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!