Saturday, December 13, 2008

Action Analysis

The 3rd year Action Analysis animation project criteria allows you to do long as it's one of the 9 allowed motions, I chose the "pull". The length is the mandatory 5 seconds.
I suggest playing more than once, as the player is still buffering first time around.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Stop Motion walk

Here is an in-class exercise from our Stop Motion course. I aimed to bring a "Rubber Hose" mentality to it. 5 minutes before the end, the puppet's leg broke. My instructor, Chris, Advised to make a gag out of it. So I did a subtle "Take" using white sticky-tak on the black board behind the puppet for the lines indicating alarm. The puppet's leg is held by a magnet under the stage. Stop motion is fun, it's very tangible and straight forward.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Usually I don't like to just post a bunch of drawings, so I kept one theme for this assortment.

This post is dedicated to Amber, who told me I don't post enough.

I will get working on a proper post time permitting.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Who's "WHO"

There's both wonderful and terrible news about the upcoming 5th series of Dotcor Who:
1. Steven Moffat takes the role of Head Writer/Executive producer (practically the show leader)
2. David Tennant will not be returning to play the role of the tenth Doctor.

All episodes of the Doctor Who revival have had wonderful direction, music and design, but what separates good episodes from great ones, comes down the writing and acting. When the latter are done well, all aspects of the show’s making blend in prefect synthesis. The combination of Steven Moffat’s writing and David Tennat’s performance has provided my favorite work of fiction in a long time, because no matter how far-fetched, they made it feel real.


I was first made aware of Steven Moffat when I discovered his hilarious sit-com “Coupeling”. Moffat has the skill to make fictional character feel real, by adding layers of humanity to them. By humanity I mean a rich canvas of emotion, and an understanding of how humans think and operate. Humans are emotional based, their rationale and view of the world depends on their emotional structure. An emotional structure isn’t flat. Emotions blend into each other like colors on a mixing palette: joy with angst, warmth with sternness, etc…This prevents the formation of flat characters.

Moffat’s Doctor Who stories are quite profound, they always have more than one element going. My favorite is “The Girl in the Fire Place”, Embedded below:

"The Girl in the Fireplace"
Directed By Euros Lyn, Music by Murray Gold

Plot-wise, it is about clockwork droids from the 51st century stalking a woman from the 18th. What makes this story compelling is the development of romantic bonding between Madam de Pompadour and her “Guardian Angel”- The Doctor. This is challenged by the way the two characters experience time.

Notice the plot isn't completely understood until the very end, but the film is captivating from the very first moment. It makes sense emotionally, and that's why we don't feel lost.
Moffat keeps the viewers on their toes by throwing in many questions and irrational plot developments, until finally he ties all the elements in beautifully unexpected ways.

All of Moffat’s stories have this in common: “Blink”, “Silence in the Library” and “Forset of the Dead” Are creative, layered, and unpredictable. They are emotionally involving, they invite the viewers to take active participation by asking questions, They save the logical"solving of the case" to the very end, and deliver a cathartic resolution. Fiction writing at its best, I look forward to seeing more of it!


Sadly, I can’t look forward to see David Tennant lead Moffat’s upcoming stories, as he is leaving the show at the height of his success:

"I think it's better to go when there's a chance that people might miss you, rather than to hang around and outstay your welcome…I don't ever want it to feel like a job, so I want to move on when it still feels exciting and fresh and that means I'll miss it."

Tennant’s Reasoning is a sign of a capable and versatile actor, but the fact he’s leaving is hard for me to accept. Tennant is a key factor of my identification with the show, It wasn’t until I saw his characterization that I became hooked.

“…In his four years in the role, Tennant has made it his own. His doctor – the 10th – has artfully combined the best parts of his predecessors within an engaging personality all his own. Tennant's doctor has been both physical and cerebral, funny and yet full of angst; he has been the most human of all the Doctors.” (

Tennant’s portrayal of The Doctor made me feel like I was there with him. I was entranced by his infinite dedication to make sense of phenomenal mysteries, I admired his relentless obsession to protect his loved ones, and I laughed along his joyful enthusiasm upon solving a case.

Forest of the Dead- Resolution
Uploaded by toonamir Click "HQ" to see in better quality.
Warning: This video contains spoilers if you haven't seen the episode, it is meant to illustrate the article.

No matter how catastrophic, no matter how unfavorable the odds are, The Doctor could always re-gain control, and reach a cathartic and delightful resolution. Just as plain text, these descriptions may sound like ordinary hero clich├ęs, but the difference is: David Tennant made them feel real. His character was both an agent of great adventure, and a dependable father figure, he made any situation, no matter how uncanny, sheer fun.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Lucifer Effect


For the past 2 months I have been balancing Inking for John Kricfalusi‘s new George Liquor cartoons, and 3rd year of Sheridan College.

For my return post, I’d like to share one of the best lectures I’ve heard recently: In “The Lucifer Effect”, Dr. Phillip Zimbardo (originator of the Stanford Prison Experiment) Provides an amazingly in-depth explanation of good and evil. At the core is the power of the situation, and our reaction to social conditioning.

How can good apples become corrupt by a bad barrel? How can blind obedience and uncritical conformity lead to evil doing? What is heroism, and how can it be triggered in the same situations? Find out in this real eye opener!

I've attached 2 versions of the lecture: Google (full length) and TED (short), the Google version is much better if you can dedicate the time for it. Both contain a slideshow of violent images, which can easily be skipped, if you find material of the kind disturbing, the lecture can be understood without it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Doctor

Recently I've started watching Series 1 & 2 of Doctor Who, What a cool show!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Best Lupin Episode...

...I've ever seen!

Wings of Death!
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Miyazaki has often brought good timing and pacing to Lupin, along with good animation, well constructed stories and surprises, which are often missing from other directors' versions.
And UNLIKE other Miyazaki versions, It's not toned down! It's still cartoony, the cast is "in character" and it has very good balance, it's not reduced to "general family audience" material, it keeps an adult theme tastefully, without being crude.

When so many things are done right, I shift from just liking a film to loving it.

While watching Lupin films I've made some studies,the version on the left from "Lupin vs. the Clone" is my favorite design, since it's the most cartoony and appealing.

later I wanted to merge him with other characters:

This was meant to be a 1930s Fleischer theme, but reminds me more of Bakshi's Malcolm and Melvin, which I also love.

Do Lupin and Fujiko ever get together, or are they fated to continue to tease each other?
"Actually, it's kind of interesting. I think men and women in general as... rather than saying tease, say they enjoy each other... using their weapons against each other, but in an enjoyable way. That's how I think of that."
Complete interview with series creator can be found here

My favorite element in the more successful Lupin films, besides good characters and funny drawings, is a true to life attitude, You don't find it in many animated films that look appealing.
Lupin lives in "the real world", a competitive place, where many others have selfish interests identical to his, and will stop at nothing to get there first, sometimes even con him out of a treasure when he gets it. There is no rigged order of justice or pure good and evil here, there is RELATIVE good and bad.
Miyazaki sometimes portrays him as "The Gentleman Thief" and originally that is not the case, Lupin is simply better than the other crooks. In the episode linked above, he's very in-character.
I can relate this to the society we live in, something I can't do with many Disney fairy tales, but there are exceptions, my favorite is "Br'er Rabbit Runs Away" from "Song of the South", which is very true to life, Some of the shorts have it too, Like Jack Kinney's "Fathers are People". Bakshi films are very good this way too.
It's the difference between what's comforting and what's real, comforting films have their place, but I liked them more as a kid. Today I like making fun of what's real.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Kristy Interview

LoL, I was befuddled to see my painting in the new interview with Kristy Gordon, Her art was inspiration for it though! It's replaced by Samurai Jack now. Go visit Kristy's new blog, where she shares her thoughtful process and gorgeous artwork!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Space Race!

Boy, these BBC Docu-dramas are fascinating! It's an ideal kind of filmmaking. While textbooks inform you about history, these shows allow you to live it.

Many people say "Story is King", while I don't completely agree with that, I agree that a good story is one of the most crucial fundamentals of a good film, and few fictional stories can rival with the mind-blowing landmarks in the progress of mankind.

History also provides strong characters (which are the generators of good stories anyway), "Space Race" focuses on two men: Sergey Korolyov and Wernher Von Braun, they both share the same dream: to reach for the heavens.
In realizing it, All sorts of things get in the way: competition, rivalry, politics, and even war.
The same things that keep us on our toes everyday make the characters and situations relatable, And on top of all, educational and inspiring.

Wernher Von Braun is an enigmatic, multi-shaded character, It's hard to describe him with absolute certainty. The man who developed the fearful V2 for the Nazis using slave labor, was the SAME man who sent Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the surface of the moon. I admire his scientific brilliance and his vision which was years ahead of his time, But unsure about his personality.

The connections don't seem to end, according to the BBC show, Von Braun had to first persuade America they NEEDED a space program, and to do that, he took the aid of famous cartoonists

"The only people showing any interest in space are in Walt Disney's studio...Maybe that's the answer, go directly to the American public"

"Show them there's more to it then missiles, Show them space as America's new frontier"

In the clip below, Ward Kimball introduces Wernher Von Braun, In the 1955 Disneyland episode Man and the Moon. some of Von Braun's dreams have yet to be realized.

Doco-dramas, In My opinion, also provide the best use for CG animation,
I think cg is the best for replicating real environments, scientific processes and objects. While
hand drawn is the best for creating characters and fantasy.

Ward Kimball's animated segments dealing with the myths of space are some of the finest cartoons I've ever seen. On the other hand, while the illustrations and animation describing scientific processes in Disneyland are very appealing and crystal clear, the BBC CG footage is much more exciting. It helps us to visit long gone historical launch pads, and see how the fuel is mixed from within the rocket! When edited with real footage, it is even more effective.

It's no news to anybody that CG provides great special effects! Here are some exciting effects and excellent filmmaking to take you on board of a great adventure: The flight of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space!

As a side note, my gut feelings about CG animated films:
An important factor in creating an illusion, a fictional story, is the viewer's comfort in the world you're creating.
I'd rather fly to Never-land than to the Uncanny valley.
CG is a jaw dropping tool, but most people haven't used it, they don't know how it works, and some become worried as they fail to separate CG images from real ones, this can create a barrier between the film and the audience, a response quite common with the films "Final Fantasy" and "Beowulf".
On the counterpart, We've all used ink and paint, everyone, not just artists, and it's our imagination and belief that makes the leap of faith and welcomes the illusion of hand drawn cartoons. my two cents.

Without further delay, here are the links to the entire series:

Space Race:



episode 3

episode 4

Man and the Moon:

Man in space:

Mars and Beyond

Happy learning!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Hello I'm a Muzzle, And I'm a Beak

These are from character design assignments, in which we had to design beak and muzzle characters and draw poses with them:

And a pantomime scenario assignment in which we needed to show a character caught in the act of going for an item he is not supposed to have.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bruce Springsteen song title goes here

Scott Caple's recent post reminded me I have yet to share my trip to the U.S of A

Ah, Sunny California! What a treat after a long Canadian winter!
I stayed with my friend JoJo, he was a great host.
JoJo is the archive assistant, and his friends Alex and Kelsey are loyal volunteers at the Archive, they do great work.

And speaking of the Archive, what is a trip to LA without helping out my ol' buddy Steve?

If you're not into cartoons, then you should at least go there for the music,
Here Steve performs a beautiful rendering to the old folk song "Barnacle Bill the Sailor",
Which can be heard in the classic Fleischer cartoons "Barnacle Bill" (with Betty Boop) and "Beware of Barnacle Bill" (with Popeye), I was first introduced to Fleischer cartoons by Steve when I was 14, and they've been among my favorites since.

Our friend Mike Fontanelli visited often, working passionately on wonderful Al Capp posts.

I was doing image processing and tagging, and donated the book "Rube Goldberg vs. The Machine Age"

As said, Scott Caple was in town, Aside for being a great artist, He's a film and history fan, who appreciates great artwork and craftsmanship, so I invited him to the Archive, He came there with his friend Kevin, and they were both blown away, It was fun!

Foodles from a generous John K. Pizza education session

And of course, when you're on vacation, you should go to the Zoo, It's simply what the doctor prescribed, because there you see everyone's favorite laughter factor: crazy monkeys in swing!

When I came back from the Zoo, JoJo and Alex had finished class, Alex asked me if I've been to the aviary, because there's a Bird there that looks like Tex Avery, I haven't seen it, I wonder if that's why they call it the Aviary.

I'd like to thank Will Finn, Kent Butterworth, Sherm Cohen, Eddie Fitzgerald, Mike Kazalah, Claudio Riba, Sue Kroyer, Joe Haidar, the students at Woodbury University , and JD Mata, it was great to meet you! Looking forward to next time!


Friday, April 11, 2008

Character Lineup

From a character design assignment. I somewhat like it but I think it can be better, The two characters on the right need to be simplified, and the characters on the left need to be re-invented.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Keepin' it Old School

It's the Easter weekend break, I decided to take Friday off for some personal cartoon work, and it ends up being school related! GAWD...

This season is pretty demanding, The school workload and Canadian winter have pretty much stranded us to the light table for the past 3 months, But I'm often reminded of the good points to being here.

Among them is Johnny Williamson, The guy on the left. I haven't written about him yet, He's one of the best teacher's I've ever had, and probably ever will.
He's not only an excellent animator, He's a genuinely warm person, And he treats each and everyone of us on a personal level. Thats right, All 120+ of us! His ability to give is exceptional.

Another teacher I haven't yet written about is Scott Caple, He's one of the best draftsmen I've ever met, The past class he gave us a demonstration of how he goes about shading his layouts on a separate sheet of tracing paper, I learn a lot from seeing these folks draw!

There's 4 weeks till the end of the term, I'm looking forward to see my family again...There's light at the end of the carpal tunnel, And until then, I gotta go back to my homework.

Oh! Thanks to our pal Pete for coming to this week's cartoon night! We had a lot of fun listening to your so-called "useless trivia" while watching Tex Avery!

see ya later.