Saturday, August 30, 2008

Emperor's New Groove - rough scene

The Emperor's New Groove '.

Kuzco sitting on his throne looking down at Pacha off screen.
David Spade doing the voice of Kuzco was a perfect match. 
His character was a self-centered sarcastic bit of a jerk 
who, throughout the film, learns the hard way to be nice.

It was a nice change of animation style for a Disney film. 
I always thought it was like a combination of 
Warner Brothers animation meets Disney classic style. 
It was a fun film to animate on. 
Very much a cartoon.
Not just stylized reality...but breaking the rules for humour if needed.

And the style guide that Joe Moshier created to keep
us animators drawing the same world was a great help for reference.
I'll post some of the examples when I can.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Home on the Range 3D - animating to music

Home on the Range was a interesting project for me, as I had the jobs of animating traditional and also animating in 3D { the background character : the steer } .

I was the lead with Lee Hepler being assistant animator and Pete Megow as our TD.
This was my first time animating in 3D for a movie.
Worked with the animation software 'Maya'.
Learned a hell of a lot from those two. Great to work with.

Here is my 1st 'march' cycle that I did at the beginning of the movie. My friend, Will Finn { one of the directors on the film }, gave me a very encouraging positive comment after seeing the test, which went a long way. 

Once again, I had the soundtrack { the song } to use to help with the timing of my animation.
The beat and rhythm of the music helped determine the speed of the characters walk or in this case ' march '.
Pete copied this march one hundred times over and plugged it into the BG's for the large crowd shots.

Home on the Range - animating to music

Here are 2 scenes I animated while working on the
Disney feature ' Home on the Range '.
There's lots going on with these scenes. 
It was fun being able to animate to the music.
Having a soundtrack...being able to place the 
beats on the X-Sheet was very much a added bonus 
for actually hitting the beats with my poses.

The lady is feeding the chickens corn from a bag .... with the 3rd chicken stopping to 'smile' at the lady... the yellow corn in it's beak taking the place of teeth. { it reads better in finished color :-) }

Sunday, August 24, 2008

NOT WORK 1 : btw ..... Vancouver B.C.

btw... here are a few photos of my boys taken from our recent trip to Vancouver B.C. Canada
Just flew back last week. Miss the lake already ! It was beauty eh. Damn... it really was. :-)

TinkerBell - the movie

It was the ' Tinkerbell ' wrap party on friday night here in southern California { Friday August 22nd 2008 } It is the 1st of 4 tink movies.... and as John Lasseter mentioned on the stage just before the outdoor screening of the film { It was a great night } ...there could be more.

The Tinkerbell movies are direct to DVD releases. They are story-boarded at the studio here in southern Ca. , with the character animation being done in India.

 Here are some of my storyboard panels for the movie. I loved drawing Tink. Very cute girl. And with attitude ;-) Once again, Tink, being the curious playful character, gets herself in trouble.

freelance job: AOL superbuddies - star character

Here is one of the 1st AOL 'superbuddies' that i animated years ago.
It was the first time i had to make 'blendshapes' to create the needed poses for each of the characters emotions.

These little characters would be seen next to the person who was ' IM ' posting on AOL. If the word ' sad ' appears in the text as the person was writing it.... their chosen character { in this case, the star } ... would animate a 'sad' emotion.

I had to animate each character starting from a default pose { with no emotion }, then have the character move closer to the camera, animate the needed expression/emotion, then move back to the beginning start pose again.

It was a fun extra freelance job, with each character having 21 different emotions.
It was limited as you can tell, with the file sizes only being able to be so big { or so small } but the challenge was to make it fun to see the character animate as the person typed to his/her friend online.

Storybook Illustrations

Here's some 'storybook drawings' I've recently been doing at work. It's for 'tigger and friends'.
Usually I am storyboarding, but they asked me to do some illustrations as well.
It's actually a pretty calming job. Just make a nice drawing. The pressure being the clock. Usually in 1 week you have around 17 illustrations to draw and color. This story had 21 that were needed. You have to decide your artistic choices pretty quick. But the pressure has only pushed me. In a good way.
I have to say, drawing these cute characters has been great. 

Sunday August 24th - 1st Post

Ok. Hi everyone. My first official 'blog' entry. I'm just testing things out so please forgive any moments of confusion or lack of knowhow on my part. It's another beautiful sunny southern California Sunday morning, and yes, I have some illustrations to do. So i will update and post in a bit. -Mark

Here is my work profile :

Work Profile:


Story Mentor
(Educational Institution ; 11-50 employees ; Animation industry)
May 2007 – Present (1 year 4 months)
Teach students the art of Story and developing their ideas through weekly on-line assignments.


Storyboard Artist

The Walt Disney Company
(Public Company ; 10,001 or more employees ; DIS; Entertainment industry)
March 2007 – Present (1 year 6 months)
Mark has 1 recommendation (1 co-worker) including:
Julie Morgavi, Dialogue Director, The Walt Disney Company

Storyboard Artist
Funnypages Productions, LLC
(Privately Held ; Animation industry)
May 2007 – August 2007 ( 4 months)
Freelance Storyboards for Big Idea's TV series, ' 3 - 2 - 1 Penguin '.


Character Animator
Walt Disney Feature Animation
(Public Company ; 10,001 or more employees ; DIS; Animation industry)
July 2004 – March 2007 (2 years 9 months)
Character animation on ' Meet the Robinsons '.
Animated on the character ' Lewis ' supervised by Nik Raneri
also animated on the character : ' Bowler Hat Guy ' supervised by Dick Zondag.


Character Animator
DreamWorks Animation
(Public Company ; 1001-5000 employees ; DWA; Animation industry)
September 2003 – May 2004 ( 9 months)
Character animation on Shrek 2
Supervised by James Baxter


Character Animator
Walt Disney Feature Animation
( Animation industry)
January 1994 – September 2003 (9 years 9 months)
Home on the Range : Lead 3D Animator on Herd Cows working directly with directors Will Finn and John Sanford
Also traditional character animation of ' Grace the Cow ' supervised by Mark Henn

Emperors New Groove : Character animation on ' Kuzco human ' supervised by Nik Raneri.

One by One: Character animation on animated short

Fantasia 2000 : Character animation on "Rhapsody in Blue" working directly with director Eric Goldberg.

Tarzan : additional animation worked directly with Directors Kevin Lima and Chris Buck and animation supervisor Bruce Smith.

Mulan : Character animation of Mulan supervised by Mark Henn

Hercules : Character animation of Megara supervised by Ken Duncan

Hunchback : Character animation of Esmeralda supervised by Tony Fucile.


The Hollywood Cartoon Company
(Privately Held ; 1-10 employees ; Animation industry)
April 1992 – December 1993 (1 year 9 months)

The Pagemaster (1994) (animator: The Hollywood Cartoon Company)

Once Upon a Forest (1993) (animator: The Hollywood Cartoon Company)


Creative Capers Entertainment
(Privately Held ; 11-50 employees ; Animation industry)
December 1991 – March 1992 ( 4 months)
Tom and Jerry: The Movie (1992) (animator: Creative Capers Cartoons)


Directing Animator
Universal Cartoon Studios / Amblin Television
(Public Company ; Entertainment industry)
March 1991 – November 1991 ( 9 months)
Directing animator for the Christmas Special : A Wish for Wings That Work (1991) (TV)


Supervisor Clean-Up Dept / Animator
Don Bluth Studios
(Privately Held ; 51-200 employees ; Animation industry)
April 1985 – March 1991 (6 years)

Thumbelina (1994) (additional animator)

A Troll in Central Park (1994) (character animator)

Rock-A-Doodle (1991) (character animator)

All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989) (clean-up supervisor)

The Land Before Time (1988) (additional animator)

An American Tail (1986) (character key assistant)


Animator / Character Layout Artist
(Public Company ; 201-500 employees ; Animation industry)
March 1984 – April 1985 (1 year 2 months)
"Ewoks" (character layout artist) (13 episodes, 1985)

The Care Bears Movie (1985) (animator)

Strawberry Shortcake Meets the Berrykins (1984) (TV) (assistant animator)


Sheridan College
animation, 1982 – 1984
Pickering high school
1976 – 1980