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Archive for January, 2008

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This was the cover art for an online book I did. It was put together in Flash, and you could click through each page. It was a ‘circle’ story, sort of a mind exercise where you start with macro items on earth and go smaller and smaller until you are back where you started. I’ll post a link if I find the SWF file again.

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Here’s a promotional postcard that went out for President’s Day. The front and back as seperate files. All painted in Photoshop.

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Last week got kind of crazy, huh? It was Friday when I realized I had only posted once. I hope to get some new material posted this week.

Here’s a great site I bumped into a few years ago, and visit as often as time allows. It’s called the Prelinger Archives. It’s not all animation, but features a variety of different genres of material that focuses on “ephemeral”(advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur) films. You can watch many of them on the site and many are available for licensing from Getty Images. Some are available for download.

There are also links to dozens of different AV collections. Those wonderful slide shows that told us how to be good students and neighbors are there to. Most in the public domain.

The archives feature the infamous Duck and Cover films of the 1950′s and 60′s, and some great corporate films. Be careful, once you start clicking around you can easily spend 4 hours. Great place for inspiration, history and fun.

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Animation Monday. Where I spend at least 30 minutes looking through my bazillions of bookmarks to find unique animation to post. Or not so unique…sometimes just scary.

I think this is older, and popped up on Cartoon Brew a while back, but some very odd and funny animated shorts at this site. Bunny-things, who seem to be in prison. Hummmm. Add in oddly hypnotic music and you have shorts sure to hit it big with the kids. You know, ‘these days’. The-kids-these-days.

The Kids These Days are always blamed for everything aren’t they? And yet, the world being the mess it is, I don’t hear the saying “Somethings wrong with the adults these days…”

Some very cool art direction. You can watch 6 or 7 of the shorts now, and it seems they are adding more.

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Some work-in-progress here. It’s a HUGE painitng, so this reduced size is a little less effective. It is a double page spread. And the design of this story has me thinking of an animated short based on it as well.

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The clip above is the opening 13 seconds or so from an animated project I art directed and animated…that never saw the light of day. Heck, it didn’t even see a light bulb swinging back and forth in the wind on a lonely front porch.

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It was based on an idea from a very funny writer in L.A. that I met. Dave had an idea that seemed suited to my collage style. It was a show about real trash. I won’t say more, maybe Dave is shopping it.

I designed most of the characters, started building them in poses in After Effects and did almost all the layouts of the 5 or 6 minute short. Then it happened.

Life.

Bills.

I had just bought a house, and was getting ready to start Grad School. I lost all my free time. Did I mention the house was a FIXER. Yeah, all in caps.

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So the project just sort of died. Above is a short animated clip that uses the opening layout with some simple music and snd. effects. The three pieces of art are the main characters and that opening layout.

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There are so many projects to pursue, so many interesting ideas. But sometimes life gets in the way, and the ‘freebie’ ideas fall to the side. Not to blame Dave. We had a partnership and I would have shared in any success, but building and animating 6 minutes would have taken time I didn’t have. Pretty cool looking though. Wish I had finished it.

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Off Topic Tuesday

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So I ordered some stuff from Amazon.com. And my order ‘qualified’ for their Super-Duper-Super-Saver-Shipping. That means FREE. And as I didn’t need this stuff in a hurry, I figured ‘”Why Not?”. Ordered on January 5th I think.

On the 8th I got the email that it shipped. Not so bad, 3 days to throw stuff in a box, put a label on and drop it off before coffee.

So I decided to track the package. And well, all I can say is wow. It’s not so much that they were slow to fulfill the order or that they ship it via a guy riding an undersized donkey (It is FREE…) but, they actually seem to have developed a system to slow down the delivery process.

“When you absolutly, positively don’t want it there anytime soon.”

As the graphic above shows, it shipped from Kansas on the 8th, traveled to Ohio by the 10th (OK, back of the truck, only shipped when they had room – I understand it is super-duper-super-saver-shipping AKA – I paid nuthin’.). Hey! it got to Washington on the 10th, (that’s getting pretty close to Oregon! ) Then…Back to Ohio…Then back to Washington…What the h&^$*@?

So, super-duper-saver-shipping isn’t just no priority, it’s actually a negative priority, an alternative universe priority where slow is fast and distance is an illusion. A universe where they ship it towards you, and away form you. Then towards you…and away from you. Is my package costing more to drive back and forth than to just deliver in the first place?

And what about the contents? One item is a electronic device. Was it thrown back and forth to trucks 4 times as much? Because if that box shows up looking like an elephant sat on it, it’s going right back to Amazon. But I hope they don’t take returns via super-duper-saver-shipping or DHL will have to ship the package to China, then to Washington, then to Kansas, then back to China…you get the idea.

Weird.

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This week, I’m not linking to a clip, but to a great animation artist named Lou Romano. For those involved in animation you already know his work. If I can introduce a person or two to him, all the better. Inspiring, amazing, fun and funny. Recently he has also been showing up in the New Yorker as well. (actually tracking New Yorker artists would make another great blog topic) His work always catches my attention. So without further ado, check out his blog. Why I keep linking to people far better then me, I have no idea…but at least folks stopping by this blog get a treat!

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I seem to have a thing for farms. Well, drawing farms anyway. And rural landscapes in general. I have done a few animated shorts set on farms, and a graphic novel (with agent, but I’m not sure it will be picked up) that has a rural setting (truth be told, it is half farm/half outer space). I’m just finishing up some animation for a great new documentary by November Films and it features – a history of farming in the United States.

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So I have more then a few notebooks filled with farm quick drawings/inspiration. Here are a few. I like the raw energy of these works-in-progress. Usually placed too close to an edge of the page, or smeared with coffee. They have great life to them. And it takes a lot of effort to keep that life, that spontaneity and produce a finished piece that is production ready, at least that’s the tough part for me.

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A quick doodle from my notebook. And it says “Story is King” on the other side of that page. I like the brevity of this, even though it is drawn with way too many lines.

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