Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bryce-A-Mation: Animation Unleashed

Just hoid the good woid from fellow animator and TAIS board dood Bryce Hallett. Seems he went ahead and animated a trailer for that other guide book. Y'know, the one what I fergot in my 'books you need' list? Sorry, Ellen and Bryce, me brains have been a quart low and a dollar short as of late.

Ellen's book has been getting well-reviewed and well-received around the interwebnets, and yet after doing the post about books a few weeks back it fell completely off this pooch's radar, a damn shame, cuz it's a good book to I've been told. Fortunately, the ever stalwart Bryce (he who illustrated said book) has kept me a copy, signed by Ellen and I'll be able to check it out mesself soon! I'll do up a mini-review for y'all in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, check out the trailer and get a copy from the Amazon, or if yer in Toronto, hit up The Beguiling (copies comin' soon!) or The Labyrinth (no word on copies yet...I'll call 'em tomorry) for your very owns. More later!

Boil n' Pes

Two quick notes...first, new PES! Here's his promo for the new Scrabble Diamond edition...hmm, may have to get Rob a copy o' this. Can't get enough PES? Here's the link to his page on them there YouTubes.

Second, this post comes courtesy of LineBoil, Aaron Simpson's 'other' site, covering all aspects of animation, not just the stuff commmon to the webbernets. They's gots a ton o' posts on upcoming Nick series, trailers for works in progress, links to studios and animators, all that there goodness. Go say hi, n' shtuff. More later!

Labyrinth o' free stuffs

Just a quick post to let you know our homies over at The Labyrinth are giving away one of 4 different graphics novels free to anybody what buys 2 or more graphic novels this comin' Saturday. If you decide to pick up a copy of Eric Goldberg's book on teh amination (rawk) or any of the other comic/animation art books what the gots instead of one of yer graphic novels, I'm sure they'll still pony up the free book. And this Saturday only, tell 'em TempleDog sent you for one (1) confused look, absolutely free! More later.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Aaron go Boom

O.k., made it out to Aaron Simpson's shindig last night at the Mod Club. First off, Mod Club theatre is a real great joint...complete with a stage setup that would make any band in the GTA uncomfortable in the pants region (they've got a freakin' steadicam setup for filming the crowd, fer corn's sake!) Great bar and staff...kinda knew the club kid's weren't linin' up down the block for nothin'. I can't say nuthin' about what Aaron's fave venue of the three (New York, L.A. and T'rawna) was, but, y'know...if he does another event here, I've got an idea where it'll be.

Now, everybody knows Aaron as a big proponent of Flash and interwebs animation, so to see him shillin' (and come on now, shillin' he was) for Toon Boom was a bit odd. Then he starting demoing the software, and I can kinda see why he's a convert. Aaron's like Jerry Beck...he don't back no junk, and if'n he tells you he likes sumthin', there's a damn good reason. He grabbed some characters and layouts from an ol' wartime toon and showed off some of what the new soft can do, and it can do a lot. Some highlites:

Animation Disk: Now why in the name of sweet Georgia Brown hasn't anybody done this before? If you need to get a better angle on your drawing, hold down a key to bring up a superimposed old school animation disc. You can now rotate the entire stage area!

I.K. support- for the uninitiated, this means you can link images, like a hand, a forearm and a bicep, and the whole chain will move and pivot by just moving the hand.

Auto VoiceSyncing- draw and set up your mouth poses, import your v.o. audio, and the software will analyze the wave and place mouth poses automatically. How well it does it, I have yet to see, but it looked darned impressive.

Multiplane and 3d orbital Camera- You can actually set up a camera view as a layer element that will allow you to multiplane your layers...move and animate the camera, and everything in the camera view moves in relation. Nice!

He also profiled a bunch of other smaller features like custom palletes with global color settings, drag n' drop library element setup, and cleanup brushes. The guys at Toon Boom really seem to have gotten their act together from a UI standpoint...the software seems to be a helluvalot easier to learn and use than previous iterations like Studio.

They capped off the night by giving away two free full commercial licenses and handing out full versions of the software to one and all...o.k., sort of...these were the '30 days free' versions, but the boxes include all the tutorials and documentation. By the way, that documentation...a mere shadow of the massive tome you had to leaf through for Studio. As I said, they've really made an effort to making the software streamlined and accessible.

Unfortunately, there's still the price issue. Don't get me wrong, you get a lot of bang for your buck, but at a thousand bucks a license, that's a lotta bucking for an indie to take...might just buck him right over to the Flash camp. To be fair, though, they do show promos all the time, and anybody who took home a 30 days version last night can buy the full version within that time period for half-price.

I'll have a full report for ya just as soon as I get it installed and figure out a lil' test project to kick the wheels and rev the engine, so to speak. I'll keep you posted with my findings, and I'll have a final verdict in the next few weeks. Either way, big ups to Toon Boom and Aaron for the free drinks and the demo!

Monday, November 17, 2008


Courtesy of Cartoon Brew, the same ol' intro, with a new twist by YouTube jerk DrawinJohn. Enjay.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Emru Townsend. Gone, dude.

Sitting here cursing 'cuz I can't get a DVD to print, worryin' about bills n' shit. Then, I get an OIAF '08 update with this here news.

I barely new this guy. All I know about him is that he was always smilin', always friendly, and always at the Ottawa fest. And last December he got real sick. And he went real fast. And he was a real nice guy. Shit ain't right, friends. Go give his parents a good word. Then go see the man with a drink in his hand and a smile on his face, in better days. Peace, dude.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Books n' DVD's ya needs...part 1

Well, TAIS homies and animation fans, we done had our Annual General Meeting, and it's seems this ol' pooch has been doing a passable job as blog-beast, 'cuz I got the board-member nod again. Thanks, y'all, I'll try to keep them blog posts interesting, informative and copious in the future.

To celebrate, here's a big ol' post on books n' DVD's you need to have. First off, Richard William's big book o' knowledge, 'The Animators Survival Kit' is now out in paperback. This is an in-depth book cramming the collected knowledge of some of the greatest animators the world has known into one tome. Along with the techniques and the technical advice, Williams shares his experiences working with industry vets like Milt Kahl and Frank Thomas. Go get it! Below, witness the cover of the book brought to life by the author.

For those of you upstarts what wants the goods without the history lessons or the anectdotes (damn kids) Eric Goldberg's 'Character Animation Crash Course' mebbe just up yer alley.

Goldberg, a Disney vet with animation creds including Alladin and Pocahontas (hell, he's worked WITH Richard Williams, yet!) breaks down the basics and includes great tips on posing, extremes, overlapping actions, animating to music, timing, you know, all that good stuff. Where Williams' book is both a historical and technical document, Goldberg's book is arranged more like a text book, with character examples using two recurring characters, reading and viewing lists, recommended excercises and even a DVD of animated examples. Ya need to get this one, folks. I'll be buying a copy for the TAIS bookshelves, don't you worry.

Finally, Shaun the Sheep, everyone's fave secondary character from Aardman's 'A Close Shave', has had his own series for a while now, but it's only been available across the pond. Now, finally, we have 'Shaun the Sheep: Off the Baa!' This has 8 shorts and interstitials, plus a cute lil' mini-doc with some British kidlings introducing all the characters. Here's one of the eps., 'Timmy in a Tizzy' courtesy of, for some reason, Game Trailers. Apologies to Aardman for using a non-approved embed...I just people to buy lots of Shaun DVD's so I can get the next one soon, and fer some odd reason the GT embed is super-sharp!

Just a note...Timmy, the baby sheepy, is so damn cute that the doods from Aardman buckled and gave him his own series. No word on when or if it'll air in North America, I'll dig up some info. All these are availble at, but if ya can, drop by yer mom n' pop vid/book store for 'em. If yer in Toronto, I recommend The Beguiling and The Labyrinth for all yer animation shoppin' needs. More to Come!