Saturday, March 28, 2009



Guess what I got?

I am currently a happy (yet empty-pocketed) camper.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Couple Pages of Doodles III

More doodles from deep in the Ruocco Vault:







Hurry, before they go back into the vault for another 7 years!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Recycling of Pinocchio's Fish

Its been a while since I've done anything remotely similar to the Disney's Gettin' Lazy videos. Part of me would like to go back & continue doing the videos again, & another wants me to just move on to new things. Still, I can't help spotting bits of reused animation when I watch a Disney movie. I almost do it unconsciously now. 

I picked up a copy of the new Pinocchio DVD (which is awesome, by the way), & noticed that some of the fish during the "Searching for Monstro" sequence looked familiar. 

The final shot of the scene was recycled in the "Walrus & the Carpenter" sequence of Alice in Wonderland, 11 years later.

 
(Click to Enlarge)

I think a lot of people knew about that one, but I'm not sure if anyone else noticed this one:

Coincidently, I was watching a few Goofy cartoons that I had on my iPod while on a train ride back from NYC. One of them was Goofy's Glider. After watching the Pinocchio DVD, the fish caught my eye again. Looking at the cartoon & the movie side by side, the fish looked the same (if not close). 

Both films were released in 1940, Pinocchio on February 9th & the Goofy short on November 22nd, about 9 months apart.  A pretty small span of time. I assume that the productions didn't overlap each other. Still, the drawings were pretty fresh.


(Click to Enlarge)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Couple Pages of Doodles

I had an 8-pound folder sitting on my animation table filled with about 500 sheets of half-crumpled printer paper with little "spare-time" sketches that I did over the past 2 months. After sorting through all of them, & weeding out the poor ones, I scanned about 140 keepers. I was thinking about doing another one of those giant setups with all the "good" doodles on them, but it's way too time consuming & I don't think anyone could stand looking at them for more than 30 seconds without their eyes crossing anyway.

Here's a few random pages to gaze upon:







Tuesday, March 10, 2009


If I could, I probably would. 

& often, too.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Bear Necessities

Has anyone noticed that 99.9% of the time, all my post titles are really bad puns? 

For an animation assignment two weeks ago, we had to animate a pre-made puppet in AfterEffects. You know, like they do on shows like Wonder Pets or Little Bill. For the assignment, we were given a puppet of a cartoon bear, which looks like this:



Like in some Flash animation, to make the character move you have to move each part individually. This bear had around 15 separate moving joints, as well as interchangeable mouth shapes, eyes & eyebrows. Each part is anchored (or in AfterEffects terms: "parented") to the main body or linked to each other. Example: The wrist is parented to the lower arm, the lower arm is parented to the upper arm at the elbow joint, & so on. To have a character lift its arm, let alone act & emote realistically, you have to move each piece one at a time, as well as have plenty of patience to do so. It seemed hard at first, but once I got the hang of it, it became a piece of cake. 

Specifically for the assignment, we had to have the bear speak about 10 seconds of dialogue, as well as move accordingly with what it was saying. I chose a bit of dialogue from one of my favorite current cartoons, Chowder. I chose this particular line because there seemed to be a lot of emotion & force in the delivery. Here's the audio clip:

video

Since I had to work with the dialogue, I animated the lip sync first. Then I animated the eye blinks & squints, then the torso & legs, head tilts & finally the arms. The only part I didn't animate were the brows, because unfortunately the nulls (aka controls) for them didn't work, so I left them out. 

I'm prone to over-animating things a bit too much, & on my first pass I went absolutely wild. The arms were flailing all over the place & were way too distracting. While in the studio, I asked my friend Carly for some help. She acted out the scene for me, as well as drew a few rough thumbnail keys to help plan the poses out.



With Carly's help & a little more patience, I finally finished the thing. I do think he moves a little bit too much, especially in the knees making him go up & down. But for a first try, I'm happy with it.

video

By the way, if you haven't already, go check out Carly's blog & deviantART page. She's a very talented artist & gifted animator. THANKS AGAIN, CARLY!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

An MJR Life Update...

It's been extremely busy for me these past few weeks. School's been as busy as ever, my personal life has been turned upside-down & right side-up again, & while my health has been gradually improving since leaving the hospital, my body doesn't quite seem to have that same vim & vigor that I used to. Very hectic.



My film for school has been inching along at what seems to be a snail's pace. After thinking about it throughout the course of my hospital stay, I decided to scrap everything I had thus far & start over. I didn't lose much, but I'm still basically starting from scratch again. 

After learning a few new tricks & a bit of on-site practice, I've definitely believed that I've improved somewhat in Flash. & although I'm really ruing the idea, I'm gonna do my whole film in Flash. While I'm animating in Flash like I would on paper, it feels like I'm taking the easy way out or I'm cheating.  It shouldn't really bother me, but it does. Either way, it'll save me loads of time & hopefully with the upcoming spring break, I can really hunker down & get as much of it done as I can. As more of it comes through, I'll make sure to put bits & pieces of it up here to show progress.

(speaking of Flash, here's a little test I did as an assignment for a class. As far as animation goes, this'll probably be close to what my final film'll look like: LINK)

I've also got a truckload of drawings & art I've been looking forward to scanning. Hopefully I'll scan as much of it as I can tomorrow & that'll provide a few weeks worth of stuff to post here. 

-& just to throw it out there, I watched all 16 DVD's of the Richard Williams Master Class. They've been a real inspiration & help for me. I highly recommend them, so if you can, get your hands on them & lend an ear to the master himself. 

To finish up for today, I just want to say that I've had a lot on my mind over the past month & I'd like to share at least a small fraction of my thoughts here, whether it's worth it or not. It probably won't be to prolific or well worded, but getting even just a portion of it helps me feel a little bit better. Keep an eye open for that.

Cheers n' cheerio!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

(Insert Title Here)

Did this as a gag for a Photoshop game my friend started. Nothing else.