Tuesday, December 07, 2010

"When Harry Met Sally" gets nominated for an Annie!!!!!

Holy crap!  I'm not even sure what to say about this right now, except...holy crap!!  :))  The third Pop Secret spot I worked on at Nathan Love has been nominated for an Annie Award for Best Animated Television Commercial!  (Check out the full list of nominees here.)  Wow, it's so awesome to have this recognized by our own industry.  Congrats team!  So very proud.

Pop Secret "When Harry Met Sally" from Nathan Love on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Nathan Love: Pop Secret "When Harry Met Sally"

At long last!  The third and final Pop Secret commercial we worked on at Nathan Love has been released and will be airing later this month and during some big tv programs!  While we were proud of the entire campaign, and certainly we all loved Dark Knight, we saw each subsequent spot improve in quality (Dark Knight to Caddyshack to When Harry Met Sally), so I'm really happy this third one will finally air!  It was a huge treat to work with largely the same team on each one of these, and watch our work progress from spot to spot.  Luckily not long after this we moved on to the Baskin Robbins campaign that aired during the summer, where we continued to hone our skills and build upon the trust we'd established as a team throughout the past few months, starting with Pop Secret.  I don't want to over-state anything, but I can't help but compare it to the stories I've heard of other productions, where the right team was there at the right time, people were inspired, and proud of the work being done.  There weren't any egos getting in the way, just the right people, inspired to make something great...and having a ton of fun in the process.

Keep it up Nathan Lovers!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Oh hi Vancouver!

 Just wanted to make the official announcement...I've been hired as an animator at Pixar Canada!  I started 3 weeks ago, and am very excited about what lies ahead!  If you didn't see the announcement video earlier this year, you can still view it at their website, http://www.pixarcanada.com/.  Needless to say, it's a bit surreal to be working there now.  They have big goals, we'll be working on stuff with their franchise characters.   Plus Vancouver IS that awesome.  Even if I'm mourning the loss of a good pizza or burrito, and the convenience of "the city that never sleeps".  Still, it's great to be working at Pixar on a small team, and in the downtown of a great city...not all that different from my experience in New York, which I loved!  Anyway, watch the video if you haven't, and I'll keep posting when I can!

P.S.  I also updated the blog with a new template, as mine was severely out of date and couldn't utilize some of the fancy new blogger features.  It's pretty similar to before, but nice to have a refreshed look!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Thinking Animation blog: Nathan Love, Baskin Robbins full campaign

Hey everyone! "Thinking Animation" has featured the Baskin Robbins spots from Nathan Love, as well as some comments by Ryan Moran (lead animator), and yours truly! Congrats on a job well done everyone!

BR-"Sheep/Pink Bubblegum". (First two shots animated by Tony Travieso, last two by Kyle Mohr)

Baskin Robbins "Pink Bubblegum" from Nathan Love on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Nathan Love: Baskin Robbins-- Birthday Cake

Here's the next Baskin Robbins ad I worked on at Nathan Love! (1st shot)

Baskin-Robbins "America's Birthday Cake" from Nathan Love on Vimeo.

Here's another new one too, entirely animated by Tony "Ryu" Travieso!

Baskin-Robbins "Baseball Helmet" from Nathan Love on Vimeo.

Hope you like them!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Nathan Love: Baskin Robbins--Baseball Nut

Check out the Baskin Robbins spot that we recently finished at Nathan Love!  We're really happy with how it turned out!  It's not often you get a fun little project like this to work on, and we all worked hard in hopes of living up to its potential.  Personally, I'm proud of everyone involved for creating what I consider to be feature quality animation in a very short time, and in a format where unfortunately some people don't expect it.  My teammates Ryan Moran and David Han kicked butt in animation.  Kudos to Frank Naranjo, our rigger extraordinaire, for providing us with a fantastic rig for a complicated character!  He stuck to his strong work ethic in a part of production that is often overlooked, but is extremely important to getting animation notes addressed and approved to everyone's satisfaction.

(click through to the YouTube page to see the full picture...this blog apparently isn't wide enough for widescreen!)

On a side note, I recently met a young animator, who knew I'd spent some time at Blue Sky, and who had recently been hired for a feature animation job.  However, instead of asking something like "How long have you been working in animation?"  or "How long have you been in New York?", their first question was "How many feature films have you worked on?"  How unfortunate is it that so many animators view features as the ultimate ranking system.  Quality work is achieved when the right circumstances (and people--not just artists) are in place for it to be created and recognized, no matter what the format.  I am proud of Baskin Robbins-Baseball Nut because I feel it shows how widely dispersed the animation talent is in our industry.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Glen Keane lectures

You Tube actually has some pretty cool animation reference, pencil tests, and the like that I came across earlier this weekend.  One of those things that I'm sure many have come across before, but still worth checkin out now.  This is part 1 of a video of a lecture he gave at CalArts.  He's just making quick sketches, but it amazed me how much of animation is just second nature to him now.  I specificially noticed how he easily kept track of the force and changing shape of the arm, elbow and back, as well as general physicality, and at the same time adding bits of the subjective character and entertainment on the fly.  Pretty cool!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

With my freeze ray gun...

So, I know I'm about 2 years late on this...which in the online world is centuries ago.  But who cares?

Once upon a time in a land known as 2008, there was a web series phenomenon by Joss Whedon (and team) known as "Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog".  I remember seeing poster images of it at random places, but didn't know what it was and didn't know I should watch it.  One of my friends showed me the first act of it late last summer, and I loved it, but never got around to seeing the rest.  Netflix changed that!

Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris) who's crush on a neighborhood girl (Felicia Day) forces him to balance trying to get the girl and fulfilling his career dreams of villainy.  Oh, and in song!  Look I know there are a lot of people who hate anything called a musical, but I think they've probably only seen bad ones.  :P  These songs are varied, and the lyrics are used to tell the story, not to repeat a refrain over and over because "we need a song here".  The web series got a lot of buzz in the press, won an Emmy, and apparently placed 4th for the top 10 TV Series of 2008 in Time Magazine.  It also got me to post about it even though it's two years old!  There must be other people who haven't seen it, so my advice is to change that.  If you have seen it, get someone else to see it who hasn't!  Netflix instant streaming win! 

I find this production to be inspirational in so many ways!  First off, the obvious--it's really good!  Fantastic story, acting, and music.  Second, it's independent without being "indie".  This was just a bunch of people getting together, wanting to make something good on their own terms, while trying to show that anyone can create and distribute their own content on the web these days.  I mean really, is there no better time to be an artist if you want to try to get your personal work seen in public?  I enjoyed it so much and wanted to support this type of independent work that I immediately bought the DVD on Amazon.  It makes me want to create something of my own and get it out there!  Or draw more of my comic ;)  I have ideas, for the first time I actually have ideas--gotta do it!

So yeah, if you haven't seen it, watch it.  If you have, keep telling people about it!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Freelancer's Guide: Goodbye 1099

So, if you're a freelancer chances are you've been talking with your friends, coworkers, and clients about the IRS crackdown on "misclassification" of freelancers.  Since I started this blog, one of my main reasons for posting was to create a sort of freelance guide for animators, since it's somewhat of a mysterious lifestyle to anyone who's not a part of it.  Therefore I've been meaning to post about this, since these recent changes pretty much leave a lot of my old posts about paying your taxes, dealing with 1099 forms, etc, outdated.  However, since I'm still learning about this myself, I thought it might be better to just present some links to recent articles and discussions on the matter.  My point in posting about this is just to spread the word to people who may be looking for freelance work about what is going on these days so they can further educate themselves, not to tell people what to do.  Like I said, I'm guessing if you're freelance you know about this already, but there are many people either just getting out of school, or who are in staff positions, that may not be aware. 

DISCLAIMER:  I'm linking to outside sources purely for informational purposes, not as legal advice.

AWN article:

Motionographer article (includes good resource links at the end):

The IRS rules of classification for independent contracter vs employee.

Keep in mind, many of the discussions in the comments of these articles are heated, and sometimes not always written with accurate knowledge.  Your best bet is to do your own research.  That's my only advice ;)

Monday, February 08, 2010

Maya Cheats

Check out the book that my good friend Eric Luhta wrote!  "How to Cheat in Maya 2010".  Behold the first Maya book that actually focuses on the animation tools and techniques in Maya.  3D software development and its documentation seems to rarely get any time spent on the animation tools themselves, at least not as much as the fancy new things.  There are plenty of awesome animation books to be sure (Survival Kit, Illusion of Life, etc), but when it comes to learning how to animate in Maya, not so much.  This is where Eric's book comes in handy, and if you're trying to jump into animating in Maya as many academic programs do, this book will undoubtedly come in handy.  He covers a lot of the technical aspects of the graph editor, splines, as well as workflow for animating in 3D.  Don't worry if you don't have 2010...we all know the animation tools in Maya pretty much stay the same ;)  The only thing that is new is the animation layers that he talks describes, and I *believe* that is in Maya 2009.

Eric asked me to help him with a few of the character poses for the images, and I had fun doing the little flipbook animation in the corner.  As a kid, I remember flipping through the pages of this book at the local library where my mom worked, and watching this ladybug in the corner jump and dance around.  It was kinda fun to get to do one of my own.  Even though I do that all the time now, it's a specific format.  The animator in me says it's cool to show that, at its core, 3D essentially functions the same as 2D.  I think the kid in me just likes flipping pages :)

Anyway, you can find it at Barnes and Noble, or at Amazon.  Check it out!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More Pop Secret

In the grand tradition of shameless plugs, the second Pop Secret ad by Nathan Love, "Caddyshack", is also airing now!  Also, over at Motionographer there's a very nice article about "Dark Knight", that includes a link to concept art, character designs, and breakdowns of the spot in progress.  Currently we're workin on the third spot, featuring "When Harry Met Sally".  It's looking great, I'm looking forward to sharing it soon!  Here are the YouTube versions:


And just in case you haven't seen it, here's Dark Knight