: Trailer 2

Hooray! The sequel to my bestest, most favoritest, awesomest, movie of all time! This looks great. The movie has more action, more characters, and bigger sets.

29 March, 2011

Tron: Uprising

Have you had your Daft Punk / Tron fill yet? If not, here you go. Tron Uprising is an animated series that will air in the Summer of 2010 on Disney XD. The animation looks like a combination of CG and "tradigital" artwork and animation, be sure to check it out.

25 March, 2011

Animated Team and Sport Intros

In my animation classes, I advise my students to keep their animations clean and simple. Ambition however, tells us otherwise, leading us into taking on projects that are too large or complex.

A good assignment to help practice simplicity, is to animate an already existing design assembling, holding it for two seconds, then fading out or disassembling.

This will give you plenty of practice of the basics: materials, lighting, shot composition, and timing. Here are some examples centered around sports times.

Okay - These are more complex, still fun to watch, but still keeping the same idea of "assembling". If you like how these look, be sure get a grasp on Cinema 4D, After Effects, and Premiere.

22 March, 2011

So You Want to Work in the Video Game Industry

A sarcastic view of what its like working in the video game industry that many of us found interesting and funny (perhaps because of how truthful this is). Regardless of how tough something appears to be, stay passionate and keep moving, its only bad if you stop, but be realistic as well.

Be sure to read some of the Youtube comments following this video here >>

"Can anyone tell me where the Mountain Dew dispenser is at? They told me it was here, but I don't see it." - Little Robot Guy

Sean, thanks for sharing. This was funny.

21 March, 2011

Black Swan: VFX Reel

Saw this movie finally, and thought it was great - had me guessing all the way till the end. Lots of the visual effects are subtle, but they really add to overall look and feel of the movie.

15 March, 2011

Thought of You: Ryan Woodward

This animated piece by Ryan Woodward is beautiful, elegant and sophisticated. This was a personal project for him and his process can be viewed on his website here >>

Lifedrawing is a passion of mine, so seeing this done with conte crayon, gesture lines and clear poses, animated in this way is very inspiring.

He also posted a cool "Making Of" featurette on Vimeo for us to learn about the process by which this is done. Nice work Ryan! You got a lot of fans here who appreciate what you created. Keep up the good work.


Thought of You - Behind the Scenes Preview - ROUGH CUT from Cambell Christensen on Vimeo.

14 March, 2011

Japan Tsunami 2011

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

This is perhaps one of the worst things I have ever witnessed...that's right up there with 911. The shear magnitude of waves that large wiping off and carrying buildings away is astounding. I've been obsessed with finding footage of the destruction and so I posted these videos here because they capture some of the best views of the event.

Our hearts go out to all of the families and survivors of the tsunami and earthquake.

If you are compelled, are looking for a way to give and want to help, you can text donate 10 dollars to the Red Cross. To learn more about it, please click the link below.

Text RedCross to 90999 >>

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

11 March, 2011

Dance Central: In Game Cinematic

Finally got a hold of the XBox 360 Kinect with the kids to play Dance Central by Harmonix. The game is pretty darn fun, not to mention its also a great workout. I'm a big fan of the songlist with songs by Lady Gaga, Bel Biv Devoe and Cascada.

The ingame cinematic was pretty cool, and features a hip urban 2D animated style. Welp looks like a have a new label for this blog "ingame cinematics"

Visit the Harmonix website here >>

08 March, 2011

Animation Breakdown: 11 Sec. Club Entry

Marcus Tee is an animator coming from Malaysia. We are happy that he posted his animation process in this entry to the 11 Second Club Animation Contest. Pay close attention to how he's breaking everything down, like his key poses, timing, then breaking down the movement to his extremes and refinement. His process is below, its pretty nice, simple and easy to follow.

  1. Rough Thumbs (Posing and Preplanning)
  2. Key Poses - General Blockin (Stepped)
  3. Extremes - Anticipation and followthrough keyframes
  4. In Betweening - 1st round of refinement (Spline)
  5. Hand and wrist animation
  6. Face and Lip Sync Animation
  7. Polishing (Curve Smoothing)
  8. Tie Animation (2ndary Motion and Overlapping Animation)

Be sure to check out his site here >>

And of course his demo reel...

Rango: Clip

Click image or link below to view the clip. We'll probably be watching Rango sometime soon with the kids...I really like what I see so far: Great character animation, lighting, texturing, the overall production looks superb. I think it'll be a good time. Be sure to get out there and watch the movie. Show your support! or Buy the Bluray

Fire it Up!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xg6YyN3FqqQ >>

You May Now

A clever funny animation about 3D in theatres. The animation is a nice blend between 2D and 3D and was produced by Dan Winn and Daniel Keeble.

Nice. Fire it Up!

05 March, 2011

ILUVUXDESIGN & Yellow Submarine

If you have ever designed your own website, rearranged your livinging room furniture, or lost sleep over the colors of your fonts on your blog, you are, in the most common way, a User Interface / User Experience Designer. If so, this animation is about you.

Animation Peeps, its not always about slick realistic CG renders, as you'll see here sometimes its more important to get a clear interesting message across. The styling is reminiscent of the The Beatles animations in Yellow Submarine, not sure if the message was ever clear in Yellow Submarine, but it sure was a nice trip.

Fire it Up and Enjoy!

27 February, 2011

Inception: Best VFX 2011

"Inception" wins the 2011 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. If you haven't seen it, the movie is mindbending, be sure you watch it on Blu Ray or on a large screen. This video showcases some of the inner workings of one of the more memorable shots of the film. The movie is rich visually, and if you are wondering about the story, just do your best to pay attention, you could get lost.

24 February, 2011

Hello Kitty & Probe Droid Killer

 This was the demo for today's Background & Layout Digital Paint class. In this demo, we learned how to separate our background into different layers for depth illusion, atmospheric perspective (mist), quick techniques for fire, rock texture, silhouette detail and adding glows to objects that are giving off light (HK's heart and eyes).

The illustration turned out better for me when I added the blade gun to Hello Kitty, it made her look badass!

23 February, 2011

Artbeats: Video Reference Site

Ever need video reference to help you animate a baseball pitch, various animal walks, or people doing various activities, be sure to check out Artbeats.com. They have lots of royalty free video footage to help you with your animations.

Visit Artbeats.com by clicking here >>

To view/download a low rez quicktime file, find and click the link on the right hand column, to download your video.

Happy animating!

Fire it up!


22 February, 2011

Animation Layers in Maya

This video demonstrates setup and basic tools for using animation layers in Maya . It can be quite useful if you wanted to edit an animation, while still maintaining the original keyframes. Think of it like layers in Photoshop. Layers help us add more detail and complexity to a piece, Animation Layers in Maya work in the same way.

Below are my notes from the video for future reference.

Animation Layers INTRO:
Used to edit animation without making huge changes. This comes in handy when we have to reuse an animation, or if there is a change in the environment. Example shown in video is of a Character jumping over a barrier. Make changes and edits without messing up the animation.

Using Animation Layers: SETUP

  1. Turn on animation radio button (top of layer window).
  2. Make a new layer after grabbing the control (blue ball icon).
  3. Name this layer. You should now have two identical animations on two layers.
  4. Make your changes and set a keyframe on your new animation layer.

Adjusting the small details: 

  1. Grab foot controls or whatever.
  2. Make new animation layer.
  3. Move foot
  4. Right Click >  add selected to layer, do this to anything you want to be added to this layer.

Fixing: Offset (You will see the entire animation changed. You can offset or merge the layers into one another).

  1. Slide the Weight slider at the bottom of layer stack. - OR
  2. Click 0 offset key (upper left hand corner of the animation layer stack). Pressing 0
  3. blends the layers together.

If you want the original movement and if you want to toggle the visibility of your new animation layer. Grab new layer and press third button from left to turn off new animation and view original.

MERGE LAYERS to composite into one, when you are finished.

Adjusting Curves: In graph editor, "bake" is dense curves, not manageable.

  1. Turn on Merge Layer Options
  2. Turn OFF Delete Baked Layers
  3. Turn ON Smart Bake
  4. Merge

This is cleaner as it maintains key structure.


19 February, 2011

Backwater Gospel

This week, we came upon an incredible unique animation called Backwater Gospel. The look and feel is a mix between CG and 2D animation, but what made it incredible for me was the art direction responsible for achieving the gritty dirty and dusty look, that helped convey the story... add a dark murky cowboy western soundtrack, cutting edge variety in editing and compelling storyline, and what you got is something well worth while. Great job guys!

We are lucky, below are a few "making of" clips, character design tests and Bo Mathorne's design reel. Let's fire it up! Eve and Josh, thanks for the heads up, this animation was amazing.

His 2009 showreel shows the texturing process that helped to achieve the Backwater Gospel look and feel.

11 February, 2011

Super Bowl VW Beetle Commercial on Youtube

In viewing last week's Super Bowl commercials in class, we noticed that the number 3 commercial on my Top 10 Super Bowl commercials list, the "Black VW Beetle" ad, wasn't playing. So we went to Youtube to check it out and found this...


It totally took us off guard and we found it extremely fun to watch. Let me know know whatcha think!

07 February, 2011

My Top 10 Superbowl XLV TV Ads 2011

Here are my Top 10 Superbowl XLV ads for 2011. I chose these based on shear giggle value, and if it had an animation / visual effects flavor to it. Enjoy!

NUMBER 10.... Kinda gross, but oh so funny...but that's why its funny, because it's oh so gross!

NUMBER 9.... I wasn't ready for this, but it blew my mind. Gotta be better than Transformers 2. Nice surprise.

NUMBER 8.... This scored high on my "Cute" scale. If you do a quick search, this is the number one commercial for Superbowl XLV.

NUMBER 7.... While we are on the Transformers tip, this commercial had me fooled.

NUMBER 6.... Very subtle, see if you can find all of the NFL logos throughout. Some of the composite work is outstanding.

NUMBER 5.... Ever feel like a "Kid in a Candy Store", or a .......

NUMBER 4.... Bud Light Hack Job - Pure silliness. Why so serious.

NUMBER 3.... Vokswagen Beetle - Great idea.

NUMBER 2.... Coca Cola Siege. Cool character designs. Epic and sweet!

NUMBER 1.... Kia Epic Ride - This is outstanding. Can they put anything else in here? Its got it all...so hang on!

Hope you enjoyed the game. Are we missing any others?

Nature By Numbers

In many of my classes, design and composition becomes a main point of discussion primarily because many students, especially animation students, never consider it. It impacts your work in how it is percieved by making the work tighter and more comfortable for the viewer, and it also makes you look more mature. This video uses animation to convey the many processes by which design is found in nature, some of which we can use in our work.

When you watch this, pay attention to the following:

  • Composition and layout
  • Camera ease in ease out.
  • Animation of concepts
  • Compositing (layer complexity)
  • Color harmony
  • Animated glows
  • Animated transitions
  • Camera focal length for depth


01 February, 2011

Surfriders PSA : Rise Above Plastics

I saw this animated public service announcement by the Surfrider's Association, and realized that I had to post it. Its a good message propelled by great animation. Enjoy!

Go green. Recycle.