Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Major Blog Overhaul/Update ... coming this weekend

Yikes! It's embarrassing how neglected this blog is and how many dead/broken links, pictures, and videos there are. I'm going to give it an overhaul this weekend and update it with all that has happened in the last two years. Stay tuned! : )

Friday, April 01, 2011

Opening Weekend for Hop!

Wow, please excuse the cobwebs. I've been in crunch and have fallen quite behind with this blog...

Just wanted to give a little shout out that Hop opens this weekend! A lot of my really good friends and co-workers worked super hard on this. Check it out. :)

I animated the shot at :11 where Carlos closes the door on the bunnies as well as the shot at :19 "we da bosses.. we da bosses."
(hehe, and right before that it almost shows some effects animation I helped with.. slow motion whiskers ;)

During production I was on mostly the full CG factory shots. I only have one with a live action plate.
(Where EB has a little bit of stage fright).

Anyways, now we're switching gears and moving onto realistic creature animation on Mr. Popper's Penguins which will come out June 17th!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Rhythm & Hues!!!

I received EXCITING news over the weekend!!! I'll be joining Rhythm & Hues this summer as an animation apprentice! On top of that... there are at least 6 AMer's starting at the same time! I can hardly believe it! :)

As promised here are 2 of the 3 shots I've been working on. They're not done yet, but getting closer!

Anyways, I absolutely can't wait! YAY :)
"I remember Daddy told me: Fairy tales can come true. You gotta make 'em happen, it all depends on you" -Almost There, Princess and the Frog

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thumbnail Sketches!

Whew, so I have been quite busy lately working on new material. I'm so excited to finally post it here!!! I've had the absolute pleasure of studying under Wayne Gilbert this term( ) and I'm currently working with him to polish up 3 new shots! While they're not quite ready to be revealed, I thought it'd be fun to give a glimpse into the planning process and show a few of my thumbnail sketches.

These are thumbnails from one of the three shots I'm working on. Having never tackled a quadruped before, I felt it was important to delve into it before I find myself in a production setting. I did extensive research to really figure out how dogs move. After sorting through tons of reference footage I found a clip that I wanted to attempt. I was then told to cover half the dog with my hand and study the two ends separately. I decided to draw separate thumbnails for both ends of the dog before looking at how the two sections of the body worked together. It was a lot of work, but paid off hands down in the end. By the time I was done sketching I had a much better grasp of the mechanics and knew exactly what I wanted going into the computer.
It's so less intimidating when you know what you want and how you're going to get there. Don't underestimate or skimp on planning.. even if nobody else can make sense of your sketches, it doesn't matter. Taking that extra time in the beginning and having a clear idea in your head will save you massive amounts of time in the long run!

I'll post all of the shots in the near future! I'm actually even more excited about the other 2!!! It feels like a light has just turned on and I've had one "aha" moment after another lately. I'll try to share more about those "aha" concepts... but they have mostly been:
- Rediscovering the importance of planning
- Experimentation with different workflows (I really found one that clicked)
- and the last one is hard to describe.. The best way to say it is animating force versus form. Where you animate based on feeling? Feeling out the poses, feeling out the character? As I said.. not quite sure how to describe it?
Okie dokie, that's all for now. :)

*I uploaded the thumbnail sketches for educational purposes only. They are watermarked just in case. I put a lot of work into these and plan to use the shot on my reel. Please do not copy or reproduce. Thanks!*

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Staying up in the downs

I want to take a moment and talk about something often avoided/overlooked/not talked about. Something I feel that is important to discuss and hopefully helpful to others.

How to stay up in the downs:
Too many times we push this conversation to the side. It's not easy to admit you're feeling down, and who likes to hang around negative energy? No one.
I think that, however, is EXACTLY why it's beneficial to talk about it here. If you can acknowledge those feelings and deal with them properly, it's much easier to convert it back into that positive energy we all know and love!

The job hunt can be a roller coaster of ups and downs, waiting, and what-ifs? The animation industry is hard to break into!
Whether you're just coming out of school and looking for the first job, or in a down time between gigs.. it's important to keep your chin up, as hard as it may be. Days can stretch into weeks and weeks into months. It's important to have a plan, find balance, and learn how to manage your time. Setting goals and holding yourself accountable is essential, but at the same time don't be too hard and beat yourself up. (the last bit is something I'm working on).

Rejection letters happen-
"But I believe brick walls are there for a reason. They're not there to keep us out. They are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something." -Randy Pausch

Don't worry and don't let it discourage you. Use that fuel to power yourself forward. Whatever you do, don't stop animating! Keep working on new material and keep learning. Perseverance, determination, and motivation are key. Getting feedback during this time is more important than ever. Whether that means signing up to take more classes or teaming up with friends, stay connected and involved. Find a way to keep moving forward!

Stay happy, stay healthy.
Remember taking care of yourself includes both physical and mental aspects. If you're feeling similar emotions related to burnout- take some time out and relax. Revisit the wonderment that drew you to the magic in the first place. Exploring other creative outlets can help too. Playing fiddle, mandolin, drawing (or teaching the 1st graders how to draw) help keep me inspired! Sitting down with a good book, watching my favorite movies, and of course hanging out with my family are also great for the soul!
Main point: Set time aside to take care of yourself.
Including, physical health! For me this is running and going to the lake. I love to run and I feel so much better afterward. Get up and go outside, take a breath of fresh air and enjoy life!

Remember a good animator is always in need. You'll get there. We're all in this together. Follow your dream and never ever ever give up! It's just a matter of time. :)
"Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen." - Conan O'Brien

"Why do we fall? So that we might learn to pick ourselves back up"

Anyways, I cannot rightfully take credit for this advice. I just wanted to pass it along and pay it forward. I hope it was as helpful to you as it was to me. :)

(new shots are coming soon from my new AM refresher class with Wayne Gilbert! I'm very excited to share them along with some of my thumbnails. Stay tuned!)

Monday, March 29, 2010

New Demo Reel

I just updated my Demo Reel and Resume!
I also started my 3rd Animation Mentor Alumni Refresher course today,
so new work is on the way. Thanks for stopping by. :)
Check it out at

How to Train Your Dragon

WOW! Huge congratulations to my mentors, friends, and the team at Dreamworks! I went to see How to Train Your Dragon last night and was absolutely blown away! What an AMAZINGLY AwESoME and incredibly well put together film on every level... story, art direction, animation.. everything!

If you haven't seen it yet, what are you waiting for? Seriously. You won't be disappointed. ;)

Running Update!!!

I'm going to run the Disneyland Half Marathon this fall!!! So EXCITED! It all started out as just a joke between some friends, but it's official. I absolutely can't wait!

Anyways, needless to say I've started training again! My hope is to run the half marathon barefoot, or, well I should say practically barefoot. I've been running in my new Vibram Five Fingers. :)

I first heard about the benefits of barefoot, or minimalist shoe, running from Christopher McDougall's New York Times Bestseller "Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super Athletes, and the Greatest Race the World has Never Seen." It's one of the best books I've ever read and I highly recommend it (even if you don't like running). It's incredibly inspirational and makes ya want to get up and move!

Anyways, I'm absolutely hooked! I don't think I'll ever go back to regular running shoes! My feet just feel so light and my runs are so much more fun. I find myself running over different terrain just to see what it feels like.
I thought I had good running form before.. but I instantly noticed my stride shortening with these. I use so many muscles in my legs that I never knew I had! I can't even describe how sore my calves were after my first couple runs! Barefoot running truly takes some time to adjust and it's important to start out slow. I'm only up to 4.5 miles so far.
Instead of going into details about barefoot running and why it's beneficial, I'll direct you to an awesome post that Alexiss put together on the subject. :)

I was so excited to get my Vibrams I could hardly wait! None of the local stores carried them though, so I had to order online. I went through REI since I had a gift card there.. but they're also available online at:
Vibram Main Site
If you buy Vibrams online, just be sure there is a good exchange policy in case you need a different size.
I had read online that everyone instantly loves Vibrams. I was pretty disappointed the first time I slipped them on though. Hahaha, well first off.. slipped on is the wrong term. My first time putting on the KSO's took quite a bit of effort (I'm much faster now).
I just wasn't use to having things between my toes and I didn't like how snug the Vibrams fit. There was absolutely no extra room and my toes kept going numb. It didn't feel like I was barefoot at all and they felt really restricting. I was about ready to exchange for a size up, until I did a google search and found out that Vibrams need some time to break in. I forced myself to wear them around the house with tags on and sure enough about a week later they were so comfy I didn't want to take them off! :)

Anyways, I LOVE them now and I can't wait to run the half marathon with an amazing group of animators!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Mark McDonnell on Gesture Drawing

I know it has been awhile, but I just stumbled on this goldmine today and wanted to share, because it's AWESOME! Mark McDonnell is posting tutorials and samples of gesture drawing instruction done instructing artists at The Walt Disney Company and more.. and he's posting it on Youtube!

How to set up for Gesture Drawing
How to Warm-up for Gestures Part 1
How to Warm-up for Gestures Part 2
Character Design Intro

His website is
and he has a group on Facebook that you can follow if you're interested. It's called Fans of Mark McDonnell's The Art And Feel Of Making It Real.
Anyways, I feel incredibly inspired and want to go draw, Enjoy!
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