Thursday, May 31, 2007

First Time Out: Animatic to Animation

Hey! Sorry for the lack of posts...crazy busy at home and work, so time's at a premium. Did manage to throw a lil' example together for ya of Flash as a pre-viz tool. I'm not the greatest boarder in the world, so when I first started my short, I thought the best thing to do would be to animate a quick n' sloppy animatic in Flash MX. That 'quick and sloppy' animatic took the better part of a year to finish, as I figured out various actions sequences and interactions. An example of this 'Flashamatic' appears above. I also added scratch sound FX and v.o. (yep, that's my dulcet tones) to act as a guide to whoever I was gonna get to do it the right way.

Flash-forward (pun intended) about a year and a half, and the animation is almost complete...the same sequence with near-finished animation (still have to do a bit more refining of the robot in the 'where are my guns scene)and a rough score courtesy of Pirate Radio & TV's own Tim Poitras. As you can see, pre-viz in Flash allowed me to suss out the pacing and shot angles and I think communicates the overall flow and action of the film much better than a straight board animatic. 'Course, that's just me opinion. Let me know what y'all think. Meanwhile, I'll keep an ear to da ground for upcoming events in the TAIS world. Don't forget to sign up for those workshops!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Zenamation: Sweet Dream

Mike Milo over at the Frederator Blogs discovered this. If yer feelin' stressed, watch for instant perspective. Source site is in Russian, so until I'm told otherwise, the film is by Gvozdariki. Managed to figger out how to link pics, so just click on the golden bird. Enjoy.

TAIS news update!

Just a quick shout to letcha know about stuff goin' on at TAIS. The Anijam deadline was up on May 15th, so I'm gonna assume everyone who shot us a submission form is busy cookin' up their 10 seconds of animated goodness. 'Member, we need them films by June 10th! Lookin' forward to seein' 'em, and I'll post a final list of the Anijam filmmakers here a few weeks before the screening.

Speakin' of which, the deadline for the TAIS Showcase 2007 has been extended to June 8th! If ya got a film you've finished in the last two years and ya wanna show it off, send your submission (brief film synopsis, bio and contact info)+ 5 bucks for business-type processing fees (dirt cheap, c'mon!) to:

Attention: TAIS Showcase 2007
60 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 102
Toronto, Ontario CANADA
M6K 1X9

If ya need more info, or if you've got questions/concerns, shoot Madi an e-mail at

Finally, if ya wanna get them skills, you need to check out our workshops. Madi and company have worked their collective heineys off to put these together, and it's quite a lineup. Sign up now for mad animation skillz!

New Animation Workshops for Independent Artists
Register at : or call (416) 533-7889
All workshops are at TAIS location
60 Atlantic Avenue Suite 102 , Toronto
Cost : $50 Non-members/ $30 members
(all materials included)
Time : 10am-6pm

Story Board
June 02, 2007
Limited to 10 people
Instructor : Ruth Tait

Stop Motion Workshop
June 16, 2007
Limited to: 10 people
Instructor: Marc Beurteaux

Toon Boom 2d animation software basics
June 07, 2007
Limited to 6 people
Instructor : Bryce Hallet

Introduction to 3D animation
July 07, 2007
Limited to 6 people
Instructor: Ksenia Benifand

Character Design
July 21, 2007
Limited to : 10 people
Instructor: Brian Montenegro & Allan Swerling

Cameraless Animation
July 28 , 2007
Limited to 8 people
Instructor: Madi Piller

Oh, one quick extra note...the fine folks at Max the Mutt are having a Free lecture on 'Interesting Uses and Functions of Asian Animation', courtesy of one Dr. John A. Lent. Sounds crypticalicious. Check 'em out, here's a link:


Screening, workshops, the Showcase...damn, it's gonna be a crazy summer, doods! See ya!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Pirates is my Friends

I woulda sketched a cat, but that woulda missed the gag...LOLcats must be based on a cheeze-ass photo of a kitty with a block-font caption. I know, I looked it up on teh internets. Cuz I'm 733t. Yah.

Anyhoo, updates about the Bunnies of Guns. Paid a visit to the fine folks at Pirate Radio and TV ( and spent some time in the boof with Drew Frohmann, gadfly and man-about-town. He walked me through the whole recording process, along with the sound-board guru (Yes, in typical T-Dog fashion, I ferget the dude's name, but his skills are the shit. He'll be doing the final mix, in Dolby 5.1 no less, so I'll be sure to have his name tattooed on the inside of me eyelids by then.) The whole recording process took 3 1/2 hours and over sixty takes for around 2 minutes of dialogue...turns out Drew (who'll be playin' the voice of Deg, the 'tech bunny') is just as much of a picky bastard as I am.

Anyhoo, I crashed this weekend...honest ta god, I was gonna do SUMTHIN', but, hey, there was Half-Life 2 that needed playin'. Seriously, I was completely shagged out. So the plan is to plug in the new audio this weekend, adjust the head poses and timing on the 'power rangers' scenes, in which there's no visible mouth but the head must act, then do the lipsync stuff in the final 'simpod' scenes. I'll leave the small lil' changes (some color updates, a few more clouds here, less elsewhere) 'til the beginning of the month.

To top it all off, two of the sound slingers at Pirate are vying to do me music! Already got one sample from 'em, and I just know this is gonna be one heckuva tough call. Geez, the attention could go to me head, but then I look in the mirror and come plummeting back to earth...I hear tell Peter Jackson uses the same trick to avoid a swelled head. Anyhoo, Drew has promised more audio goodness later this week.

Dunno yet if'n I'll make the Ottawa deadline...the cost of being good means the Pirate dudes have a lot on their plates. Way I figger it, it's cool if I don't...sooner have a totally polished film done first and worry about the 'fests later. And that is yer GUNBunny update!

Quick note: The engineer's nom de plume is Spencer Hall...I now know this, cuz Drew told me.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Madame Tutli-Putli

Jeez, first Flutter, now this...lovely work comin' out of the NFB lately! This one's a monster, a beautiful stop-motion tale that took the creators (Toronto animation insane asylum CLYDE HENRY, YEARS to finish. Here's the trailer and a makin' of doc. Kudos to the NFB for gettin' on the YouTube bandwagon and posting the docs gives real insight into the film, not to mention techncial background on the production process. All the films (along with other animated and live-action goodies) can be got to here:

Madi has a wee bit of a secret surrounding this film, but I can't spring it on ya 'til we've got all them details nailed down. Hopefully, early next week. Cheers!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Team Fortress 2: Heavy Weapons Guy

A lil' treat, just released from the dudes at Valve. Meant to showcase their new facial animation software in the Source engine as well as to advertise Team Fortress 2, their upcoming multiplayer blast-stravaganza, it also reveals that Valve's got themselves some top-flight short film writers and animators! There's several classes, each with their own whacky distinctions, and hopefully we'll see a short for each of 'em. TF2 is due to be released this fall in Valves Half-life 2 'orange box', which will include HF2 Ep. 1 and 2 (the episodic 'sequel' to Half-Life 2) Team Fortress 2, and 'Portals', a bonus 'puzzle-shooter' based in the Half-Life story.

Monday, May 14, 2007

TAIS meeting nooze!

O.k., general meeting done been, and I've got the news. First off, congrats to Craig Marshall, fer gettin' his shtuff on Bravo and CityTV (aired over the weekend) and to Marc Beurteaux (pronounced byertoe, fer you people what's been mangling his name fer years) for his Best Art Direction win at the Chicago Short Film Festival. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to FIND any of Craig's stuff up on Youtube, and even it there was anything up, it's buried in a mire of anime-fan films made by doods with a robot fetish or worse, an obsession with the female characters from Sonic the Hedgehog. That would be eww. Ah, the saying's a free service, and ya get what ya pay for. Took me 10 minutes, but I finally did dig up Marc's film, at least...enjoy.

Anijam news: Including Marc, we've got 7 entries into the anijam, a respectable number, but the deadline for form submission is midnight tomorrow. If yer sittin' on the fence, just check out Marc's film and see what good company your film will be in, and send us 10 seconds. Once we've gotten the film submissions, I'll post a filmmaker list with links. Speakin' o' which, Marc's site,, is now in the Links of Doom.

Incubator news: To dispel the confusion about the Incubators, our open-house nights at TAIS, I've been put in charge of 'em. I'll skip the self-depricatin' and get right to the nitty-gritty. There gonna be every two months, and they'll be announced on the TAIS blog and main site 3 weeks in advance, with a reminder a week before the night. I'm gonna schedule 'em around TAIS events and holidays, and if you wanna be there, you'll have to RSVP with an e-mail or a phone call, so I know how many people are showin' up! I'll have a schedule of Incubators for the rest of 2007 up later this week.

Event news: Don't forget, we've got the Best of Ottawa this week on Thursday and the TAIS showcase screening next month on the 27th. If you've got a short animated film you've wrapped up in the last two years, toss us a note with a bio, film synopsis, and contact info to:

60 Atlantic Ave., Suite 102
Toronto, Ontario CANADA
M6K 1X9

Films have to be 15 minutes or less. Deadline is June 1st, people! I'm gonna be sending Madi my relevant data this week.

Speakin' o' which, I gotta get my ass over to Pirate Radio n' TV...we're recording final V.O.'s tanight. More news later this week. Cheers!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Christy Karacas: Superjail

Aaron Simpson, head spline spanker over at Cold Hard Flash, has been so kind as to toss up a banner ad on the CHF sidebar advertising the TAIS anijam. So, to thank him, I'm gonna post about sumpin' he already done posted about. S'least I can do, rully.

Actually, can't help but post about this one, a sneak-peak of a pilot being pitched to Cartoon Network about a high-tech penitentiary and it's inhabitants. A fairly cool concept made cooler by the king of grunge-a-mation, Christy Karacas. Not familiar with his fine work? Get yerself to Youtube (after watching this sneak-peek, of course) and do a search for Spacewar and won't be dissapointed. Better yet, head on over to Amazon and by yerself a copy of Avoid Eye Contact 2. Meanwhile, enjoy the con-carnage.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Ratatouille...9 whole minutes!

First off, apologies to Lee fer the FredEx mixup...his film was 'Fashion', the one with Rosie the Robot goin' all red-carpet n' shit.

Now, to brass tacks. Here's a lil' treat...9 whole minutes of "Ratatouille", the new Pixar flick helmed by everyone's fave, Brad Bird. Lotta online content for this one...they've even posted some goodies on Itunes in the Podcast section, free to download. My only issues: If they're Paris rats, why do they sound like American comics instead of Jean Reno? And Mr. I'm gonna get flamed for this, but, fucker, we love yer films, we love yer animation, but fer fuck's sake, lose the goofy-ass intros where you try to, uhh...ACT. Y'can't. That's why yer an animation director and not an actor. I'm pug-ugly as they come and couldn't carry a line if'n ya stapled it to my forehead, which is why I stay the hell off-camera. Just sayin' is all.

Now that I'm done makin' a lifetime enemy of one of my fave directors, it's time to watch. Enjoy! Oh, and don't forget...TAIS general meeting tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Lee Rubenstein...Love & Pacemakers online!

Hey! Sorry for the lack of posts...caught me that plague what's been goin' round. Anyhoo, just got an e-mail from Lee Rubenstein. Told you about his new film, 'Love & Pacemakers', which screened in New York last month. Well, he's been kind enough to toss a version up online for our viewing pleasure! Sorry for the lack of an embed, but you can see his other toony goodness on his site, so it's all good. Go here:

While yer there, you'll notice that the Frederator anijam, 'FredEx: The Secret Life of Robots' made it into Platform this year. Lee animated the one called 'Pregnancy''s funny, obscene and violent, all at the same time...trifecta. His great lil' short 'Fred and Earl' is also available to view. Enjoy!

Monday, May 7, 2007

TAIS events and Anijam update

Heyyo! Quick post with a few updates. Madi assures me that Anijam submissions are rollin' in, but nonetheless we thought it a good idea to extend the deadline so those people far-removed from Toronto could get their films in. Currently, the form submission deadline is now May 15th, and film submission deadline is June 10th. Remember, you can e-mail your forms to, and you can FTP your films to us if ya wanna! (, for those of you without web hosts)

Events! We've got a general meeting for all board members this comin' Friday, May 11th. Topics on the table will be the upcoming Best of Ottawa show, the Summer Showcase in June, and this year's slate of screenings and workshops. I'll also get the skinny on how many people are or have submitted films to the anijam, and where they hail from. Info on that Best of Ottawa screening:

Best of Ottawa Screening
When: May 17th, 2007, 7 pm
Where: Innis College. 2 Sussex Ave., Toronto
General admission -$10, Students - $8, TAIS members - $5

It's a great venue and it promises to be a great show...come on out, dammit! Tomorrow's post: the wonder and the glory that was Free Comics Day 2007 at the Beguiling. Later!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Robot Dance Party: Fran and Will Krause

O.k., one last one...a cool lil' quicky I found from Fran and Will Krause, of 'Avoid Eye Contact' fame. It's Friday, I'm goin' home to play the Halo. Cheers!

Headbangers: Mike Overbeck and co.

Just did a quick search for some stuff by one of my fave New Yawk-amators, Mike Overbeck...his short 'Tongues and Taxis' still makes me lose it every damn time. Lo and behold, he's mixing it up for Pioneer along with fellow 'Avoid Eye Contact' alum Fran Krause. Y'know, of 'Moonraker' and 'Utica Cartoon' fame?

And, of course, here's 'Tongues and Taxis', courtesy of Animator's Unite.

First Time Out: teaser trailer

Yeah, I know, a trailer for a six-minute short? But I was bored last night, thought I'd whip one up and end the week with a few quick glimpses of my film, which is in the hands of the fine folks at Pirate Radio and TV. ('t ask me how they snagged that url) Gonna be goin' in to re-record all the principle dialog and ADR on Monday, May 14...plan to have it done around the time of the next Incubator, which should be first Thursday in June. I'll keep y'all posted. Meanwhile, enjoy!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Romain Redux: Tim Tom

I like Bip Bip so damn much, thought I'd dig up some earlier work. Here's Romain's grad film, from 2002...obviously, he loves two syllable titles. He also loves clever filmwork, classic film pacing, and he's got a damn fine ear for a tune! He teamed up with fellow french-person Christel Pougeoise at the now-legendary SupInfoCom animation school to belt out this great character comedy piece. I love all the nods to old-school cinema and animation, but the fact that the film manages to reference the past without being slave to it makes it great stuff all 'round. Pay particular close attention to the very stop-motion inspired character Jerry Beck's blog, Christel points to Michael DuDok De Wit and Jan Svankmayer as shows.

Romain Segaud

This one goes to our hard-workin' head honcho, Madi Piller. Mainly cuz it's been running through my head and my Play-Yan equipped GBA SP2 (Ipods are for hookers and skinny people) since it ran on Channel Frederator ep. 75. Some great photo-collage a-mation here, I'll be sure to dig up some more goodness from Mr. Segaud. Ciao, Ciao, Bambina!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Men in Black

Sometimes, not animating is the key. Here we see a brilliant piece of compositing animation combined with striking black and white illustrations, creating a living comic book that has more of a documentary feel than full animation would bring. It's great stuff. Courtesy of Amid over at Jerry Beck's blog.