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