Sunday, May 12, 2019

Congrats to Woodbury class of 2019!

Last weekend, Woodbury University said goodbye to the Senior class of 2019 at the annual graduation. The night before, the Animation screening was shown. 

I am always amazed to see the students work that come out of 4 years of learning animation. I remember when I met them as Freshmen, got to know them during the 24 hour animation contest or in later classes and throughout the 4 years of their education. And its sad to see them go, but I know I will see them again or their work in the future. 
Congrats WU Animation class of 2019!

Here are a few of the films that were show.

Add your film to this post by contacting heyjimr@gmail and sending me a link to your film.


Friday, April 12, 2019

Mike Owens

Mike Owens works from his home studio in Saint Paul, Minnesota. About a year ago, he shared it with a crew of artists who were storyboarding on Danger and Eggs.

Here's an interview with Mike Owens from his home studio in St Paul, Minnesota about his work on his first animated show.

See more of Mike Owens's work, visit...

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Next Post: The Road to Noir

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Mike Roberts; Animation Director

A native of Canada who became a US citizen and is now working on some big projects he can't talk about at this time. Take a listen to the link below. In this interview, Mike Roberts discusses his early life, animation projects which he can talk about and his path to becoming an Animation Director.

Beginning Tuesday, March 26th @ 1pm and 10pm until the next Tuesday, Listen to this link to WU Radio.
or anytime on Soundcloud:

Here are several other projects he has either animated or directed so far...

His first film, "Rumbleseat"
Animated Titles and more for "Tales of the Rat Fink"
Bojack Horseman (Opening Titles)

Bojack Horeseman Titles from Mike Roberts on Vimeo.

Animation Director on "TripTank"

TripTank Titles

Mike will work on short films to test out a technique or just to discover something new. Check out all his videos and more at Mike Roberts on Vimeo

Coming Up:
And another Mike will be live streaming...

And our first international interview with Aya Suzuki,
Take a look at her interview on Animateducated and be sure to subscribe for future episodes.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Aya Suzuki: Animation Artist

Aya Suzuki is a 2D Story Artist, Animator, Concept Artist living in London and my special guest on the Live Streaming from London episode on YouTube Animateducated. Here's the link below and her Demo Reel.

Her 2005 graduation film, she did at University.
Wooden Island from Monica Gallab on Vimeo.

 Pencil tests and Final footage from "The Illusionist" 2010

Wolf Children 2012, 
Anime Mirai: Death Billiards 2013
‘Death Billiards’ pencil test, final comparison from Aya Suzuki on Vimeo.

Aya can adapt to any style, from realistic Anime to cartoon cats.
O2 Make Them Giants 2015. Animating camera motion in 2D animation takes a lot of skill and study.

Ethel & Ernest 2016
Isle of Dogs 2018

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Subscribe to the YouTube channel Animateducated.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Claymation Man: Will Vinton

Many would agree that Will Vinton was to Claymation, what Walt Disney was to Animation.

It all began with, "Closed Mondays" the first clay animated film that Will Vinton and Bob Gardiner created together which won an Academy Award in 1975.

Their second film,"Mountain Music" lead to Vinton and Gardiner parting ways and soon Will Vinton Studios began making other films including, Martin the Cobbler (1977), Rip Van Winkle (1978) and The Little Prince (1979). 

Every year a new claymation film was produced and soon Vinton entered into working on TV commercials and winning awards. The most successful ad campaign was for The California Raisins, which lead to several independent projects for Michael Jackson. Below is a compilation of Vinton's California Raisin commercials as well as other behind the scenes interviews on other commercials. 


Here's a collection of stories from a few people who worked at the Vinton Studio during the M&M commercials, The PJs and Gary and Mike TV series.

Here's a rescued Raisin armature made of wood, bendable lead wire encased in shrink wrap rubber for arms and legs with a pair of solid Sculpey shoes.

One of the first M&Ms commercials featured the voices of Jon Lovitz and John Goodman. This was the first commercial where I animated both Red & Yellow. Watch for the scene where they are tied up and struggling to break free.

I animated Yellow in the Xmas M&Ms spot as well as Green when she's naked in her trailer.
The director wanted to make sure the actor would give an appropriate reaction of seeing a nude M&M. So they posted a bunch of porn magazine images all around the camera. As the PA stumbled into Green's trailer, the actor was surprised to see the collection of pornography displayed in front of him and it worked.

In 2002, Vinton's studio changed ownership and here is a very accurate account of what happened in this article called "How the father of Claymation lost his company."

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Next time: Mike Owens, Animation Director.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Sound in Animation

Diegetic and Non Diegetic Sound

The link below is very good at explaining these two different types of sound in filmmaking.


Sound Project:
Create a 20 second abstract audio with abstract audio which you will use to create animation to the soundtrack.

Before After Effects

Oskar Fischinger 1938

Norman McLaren
Knew how optical tracks worked in 35mm film and drew his own soundtrack and created animation by drawing on the film without using a camera. Here's a video explaining his process and how it worked.

Dots 1940
Hand drawn soundtrack with hand painted animation on the film. 

A Phantasy of Colors 1949
This was all painted and animated on film to a recorded soundtrack. You can see the cracks in the dried ink lines which are animated throughout the film.


And while Norman McLaren was making his films without a camera and create sounds with a paint brush. Warner Bros, Sound Editor, Treg Brown was creating sound effects from sound effects from films and devices he invented.

Feet of Song / Erica Russell
Before After Effects, there was optical printing which allowed artists to combine animated footage to create new animated images.
Finding sounds and sound effects  Download mp3 or wav files.
BUFS51  / courses /  MCD Master Sound Files

Sound Programs to use
Audicity for PC only, free download

Create a 20 second abstract audio with abstract audio

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Author Gary K Wolf

Below is a live streaming interview with Gary K. Wolf, Author of "Who Censored Roger Rabbit" which became the Disney feature film, "Who framed Roger Rabbit." 

Toon in to listen below, how the book was rejected by many publishers, before Roy Disney called and offered to buy his story and make it into a major movie picture.

Here are a few scenes which were cut out of the film.

If you enjoyed this interview and learned something new, please subscribe to Animateducated or click on the ads to show your support.

Next: Will Vinton, Claymation Man

Friday, February 1, 2019

Kathy Zielinski Animator

Animator Kathy Zielinski gave an interview and told about her animation career so far. You can see and hear the entire interview on the Animateducated YouTube channel.

A native of California, Kathy discover animation at an early age by watching Peter Pan on the big screen. She later attended Cal Arts where she made her student film, "Guess Whos for Dinner."
The film won a Student Film Award in 1982. And won 2nd place in FOCUS film award that same year. 
Below, Director John Badham interviews Kathy and shows the entire film.

There is also a glimpse of another film she was working on at the time. 
Focus Film Award - 1982 Interview with Kathy and Director John Badham from Kathy Zielinski on Vimeo.

Kathy started her Disney career working on Mickey's Christmas Carol in 1983, but her first feature screen credit was on The Black Cauldron as an Animator. 

She animated Fidget from the Great Mouse Detective,Oliver & Company and Ursula from The Little Mermaid. 

Later, Kathy became a Supervising Animator on Frank the frilled neck lizard from The Rescuers Down Under and Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. On Aladdin, she animated Jafar disguised as a Beggar and later turning him into the giant snake. 

She did Character designs Pocahontas and the evil Hexxus character from Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest.

Here's a sample reel of her best animated scenes.
Kathy Zielinski - 2D Animation Reel from Kathy Zielinski on Vimeo.

Not only is she an amazing animator, but she also is a very talented sculptor. She often would sculpt models of the characters that she would be animating. Here are a few of them from her blog.

After Disney, Kathy went to work for DreamWorks where she was involved with The Prince of Egypt. She later became the supervising animator for the villian Tezekel Khan from The Road to El Dorado. 

Kathy animated on the main character Spirit in Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, and animated on Over the Hedge, The Bee Movie, Kung Fu Panda, How to train your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda 2 and The Croods.

In 2013, Zielinski returned to Disney to work on Frozen.

Today, Kathy is working with the Simpsons and enjoys riding her bike to work. 

If this has been of any interest to you, please click on the ads to show your support or subscribe and share Animateducated with your other animation friends.

Next Episode: Gary K. Wolf author of Who Censored Roger Rabbit.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Bob Kurtz, Animation Director

Bob Kurtz is the founder of Kurtz & Friends Animation in Burbank, CA. He is a Peabody Award winning director, producer, artist, and designer who primarily works in films and TV commercials. He's worked with everyone from George Carlin to Steven Speilberg and is still going strong. 

I've always wanted to talk to him about his amazing career in animation. My earliest memory of his work was as a kid I remember seeing this animated commercial for Chevron called "Dinosaur". 

You might have seen his educational animation segment "Mr. DNA" from "Jurassic Park".

Or saw this, if you lived in Chicago during the 80's.

Or this one, if you're a George Carlin fan.

Bob Kurtz started wearing masks for promotional photos, the artist behind his artwork.

Listen into the Ambassador Goodtime Ear Tango Radio Hour to hear more of the Bob Kurtz interview. Every day at 4pm or at night at 11pm from Tuesday, Feb 5 thru Monday, Feb 11th or visit YouTube channel Animateducated  when its posted.

Here's the Live recording with Bob Kurtz talking about the making of some of the animation posted above.

If you enjoyed or learned anything new, please let us know! Click on the ads to show your support or subscribe to our YouTube channel Animateducated. More live streaming interviews to come!

Next Episode: Feb 12th