Sunday, November 09, 2008

Short Film Update- blocking plus

Originally uploaded by teresan18
As you can tell...I still have a lot of things that need fixing and a long ways to go... but I thought I might as well update this. :)
I'm really having a blast animating my short!...but I'm very tired at the moment and need to go to here it is....

(oh, and what do you think of the music? I'm in search of some kind of soundtrack???)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Universal Short Film?

Digital Camera 001
Originally uploaded by teresan18
My mom teaches 1st grade and one of her students created this today in writers workshop. The translation is...
"I had to share my barbies with my sister Reina, she wanted to play."
What cracks me up is she has herself as the girl on the the exact same position as the girl in my film.....on her knees and her sister comes in on the right standing up... and waving the barbie around.
heheh anyways, I just thought it was cute! :)

Acting and Physics

I just wanted to link to some things that we've been talking about in class. Mostly for future reference so I can always find them! :)
This site is a great resource for animation physics...

and here are some great Michael Caine videos on acting...

Acting is sooo important in animation!
I really am convinced I need to watch The Odd Couple now... what a great example of power centers and really great acting!

lol, while I'm on a youtube posting spree... I might as well throw this one in as well! :) I just re-watched Beauty and the Beast the other night after talking about James Baxter and spacing... what an incredible movie.. I love this one so much... and to slow-mo through parts of amazing!

Oh, and I found this too... animated by my mentor Sean Sexton!

Anyways, enjoy!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pet of Horror Sketch

Here's a quick little sketch I did for fun.
The theme of this week was Pet of Horror.
I decided to go for a pun on a horror movie...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Secrets of Body Language Summary

The History Channel had a special on the Secrets of Body Language and I found the show super interesting. It could almost be a school lecture in itself!(if you missed it they are replaying it quite a bit I think) Anyways, I just thought I'd take some notes here on what I think the most interesting parts were (well notes as in, going back through it, pausing, and trying to type out what they say in the most interesting parts of the show).

The explanation of the show states "Experts report that 93 percent of all communication is through gesture, facial expression and body movement, not words."

Body language says it all if you look beyond the words.
"When you can read body language...every moment you spend with others you can make it valuable and if you're in business profitable." I would say it's crucial for animators to read body language so we can put our observations from real life into our animation and make the characters really come to life!

They described a video clip, of Vladimir Putin and President Bush,as a striding contest between two powerful world leaders. The faster you stride..the more powerful and fit you are. (I tried to look on youtube for the exact clip, but can't find it)
It's not just the speed of walking that sends out messages. Vladimir has an animal power, a strong man power. He walks by having his shoulders bounce back and forth and he makes gestures and is very active (described as a sexy walk). Bush on the other hand has a traditional American power. There is very little movement above the shoulders, he's trying to look controlled, there is no extra wasted energy.

The next clip shows 3 world leaders trying to go through a door. There is great meaning behind who goes through the door first. In the west it doesn't really matter, it's polite maybe... but in the Middle East it has significant cultural impact. The host, power person, says I'm in control I'll help you through the door and show you the way. The last man through the door is the winner.

Even when friends and allies meet subtle cues reveal who's top dog. (George Bush and Tony Blair are the example here). Tony Blair should be in charge and the boss, but he accepts the seniority in place here is Bush. So the president is in charge of the choreography and goes through the door last, even putting his hand on Tony Blair's back to help him through. He then gives him three little taps on the back. A tap on the back is one way to demonstrate power, getting the upper hand is another.

(picture from
When world leaders get together they know there is one sure way to show power and that's in the hand shake. They always want to be on the left of the picture so that they can be on the top of the hand shake. The visual impact of important hand shakes was first appreciated in 1970 when Elvis Presley famously visited Nixon at the white house. Nixon has the upper hand. They then had a clip of Putin greeting other world leaders, where he was positioned to be on the left of all the photos. When George Bush comes in he realizes he's on the wrong side and immediately crowds Putin, so Putin's left arm is in no position to grab hold of Bush's right arm. As soon as Bush turns out he immediately goes to tap Putin's back, to actually give him a push, but not to be out done Putin puts his right arm out and gives Bush a tap as well.

(left to right, Winston Churchill, FDR, Joseph Stalin)
Even seated the bodies of world leaders can speak volumes. February 1945, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill famously met at the Yalta Conference. The allies had worked together for 3 years, but with the end of the war insight that was all about to change. We see three men wanting to dominate. Visually Roosevelt was in the center and the center figure always appears to be the most important. Even when Roosevelt is talking to Stalin he turns the opposite way and Stalin leans in and follows FDR, Roosevelt is the real leader of the two. Churchill's body language is conveying Britain's diminishing status. He doesn't look like a fully engaged participant, he has both of his elbows out. You can see how each of these men, each a master in their own country, interact with each other on the world stage.

A politician's body language can easily give him away, especially when he's under pressure. November 13, 1973 Watergate is at its height and Nixon holds a live televised question and answer session. His body language says it all.... (I couldn't find a very good clip online..the show had a much better one where you could see his hands behind his back and how he really was leaning on the podium). He has his hands behind the back that gives the indication that he has nothing to hide, open front. However, he is holding his wrist and rubbing his arm, which is called the self-touch gesture. His words are combative but his body language betrays anxiety. He's holding himself away from the podium like he's going to be attacked, he's trying to defend himself from searching questions. After he says "I'm not a crook" he immediately goes into retreat. When somebody makes a definitive statement and immediately retreats we know they didn't tell the truth, they're escaping that lie. Then he crosses his arms right away to protect himself. He displays tellingly defensive body language throughout the speech.

Reading body language you look at what is normal for that situation and what is normal for that particular person. That way you have a "norm." If someone's body language departs from the norm it can often be a sign that all is not well.

My favorite part of the show was when they talked about President Bush's body language! I don't know why but it really reminded me of talking to Carlos and how they animated Skinner in Ratatouille. Carlos said that they animated Skinner with the attitude of a 5 year old I think (or something along those lines).. and he would pout. Anyways.... it's not the same because Bush doesn't act like a little kid when he gets angry.. it just reminded me of that conversation for some reason.

One world leader has a unique way of using body language to slide through any situation no matter how embarrassing, George W. Bush. The thing with Bush.. no matter if he says something wrong or makes a mistake, he gets like a kid. He becomes this little six year old kid, like "oh, I made a mistake." It's this playful likable trait that if you saw your 5 yr old kid you'd want to pinch his little cheeks..but it's the president.

This is a classic example of George Bush getting lost in what he's saying. He pauses a long time and knows the next word is "shame on you," but he also knows he's completely lost the next sentence. Then he comes up and misquotes the next part. There is a long pause where he is evaluating whether he's made a complete fool of himself, but then carries on regardless.

Image is everything!

Politicians realized body language was powerful in 1960 where John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon debated in the first televised debate. Nixon looks far less assured in front of the cameras than Kennedy. Nixon had only just come out of the hospital from an injured knee and he refused makeup for the camera. He also sweat under the lights, he compared unfavorably with the tan and fit looking Kennedy. In the polls after that debate, Nixon to the radio audience that only heard him, won by a landslide..but the poll of the audience that saw the debate, Kennedy won by a landslide.
Many politicians employ coaches to shape their image.
These clips about body language in politics on youtube (these aren't from the show, but I just ran across them on youtube trying to find clips and thought I'd include them)

Coaching give aways, are when the gestures don't feel natural, when the beat is off slightly... when I'm thinking and then I'm showing. When you coach a politician you have to create an illusion that they're loved by many... so to do this you pretend there are people out there that you know personally, people you are thrilled to see. They point to the audience and say "hey thanks for coming." Then when you watch it on tv you think "wow, she knows so many people."

Every good speaker expresses from the heart. Bill Clinton expresses from the heart, he gestures on the beat. In telling whether somebody is authentic you want to see if they're gesturing just a second before they say it.
You feel it, you show it, and then you say it.
The real mark of a body language master though is how they deal with a difficult situation. They show a clip of Bill Clinton where he gets a question he's not happy with and he does this little thing with his mouth where you can tell he's unhappy..but then he quickly gains his composure and answers it.

Ok, well I need a break... so I'll post this for now..and maybe later I'll finish going through the show, lol. :)

Edit--- So I ran across a few quick clips of the show on Youtube. Here it is if anybody is interested:

Actually.. it looks like the whole show is up.. it's just broken up into lots of little segments. Travel over to this youtube user if you want to view the whole thing. :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thoughts... and hunting the dream!

I was reading the Tips and Tricks article, in this months AM newsletter by Shawn Kelly, and it really hit home for me. I could completely relate to everything Shawn had to say. His article really solidified my dream to animate and I am actively hunting that dream down, now, more than ever! :)

It's easy to get discouraged with graduation looming.. (which is indeed a most happy event!)... but with it comes the worry about looking for a job. Questions arise, like am I good enough? Will anybody see my potential? Will my dream really come true? Who am I kidding anyways? What in the world am I going to fall back on if I don't get a job in animation? It's all I've ever wanted to do since I was 7! (that's right..7) I have no back up plan and to be honest, that's a bit frightening.

Anyways, if you let yourself get caught up in all this worry it can be downright miserable... I have been trying my hardest to push all of this self-doubt aside and remain positive. After talking with my friends, watching The Pixar Story, and reading Shawn's article I feel like I did when I was 7. I feel like anything is possible and I can't give up... no way.... not after I've come this far. This is my dream and I'm going to give it all that I've got! The older I get and the more research I do... there is all this talk of how much competition there is out there..and how unrealistic it is to dream of getting into Pixar or a big studio.. but you know what? I'm a big believer of if you want something bad enough and work as hard as you can to get there, then why not give it a shot? Somebody has to work there. My high school teacher always repeated the quote "luck is when preparation meets opportunity." Well... when that opportunity comes knocking, I'm going to be ready! I love how Shawn said that you shouldn't be afraid of the competition, and that if you want it more than anyone else and work harder than anyone else.... it's them who should be afraid of you. I've got to start telling myself that so I don't get freaked out and fall back into that self-doubt.

When Shawn talked about wanting to animate on Star Wars even though they hadn't announced plans to make any more of them... that part was completely relatable to me. When I was 7 and saw Toy Story in theaters... I knew that's what I wanted to do more than anything else in the world! I wanted to animate Toy Story... so from that day forward I made Pixar my goal. Now they have plans to make Toy Story 3!!! oy... anyways....moving along...

I'm not exactly sure how to put all of my thoughts into words... but I kind of want to talk about why animation is my dream and how long it has been a dream of mine. I say that it was when I was 7 and watched Toy Story in theaters for the first time, but I think the seeds of it started even earlier than that. lol, who knows maybe it dates all the way back to my Mickey and Minnie Mouse birthday cake for my 1st birthday!

or the Mickey and Minnie Mouse birthday cake my dad made for my 3rd birthday... :)

I guess I really can't pinpoint exactly when any of it began because I feel like animation has been such a big part of my life all the time. I'm really not sure how my parents didn't see this coming.. lol, no actually they realized I wasn't going to grow out of it early on. In fact my mom has always told me to go for it!
My passion for the art runs so deep.. I get so excited just thinking that this dream could really come true! I grew up on all of the classic Disney and Pixar movies and I can't picture a more rewarding career than getting to be a part of that process and make films that will be enjoyed by generations... by kids you don't even know, but have the ability to inspire them to dream big! To just be able to give back to what I've enjoyed so much growing up would truly be a dream come true.
I loved so many great characters growing up.. and to be able to be one of the ones behind the scenes giving those characters life and personality would be so much fun!
All of the great stories touched my life and shaped me to be who I am today... a dreamer!

I really can't put my passion and love for the art in words.. but I think you get the idea...
I will end this with some of my favorite inspirational quotes from movies!

"You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something? Go get it. Period."
‘Pursuit of Happyness (Will Smith)’

"Working hard is important, but there's something else that's even more important: believing in yourself. Look at it this way: every great wizard in history has started out as nothing more than we are now - students. If they can do it, why not us?" Harry Potter 5th book

Josh Groban song from the end of Polar Express...
"Believe in what your heart is saying
Hear the melody that's playing
There's no time to waste
There's so much to celebrate
Believe in what you feel inside
And give your dreams the wings to fly
You have everything you need
If you just believe"

"But I've always said to myself.....if I could do it over again, I would follow my dream. You've got greatness in you, Rodney. Never doubt it. You go to Robot City. You go meet Bigweld, and you show him your big ideas. And, Rodney.....never, never give up. " Robots

(lol...sorry about another "lengthy" post) :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Short Film 2/3 Rough Blocking

Originally uploaded by teresan18
Just thought I'd post some progress on my film.
This is the first two thirds of it in rough blocking..
lol, there is so much left to do and change, but I want to get the last third blocked in before I go back and fix the stuff in here.
Oh, and I stumbled across Jack Johnson's 'The Sharing Song' this past week... and I thought it fit pretty well. I dunno, anyways.... I digress.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Progress Reel old update

Originally uploaded by teresan18
This isn't anything new... but I guess I should post it on my blog.
It's my progress reel after I finished up class 4 Advanced Acting.
I was waiting to post it until I had polished it up some more, because I didn't finish my 2 character shot... but I don't think I'll get a free chance to polish it up for awhile so I might as well post what I've got.
(I do plan on going back to finish it up eventually :)
heheh when I put this reel together I was really wanting to see Kung Fu Panda again... hence the music ;)

Short Film Progress

Originally uploaded by teresan18
Well, here is an update on my short film. This is the rough layout/blocking... very rough. :)
I'm really excited to start class 6 and really get some work done on this thing and bring it to life!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Jaw Bone is Connected to.... Chin Bone

Alrighty, so be forewarned that this post has entirely nothing to do with animation... I just feel like writing about my past week and other happenings. As many of you know last week was the end of class five for me at Animation Mentor and I will be starting class six already come this Monday! I can't believe it! Class 6 already! Holy smokes time flies when you're having fun! Anyways, I can't wait to start! But as I said, this post isn't going to be about animation... no, instead it will be about my one week break. lol, I always manage to find something to do on break that isn't.. well let's just say, not so much a good time sometimes and this break was no exception. ;)
(last year on this week break I recall getting my wisdom teeth out and well this year...I can safely say that I out did myself)

Last Friday I went in for double jaw surgery. Why? lol, I honestly don't know... ok, ok, ok, I do know sorta. lol. I got it to correct my bite. Now, from just looking at me beforehand you probably couldn't tell that my bite was off... it wasn't a major over or underbite... I liked to call it a straight on bite. Neither my lower or upper teeth were in front of one another, but instead straight on top and only two of my teeth in my whole entire mouth made contact with each other (two molars way in the back). Anywho, I didn't mind my bite, I have had it my whole entire life after all and I was use to being the last one done at the dinner table... and eating pizza with a fork, avoiding cup of those two were especially hard to eat. Anyways, I didn't mind it and I liked how I looked so why would I ever consider jaw surgery? lol, I didn't.... well, it wasn't on my own accord. My parents were upset that I had spent 4 years in braces and in less than a week my bite had gone back to normal even though I wore my retainer faithfully. It took them at least a year before they could drag me back to the orthodontist after a discussion with the dentist as well... I'll let you know that I didn't go quietly at all.. I put up a lot of kicking and screaming. As far as I'm concerned I would be quite content with my bite the way it was... it wasn't worth wearing braces again. Well somehow they managed to get me in the door and the orthodontist agreed at the major changes my bite had made since I had gotten my braces off. My teeth were still straight they just said that my jaw had grown and that it wasn't my fault so they were willing to correct it and put me back in braces free of charge... free of charge? shoot, that didn't help my argument at all... how could I convince my parents to not let me go through with this again? I couldn't.... so about a year ago I went in to get my wisdom teeth taken out before the dreaded braces were put back on.. and then I went in for records. Turned out that they felt that braces alone couldn't fix my bite, I would need jaw surgery. Wait a sec? Jaw surgery? your joking me? There is no way I'm going in for jaw surgery... braces were a bit of a reach, but jaw surgery? your joking me? I really can live with the bite I have now I don't mind... Well we did a lot of talking and lots of persuading and in the long run they convinced me that it would be worth it. Well, okay. I guess.... but I still wasn't 100% sure... so the braces were put back on and it began.

Right, so as I was saying last Friday is when I went in to get this surgery over with. (scheduled it on a break so it wouldn't interfere with school ;) Well it was completely and udderly miserable. I mean it didn't sound pleasant, but I'm a tough person and I figured.. ya know.. get in get out and get it over with. hahaha well... it turned out to be a bigger deal than that! ;)

I woke up at the crack of dawn Friday morning and arrived at the hospital for my 5:30am 2 hour check-in. That's when the fun began. lol, I received my one size fits no one hospital garb (2XL) hahah I was swimming in it. Anyways, and then I waited around for the blood test and IV thingy majig. I've donated blood before and I have veins that are really easy to find so I shouldn't have been nervous, but I hate needles and I couldn't watch. Then at 7:30am I hugged my mom and dad and went into "the room." (I've never had so much as stitches or a broken bone before, so the whole experience was quite new and intimidating). I had a really great doctor and anesthesiologist though so I knew I was in good hands. I had been told that they normally ask you to count to 10 and that you're out before ya get there... but I didn't even make it to that question. The last thing I remember was them asking me where I went to school. I said "I go to Animation Mentor for character animation." They asked me where I wanted to work... and I had planned on answering "Pixar or some studio like that"... but "Pixar" was the last word out of my mouth and I was out. :)

The recovery room is a blur. I don't really remember it. All I remember are bright lights and loads of people around me and I believe I was throwing up quite a bit. Then I remember all of a sudden being in a room and them asking me to move over onto the bed from the wheely cart. My parents came in before I knew it and I was still pretty out of it and throwing up I think. They seemed quite concerned because I guess that I was in ICU instead of a normal hospital room. The nurses said that was standard procedure with jaw surgery patients, but they didn't know that I would be in ICU beforehand and were a little upset no one had told them.

The surgery had only been 2 hours and I was in the recovery room for 2 hours. I slept quite a bit when I got into my room, but when I did wake up I had no strength to open my eye lids... so I just pretended to be sleeping. The last time I was in ICU I was standing by my grandpa's bed as he passed away... memories from that made me remember how we had talked to him like he could hear us even with his eyes closed... and now I am so glad we did, because you really can hear everybody talk when you're in there and they don't think you're listening. Anyways.... I did pretty well later that afternoon, I took a quick glance in my mom's mirror to see how funny and swollen I was and I also communicated via pen and paper. I even felt well enough to eat. However, I was banned to a clear liquid diet for the first 24 hrs. so I couldn't have a milkshake. :( My mom ordered me some apple juice, chicken broth, and jello though. Everything tasted delicious and went quite well... until I realized that it all left a horrible after taste in my mouth and my teeth were rubber banded together. I had a suction thing by me, but that could only get out the stuff in front of my teeth. Anyways, that night was horrible... by far the longest night I've ever experienced. First off the hospital bed was super uncomfortable! I was tired but I could only go back 30 degrees in the bed they wouldn't let me lay all the way down, so my tail bone was killing me. They were also pumping so much liquid through my IV since I wasn't eating that I had to go to the bathroom constantly and that wasn't fun. Worst of all though... I felt incredibly nauseas. I could have easily put up with the rest, but the nausea was murder. I shouldn't go into detail, lol, but I've literally never seen anything like it.. so if you're queasy skip to the next paragraph... but at 1am I all of a sudden threw up so much blood and it went all the way to the foot board of my bed and filled up 3 of their plastic containers... it was nasty. I had to change my gown and sheets and everything. They decided to ban me from jello so they could tell the difference between it and blood. I didn't particularly feel like eating anyways so I didn't mind... but the jello was my favorite out of everything. The worst thing was though that my teeth had been rubber banded shut during this whole ordeal, so just like earlier with the bad taste in my mouth I had a super hard time getting the new taste out of my mouth. I felt miserable. Not long after I had another episode, however, it wasn't near as bad except I couldn't stop convulsing and shivering and my monitors were going crazy. I spiked a fever and my nurse was worried that I could get liquid in my lungs and get pneumonia. Luckily I was fine after that and nothing else went too horribly wrong. (btw all the nurses I had were incredibly awesome)! My surgeon visited at 6 in the morning and cut off the rubber bands holding my teeth together and we were free to leave. hahaha and I was wheel chaired out of the hospital after jaw surgery, I thought that was pretty funny.

We were staying with my Uncle since I had a follow up appointment 5 days later. I slept for a great deal of it in his recliner (which was greatly welcomed after the hospital bed, much much more comfy..well for the first 3 days anyways). I quickly exhausted my whole collection of Pixar movies that I had brought with me to re-watch for something to do. I had taken my laptop and a book to read, but I never did get enough energy to ever read anything or work on animation. My mom and dad were so wonderful! They took turns sleeping downstairs on the couch with me and waking up every 2 hours to change the ice in my ice pack that wrapped so nicely around my head. I actually didn't mind the ice pack too much at first... but I started hating trying to sleep with it. The recovery wasn't painful at all.. just kinda uncomfortable I guess. Everything from my chin up to my eyes (except my nose) is numb.. and I heard that this lasts for about 6 months and sometimes it's permanent. I'm not worried about it being permanent though since I'm young and my chances are better, plus no place on my face is totally numb... I mean I can feel when things touch it sorta, it just feels plain odd. I was really regretting having gone through with the surgery in those early days of recovery. "why the heck did I do that?" was the most common question running through my head. Then I decided that I was stuck and couldn't undo anything so I would just have to deal with it and move forward. The self pitty didn't last long, because I thought "if this is the worst experience I've ever been through (which it was) than I am truly lucky to have such a wonderful life." Many people have been through much greater atrocities than that. I wasn't expecting to be so nauseas, but 2 or 3 days after surgery when my swelling peaked I felt awful and threw up some more. Once the nausea went away though everything else was much easier to handle. When my swelling peaked I think that I looked like John McCain.... Anyways, my appetite came back about 4 days after surgery and the commercials on tv for food were driving me nuts. I couldn't wait for my appointment the next day to see how long I had to be on liquids.

Oy, turns out that the orders are not to eat any food that has to be chewed for 8 weeks! 8 weeks! What? That's a whole 2 months! :( If I would've known that bit of information beforehand I think I would've really considered not doing this surgery more. I love chips and salsa and sour gummy worms and food! I miss food! Anywho, November 14th is the day to look forward to. On November 14th I will feast like never before! I tried to eat as much as I could before the surgery to try and gain weight, because those of you who know me know I'm not too large to begin with.. in fact I'm muy pequeno. Well... one week later I have already lost 5 lbs. my goal is to not lose anymore. Oh, and my swelling has gone down so much I almost look normal now... now it just looks like I got my wisdom teeth out. I can't wait for all the swelling to go away! Oh, and I can't wait for the feeling to come back, especially in my lower lip. (I make quite a mess eating, but that's also because my mouth doesn't open too far yet either). One really annoying thing I didn't expect is that when you sleep and you're whole face is numb.. you drool... and it's really gross, I hate it and can't wait for that to go away.

Oh, but I forgot to talk about the appointment 5 days later. They took new x rays to see how the surgery came out and to show me what all they did and it was super interesting. My dad counted like 16 or 17 screws I now have holding my head together! They ended up cutting my chin bone and pulling it apart to align my bite sideways or something like that and make my chin wider? I didn't know they were going to do that, so that was a surprise. I now have a plate and screws holding that together until it grows back together. They also broke my lower jaw on both sides and scooted it forward, so 4 screws on each side hold that together. I only have stitches a little bit on the outside so they could get those screws back there at the right angle. Then they cut my gums or something along the top front to slide my palette forward or something? I have a number of plates and screws holding that up and they stitched it closed on the inside. Anyways, they said it's basically like any other broken bones in the body and will take 8 weeks to heal, so they don't want me to ruin it or off set it by biting and chewing or lifting heavy objects... so now I have 1 week and 2 days down... only about 7 more to go! btw... as each day goes by I get considerably better and now I'm super happy I went through with it. My bite looks like it's perfect now and I've never felt my teeth come together like this.. I really can't wait to try it out!

I doubt very many people, if anybody will read this since it's so long winded... but I really wanted to write about it since it was such a big experience and it just kept coming and coming and I kept typing and typing. :)

Thanks so much to everybody that has been here for me! You guys are all incredibly awesome and I love you all very much!
(lol, and my siblings know me all too well... I got some really cool Pixar stickers and I also got a Po stuff toy from Kung Fu Panda that talks when you hit or throw him) I'm having so much fun with him!

Anyways, until next time!
Teresa over and out ;)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Huge Update

Play Right
Originally uploaded by teresan18
Wow oh wow... so much has happened since I last posted.
I need to get a bunch out of my system so I can get some work done. :)
So here goes a gigantic post....

I'll start off with an update about school. I'm almost done with class 5, which is crazy! I can't believe it's going so fast! Anywho, I finished up my animatic and I'm just starting to block my short this week. I have Elliot Bour as my mentor and he's insanely awesome! If you want to read more about his awesomeness he has a sweet site at

hmm this is the first time I've blogged a video from I'm not sure I can get photo's in this post I will continue the update in another post :)

Huge Update Cont.

Alright, so now that I posted a brief school update....
Here is a long overdue update about everything else!

First off, I'm really sorry about not posting about the AM BBQ. I just couldn't figure out how to summarize what a good time I had. It was so exciting to meet everyone and oy it was amazing....

I went down to the bbq with my boyfriend Mike and we had such a great time seeing the sites and visiting the AM office! This trip was just all around spectacular! I think one of my favorite parts was seeing WALL-E opening night with an entire theater of animation students! This pic is the line of all of us AMer's....

Adjusting to life after the June trip to San Francisco was difficult to say the least. It was an amazing trip, however, soon after returning home I got stuck in a real rut. I really wanted to be back in California hanging out with everybody. The trip was just too quick and so much fun. I think that starting class 5 really hit me hard too. I realized how close I am to finishing AM and all of the doubts about being good enough flooded my mind. I've read enough posts by fellow students though to know that all these feelings were normal. I just kept trying to push on knowing that those feelings would eventually pass and I now can say they have! :)

I spent this past week down in LA at Siggraph and to say that it was amazing is a complete understatement! I've never had so much fun! I was able to spend a whole entire week with my friends from Animation Mentor and my batteries feel so recharged.

I went down to Sigg as an 18hr student volunteer, so I ended up getting the full conference pass for free! I flew in Sunday night and met up with everybody to have some Pizza and we ran into all of the fjorg animators which was fun! Then I spent most all of Monday volunteering, so I unfortunately couldn't go to the Ed Catmull talk. :(

Tuesday though I was able to sneak into the AM job qna panel before I had another SV shift. I must give a big 'Thank You' to the AM staff for all of the events they put on, because they all turned out to be so informative and well put together!

Tuesday night was the Animation Mentor party..but being as I'm 20 and not 21 I couldn't get in.. which was a bummer, but I found something totally wicked to do instead! I spent most all of my night at the Nokia Theater! I watched the computer animation festival and then after that they had a Pixar Studio night! I sat in the second row when John Lasseter presented Frederick Back's "The Man Who Planted Trees." It was such a surreal moment I was beside myself, lol. First off "The Man Who Planted Trees" was an amazing short film and I couldn't believe the quality of the film and all the hard work that went into it. Hearing Frederick talk and his passion was so inspiring! Hearing John Lasseter talk was extremely exciting as well, lol, it was weird seeing him right there in front of me and not on the bonus features on my dvd. :) Then he introduced Leslie Iwerks and they presented The Pixar Story documentary. (which I must say is my new favorite movie) :) lol, I can't wait for that to come out on'll be a keeper for sure. I walked out of that theater with all the passion and inspiration in the world... I was just so recharged and confident that "this is what it's all about." My passion and drive to succeed are back and stronger than ever. I feel like a little 7 year old again with the burning desire to animate for a living.

(here's a pic of Shawn Kelly crowd surfing at the bird's of a, it was seriously way too much fun!)

I thought for sure that night would be hard to top, but then came the Frank and Ollie tribute on Wednesday morning. That just solidified everything I had felt the night before! It was incredibly inspirational to hear the wonderful panel talk about two of the greatest animators! AM bird's of a feather was Wednesday afternoon and was yet again another great time! Robin Linn talked to us and I learned so much about how to get in the door and just tons of helpful information!

The best part of my week though was Friday by far. It was just such a magical day and great way to wrap up an amazing trip. I spent the day at Disneyland with a group of 12 AMer's! Talk about a great time! We were double bounce walking down main street to the Hello Dolly songs in WALL-E, analyzing how a duck's feet kept slipping as it walked across in front of us... It was just so great to be surrounded by a bunch of cool animators in such a fun environment! I truly felt like a kid again! The fireworks show and fantasmic and all of their "dreams really do come true" theme just really rang home for me. The whole day was just so much fun! I feel so lucky to have been able to share that experience with all of my classmates... lol, I'm so glad they put up with me when I was extremely hyper and when I crashed energy wise as well...hahaha, man, such good times.... I can't wait to do this again! Thanks to everybody I was with, for truly making this one of the most unforgettable moments ever. This trip will continue to inspire me as I crank away on my short film!

Oh, and I have to add a pic of Johnny V in here! :) he wasn't able to join us a Disneyland, but we gave him a right good scare in the stairway of the hotel, lol...which was indeed the hotel that parts of the Shining were filmed in ;)

Monday, June 30, 2008

San Francisco!!!!!

Oh my goodness! I have so much to write about!!
I just got back from the Animation Mentor BBQ in San Francisco and it was amazing!
I can't write about it all tonight...(I just got in and I really need to go to bed so I can wake up for work in the morning..yuck!)
I uploaded a few of my pictures to my flickr though so I'll just put the link to them on here and write all about it and stuff tomorrow....

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I Can't Wait for the BBQ!

lol..I'm getting so excited for the AM BBQ in San Fran!
It's getting so close!!!!
Oh, and watching WALL-E opening night down the street from Pixar!
Holy cow, I can't wait!
Ok....gotta go finish animating my 2 character dialog...crunch time!

Mike Stocker!!!! Recognized Locally!

So... Mike Stocker is super inspiring and I really look up to him!
He is truly one of the reasons why I wanted to pursue this as a career!
We're from the same home town and I can't believe how long it took Spokane to recognize that they have an animator at Pixar! Mike's brother Kevin played major league baseball and he has a whole shrine on the wall at Applebee's...they also have a wall that is decorated with movie memorabilia but no Pixar posters signed by Mike? Finally, however, Spokane has written an article about him and put it in the newspaper! I couldn't be happier for him! What a great surprise to read! It's about time ;)

The online article doesn't include the cool picture with Mike and Mr.Incredible, so I'll just have to throw in the pic's from when I visited him!

Living A Truly Incredible Life
Jun. 3--Unlike his siblings, Mike Stocker's athletic career did not go beyond high school at Central Valley. Inspired by a cousin, however, he has cut out a career as enviable as if he'd played professional sports and is certainly as rewarding.

Stocker's work as an animator on seven movies for Walt Disney Studios, including such Oscar-winning works as The Lion King, and computer generated cartoons The Incredibles and Ratatouille, among several from Pixar, has delighted millions of movie goers.

"I was affected early in high school by my (artist) cousin, Craig Shillam," said Stocker, in a phone conversation from his studio in California. "Animation was not in the plan, but illustration and commercial type art was."

However, as careers can go, Stocker's round-about path to his ultimate destination took him from art school at Spokane Falls Community College to advertising agency work that included designing conceptualized interiors of Boeing aircraft in Seattle before a move to California.

"I love what I do," said Stocker. "Animation is one of those things that's a lot like baseball. You are your own freelancer in a way."

Stocker, 44, graduated from CV in 1982 and played two years of varsity baseball and one abbreviated varsity basketball season for the Bears.

He was a near double figures scorer midway through his senior basketball season, with a career high 20, before breaking a thumb skiing. After a long layoff he had a 12-point effort in the season finale.

"What can I say?" he said with a laugh. "The only way (coach Stan Chalich) was OK with that is I think he was skiing on the same day."

Like his brothers, ex-Major Leaguer Kevin and Steve, who played one year professionally, baseball was Mike's forte. A second-baseman who believes he hit around .320 for two seasons, he had the quickest first steps of the three, said his dad, Chuck, and developed power during his senior year when the Bears finished second in the Greater Spokane League. But no college baseball offers were forthcoming.

By then he had immersed himself in art in high school. A three-year program at SFCC followed and featured one film analysis course.

Boredom set in on the job in Seattle.

"I saw a Roger Rabbit commercial on TV and that was it," Stocker said. "I realized I could take my skill and do that and wanted to get into it somehow."

He worked out a plan to take a job with McDonnell Douglas in Los Angeles so he could enroll in the Disney-founded California Institute of the Arts where, he said, he fell in love with cartooning. An internship followed with Disney in Florida where he worked on The Lion King and met his future wife.

"I was a cleanup artist and learned about animation," Stocker said.

It also gave him the opportunity to watch Kevin, who was helping Philadelphia to the 1993 World Series, play in Atlanta.

After working briefly for Ted Turner on a cartoon called Cats Don't Dance, Stocker was hired full time with Disney Studios. He said he's going on six years with Pixar.

Learning about his work is fascinating.

"Animation is unlike live action movies which happen so quickly," he said.

From the supervising animators in charge of one character on a cartoon to the supporting illustrators who draw each eye blink and finger move, the crew is large and the tasks time-consuming.

The story line comes from a director-driven idea, Stocker said. Story boards are created and actors brought in to voice the characters.

"They record lines as written and might record it 15 different ways," he explained. "For a voice actor that can be frustrating. There's not a lot of spontaneity."

The animators then create the characters for the movie, often borrowing from physical traits of those actors. One second encompasses 24 frames of film and roughly 12 drawings, he said, adding that there were 60 or 70 animators on Ratatouille.

"It could take a month or two to do one shot that could be 15 seconds of film," said Stocker. "After you figure out how to do it, it's amazing how you make an inanimate thing live. Once you get going you're blasting a scene a week from each person."

Since moving from the traditional two-dimensional drawings of traditional cartoon movies, he is now immersed in the computerized world of three-dimensional models, digitally structured characters and stop-motion movie frame.

"When I came up here (to Marin County and Pixar north of San Francisco), I saw the writing on the wall that computers were taking over," he said. "They trained me prior to The Incredibles and I picked it up quickly."

Mike and his wife Tamara, a story artist animator as well, have been married 11 years. They have a son who Mike coaches in baseball and watches play hockey, and a daughter.

As an animator he said he can tell people he loves his job for its creativity. Like anything, he continued, it's a fickle industry and an artist must be ready to go where the best opportunity is.

Pixar, however, is planning at last to produce Toy Story III in a couple of years.

"I would love to animate Buzz Lightyear," Stocker said.

To see more of The Spokesman-Review, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to

Copyright (c) 2008, The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.

I don't think you read my blog Mike..but if you do...Congrats! and I'm super proud of you! Thanks for everything! :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I got a Cintiq 12WX

Wooo, I'm so excited.
So...for my birthday I got some help buying a 12inch cintiq!
We bought it used off craigslist and it came in the mail last week! :)
It was quite a deal and only has a few minor scratches that don't bother me at all. Heck, I'm going from having no tablet at all to a cintiq! So I'm super hyper.
I've mostly just made a lot of doodles and erased them on it.
I really love drawing on it actually.
It so slick and smooth and I'm not afraid to have it turn out bad..because I can just delete it! (don't even have to waist paper)
Yep, I love it so far!
It's everything I thought it would be :)
I'm sure there will be much more to come on this...

Good Cause :)

I thought I would pass along the message on my blog... because I just think this is really neat.

If anybody wants a good cause to donate to, follow this link and support this adorable little girl! Her goal was to raise $500 for her 7th birthday to go toward childhood cancer...and she has greatly surpassed her goal ($2,650 so far)...
Let's keep this number climbing (every little bit helps) :)

(drat, I don't know why I can't link things properly on here. It won't link normally, but then the url is too long for the it's on two separate lines...You'll have to combine them, sorry)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Shawn Kelly QnA

So if you missed Shawn Kelly's webinar... or you want to see it again...check this link out! :D

It will only be up until April 26th so be sure to watch it!
(as it is quite amazing!)

Friday, April 04, 2008

AskTheAdmin Contest

Hey everybody,
Just thought I'd let you all know about a cool contest AskTheAdmin is doing.
(and I get 10 extra entries for blogging about it :)
Anyways, I still don't have any sort of mp3 player (I know I'm behind), so I thought I'd give it a shot and enter for the ipod nano and Toast 9 :D
Check it out here if you're interested!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Spring Break Project

Well I'm officially a nerd...
Winter term ended Friday at noon and Spring term starts Monday, which equals 1 weekend for spring break... and I spend it animating :P
It's blizzarding outside anyways, so might as well :)

This still needs lots of revisions, but I made the whole thing on Saturday pretty much. I spent all day working on it Saturday (14 hrs) and then 1 hr today.
I could've saved myself a lot of time if I would've done thumbnail sketches first...bad me. I had it all really really clear in my head, except for the ending (which I animated 4 different ways!!!)
Anyways, it was just for a bit of practice and fun!
I textured Bishop on Friday (making him a robber) and I really wanted to animate him, so that's how it all got started.
Oh, and this is the first time I switched between FK and IK hands.
I definitely want to polish this one up :)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Class 3 Dialog Assignment

Alright, here it is... :D
My most recent animation from Animation Mentor!
I can't believe class 3 is almost over. This term has gone by so quickly! I'm super excited for Advanced Acting and I can't wait to start the facial animation and lip sync on this one!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Horton Hears a Who

So I went and saw Horton yesterday...and it was awesome!
It is definitely a must see!
Also, a TON of AMer's worked on it (both mentors and students) so it was super fun to see all of the familiar names in the credits!

Oh and Nick Bruno posted a reel with his work from Horton here...

ps- sorry my links aren't working :(

AM Newsletter! this post is a month late, but I almost forgot to mention that I made the AM newsletter last month! Super fun stuff!
I love AM!

Oh, and in the newsletter this month they have a free eBook of all of Shawn's Tips and Tricks! So if you haven't seen it you should definitely check it out!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

School Update!

So here's my latest assignment... (still in progress obviously :O)
I need to work on the spacing at 50-51 ish and I also need to polish the arc on the leg swing.
I can't wait to start the dialog, but I still have 2 1/2 weeks before class 4 starts, so hopefully I'll get this really polished up!

(shoot...I can't get blogger's video to work...?)

I realize that I haven't exactly kept this blog up to date on my school work...but I think that's because I usually post it here...
(and I can't get the video clips uploaded on this blog..or the link to link? :)

I guess I normally don't feel like posting it again after I've posted it I just thought I'd put a link up to where my school progress is really kept, in case anybody is interested! I dunno? :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Snow Spike!

I can't believe I forgot to post this!!!
I made a snow Spike when we had all that snow..he's gone now..but I have pictures!

(Spike is Animation Mentor's mascot..for those that don't know)

What makes a good animator and running!

So I have posted this elsewhere...but I wanted to add it to my blog.
This is my personal take on what I believe a good animator to be...
and it's also about how much cross country taught me... and how I carry those lessons over to other things such as animation! :O)
...and it's about how I find running so inspirational, ok, so it's kind of a huge big metaphor of sappiness...but it goes! (just promise not to laugh);)

Good animators have great technical skills (weight, timing, spacing) along with a great attitude. I feel that they are able to make a shot their own...make it entertaining, but not over the top...They can get the right balance in there. They just really pay attention to the detail and add the little bits that make the shot believable, fun, and unique. They add in those bits that they observe in life that take the animation a step further!
Good animators are definitely able to step away from their work and are open to critiques... Understanding that the critiques they get are making them stronger...not personal attacks on them.
I also feel that a good animator will help critique others. One can learn so much from their peers it's amazing!
Motivation and the drive to succeed are huge factors as well..
I ran cross country for all 4 years of high school...and well...that's a very mental sport. My coach always told us that running was 90% mental (because of course there is a tiny bit of natural talent that plays a factor as well). But 90% mental is a huge part! Instead of thinking negatively, we'd just phrase everything positively to keep a positive atmosphere..."alrighty well that's 1 mile repeat down only 6 more to go" ^_^ During a race or a practice run, no matter how out of breath you were, we always let out a "good job" to the person we were passing even if they were our opponent (because we all knew how hard it was and we all had great respect for each other). There were of course times where you wanted to quit..create an excuse...I could trip on this rock or root flying down this hill and it would look like an accident..nobody would know that I did it on purpose (I equate this to not accepting criticism on animation...I meant for the arm to move all choppy like that...? It's creating excuses)....but you could just never bring yourself to actually do this. Your will power would kick in and think "what am I doing even thinking this way"... when the going gets tough the sprinter would just keep putting your all into it and it would pay off. There is always somebody else out there who is faster than you...just like there will always be somebody else who is a better animator than you..but that is no reason to give up. "If you give it your best you'll have success." Or "luck is when preparation meets opportunity"... you have got to want it and work as hard as you can to achieve this goal.
I know that this all sounds very sappy...but I got through all of my long runs and races off of those silly quotes (or roughly about 2,000 miles during those 4 years).. You wouldn't believe how powerful they can be as you would just keep repeating them over and over as you powered up the hill or kicked it into a sprint at the end of a 3 mile race to pass one girl then one more... I carry that same drive that same work ethic over to animation. (not the whole passing thing :P) but the mental attitude...there are so many similarities that will help you go far....
-always keep a positive attitude
-when the going gets tough, the tough get going
-you've gotta give everything your best effort
-oh, and there is always strength in was always so much easier to push yourself when you were running along side a friend or a encourage each other and make one another stronger... my cross country team was a group of 50 girls and when we all ran together...I can't even explain it...dropping out of the run was not an option..if they can do it, so can I :O)
Ok...I'm going off on a tangent... I just had to touch on how powerful attitude and your mind set can be!
lol...this is making me want to go for a run....

edit- oh, and cross country, although, it is a team sport in a way it is also individual. You couldn't get discouraged just because you couldn't run even close to the speed of that girl who won state... Instead you had to look inside yourself and just see how far as an individual you had come and be satisfied with that.

I have to throw in a pic of one of my favorite runs (i'm one of the ones on the left hand side ;) ......this is what I look at when I need to remind myself to feel inspired...

I know that this wasn't related to being a good animator..I mean it was, but wasn't...I just find talking in metaphors way easier...:P You don't have to be a runner to be a good animator obviously...but runnning is where I personally learned so much about myself and I think it is what shaped my "go get it, permanently positive" attitude. So I just thought it was a good place to share it! :O)

Ok, that's all for now! I'm just feeling very inspirational at the moment..maybe it's because I'm listening to Phil Collins "Strangers Like Me" as I post this lol..I love that song! :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Beginning of the Ice Age!!! I have to post about this on a side note...because it's just crazy!

I don't remember ever seeing this much snow ever! (well in town anyways)
We got 13" in one day! Wow! Plus, we're supposed to get 9-15" more by the end of the week! All the schools are having snow days...well, except for mine :O)
That's ok though because I love Animation Mentor!

My arms are so soar though...shoveling snow is consuming my life!

(maybe I'll have to take more pictures later this week...we have snow expected on every single day of the 7-day forecast!)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Why I Like Pixar so much :)

So besides making awesome movies....
Pixar makes me feel good about my current job :O)
Here's a quote I ran across from this site

"Pixar sees projectionists as part of the team that gets our movies to the audience. We rely on your professionalism and expertise. You're truly a part of the Pixar family, and we care about the effort you put in."

...makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside ;)

Oh, and here's a picture of my workstation and all of my Pixar toys and animation books ^_^

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Traditional Artwork

While I'm in the process of getting this blog updated.... I thought that I should throw in some more recent artwork.
(The Disney movie covers thing was done 3 years ago and since then I've grown a ton as an artist)
I have attend the fine art program at my local community college for 1 year and a quarter. I had previously planned to earn my associates of fine art degree... but instead I ended up just taking a ton of drawing classes for my own personal benefit instead. I ended up taking the Fundamentals of Drawing, Color and Design, Installation Art, Photoshop for Fine artists, and 5 figure drawing classes!!! The figure drawing classes are where I've seen the most improvement. I was told by every animator that I've ever talked to and I read it in my animation books...that figure drawing is super helpful for animators. Man, they weren't kidding. It has helped me so much...from posing, clean silhouettes, weight, balance...everything! I would definitely recommend life drawing classes to other aspiring animators!

Here's a couple of my drawings
(I haven't scanned my work from this most recent quarter yet, but I'll post a couple of those once I do)
-this first one is one of my favorites! I didn't like it at the time (very frustrating and lots and lots of hours spent on it) but I made it in Experimental Drawing class. It's a huge abstract/self portrait made entirely out of those little black rubber stamps!

(wow-that seems like a lot in a strand like that's all I will post for now)

I have decided to take a break from the art classes for now so I can focus solely on Animation Mentor and devote every little bit of time I have to it. I've heard that the upper classes 3,4,5, and 6 require a lot more time, so I'm prepared and pumped for it! If it's true that you get out of it what you put into it...I'm going to give it my all. (don't worry though..I will always have my sketchbook!)
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