Sunday, December 31, 2017

Watchcat Holiday edisode

If you are interested in working on a Watchcat holiday animation production, here's something I am currently working on and need help with. Sorry No pay, but you will get screen credit and something to put on your reel.

Click on this link: 
for more information. 


Monday, November 20, 2017

CTNX 2017

This year's CTN animation expo began with cool and sunny weather as I stopped by a table where I met a storyboard artist from Israel. During our conversation, another storyboard artist from Oregon approached the table. I said, "Wow, you are both storyboard people!" as I introduced the two of them. 

As things turned out, I was amazed that the person from Oregon followed the Israel artist's work and now, they are meeting for the first time in person. And that's what I love about the CTN animation expo, it really brings artists from all over the world together for one weekend.

So many people from the animation community attend this expo every November. This year, we introduced our Watchcat postcards onto as many people we could meet. We also were looking for other animation people to help us on future episodes.

Saturday was very crowded inside the massive white tent as people entered, some carrying their portfolios, others carrying their kids and some even had both. While there, I met 3 guys in a row, one was a animation teacher in Denmark, another guy from Scotland and the third was from Costa Rica.  
Animation studios looking for new talent, Animation companies like Wacom, ToonBoom and TV Paint discovering future customers. Endless tables linked together displaying different Artists work, sitting side by side selling their books, prints or other artwork to passersby. No pressure selling here as in other Cons I've been to. You can talk to the artist freely without feeling as if you must buy their wares.

Many "Free tables" were set up throughout, where people could put their business cards and opportunities.They even gave away free art and animation books every now and then as well.

There were a few new things that appeared in the exhibit hall this year including VR demos.

And after all the lectures, book signings, artist demos and networking, it was nice to just sit and draw a pirate.
Or any of the other brave costumed men and women models who were there posing all day long.
So what did you do at CTNx? Was it your first time? What did you see or who did you meet? Please let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

CTNX Opening Night: Dear Basketball

An enormous white caterpillar of a building emerges in the Marriott Burbank's parking lot. It engulfs parking signs and small trees in the process. Tonight, as it was being fitted with a giant CTNX Animation expo banner, a large group was across the street, listening to Glen Keane and Kobe Bryant talk about their film, "Dear Basketball".


Legendary producer, Don Hahn introduced Glen Keane to the CTN audience, who talked briefly about his involvement in the film. Keane also showed a clip of the final minutes of Bryant's final game where the Laker's were losing, until Bryant was able to bring them back by winning the game and ending his career on a high note. Keane's animation flows from childhood memories to adulthood back and forth during Bryant's narration, a love letter to his favorite game.
After the screening, Kobe Bryant joined the stage. He told of how he knew Composer John Williams and had asked Keane about doing the animation. At first, Keane felt a little reluctant about doing it, because he knew nothing about basketball and wasn't sure he could do it. His son Max urged him to do it and eventually Glen agreed and started working on a rough storyboard of thumbnail sketches that illustrated Bryant's writing.
It was a very inspiring discussion about how we create ideas. The film was screened again for us to enjoy for a second time.

So, how did I manage to get into a $95 special event show? Let's just say, its Magic. I really wanted to see this film and to meet Glen Keane again. Many years ago, I met him at a Siggraph event during his early involvement on "Tangled". At the time, I was really into performing magic and I showed him an animated card trick that I had come up with. He really liked it and so, I sent him a deck of cards and the special instructions.

This year at the Animation World fest, my friend met Glen there and mention me and the cardtrick from years ago. Glen remembered the trick and said that he enjoyed showing it to his grand daughter.
I was hoping I might be able to meet him again, but both Kobe and Glen left the stage before the audience could approach either of them. Turns out, Glen had just returned from an overseas flight and was probably starting to get tired from the trip.

One day soon, I hope to meet him again.

Next Post: CTNX Weekend! 

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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Animal Walks

Stephen Cunnane came up with this useful animation guide  showing how a four legged animals walks in various ways.

Animal Gaits for Animators from Stephen Cunnane on Vimeo.

The link below is a good guide for laying out a walk in 2d animation.

Coming Soon!
Aardman is back...

Next Weekend! 
If you are in the Burbank area and into animation or art, stop by the 2017 CTN Expo! Click here to learn more:

Definitely worth the price of admission!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

2017 24hrs Contest Winners


This year's 24 hour animation contest began on Friday, Oct 6th and 183 short animated films of 30 seconds were created in the period of 24 hours. The theme was, "One of these things is not like the others," Enjoy the top 5 films.

5th Place: Sherry Babies, Sheridan College

4th Place: Team Combo Meal: San Jose State University

3rd Place: Pham Jam, Seneca College

2nd Place: The Ani-Mates, Ringling Art & Design

And in First Place!

Bear Eats Mackerel - Sheridan College

There is a bonus to all the teams who created a film in 24 hours, but didn't win the top 5 prizes. They can now fix up anything to improve their story, animation, editing, sound, etc and included it into their reel or portfolio.

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Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Final Woodbury 24 Hour Animation films

Throughout the night, 35 busy animation students of Woodbury University, continued to work on their :30 second animation projects for this year's 24 Hours animation contest. Some took naps while other team members worked into the early hours of Saturday morning. Progress was being made slowly frame by frame.

I got there around 8:30am to see how everyone was doing. Most were tired, but they still were on the clock and ready to face the final hours.

Breakfast came around 9am, Ric Heitzman brought donuts and coffee while Sue Kroyer arrived with homemade muffins and fresh fruit.

The students enjoyed them both and showed us the progress they had made during the night.

Soon it was back to work to finish their projects before the deadline later in the day around 4pm. Now its Crunch time.

That Final Hour
With the goal in sight, the 23rd hour goes by quicker than normal. Many teams submitted their projects before this hour while others are still finalizing things up. 

Things can go wrong now or take longer to accomplish during this final hour, especially due to lack of or no sleep. Uploading takes longer than normal, even clicking your mouse seems slower as well. The Pressure is on now and the deadline is getting closer and closer. Will they make it in time?

Well, I'm happy to report that after all the hard work in a 24 hour period, here are the final animated films of the 2017's 24 hours animation contest from Woodbury University.
If you have any comments for the animators, please let us know...  And now, here are their films.

Team Deception 

Team Get us out of here

Team Charlie's Animators

Team Lemon Bar

Team Taco Holiday

 A Team

Team Hunky Brunch

All in all, everyone had a great time and I am proud of of all 35 who stepped up and made it happen. If you have any comments or suggestions for any of the teams, please leave a comment below. And click on the ads to show your love for this animation blog.

Get a good night's sleep everyone and hopefully we will do this again next year. Good night...

But the story continues...
Next Post: 24 Hours Animation Contest Winners 2017

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Friday, October 6, 2017

And the 2017 24 Hours begins...

In past month, students have been preparing for this year's 24 Hours Animation Contest and have formed into teams. Each team has 5 students, some team members have been through the process before, while others are doing this for the first. Everyone is up for the challenge.

Each year this contest increases in size due to its popularity. Last year's contest in 2016 there were 27 schools participating and 124 teams or 620 students in competition. This year, there are 44 schools schools participating with 183 Teams completing or 915 students all working to complete a :30 second animated film based on the theme in 24 hours.

The 2017 Woodbury University 24 Hours animation teams gathered in the Design Center's D105 at 3pm. Great hordes of excited Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors gathered as timid,but curious Freshman stayed to watch. The live streaming announcement came from Aubry Mintz in his top secret classroom, hidden somewhere in Long Beach, CA.

The goal of the 24 hours contest is to create a 30 second animation piece from a theme which is announced at the beginning by 24 Hours. Aubry Mintz, Associate Professor at CSULB welcomes all the school's participating, thanks the sponsors who have donated prizes to the final top five winners and finally announces the theme of this year's 24 Hours contest.

This year's theme was announced by Mintz on Friday, Oct 6th at 3:30pm PST and is as follows.

The 24 HOURS 2017 THEME:

Is based on the Sesame Street song, " One of these things is not like the others."

Let the Brain Storming begin! 
And off they go in a wild giggle of animation students to find an area to work. Some are on Macs, others are on PCs and a few have taken over the Stop Motion studio. Snacks appear along with laptops, pencils and pens. Dry erase boards are suddenly filling up with thumbnail sketches, words, images and ideas are starting to be born.

The Creative process is alive tonight and everyone is working on turning this year's theme into their own unique vision. There are a variety of animation projects being produced from Traditional, to Digital and even stop motion.

But with great brain power comes food for thought. At around 9pm, Several pizzas were delivered. 


All the students took a quick dinner break and returned to a long night of animation ahead.

And into the night they work.

Next Post: The final WU films

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Meet the 2017 WU Animation Teams

This Friday at 3pm PST, the 2017 24 hours Animation Contest will begin. I thought you might like to take a look at the early beginnings of the contest and how Aubry Mintz came up with this unique learning experience. And then, meet the 2017 Woodbury University Animation Teams.

And now,


The 2017 Woodbury University Animation Teams

 Team Lemon Bar
Terra Nova Clinton, Jon Paramel, Kyla Mercado,  
Connie Chakma(Team Captain), and Lubna Abedin

The Hunky Brunch
Caitlin Kinkead (Team Captain),  
Shayne Cui, Mia Datuin,  
Hans Voegeli and Cruz Godinez

Get us out of here

Mimi Simhon, Catherine Broyles, Jackee Godin,  
Waverly Alonso (Team Captain) and Haley Weed

Team Deception
Juliane Snowden (Team Captain), Daisey Hoover, Eleyse Leatherwood,
Alexis Minguez. Front: Shaina Carroll.

A Team
Remington Radcliffe, Chip Cooney,  Dani Bowman (Team Captain), Jose Martinez and Luis Mendivil

Charlie's Animators

Lauren Comeau-Andres, Jocelyn Naves (Team Captain),Emily Engel-Fletcher, Cynthia Roman and 
floor posing Rachel Samayoa

Team Taco Holiday

Solomon Carreiro, Brandon Swofford, Kayla Branson, Joseph Enriquez (Team Captain) and Rafik Vardanyan

Good Luck to all the teams!

Next Post: 

And the 2017 24 Hours begins...

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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Another Watchcat Weekend!

This week, we got some great news! 

An animation student of mine and a Woodbury University alumni, Tyler Rogers 2017 senior film, Gator’s Aid will be screened at the Sony Pictures Animation event, World Animation Celebration International Short Film Festival.  Tyler directed, designed and animated a 2d short about a comic encounter by a hapless bird and a mother alligator. Tyler graduated this past May, with his B.F.A. in Animation. Congrats Tyler!

And Congrats to Watchcat Episode 2 which will also be screened at...  

International Short Film Animation Festival
 Held at... 
 9050 Washington Blvd. Culver City, California 
Saturday, Sept 30th & Sunday, Oct 1st

But you can see our film it below...

During this weekend's festival, I will be in Dallas for a Portfolio Review Day, while Greg will be working the crowd at the above event. Look for the guy in the Watchcat T-shirt...
(Kevin Conroy might even be there too.)

And if you mention Watchcat, you'll get a free Watchcat postcard! Greg will also have a few XL Watchcat logo T-shirts and some collector WC pins for sale. Become a subscriber to our Watchcat Films channel on Youtube at the event and you'll get a free pin!
We will post if we win anything, but right now just getting in the festival is a great reward! If anyone visited the festival, please let us know what you thought of it in the comments below.

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Next Weekend: The 24 Hours Animation Contest returns Oct 6 & 7! Here's a sneak preview...