Sunday, December 5, 2010

INSPIRATION 8 - Ryan Woodward - Thought of You

 One of my students e-mailed me regarding this piece. Beautiful work very much worth watching. Enjoy.

Thought of You from Ryan Woodward on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pi - rough animation test

Back in late 2001 early 2002, my friend Ken Duncan, {a handful of other artists} and I were working on a project out of his house during our off hours. While in his home studio, Ken showed me the boards for the short and the designs which were very graphic, very dark and very cool. And the message of the story was also very timely as well. { And it still holds up for today. Even more so. } The designers, modelers, riggers had all done some inspiring early work. So I took the one character ' Pi ' and animated a quick first rough test. Just to move him around a little. Moving his head from side to side. Just to get the feel of the rig and also to give Ken a rough test to do a rough render test with the lighting etc to develop the atmosphere he was looking for.

Below are some still frames of the first render pass. It certainly adds to the creepiness of the character.

Below the frames are 2 photos of the character sculpted by another extremely creative and talented friend Shane Zalvin. Shane is one of those artists that loves all the areas of animation. Being an independent artist for years working out of his home studio he has also worked in house animating,story boarding and sculpting for many of the top studios. And as it seems to be in animation, just another very nice creative person to know that would help out in any way possible if you ever needed anything. Friends in animation are like that :-) You can find Shane's web site HERE.

And at the bottom is the rough animation test I just located in my files and thought i would post.

PLEASE NOTE : all designs, models and animations are owned and copyrighted by Duncan Studio.

duncan studio FACBOOK page

                                                             Shane Zalvin's sculpture work

Pi - a rough test from Mark Pudleiner on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

tangled anyone ?

Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts after seeing it ?
How was the character animation ?
How was the story ?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Poll

Starting something new, there will be a POLL every now and then posted on the side panel. Just to see what people are thinking.

For this POLL, i am asking what person's career would you of liked to have experienced.
Each artist has had their own very creative path as they went forward through their career. I'm posting some details of each Artists career below, in case some do not know their history.

Does one person stand out ?

What career experience would you have liked to have gone through ?



Milton Erwin Kahl (March 22, 1909, in San Francisco, California, USA – April 19, 1987, in Mill Valley, California, USA, of pneumonia) was an animator for the Disney studio, and one of Disney's Nine Old Men.
Kahl is often considered the finest draughtsman of the Disney animators. He would often refine the characters sketches from Bill Peet with the ideas of Ken Anderson. For many years the final look for the characters in the Disney films were designed by Kahl, in his angular style inspired by Ronald Searle and Picasso. He is revered by contemporary masters of the form, such as Andreas Deja, and Brad Bird, who was his protégé at Disney in the early 70's. In the behind-the-scenes feature "Fine Food and Film" shown on the Ratatouille DVD, Bird referred to Kahl as "tough", but in a gentle way, as he often gave Bird advice on where he could improve in animation whenever he came up short.
In the book The Animator's Survival Kit the author Richard Williams makes repeated reference and anecdotes relating to Kahl. The centenary of Kahl's birth was honoured by the Academy on April 27, 2009, with a tribute entitled "Milt Kahl: The Animation Michelangelo" and featured Brad Bird as a panelist.[1]

Characters animated by Kahl



Frederick Bean "Fred/Tex" Avery (February 26, 1908 – August 26, 1980) was an American animator, cartoonist, voice actor and director, famous for producing animated cartoons during The Golden Age of Hollywood animation. He did his most significant work for the Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios, creating the characters of Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Droopy, Screwy Squirrel, and developing Porky Pig and Chilly Willy (this last one for the Walter Lantz Studio) into the personas for which they are remembered.

Avery's influence can be seen in almost all of the animated cartoon series by various studios in the 1940s and 1950s. Gary Morris described Avery's innovative approach:
"Above all, [Avery] steered the Warner Bros. house style away from Disneyesque sentimentality and made cartoons that appealed equally to adults, who appreciated Avery's speed, sarcasm, and irony, and to kids, who liked the nonstop action. Disney's "cute and cuddly" creatures, under Avery's guidance, were transformed into unflappable wits like Bugs Bunny, endearing buffoons like Porky Pig, or dazzling crazies like Daffy Duck. Even the classic fairy tale, a market that Disney had cornered, was appropriated by Avery, who made innocent heroines like Red Riding Hood into sexy jazz babies, more than a match for any Wolf. Avery also endeared himself to intellectuals by constantly breaking through the artifice of the cartoon, having characters leap out of the end credits, loudly object to the plot of the cartoon they were starring in, or speak directly to the audience."[1]
Avery's style of directing encouraged animators to stretch the boundaries of the medium to do things in a cartoon that could not be done in the world of live-action film. An often-quoted line about Avery's cartoons was, "In a cartoon you can do anything," [2]. He also performed a great deal of voice work in his cartoons, usually throwaway bits (e.g. the Santa Claus seen briefly in Who Killed Who?), but Tex did fill in for Bill Thompson as Droopy, although the individual cartoons where Avery did this have never been specified.

Daffy Duck

Porky's Duck Hunt introduced the character of Daffy Duck, who possessed a new form of "lunacy" and zaniness that had not been seen before in animated cartoons. Daffy was an almost completely out-of-control "darn fool duck" who frequently bounced around the film frame in double-speed, screaming "Hoo-hoo! hoo-hoo" in a high-pitched, sped-up voice provided by veteran Warners voice artist Mel Blanc.

[edit] Bugs Bunny

The first on-screen appearance of Bugs Bunny, from the 1940 Merrie Melodies cartoon A Wild Hare, directed by Tex Avery.
Avery's 1940 film A Wild Hare is seen as the first cartoon to feature Bugs Bunny, after a series of shorts featuring a Daffy Duck-like rabbit directed by Ben Hardaway, Cal Dalton and Chuck Jones. Avery's rabbit was a super-cool rabbit who was always in control of the situation and who ran rings around his opponents. A Wild Hare also marks the first pairing of him and bald, meek Elmer Fudd, a revamp of Avery's Egghead, a big nosed little fellow who, in turn, was modeled after radio comedian Joe Penner. It is in A Wild Hare that Bugs casually walks up to Elmer, who is out "hunting wabbits", and asks him calmly, "What's up, doc?" Audiences reacted positively to the juxtaposition of Bugs' nonchalance and the potentially dangerous situation, and Avery made "What's up, doc?" the rabbit's catch phrase. Later Warner's named Avery's Rabbit Bugs Bunny after Ben "Bugs" Hardaway who created an earlier rabbit.
Avery ended up directing only four Bugs Bunny cartoons: A Wild Hare, Tortoise Beats Hare, All This and Rabbit Stew, and The Heckling Hare. During this period, he also directed a number of one-shot shorts, including travelogue parodies (The Isle of Pingo Pongo), fractured fairy-tales (The Bear's Tale), Hollywood caricature films (Hollywood Steps Out), and cartoons featuring Bugs Bunny clones (The Crack-Pot Quail).
Avery's tenure at the Schlesinger studio ended in late 1941, when he and the producer quarreled over the ending to The Heckling Hare. In Avery's original version, Bugs and hunting dog were to fall off of a cliff three times, milking the gag to its comic extreme. According to a DVD commentary for the cartoon, historian and animator Greg Ford explained that the problem Schlesinger had with the ending was that, just prior to falling off the third time, Bugs and the dog were to turn to the screen, with Bugs saying "Hold on to your hats, folks, here we go again!" Schlesinger intervened (supposedly on orders from Jack Warner himself), and edited the film so that the characters only fall off the cliff twice (the edited cartoon ends abruptly, after Bugs and the Dog fall through a hole in a cliff and immediately stop short of the ground, saying to the audience, "Heh, fooled you, didn't we?"). An enraged Avery promptly quit the studio, leaving three cartoons he started on but did not complete. They were Crazy Cruise, The Cagey Canary and Aloha Hooey. Bob Clampett picked up where Avery left off and completed the three cartoons.

Avery at MGM

By 1942, Avery was in the employ of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, working in their cartoon division under the supervision of Fred Quimby. Avery felt that Schlesinger had stifled him. At MGM, Avery's creativity reached its peak. His cartoons became known for their sheer lunacy, breakneck pace, and a penchant for playing with the medium of animation and film in general that few other directors dared to approach. MGM also offered him larger budgets and a higher quality production level than the Warners studio. Plus, his unit was filled with ex-Disney artists such as Preston Blair and Ed Love. These changes were evident in Avery's first short released by MGM, The Blitz Wolf, an Adolf Hitler parody which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons) in 1942.
Avery's most famous MGM character debuted in 1943's Dumb-Hounded. Droopy (originally "Happy Hound") was a calm, little, slow-moving and slow-talking dog who still won out in the end. He also created a series of risqué cartoons, beginning with 1943's Red Hot Riding Hood, featuring a sexy female star who never had a set name (but has been unofficially referred to as "Red" by classic cartoon fans. She was also been named "Red" in the 2010's film Tom and Jerry Meets Sherlock homes.) and whose visual design and voice varied somewhat between shorts, but who influenced the minds of young boys — and future animators — worldwide. Other Avery characters at MGM included Screwy Squirrel and the Of Mice and Men-inspired duo of George and Junior.
Other notable MGM cartoons directed by Avery include Bad Luck Blackie, Magical Maestro, Lucky Ducky, Ventriloquist Cat and King-Size Canary. Avery began his stint at MGM working with lush colors and realistic backgrounds, but he slowly abandoned this style for a more frenetic, less realistic approach. The newer, more stylized look reflected the influence of the up-and-coming UPA studio, the need to cut costs as budgets grew higher, and Avery's own desire to leave reality behind and make cartoons that were not tied to the real world of live action. During this period, he made a notable series of films which explored the technology of the future: The House of Tomorrow, The Car of Tomorrow, The Farm of Tomorrow and TV of Tomorrow (spoofing common live-action promotional shorts of the time). He also introduced a slow-talking wolf character, who was the prototype for MGM associates Hanna-Barbera's Huckleberry Hound character, right down to the voice by Daws Butler.
Avery took a year's sabbatical from MGM beginning in 1950 (to recover from overwork), during which time Dick Lundy, recently arrived from the Walter Lantz studio, took over his unit and made one Droopy cartoon, as well as a string of shorts with an old character, Barney Bear. Avery returned to MGM in October 1951 and began working again. Avery's last two original cartoons for MGM were Deputy Droopy and Cellbound, completed in 1953 and released in 1955. They were co-directed by Avery unit animator Michael Lah. Lah began directing a handful of CinemaScope Droopy shorts on his own. A burnt-out Avery left MGM in 1953 to return to the Walter Lantz studio.



Charles Martin "Chuck" Jones (September 21, 1912 – February 22, 2002) was an American animator, cartoon artist, screenwriter, producer, and director of animated films, most memorably of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts for the Warner Bros. Cartoons studio. He directed many of the classic short animated cartoons starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, Sylvester, Pepé Le Pew and the other Warners characters, including Duck Amuck, One Froggy Evening and What's Opera, Doc? (all three of which were later inducted into the National Film Registry) and Jones' famous "Hunting Trilogy" of Rabbit Fire, Rabbit Seasoning, and Duck! Rabbit! Duck! (1951–1953).
After his career at Warner Bros. ended in 1962, Jones started Sib Tower 12 Productions and began producing cartoons for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, including a new series of Tom and Jerry shorts and the television adaptation of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. He later started his own studio, Chuck Jones Productions, which created several one-shot specials, and periodically worked on Looney Tunes related works.
After graduating from Chouinard Art Institute, Jones held a number of low-ranking jobs in the animation industry, including washing cels at the Ub Iwerks studio and assistant animator at the Walter Lantz studio. While at Iwerks, he met a cel painter named Dorothy Webster, who would later become his first wife.

Warner Bros.

Chuck Jones joined Leon Schlesinger Productions, the independent studio that produced Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies for Warner Bros., in 1933 as an assistant animator. In 1935, he was promoted to animator, and assigned to work with new Schlesinger director Tex Avery. There was no room for the new Avery unit in Schlesinger's small studio, so Avery, Jones, and fellow animators Bob Clampett, Virgil Ross, and Sid Sutherland were moved into a small adjacent building they dubbed "Termite Terrace". When Clampett was promoted to director in 1937, Jones was assigned to his unit; the Clampett unit was briefly assigned to work with Jones' old employer, Ub Iwerks, when Iwerks subcontracted four cartoons to Schlesinger in 1937. Jones became a director (or "supervisor", the original title for an animation director in the studio) himself in 1938 when Frank Tashlin left the studio. Jones' first cartoon was The Night Watchman, which featured a cute kitten who would later evolve into Sniffles the mouse.
Many of Jones' cartoons of the 1930s and early 1940s were lavishly animated, but audiences and fellow Schlesinger staff members found them lacking in genuine humor. Often slow-moving and overbearing with "cuteness", Jones' early cartoons were an attempt to follow in the footsteps of Walt Disney's shorts (especially with such cartoons as Tom Thumb in Trouble and the Sniffles cartoons). Jones finally left traditional animation conventions with the cartoon The Dover Boys in 1942. Jones credits this cartoon as the film where he "learned how to be funny." The Dover Boys is also one of the first uses of Stylized animation in American film, breaking away from the more realistic animation styles influenced by the Disney Studio. This was also the period where Jones created many of his lesser-known characters, including Charlie Dog, Hubie and Bertie, and The Three Bears. Despite their relative obscurity today, the shorts starring these characters represent some of Jones' earliest work that was strictly intended to be funny.
During the World War II years, Jones worked closely with Theodor Geisel (also known as Dr. Seuss) to create the Private Snafu series of Army educational cartoons. Private Snafu comically educated soldiers on topics like spies and laziness in a more risque way than general audiences would have been used to at the time. Jones would later collaborate with Seuss on a number of adaptations of Seuss' books to animated form, most importantly How the Grinch Stole Christmas! in 1966.
Also, during World War II, Jones directed such shorts as The Weakly Reporter, a 1944 short that related to shortages and rationing on the home front. During the same year, he directed Hell-Bent for Election, a campaign film for Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Not widely known, he also directed Angel Puss in this period which contains portrayals of African-Americans that are now considered offensive; it is no longer available in any type of authorized release and is among the group of controversial cartoons known to animation buffs as the Censored Eleven.

A still from What's Opera, Doc?.
Jones hit his stride in the late 1940s, and continued to make his best-regarded works through the 1950s. Jones-created characters from this period includes Claude Cat, Marc Antony and Pussyfoot, Charlie Dog, Michigan J. Frog, and his three most popular creations, Pepe LePew, the Road Runner, and Wile E. Coyote. The Road Runner cartoons, in addition to the cartoons that are considered his masterpieces (all written and conceived by Michael Maltese), Duck Amuck, One Froggy Evening, and What's Opera, Doc? are today hailed by critics as some of the best cartoons ever made.
The staff of the Jones' Unit A were as important to the success of these cartoons as Jones himself. Key members included writer Maltese, layout artist/background designer/co-director Maurice Noble, animator and co-director Abe Levitow, and animators Ken Harris and Ben Washam.
In 1950, Jones and Maltese began working on Rabbit Fire, a short that changed Daffy Duck's personality forever. They decided to make him a totally different character; instead of the wacky, comic relief character he had been, they turned Daffy into a vain, egomaniacal prima donna wanting to steal the spotlight from Bugs Bunny. Of his versions of Bugs and Daffy, Chuck Jones has said, "Bugs is who we want to be. Daffy is who we are."
Jones remained at Warner Bros. throughout the 1950s, except for a brief period in 1953 when Warner closed the animation studio. During this interim, Jones found employment at Walt Disney Pictures, where he teamed with Ward Kimball for a four month period of uncredited work on Sleeping Beauty (1959). Upon the reopening of the Warner animation department, Jones was rehired and reunited with most of his unit.
In the early-1960s, Jones and his wife Dorothy wrote the screenplay for the animated feature Gay Purr-ee. The finished film would feature the voices of Judy Garland, Robert Goulet and Red Buttons as cats in Paris, France. The feature was produced by UPA, and directed by his former Warner collaborator, Abe Levitow. Jones moonlighted to work on the film, since he had an exclusive contract with Warner Bros. UPA completed the film and made it available for distribution in 1962; it was picked up by Warner Bros. When Warner discovered that Jones had violated his exclusive contract with them, they terminated him.[1] Jones' former animation unit was laid off after completing the final cartoon in their pipeline, The Iceman Ducketh, and the rest of the Warner Bros. Cartoons studio was closed in early 1963.[1] (Jones frequently claimed, including in the aforementioned autobiography, that this happened because Warner finally learned they weren't making Mickey Mouse cartoons).

Jones on his own

With business partner Les Goldman, Jones started an independent animation studio Sib Tower 12 Productions, bringing on most of his unit from Warner Bros., including Maurice Noble and Michael Maltese. In 1963, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contracted with Sib Tower 12 to have Jones and his staff produce new Tom and Jerry cartoons. In 1964, Sib Tower 12 was absorbed by MGM and was renamed MGM Animation/Visual Arts. Jones' animated short film The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics won the 1965 Oscar for Best Animated Short. Jones also directed the classic animated short "The Bear That Wasn't".
As the Tom and Jerry series wound down (it would be discontinued in 1967), Jones moved on to television. In 1966, he produced and directed the TV special How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, featuring the voice and facial features of Boris Karloff. Jones continued to work on TV specials such as Horton Hears a Who! (1970), but his main focus during this time was producing the feature film The Phantom Tollbooth, which did lukewarm business when MGM released it in 1970. Jones co-directed 1969's The Pogo Special Birthday Special, based on the Walt Kelly comic strip, and voiced the characters of Porky Pine and Bun Rab.



John Kricfalusi (pronounced Kris-falusi, born Michael John Kricfalusi), better known as John K, is a Canadian animator. He is creator of The Ren & Stimpy Show, The Ripping Friends animated series, and Weekend Pussy Hunt, which was billed as "the world's first interactive web-based cartoon," as well as the founder of animation studio Spümcø International.

Kricfalusi's first cartoon was a short called Ted Bakes One, which he produced with Bill Wray in 1979 for a cable channel.From the late 1970s to the mid 1980s, Kricfalusi worked for Filmation and later Hanna-Barbera on various shows which he once described as "the worst animation of all time."He recalls being "saved" from having to work on these cartoons by director Ralph Bakshi, who'd worked with him before in 1981 and 1982. They began working on the designs for the film Bobby's Girl, which was sold to Tri-Star but later cancelled.Under Bakshi, Kricfalusi directed the animation for The Rolling Stones’ 1986 music video Harlem Shuffle. Their most successful project was Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures, based on the classic Terrytoons character. The series was well-received, and it is considered the forerunner of creator-driven cartoons.Kricfalusi directed eight of the twenty-six episodes and supervised the series. Mighty Mouse was eventually cancelled after it experienced some controversy for allegedly depicting the main character snorting cocaine. Ralph Bakshi maintained that neither he nor Kricfalusi had the character sniffing cocaine, and that the character was sniffing the crushed petals of a flower, which was handed to him in a previous scene in the cartoon. Kricfalusi left to work on The New Adventures of Beany and Cecil for ABC, where he teamed up with many of the people who would later work with him on The Ren & Stimpy Show. ABC pulled the show after six episodes, finding the humor not suitable for children's programming.

Ren & Stimpy

Kricfalusi formed Spümcø International animation studio with partners Jim Smith, Bob Camp and Lynne Naylor.They began working on a pilot for The Ren & Stimpy Show on behalf of Nickelodeon, after the eponymous characters were favored by Nickelodeon producer Vanessa Coffey in a presentation by Kricfalusi. The pilot was very well-received, leading to the production of the first 13 half-hour episodes of the show. The show came to garner high ratings for Nickelodeon, but the network disagreed with Kricfalusi's direction of the show, and disapproved of his missed production deadlines.Kricfalusi points specifically to the episode "Man's Best Friend", which features a violent climax where Ren brutally assaults the character George Liquor with an oar, as being the turning point in his relationship with Nickelodeon. One of the episodes, "Nurse Stimpy," did not meet Kricfalusi's approval, leading him to use the alias Raymond Spum in its credits. Nickelodeon fired Kricfalusi from production of the series in 1992, leaving it in the hands of Nickelodeon's Games Animation studio, which continued producing it for three more seasons before its cancellation.


Music videos, web-cartoons, Hanna-Barbera cartoons, and The Ripping Friends
From 1993 to 1994, Kricfalusi contributed several articles for the magazines Film Threat and Wild Cartoon Kingdom under various aliases. During 1995 and 1996, he directed singer Björk's animated music video for the song I Miss You, and created Weekend Pussy Hunt for MSN, which was billed as "the world's first interactive web-based cartoon." Production under MSN stopped before the cartoon was finished, and later resumed under, after the release of Spümcø's own web-based Flash cartoon, The Goddamn George Liquor Program.] Between 1998 and 2001 he directed and animated several Hanna-Barbera cartoons for Cartoon Network: three Yogi Bear cartoons, Boo Boo and the Man, A Day in the Life of Ranger Smith and Boo Boo Runs Wild, and two Jetsons cartoons, Father & Son Day and The Best Son. In 2001, Tenacious D released a music video for the song Fuck Her Gently, produced by Kricfalusi. From 2001 to 2002, FOX Kids aired the TV series The Ripping Friends, created by Kricfalusi and Jim Smith. Kricfalusi felt the show's supervisors were doing away with the Spümcø style, and was displeased with the direction of the show.[31]


Cartoon commentaries, music videos, George Liquor, and Spümcø and the Art of John K.
Kricfalusi appears in several bonus featurettes and provides audio commentaries for the Looney Tunes Golden Collection volumes 2, 3, and 5, for cartoons directed by Bob Clampett and Chuck Jones. On February 13, 2006, Kricfalusi started his own web log, John K Stuff, posting about cartoons and the animation industry. The site was originally intended for other artists and entertainers, and specifically other cartoonists. That year, Kricfalusi directed two music videos, and served as art director for an animated musical segment. The first music video, for Close But No Cigar by “Weird Al” Yankovic, was released in September, on the DVD side of the DualDisc album Straight Outta Lynwood, which features Kricfalusi's character Cigarettes the cat. The second music video was for Classico by Tenacious D, starring the band members as cartoon characters. He animated them again in a THX logo parody for the band's feature film, The Pick of Destiny. Kricfalusi served as art director for a musical segment in the show Class of 3000 entitled Life Without Music, which first aired on November 3, 2006.In 2008, Kricfalusi was developing a series of cartoon commercials for Pontiac Vibe starring George Liquor and Jimmy The Idiot Boy. The series remained unreleased after General Motors discontinued the Pontiac Vibe auto line in 2009.


Kricfalusi says he is mostly self-taught, having only spent a year in Sheridan College, barely attending class. He acquired his skills largely by copying cartoons from newspapers and comic books as a child, and by studying cartoons and their production systems from the 1940s and 1950s. He says his influences are Bob Clampett, Chuck Jones, Frank Sinatra and Kirk Douglas.[ His MySpace page mentions Milt Gross, Tex Avery, Al Jolson, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Elvis, Don Martin and Robert Ryan under "heroes".Michael Barrier, an animation historian, said that Kricfalusi's works "testify to his intense admiration for Bob Clampett's Warner Bros. cartoons" and that no cartoonist since Clampett created cartoons in which the emotions of the characters "distort their bodies so powerfully."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

INSPIRATION 7 - Remembrance Day / Veterans Day

In honor and respect for all the men and women and their families
that have given so much.